Collecting A Debt: The Anatomy of the Lawsuit

I’ve provided three separate posts about the things you can do, short of a lawsuit, to attempt to get paid.  However, in the event you cannot get paid, the courts often act as a place where you can complain and seek relief from the person that is not paying you.To file a lawsuit, you have to meet the standard notice requirements.  You have to serve the defendant and put them on notice of the lawsuit.  You have to make sure you are in the right court to bring the cause of action, and you have to make a claim for damages.The complaint will generally have the lawyers names, the names of the parties, the case number, and other information.  Then the complaint must set forth the jurisdiction. Namely, does the court have the right to hear the issue in front of it.  Next, you have to allege the facts that give rise to the complaint.Particularly, you have to allege facts that suggest that you have a valid and funded debt.  To do that you must allege you have a contract that has been funded, the contract is breached, and that you are damaged.  In addition, you must show that there are sufficient terms to enforce the terms of the debt against the other party.At the end of the lawsuit, you must ask the court for specific relief.  The end of the complaint generally states the following:WHEREFORE, the undersigned attorney asks the court for the following relief:

  1. For the return of the principal in the amount of [x]
  2. For interest in the amount of [y]
  3. For late fees in the amount of [z]
  4. For collection and attorneys fees in the amount of [aa] pursuant to the contract and pursuant to [statute].
  5. For any other relief that is just and proper to make the plaintiff whole.

In short, you must ask for any relief that you want the court to grant.