If my mother is being sued for an unpaid bill andshe doesn’t know where it’s from, what should she do?

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If my mother is being sued for an unpaid bill andshe doesn’t know where it’s from, what should she do?

The only things my mother owns is her car and her house; she is disabled and afraid of losing these things. Any money she has is from my deceased father’s retirement. She has nowhere to go if her home is taken from her. Is it possible for them to do that and leave her homeless? She got a court summons that says for her to bring a list of all the things she owns and her bank statements. Should she do that? Also, when her papers were served they were not given directly to her, the person gave them to my brother, is that even legal?

Asked on January 29, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I don't understand what this is for so it sounds like she was sued and failed to appear and received a default judgment and is now in the judgment portion of the case. She needs to talk to a lawyer; if she doesn't have the money, she should bring all documents she received and talk to legal aid.  Sometimes law firms in your area have a certain amount of pro bono work they do a year...usually younger associates do the work with senior partner oversight.  The process server can give them to her brother if he lives at the home or was at the home and appeared to be a person who can accept the service of process. Her lawyer will need to file some motions to delay  the hearing to get a grasp of what happened and go from there. Best thing to do without a lawyer at this point is a) contact the court and pay for a copy of the initial order, this way you will know what the background is and b) have your mom order her credit report from all three agencies to see if she has any collections issues or judgments listed.


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