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What Should I Do If OneMain Financial Is Taking Me to Court?

Getting Sued by OneMain Financial – Don’t Panic, But Act Quickly

Getting served with a lawsuit from a creditor like OneMain Financial can be really stressful; but try not to panic. There are steps you can take to protect yourself and fight back against the lawsuit. The most important thing is to act quickly and not ignore the court summons.First off, take a deep breath. Getting sued doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to lose or have your wages garnished. You have rights and potential defenses against the lawsuit. But you need to exercise those rights by responding properly and on time.In this article, we’ll walk through exactly what to do if you’ve been sued by OneMain Financial for an unpaid debt. We’ll cover:

  • Understanding the lawsuit process
  • How to respond to the summons
  • Potential defenses against the debt
  • Settling or negotiating with OneMain
  • Fighting the case in court if needed
  • Protecting your assets from garnishment
  • When to consider bankruptcy

The key is taking it one step at a time and not sticking your head in the sand. With the right actions, you can resolve this in the best way possible. Let’s dive in!

- -

Comprehending the Lawsuit – Don’t Ignore Those Court Papers!

If you’ve been served with a summons and complaint from OneMain Financial, it means they are suing you for an unpaid debt. This is called a “debt collection lawsuit.”The summons notifies you that you are being sued. The complaint is the legal document that lays out OneMain’s case against you – what debt they say you owe, how much is owed, and why they are entitled to collect it.It’s extremely important that you do NOT ignore these court papers! Ignoring a debt lawsuit can have serious consequences, like:

  • The creditor can get a default judgment against you for the full amount they say you owe, plus interest and court costs.
  • With a judgment, they can pursue garnishing your wages, levying your bank accounts, putting liens on your property, and other collection actions.
  • The judgment can badly damage your credit report for years.

So while getting served is never fun, you have to take it seriously and respond. The summons will give a deadline, usually around 20-30 days, to file an official legal “answer” to the complaint.

How to Properly Respond to the Summons and Complaint

To avoid a default judgment, you must file an “answer” with the court before the deadline in the summons. The answer is your legal response admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint.You can draft and file the answer yourself, or hire an attorney to do it for you. Either way, do not miss the deadline! If you need more time, you can request an extension from the court (but don’t just ignore it).In the answer, you’ll need to:

  • Admit or deny each allegation in the complaint paragraph-by-paragraph
  • Raise any legal defenses you may have against the debt
  • Include your name, address, and the case number from the summons
  • Sign it and file it with the court clerk

Some common legal defenses to list in the answer include:

- -
  • The statute of limitations has expired on the debt
  • You don’t actually owe the full amount claimed
  • OneMain Financial lacks documentation proving you owe the debt
  • The debt was already paid or settled
  • You filed bankruptcy discharging the debt

You’ll want to be very specific in your denials and defenses. Don’t just write “I deny everything” – go line-by-line through the complaint.If you’re unsure how to draft a proper legal answer, there are online services like SoloSuit and Upsolut that can help you generate a customized answer based on your situation.

Potential Defenses Against OneMain Financial’s Lawsuit

Beyond just denying you owe the debt, there are some potential legal defenses and counterclaims you may be able to raise against OneMain Financial:

Statute of Limitations Expired

Every state has a statute of limitations that limits how long a creditor has to sue over a debt. In most states it’s 3-6 years from the date you last made a payment or acknowledgment of the debt.If OneMain is suing over a really old debt past the statute of limitations, you can get the case dismissed by showing documentation of when the debt became delinquent.

Lack of Proof You Owe the Debt

- -

The burden is on OneMain Financial to prove with proper documentation that you legally owe the debt amount they are claiming. If they can’t produce the original loan agreement, account statements, etc. you can argue they haven’t met their burden of proof.

Violations of Debt Collection Laws

Creditors like OneMain have to follow rules under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). If they violated these rules, like harassing you or making misleading statements, you may be able to countersune them and potentially get the case dismissed.Some examples of FDCPA violations include:

- -
  • Calling you before 8am or after 9pm
  • Contacting you directly after you sent a debt validation letter
  • Threatening legal action they can’t actually take
  • Using abusive or profane language

Improper Service of the LawsuitThere are specific legal rules for how a summons and complaint must be “served” to you, like being hand-delivered by a process server. If OneMain didn’t follow those rules properly, you may be able to get the case dismissed on those grounds.

Bankruptcy Discharge

If you previously filed bankruptcy and had this specific debt discharged in the bankruptcy, then OneMain Financial is violating the bankruptcy order by trying to re-collect the debt. You can get the case dismissed by showing your bankruptcy paperwork.The key is to raise any potential defenses in your formal answer to the complaint. Don’t just ignore it or the creditor will likely get a default judgment.

Settling or Negotiating With OneMain Financial

For many people, the best option is trying to settle or negotiate with OneMain Financial before the case goes to trial. This allows you to resolve the debt for less than the total amount owed.Creditors like OneMain are often motivated to settle because it allows them to avoid the time and legal fees of going through a whole court case. And for the consumer, it means you can put the debt behind you without a judgment on your credit.There are a few ways to potentially negotiate a settlement:Settle Before Answering the ComplaintAs soon as you receive the summons, you can contact OneMain’s attorneys and try negotiating a settlement right away. Explain your financial situation and see if they’ll accept a lump sum that’s less than the full balance.If you can get them to agree to a settlement amount you can actually afford, be sure to get all terms in writing before paying anything. The agreement should state the debt is “settled in full” with no remaining balance.

Request Settlement Conferences

In many courts, you can request what’s called a “settlement conference” after you file your answer. This is an informal meeting with OneMain’s attorneys to discuss potential settlement options before going to trial.Come prepared with documentation of your income, assets, expenses, and what you can realistically afford to pay. The creditor may be willing to take a discounted lump sum or work out an affordable payment plan.

Make an Offer at Trial

If no settlement is reached before trial, you can still try negotiating with OneMain’s lawyers when you get to court. The creditor may be willing to accept a settlement that day to avoid having to go through the trial and potentially lose.Just be careful about any settlement offers that have you admitting fault or liability. Make sure the agreement clearly states it’s a compromise with no admissions made.The goal of settlement negotiations is to reach an affordable resolution that allows you to put this debt behind you once and for all. Don’t be afraid to negotiate firmly based on what you can realistically pay.

Fighting the Case in Court Against OneMain Financial

If you are unable to settle or negotiate with OneMain Financial, you may have to take the case to trial and fight it out in court. This is obviously more stressful, but you still have a fair shot at winning if you have a solid legal defense.Here are some tips for fighting a debt collection case against OneMain at trial:

Be Prepared with Documentation

Gather all documentation and evidence supporting your defense – loan statements, payment records, letters, call logs, etc. The more paper trail you have, the better your chances.

Know the Burden of Proof

Remember, OneMain Financial has the legal burden of proving with admissible evidence that you owe the debt amount they claim. If their documentation is lacking, you may be able to poke holes in their case.

Consider Filing Counterclaims

If OneMain violated any debt collection laws or engaged in other misconduct, you can file counterclaims against them seeking damages or dismissal of the case. Potential counterclaims include violations of:

  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
  • State debt collection and consumer protection laws

Prepare to Take the StandIf it goes to trial, you will likely have to testify and be cross-examined about the debt and your defenses. Be honest, stick to the facts, and don’t ramble or make stuff up. Having an attorney to prep you can help.

Know the Rules of Evidence

There are specific rules about what evidence is admissible in court. Your documentation has to properly authenticated. Learn the evidence rules for your state so you can get your exhibits into the record.

Consider Hiring an Attorney

While you have the right to represent yourself pro se, debt collection cases can get complicated with motions, discovery, evidence rules, etc. Having an experienced consumer law attorney can increase your odds of winning at trial.The main thing is don’t just give up if you have a legitimate defense against OneMain’s lawsuit. With the right preparation and strategy, you may be able to get the case dismissed or significantly reduce what you owe.

Protecting Assets from Garnishment if OneMain Gets a Judgment

If despite your best efforts OneMain Financial does get a judgment against you, it’s crucial to take steps to protect your income and assets from garnishment and seizure.With a judgment, creditors like OneMain can pursue garnishing your wages (taking money right from your paycheck), levying your bank accounts, putting liens on your property, and using other aggressive tactics to collect the judgment amount.Here are some asset protection strategies to consider:

Wage Garnishment Exemptions

There are federal and state laws that allow you to exempt/protect a certain amount of your wages from garnishment based on your earnings level. Be sure to claim all exemptions you qualify for.

Bank Account Exemptions

Similarly, certain funds like Social Security, disability, unemployment, and child support are generally exempt from having your bank account levied by a creditor. You may need to get a lawyer to claim these exemptions properly.

Property Exemptions

Many states allow you to declare certain real estate and personal property as fully or partially exempt from seizure by creditors. Common exemptions include your primary residence, vehicles up to a certain value, household goods, tools of your trade, and retirement accounts.

Filing for Bankruptcy

If you have overwhelming debts and judgments you can’t pay, bankruptcy may be an option to discharge those debts and get creditors off your back. Bankruptcy puts an automatic stay on all collection efforts.The key is being proactive about protecting your assets and income as soon as a judgment is entered. Don’t just let OneMain Financial and other creditors clean out your bank accounts and garnish your wages.

When Bankruptcy May Be the Best Option

For some consumers, bankruptcy is the best or only realistic way to get out from under crushing debt burdens like a judgment from OneMain Financial.There are two main types of personal bankruptcy:

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

This is a “straight bankruptcy” that allows you to fully discharge/eliminate many types of unsecured debts like credit cards, medical bills, and certain judgments and personal loans. Your non-exempt assets may have to be liquidated to pay creditors.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

With a Chapter 13, you enter into a 3-5 year repayment plan to pay back a portion of your debts based on your income and budget. At the end, your remaining eligible debts are discharged.The benefits of bankruptcy include:

  • An automatic stay immediately stopping all debt collection efforts
  • The ability to discharge debts you can’t afford to pay
  • Preventing home foreclosure or vehicle repossession
  • Only having to pay back a portion of debts through the repayment plan
  • Getting a much-needed fresh financial start

The downsides are that bankruptcy will severely impact your credit for several years, and you may have to give up some non-exempt assets or income in the process.Bankruptcy should be viewed as a last resort option. But for many consumers, it’s the best way to get out from under overwhelming debts like a judgment from OneMain Financial that they simply can’t pay back.If you’re considering bankruptcy, be sure to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area. They can assess your full financial situation and advise if it’s the right path for your circumstances.

Key Takeaways – Don’t Ignore That Summons!

Getting sued by a creditor like OneMain Financial is never a fun experience. But the worst thing you can do is stick your head in the sand and ignore the court summons.By taking quick action to respond and assert your legal defenses, you may be able to get the case dismissed, settle for an affordable amount, or significantly reduce what you owe.Even if OneMain does get a judgment, there are still ways to protect your income and assets from garnishment through bankruptcy or exemptions.The main keys are:

  • Don’t ignore the lawsuit – respond before the deadline!
  • Raise any legal defenses you may have like statute of limitations
  • Try settling with OneMain before it goes to trial
  • Protect your assets if they do get a judgment
  • Bankruptcy may be an option for overwhelming debts

No matter how stressful it seems, you have rights as a consumer and potential paths to resolve this in the best way possible. The most important thing is taking that first step to fight back against the lawsuit properly and on time.

What Should I Do If OneMain Financial Is Taking Me to Court?

Getting Sued by OneMain Financial – Don’t Panic, But Act Quickly

Getting served with a lawsuit from a creditor like OneMain Financial can be really stressful; but try not to panic. There are steps you can take to protect yourself and fight back against the lawsuit. The most important thing is to act quickly and not ignore the court summons.First off, take a deep breath. Getting sued doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to lose or have your wages garnished. You have rights and potential defenses against the lawsuit. But you need to exercise those rights by responding properly and on time.In this article, we’ll walk through exactly what to do if you’ve been sued by OneMain Financial for an unpaid debt. We’ll cover:

  • Understanding the lawsuit process
  • How to respond to the summons
  • Potential defenses against the debt
  • Settling or negotiating with OneMain
  • Fighting the case in court if needed
  • Protecting your assets from garnishment
  • When to consider bankruptcy

The key is taking it one step at a time and not sticking your head in the sand. With the right actions, you can resolve this in the best way possible. Let’s dive in!

- -

Comprehending the Lawsuit – Don’t Ignore Those Court Papers!

If you’ve been served with a summons and complaint from OneMain Financial, it means they are suing you for an unpaid debt. This is called a “debt collection lawsuit.”The summons notifies you that you are being sued. The complaint is the legal document that lays out OneMain’s case against you – what debt they say you owe, how much is owed, and why they are entitled to collect it.It’s extremely important that you do NOT ignore these court papers! Ignoring a debt lawsuit can have serious consequences, like:

  • The creditor can get a default judgment against you for the full amount they say you owe, plus interest and court costs.
  • With a judgment, they can pursue garnishing your wages, levying your bank accounts, putting liens on your property, and other collection actions.
  • The judgment can badly damage your credit report for years.

So while getting served is never fun, you have to take it seriously and respond. The summons will give a deadline, usually around 20-30 days, to file an official legal “answer” to the complaint.

How to Properly Respond to the Summons and Complaint

To avoid a default judgment, you must file an “answer” with the court before the deadline in the summons. The answer is your legal response admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint.You can draft and file the answer yourself, or hire an attorney to do it for you. Either way, do not miss the deadline! If you need more time, you can request an extension from the court (but don’t just ignore it).In the answer, you’ll need to:

  • Admit or deny each allegation in the complaint paragraph-by-paragraph
  • Raise any legal defenses you may have against the debt
  • Include your name, address, and the case number from the summons
  • Sign it and file it with the court clerk

Some common legal defenses to list in the answer include:

- -
  • The statute of limitations has expired on the debt
  • You don’t actually owe the full amount claimed
  • OneMain Financial lacks documentation proving you owe the debt
  • The debt was already paid or settled
  • You filed bankruptcy discharging the debt

You’ll want to be very specific in your denials and defenses. Don’t just write “I deny everything” – go line-by-line through the complaint.If you’re unsure how to draft a proper legal answer, there are online services like SoloSuit and Upsolut that can help you generate a customized answer based on your situation.

Potential Defenses Against OneMain Financial’s Lawsuit

Beyond just denying you owe the debt, there are some potential legal defenses and counterclaims you may be able to raise against OneMain Financial:

Statute of Limitations Expired

Every state has a statute of limitations that limits how long a creditor has to sue over a debt. In most states it’s 3-6 years from the date you last made a payment or acknowledgment of the debt.If OneMain is suing over a really old debt past the statute of limitations, you can get the case dismissed by showing documentation of when the debt became delinquent.

Lack of Proof You Owe the Debt

- -

The burden is on OneMain Financial to prove with proper documentation that you legally owe the debt amount they are claiming. If they can’t produce the original loan agreement, account statements, etc. you can argue they haven’t met their burden of proof.

Violations of Debt Collection Laws

Creditors like OneMain have to follow rules under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). If they violated these rules, like harassing you or making misleading statements, you may be able to countersune them and potentially get the case dismissed.Some examples of FDCPA violations include:

- -
  • Calling you before 8am or after 9pm
  • Contacting you directly after you sent a debt validation letter
  • Threatening legal action they can’t actually take
  • Using abusive or profane language

Improper Service of the LawsuitThere are specific legal rules for how a summons and complaint must be “served” to you, like being hand-delivered by a process server. If OneMain didn’t follow those rules properly, you may be able to get the case dismissed on those grounds.

Bankruptcy Discharge

If you previously filed bankruptcy and had this specific debt discharged in the bankruptcy, then OneMain Financial is violating the bankruptcy order by trying to re-collect the debt. You can get the case dismissed by showing your bankruptcy paperwork.The key is to raise any potential defenses in your formal answer to the complaint. Don’t just ignore it or the creditor will likely get a default judgment.

Settling or Negotiating With OneMain Financial

For many people, the best option is trying to settle or negotiate with OneMain Financial before the case goes to trial. This allows you to resolve the debt for less than the total amount owed.Creditors like OneMain are often motivated to settle because it allows them to avoid the time and legal fees of going through a whole court case. And for the consumer, it means you can put the debt behind you without a judgment on your credit.There are a few ways to potentially negotiate a settlement:Settle Before Answering the ComplaintAs soon as you receive the summons, you can contact OneMain’s attorneys and try negotiating a settlement right away. Explain your financial situation and see if they’ll accept a lump sum that’s less than the full balance.If you can get them to agree to a settlement amount you can actually afford, be sure to get all terms in writing before paying anything. The agreement should state the debt is “settled in full” with no remaining balance.

Request Settlement Conferences

In many courts, you can request what’s called a “settlement conference” after you file your answer. This is an informal meeting with OneMain’s attorneys to discuss potential settlement options before going to trial.Come prepared with documentation of your income, assets, expenses, and what you can realistically afford to pay. The creditor may be willing to take a discounted lump sum or work out an affordable payment plan.

Make an Offer at Trial

If no settlement is reached before trial, you can still try negotiating with OneMain’s lawyers when you get to court. The creditor may be willing to accept a settlement that day to avoid having to go through the trial and potentially lose.Just be careful about any settlement offers that have you admitting fault or liability. Make sure the agreement clearly states it’s a compromise with no admissions made.The goal of settlement negotiations is to reach an affordable resolution that allows you to put this debt behind you once and for all. Don’t be afraid to negotiate firmly based on what you can realistically pay.

Fighting the Case in Court Against OneMain Financial

If you are unable to settle or negotiate with OneMain Financial, you may have to take the case to trial and fight it out in court. This is obviously more stressful, but you still have a fair shot at winning if you have a solid legal defense.Here are some tips for fighting a debt collection case against OneMain at trial:

Be Prepared with Documentation

Gather all documentation and evidence supporting your defense – loan statements, payment records, letters, call logs, etc. The more paper trail you have, the better your chances.

Know the Burden of Proof

Remember, OneMain Financial has the legal burden of proving with admissible evidence that you owe the debt amount they claim. If their documentation is lacking, you may be able to poke holes in their case.

Consider Filing Counterclaims

If OneMain violated any debt collection laws or engaged in other misconduct, you can file counterclaims against them seeking damages or dismissal of the case. Potential counterclaims include violations of:

  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
  • State debt collection and consumer protection laws

Prepare to Take the StandIf it goes to trial, you will likely have to testify and be cross-examined about the debt and your defenses. Be honest, stick to the facts, and don’t ramble or make stuff up. Having an attorney to prep you can help.

Know the Rules of Evidence

There are specific rules about what evidence is admissible in court. Your documentation has to properly authenticated. Learn the evidence rules for your state so you can get your exhibits into the record.

Consider Hiring an Attorney

While you have the right to represent yourself pro se, debt collection cases can get complicated with motions, discovery, evidence rules, etc. Having an experienced consumer law attorney can increase your odds of winning at trial.The main thing is don’t just give up if you have a legitimate defense against OneMain’s lawsuit. With the right preparation and strategy, you may be able to get the case dismissed or significantly reduce what you owe.

Protecting Assets from Garnishment if OneMain Gets a Judgment

If despite your best efforts OneMain Financial does get a judgment against you, it’s crucial to take steps to protect your income and assets from garnishment and seizure.With a judgment, creditors like OneMain can pursue garnishing your wages (taking money right from your paycheck), levying your bank accounts, putting liens on your property, and using other aggressive tactics to collect the judgment amount.Here are some asset protection strategies to consider:

Wage Garnishment Exemptions

There are federal and state laws that allow you to exempt/protect a certain amount of your wages from garnishment based on your earnings level. Be sure to claim all exemptions you qualify for.

Bank Account Exemptions

Similarly, certain funds like Social Security, disability, unemployment, and child support are generally exempt from having your bank account levied by a creditor. You may need to get a lawyer to claim these exemptions properly.

Property Exemptions

Many states allow you to declare certain real estate and personal property as fully or partially exempt from seizure by creditors. Common exemptions include your primary residence, vehicles up to a certain value, household goods, tools of your trade, and retirement accounts.

Filing for Bankruptcy

If you have overwhelming debts and judgments you can’t pay, bankruptcy may be an option to discharge those debts and get creditors off your back. Bankruptcy puts an automatic stay on all collection efforts.The key is being proactive about protecting your assets and income as soon as a judgment is entered. Don’t just let OneMain Financial and other creditors clean out your bank accounts and garnish your wages.

When Bankruptcy May Be the Best Option

For some consumers, bankruptcy is the best or only realistic way to get out from under crushing debt burdens like a judgment from OneMain Financial.There are two main types of personal bankruptcy:

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

This is a “straight bankruptcy” that allows you to fully discharge/eliminate many types of unsecured debts like credit cards, medical bills, and certain judgments and personal loans. Your non-exempt assets may have to be liquidated to pay creditors.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

With a Chapter 13, you enter into a 3-5 year repayment plan to pay back a portion of your debts based on your income and budget. At the end, your remaining eligible debts are discharged.The benefits of bankruptcy include:

  • An automatic stay immediately stopping all debt collection efforts
  • The ability to discharge debts you can’t afford to pay
  • Preventing home foreclosure or vehicle repossession
  • Only having to pay back a portion of debts through the repayment plan
  • Getting a much-needed fresh financial start

The downsides are that bankruptcy will severely impact your credit for several years, and you may have to give up some non-exempt assets or income in the process.Bankruptcy should be viewed as a last resort option. But for many consumers, it’s the best way to get out from under overwhelming debts like a judgment from OneMain Financial that they simply can’t pay back.If you’re considering bankruptcy, be sure to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area. They can assess your full financial situation and advise if it’s the right path for your circumstances.

Key Takeaways – Don’t Ignore That Summons!

Getting sued by a creditor like OneMain Financial is never a fun experience. But the worst thing you can do is stick your head in the sand and ignore the court summons.By taking quick action to respond and assert your legal defenses, you may be able to get the case dismissed, settle for an affordable amount, or significantly reduce what you owe.Even if OneMain does get a judgment, there are still ways to protect your income and assets from garnishment through bankruptcy or exemptions.The main keys are:

  • Don’t ignore the lawsuit – respond before the deadline!
  • Raise any legal defenses you may have like statute of limitations
  • Try settling with OneMain before it goes to trial
  • Protect your assets if they do get a judgment
  • Bankruptcy may be an option for overwhelming debts

No matter how stressful it seems, you have rights as a consumer and potential paths to resolve this in the best way possible. The most important thing is taking that first step to fight back against the lawsuit properly and on time.

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