What is Debt Litigation?

Debt litigation is a type of lawsuit that is filed by a creditor in order to collect payments from a borrower. This happens when a borrower gets behind in payments and issued.

When a company such as a bank, collection agency, or other credit-granting institution is seeking to obtain finances owed, they will serve the borrower with a complaint and summons. A complaint and summons is paperwork that details what the collector wants from the borrower and the summons states when the borrower must appear in court. Have you recently received a complaint and summons letter from a credit-granting institution? With an experienced Wheeling bankruptcy lawyer on your side, you can negotiate your debt.


If you have been served with a complaint and summons letter waste no time in providing a written response, filing fee, and hiring your attorney. A West Virginia debt litigation lawyer will help prepare your written response, and can also help determine whether or not the creditor has broken any laws regarding collection. If so, then you may be able to obtain a payout from the lawsuit.

If you do not respond to the complaint and summons by the date listed, the court can enter a default judgment, which will not usually be in your best interests.


If a complaint and summons letter has been filed, there are ways to defend the debt. The two different categories are affirmative defense and a counterclaim. An affirmative defense brings forth information not present in the initial claim that can change the amount of debt owed or the way a case is handled.

Examples of affirmative defense are:

  • Goods and services were broken or defective
  • The legality of the contract is questionable
  • The creditor threatened or lied to you
  • Lawsuit was not delivered in a timely manner

A counterclaim is a lawsuit brought against the creditor. A counterclaim can be brought if the collector violated any laws or acts, or breached a warranty. Thomas E. McIntire is an experienced West Virginia bankruptcy attorney that can work with you in your debt litigation.

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