What should you do if you have been sued by NJHESAA on your NJCLASS loan? Are you suddenly having to deal with a law firm over your NJCLASS loan instead of with NJHESAA directly?
If you are being sued over your NJCLASS student loan, there are some things that you can do to help resolve the situation:
- Do not wait before doing something. Whether you file an answer with the court or contact the law office that sued you to ask for an extension of time to file an answer, don’t wait. Your time to file an answer to a lawsuit is limited. If your time to answer runs out, the law firm that sued you can obtain a default judgment against you, which takes extra time and expense to deal with separately. If you need more time, ask the law firm that sued you for a written extension of time to file your answer. You could get more time to talk to the law firm about the amount owed and about settlement possibilities.
- Talk to the law firm that filed the lawsuit. You won’t be able to speak with NJHESAA anymore since they are now represented by counsel. A great place to start is to open the channels of communication by calling up the law firm that filed the lawsuit and see what they are looking for. At least you will know where they stand, which is better than having no idea what they want.
- Find out what paperwork they have. If you are not sure which of your student loans were included in the lawsuit, ask the law firm for their paperwork showing which loans are included. The law firm should at least have copies of the notes that you signed or they may choose to send you a copy of a spreadsheet listing each individual loan and the information they have on each.
- Negotiate a settlement. If the loans are yours and the law firm’s information looks correct and if you have the time to deal with it, negotiate a settlement with the law firm that filed the suit. It’s usually better to speak directly with an attorney if you can because you get quicker and more accurate results that way, but attorneys are often difficult for a self-represented party to get hold of on the phone. If you can, try your best to negotiate a payment plan that you can afford. Don’t set yourself up for failure in the future by promising to pay amounts that you will not be able to afford. Make sure that the written settlement expressly covers any co-signors on the loan so that the law firm does not get a default judgment against those co-signors due to their failure to settle.
- Find an attorney. If you don’t have the time to directly deal with the lawsuit, find an attorney as quickly as you can. If you have spoken with the law firm that filed the lawsuit against you but you cannot get any farther in negotiations with them, you need an attorney. An attorney can help explain your legal rights to you, describe all of your options, and guide the case toward the available option that benefits you the most. Attorneys are not only there to fight tooth and nail in court; they are also there to help negotiate settlements on your behalf.
If you have been sued on your NJCLASS loans and you’d like to speak with an attorney, call Jennifer Weil at (201) 676-0722.