Any business owner would go into cardiac arrest at the sight of a warrant in debt issued in their name. However, Virginia is only one of several states that still use “warrants” in a civil context, even though they are typically used to precede an arrest, investigation, or seizure in the criminal court system.
A creditor can sue you in civil court to recover debts if you haven’t paid them. A warrant in debt serves as notice of claim and order for you to appear in court on a specified date to defend yourself against the claim.
If you are required to appear in court in connection with a debt and miss that court date, the judge may impose a default judgment against you, thus ending your defense of the claim. If the creditor receives a judgment against you, they can go for your property and funds. A creditor can attempt to have a portion of your salary garnished to collect on a judgment.
What Should You Do If You Receive a Warrant In Debt?
When legal action is being taken against you, it’s to your most significant advantage to follow up on the claim. You need to assess your current circumstances to determine the optimal next step. It is never a good idea to disobey a warrant. Even though you are not obligated to take any specific action, you should take some action as soon as possible.
Hire an attorney
Remaining legal counsel to act as your advocate in court is possible. Doing this can avoid having to make a personal court appearance. The lawyer can contest the debt if there is reasonable doubt regarding the validity of the action.
Your attorney may be able to get the case dismissed or prove that you are no longer obligated to pay the plaintiff the total sum claimed in the lawsuit.
I Also Wrote On FTA Warrant Check Out!
The Process of a Warrant in Debt
You are legally required to be notified after a creditor file a “Warrant in Debt” with the court. Both personal and posted services are standard methods of notifying defendants of pending legal action. When a sheriff or process server delivers a legal notice personally, they hand it to you or another adult living at your address.
Your alternative (and more typical) service method is posting or taping the notification to your door. In addition, the creditor will provide a written notification.
The debt warrant provides the bare bones of the claim. The General District Court where the warrant was submitted the amount of the initial debt owed, such as:
- the interest rate
- any asserted litigation cost
- lawyers’ fees being decided to seek
- the type of debt obligated to pay, i.e., if the debt is from an agreement or note (i.e., home loan, car loan, etc.)
- all parties’ current unpaid accounts, names, and ages are required by law to be included in the Warrant in Debt.
The document will also have a “Return Date” printed in the upper right-hand corner. The court has scheduled a debt hearing for this time and day.
Your Warrant in Debt Trial
A trial date will be set two or three months after your initial court hearing if you do not plead guilty and request one. You must prevent the creditor from proving its case at trial. The debtor is on the hook for producing proof. You can prevent their proof from being accepted if you know how to properly object under the law of evidence.
The next few months can be spent learning about the law of evidence, hiring an attorney proficient in this area, or attempting to settle.
You must submit your defense reasons if you intend to challenge them at trial, whether with or without legal representation. Your grounds for contesting the debt are justifications for why you don’t have to pay. When you appear in court for the first time, the judge will schedule your defense arguments later. Forget that, and you’ve admitted guilt.
If you Lose, Your Wages may Garnished
Your case should be dropped if you end up being successful. If you challenge the debt and are unsuccessful, a judgment will be entered in the creditor’s favor. Judgments are acceptable for up to 10 years, but in Virginia, that number might be as high as 40. This means some creditors may wait to commence collection before the creditor who got the judgment against you. Wage garnishment, account freezes, and property liens are some ways that debts can be collected.
It is possible to garnish up to 25% of your gross pay in Virginia. Your bank account balance can be garnished to satisfy the judgment. State pension cannot be affected; otherwise, your salaries are fair game.
However, after a decision is official, debtors may be pushier. They understand they have obligations to claim on your salary or earnings and will strive to use those powers. The only real option to stop a garnishment in Virginia is to file for bankruptcy.
Filing for bankruptcy should never be done without first trying to settle or bargain with the debtor. In most cases, this will prevent any form of criticism or criticism from being received, leading to a more positive conclusion.
See Also: What Happens If You Have a Warrant for Probation Violation?
Can a Warrant In Debt Be Dismissed?
Both sides in a civil action can submit a motion to dismiss the case. To clarify, the plaintiff in a debt collection action is the one who filed the Complaint, whereas the defendant is the one who is being sued. In other words, the defendant and the plaintiff can request dismissal. Still, the form of the motion will vary depending on who initiated it.
It is common practice for a plaintiff in debt litigation to voluntarily drop the case by filing a petition to dismiss. The plaintiff may decide not to continue pursuing the debt after obtaining the defendant’s response to their Complaint. Now, the defendant has the option of voluntarily dismissing the case.
But the defendant can also submit a request to dismiss if they have a good reason to do so. Whenever the plaintiff and the defendant agree on a resolution, it is the most usual grounds for dismissal.
Can you Cancel the Lawsuit In Debt Warrant?
If a court decides favorably on dismissing requests, it cancels a lawsuit. If there are reasons to get a lawsuit brought against you thrown out of court, you must do so. A popular procedural technique to get a lawsuit kicked out of court is submitting a request to dismiss.
Any motion of this nature must be filed following the court’s established procedures. After submitting a motion to the court, you should prepare to argue your case during a subsequent hearing.
You can also read guideline on How To Get Rid of a Warrant
Is a warrant a debt security?
Bonds with embedded warrants to buy stock in the issuing firm, its parent, or another business at a set price and within a specified time frame are called “equity warrant bonds.”
How do I cash out a warrant?
Trading with your broker is the most convenient way to put your warrants to use. Dilutive effects result from issuing more shares upon exercising a warrant, which increases the number of outstanding shares. Warrants have a secondary market where they can freely trade until they expire.
Why do banks take warrants?
The lender can purchase stock from you at a predetermined price (usually the same price as your most recent fundraising round) if you issue them warrants. The warrant price is open for discussion if any recent investment round has yet to be.
How do you fight a warrant in debt in Virginia?
To appeal a General District Court Warrant in Debt is a legal right. Consequently, if one of the parties ultimately loses, they can take their case to the Circuit Court. In the Circuit Court, there may be a new trial, with no consideration for the former outcome. However, an appeal bond may be required of the appealing side.
How long does a warrant stay active in Virginia?
Suppose the court official authorized and issued the warrant determines that it is in the public’s interest to renew or extend the warrant’s validity beyond its initial ten-day term. In that case, the warrant’s duration will be extended beyond that date.
Hi, I’m Brian Gary; I have my Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree from SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas. Over the years, I have dealt with many families and successful corporate Legal cases. I have counseled many people on legal matters, and along with my profession, I write about Law on my blog. Please feel free to contact me for counseling/case discussion; I’ll be happy to help you.