First Things First --- What To Do and What NOT To Do

The first thing Emergency Medical Teams do when they arrive on the scene of a bad accident is stop the bleeding, start the breathing, and stabilize the patient so things don't get even worse.  Then they transport the patient to the hospital so that the doctors can hopefully save his life.


Being sued is like being in a bad accident.  The time for talking with the creditor is over.  They don't want to talk to you;  they have turned your case over to their lawyer.  Their lawyer is paid to represent their interests, not yours.  Their lawyer is legally obligated to get the most money out of you that he ethically can, and as quickly as he can.  Their lawyer may be getting paid a percentage of what he collects from you, so the more you pay, the more their lawyer may make. 

DON'T Call Their Lawyer --- Your Call Will Be Recorded

No matter how much you want to call the lawyer who is suing you, DON'T DO IT!!!


First, your call will be recorded and if they don't already have your current home telephone number, they will (and they'll have your work number if you call from work, or your cell if you use your cell phone, or your friend's or relative's number if you call from there).


Second, they will try to pump you for information:  Where do you work?  How much do you make?  Where do you have your checking account? 


Third, they will try to make you feel guilty, or try to get you to borrow money from friends and family, or use the money you need for your house or car payment to pay them.


And, finally, they will try to get you to sign a consent judgment for the entire amount, which they can then use to put a lien on any real estate you might own or are buying or inherit, or garnish your non-exempt wages, or seize your bank account.

File Written Pleadings Within the Deadlines Set By the Court

Do not miss any deadlines.  Formally file pleadings in writing within the time allowed by the court.


You have a deadline of either 10 days (in parish or city courts) or 15 days (in state district courts) to file what are called "responsive pleadings."  (These are calendar days, not work days;  weekends and holidays are included in the time period.)  If you ask the court for an extension of time in writing, the judge will usually give you an additional 15 to 30 days.  If you don't timely file responsive pleadings, the creditor may take a judgment against you by default.


You may also be served with what are called "Requests for Admissions."  If you fail to file a written, formal denial of these requested "Admissions," the court is generally required by law to presume that you owe the entire amount claimed by the creditor.  Whatever you do, make sure you don't let the deadline go by without responding in writing.

Remember --- Don't Try To Do This On Your Own!

Lawsuit Questions Answered is your starting point for resolving the collection or foreclosure lawsuit which has been filed against you. It gives you general information about Louisiana law, not specific information about your case.  This website is NOT a Do-It-Yourself Guide to handling your own lawsuit or defending yourself in court.  On the contrary, if you have been sued in a Louisiana court, we believe that it is foolish to attempt to represent yourself in court or to try to negotiate a settlement with the opposing attorney.  You should always talk to a Louisiana lawyer first, before you do anything else.


Call us at 504 309-3304

for additional information or a free initial consultation.

About Our Law Firm

We are a private, for-profit law firm located the metropolitan New Orleans area.  The name of our firm is William G. Cherbonnier Attorney at Law LLC.  We have two convenient offices, one on the Eastbank on Causeway Boulevard in Metairie close to Lakeside Shopping Center, and the other on the Westbank in Gretna about a mile off the Expressway.

Who We Are

We are consumer defense attorneys.  We represent individuals and small businesses who have be sued by banks, mortgage servicers, credit unions, debt buyers, finance companies, payday loan companies, and other lenders.  We represent consumers only, and never the businesses who sue consumers.

Our Philosophy

We believe that no one should try to represent himself in a debt collection or foreclosure lawsuit, and we produced this website to try to explain the lawsuit process and help Louisiana consumers find a lawyer that will represent them for a fair and reasonable price (or for free if they qualify for legal assistance).

How To Reach Us

Call Us


To schedule a free telephone consultation or an in-person appointment at one of our New Orleans area offices, please call us at 504 309-3304 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays.


Email Us


If it's after hours, you can send us an email to


Message Us


You can also fill out our contact form


Directions and Map


Find directions and a map to our Eastbank and Westbank offices on our Contact page.