Alternative service options when a debtor returns their mail

Alternative service options when a debtor returns their mail

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Collections

Most people make every reasonable attempt they can to fulfill their financial obligations. Someone who takes a loan from a business or has payment arrangements for unexpected expenses may work diligently to keep their financial accounts in good standing.

Unfortunately, there are also people who do not feel any sort of financial responsibility to others. Some people go to great lengths in their efforts to avoid financial responsibility. For example, someone who knows that they have fallen behind on payment arrangements or owes an outstanding debt to a business may begin refusing their mail.

Anyone who recognizes that they are at risk of a creditor suing them may try to avoid a lawsuit by making themselves hard to find. Returned mail and unopened doors can make it quite difficult to legally serve someone with the necessary paperwork for a debt collection lawsuit. Sometimes, businesses may need to utilize alternative service options.

When is alternative service possible?

California does allow lenders and creditors to sidestep the traditional service procedure in special cases. Provided that a creditor has already made at least three service attempts and the process server they utilized has been unable to serve the debtor, then it may be possible to use an alternate service option.

Alternate service requires knowing where someone works or where they live. The process server can then leave the paperwork advising the debtor of the lawsuit with either a supervisor at their place of employment or anyone over the age of 18 living at the same residence as they do.

There are certain procedures that the process server must follow depending on whether they deliver the documents to someone’s home or their place of employment. However, provided that they follow the right steps, it is possible to move forward with a lawsuit even when someone has returned their mail and refuses to answer the door.

Those who do not want to take responsibility for their debts often make the debt collection process quite challenging for businesses attempting to collect the debts that they owe. Using alternative service options may be the only means of moving forward with collection efforts when someone has actively attempted to avoid their financial obligations.