Many folks report having trouble finding a lawyer to talk with them over a debt that is owed. Here are a couple of ideas. First, when you talk to someone, whether it's a lawyer, para-legal, or legal secretary, stress the urgency by telling them, "Hi, I need to talk with a lawyer as I have been sued."
1) Whether they are in NACA or not, talk to a BK lawyer. Open the phone book, and turn to Attorneys or Lawyers. They are usually listed by their specialty, there's a pantload of BK lawyers out there. Call around and you're bound to find one who will talk to you. If there's a picture, try looking for one who looks young--might be eager and trying to keep their practice afloat so they might be willing to talk to ANYONE.
2) If you do get hold of a lawyer listed on NACA, ask them if they know someone who can help--whether it's a lawyer or a consumer advocate. Everyone needs a Budd.
3) Any lawyer you talk to, ask about any sort of legal aid provided by the state. See if there's a referral service, a number, website, office, etc. Those sometimes have income limits for their services, but call or visit them anyway. Might be a slow day and they might be willing to talk with you anyway.
4) State bar associations will sometimes offer services. Referrals, consults, perhaps free, perhaps for a fee.
5) Call your state AG. Their consumer division might be able to help at least refer you to an attorney. Tell 'em you're having trouble finding one, and does the law have any sort of provision to help ensure someone has legal representation in a civil matter.
6) Call the court where you're being sued and ask about any sort of guides, forms, handouts, etc. for a person coming into court to be able to represent themselves.
7) Many employer's offer legal referral services. Talk to your HR department for details. HR folks are taught to be sensitive to sensitive matters, but you don't have to give them any details. Give them something vague and non-committal.
"Oh, ah, there's a neighborhood, thing, going on that a couple of us are concerned about. Don't want to go into details."
HR people will often promise confidentiality, but it's JMHO that I don't say anything in front of HR that I would not say in front of my boss. [In my case, that doesn't rule out a whole lot.] The 2 issues they might fret over are criminal matters or divorce. Either can be a big issue for companies.
Under some plans, you're guaranteed free or low cost consults or perhaps set economical hourly rates on representation. Attorney-client privilege stands, so don't worry about your employer finding out. The lawyer you consult with ain't gonna tell--not unless they are looking to get sued by you.
8) Ask members of your church, coworkers, friends, family if they know an attorney who might be able to help you out with something. You don't have to give them detail either, if you don't wanna.
"Oh, umm, just a, civil thing I need to go over with an attorney. Nothing bad or anything."
They too will likely think criminal or divorce, and you don't wanna worry folks. Besides, if you tell 'em the truth you risk a lecture. "Well, if you just paid ..."
9) There are lawyers who sometimes advertise as credit repair lawyers. Some are outfits like Lex Law, and they really are lawyers, but they ain't never set foot in a courtroom and ain't never gonna. Others will got to bat in court, if needed. But what you need is someone who is interested in talking with you--not interesting in "signing you up".
10) Don't be afraid to call a lawyer who is some distance away. You might find the guy or gal who advertises, "I help you settle debts so you won't have to file Bankruptcy, even if you're being sued. I like a good fight with a debt collector." However, they are 250 miles across the state. So what? Pick up the phone and call. Tell 'em your situation. A lot can happen over the phone. If they decide to help, you can fax them anything you need to send them. Push comes to shove, and you have to take a day or two from work and drive over there, so be it--but it seems likely it could be accomplished over the phone.
12) While they aren't lawyers, they probably get these sorta questions and may be able to help or direct you. Contact someone like CCCS.
Any lawyer you talk with, if they don't see that they can represent you, ask them flat out, "Any way you would be willing to negotiate a settlement of this debt and dismissal of the lawsuit for a fee?"
If not, come back at them with, "OK, suppose I manage to negotiate some kind of payment arrangement with this collector. I want to get something in writing from them so I know this won't come back and bite me. Any way you could write up something for a fee that you know would stand up in court and protect me?"
If still no, "How about if I manage to negotiate something, in writing, and I run the written agreement by you for a fee to ensure they didn't insert some 'weasel clause'?"