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Debt Collection / Construction Law Firm
Article November 2009


November 2009

By Stephen Gebeloff, Esq.

Stephen B. Gebeloff, P.A.                 

Boca Raton, FL



Q:           Our roofing company was served with a Summons and Complaint alleging we owe money for supplies. Our records indicate that we do not owe any money. We called the attorney representing the supply company; however, he will not drop the lawsuit. What should we do?


A:            It is important to make sure a response to the Complaint is filed within twenty (20) days. If no response is received by the clerk in a timely manner, a default Judgment may be entered against your company.  Your attorney may move to dismiss the case, if warranted, for a number of technical reasons. If there is no basis to move for dismissal the attorney will file an answer to the complaint as well as affirmative defenses again based upon differing legal and equitable principals.   Your attorney may also bring a counterclaim, an action against the party who brought suit against your company, if in fact there is a legal or equitable basis to do so.


                Once a response is properly and timely filed, you can be assured a default judgment cannot be entered against your company. Your attorney will be able to request documents from the other party and propound interrogatories, written questions that the other party will have to respond to before trial. Before going to Court, there should be no surprises as you will know what documents may be presented against you and already know answers to relevant questions your attorney asked  in the interrogatories. Most often, the Court will require the parties to attend mediation before trial in the hopes the matter can be amicably resolved. If the matter cannot be resolved at mediation, the case will then proceed to trial.

                Your attorney may also be able to negotiate a settlement of the claim. If a settlement is reached before trial, it is usually memorialized in a document filed with the Court. By way of example if you settle on $3,000.00 as the amount due, your attorney can negotiate payment plan overtime. However, you should be aware that once a settlement agreement is filed with the Court, the Court will have the power to enter Judgment if the settlement agreement is breached.


The advice given in this article is for informational purposes only. Each case has its own set of fact patterns and there always exceptions to the general rule.  You should always consult an attorney to discuss the circumstances surrounding your case.  If you would like to discuss any issue contained in this article or have a question pertaining to construction law,   Contact Stephen Gebeloff, Esq. (561)953-4600  or

Mr. Gebeloff is an experienced litigator with the firm of Stephen B. Gebeloff, P.A. in Boca Raton. His primary areas of practice are commercial law, creditors’ rights and construction law. He has extensive experience prosecuting officers, directors and members of entities for fraudulent transfers of assets. He has represented developers, property owners, contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers and design professionals in all facets of construction and debt collection law.



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