GREENSBORO, NC -- Uh-Oh. You owe your old landlord for rent,

your neighbor claims you damaged their property, or you didn't pay a handyman for work he did because you don't think he did a good job and

now you’re being sued! What happens next?

Attorney Jennifer Ruby from Black, Slaughter & Black explains, “If you get served with paperwork from a sheriff or via certified mail, don't ignore it.”

Ruby says the excuse of, “I don't know what happened to it”, is not smart. It comes with legal and financial issues.

“Once you receive court paperwork from the sheriff or by certified mail, the time for defending against the lawsuit begins to run. Do not just ignore the documents because a judgment could end up being entered against you without you even appearing in court.”

And a judgment creditor wants to collect and they will go to great lengths to get the money. A judgment accrues interest at a rate of 8% per year until it is satisfied. And a judgment is good for 10 years, and can be renewed for another 10 years.

Ruby says, “it operates as a lien on your real property. You can't sell your house until the judgment is paid. It can appear on your credit report and make it difficult to obtain loans.”

You don't want to make a mess an even bigger mess. Jennifer is one of hundreds of lawyers who will be answering your legal questions-- for free Friday. 4ALL Service Day is Friday, March 2nd from 7am until 7pm.

Lawyers will be answering the phones and be able to provide you with free legal information. The numbers are 1-855-3456 or 1-336-378-5046.