Are You Being Sued Over A Debt?
Being served with a lawsuit from a creditor, debt collector or law firm can feel overwhelming. You may feel helpless, like there’s nothing you can do. However, a lawsuit from a creditor cannot be ignored.
If you do not respond and do not appear in court, a default judgment will likely be issued against you. With a default judgment, the creditor can possibly garnish your wages, freeze your bank account or put a lien against your home. With a skilled attorney, these lawsuits can be fought and they can be won.
At Schwartz Bankruptcy Law Center, we defend against creditor lawsuits. We have more than 35 years of experience helping people who are struggling with debt. Let us help you.
How To Defend Against Debt Collector Lawsuits
Creditor lawsuits are extremely common. In fact, some estimates indicate these judgments account for nearly half of all civil court judgments. Debt collectors crank them out. Sometimes they file them incorrectly. Sometimes they sue for debt that they have no right to collect or does not even exist!
The most important thing to remember is that the creditor has to prove that you owe the amount in question. Do they have documents with your signature? There is a whole industry of buying and selling debts, and details often get lost during these transactions. Paperwork might disappear. Payments could go unrecorded. The party attempting to file the lawsuit may actually have little more than your name and the amount you supposedly owe, and those may not even be correct. We will ask that the party prove that you owe the amount in question, and if they cannot we will seek dismissal.
What if you believe the debt is legitimate? There are state and federal laws that creditors must follow leading up to and during a lawsuit, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). For example, proper collection steps need to be taken prior to filing a lawsuit. When creditors violate these laws, it can impact the outcome of a lawsuit and potentially lead to dismissal.
But even if they did everything correctly and you do owe the money, there are still defenses. Maybe the initial debt contract itself is unenforceable, or you had cancelled it within the appropriate time limit. Maybe the goods or services for which you owe money were not even delivered. These could be grounds on which to fight the debt lawsuit.
All of that aside, you still have an opportunity to negotiate a settlement prior to the hearing. Our lawyer may be able to help you reach a settlement that involves a payment plan or a reduced payment.
Free Consultation About Fighting A Debt Collector Lawsuit