Debt Defense

Being Sued?  You Need a Professional!

Credit card debt is considered 'unsecured' debt; yet if payments are not made, a whole slew of legal consequences can ensue to make the life for the borrower very uncomfortable.  Getting into 'debt defense' mode is taking full advantage of every legal recourse, to which, you are entitled.

It can feel like a nightmare:  You fall behind on one or more credit-card payments and realize the credit-card companies have a legal right to file a lawsuit against you.  If a credit-card debt collector has been hired, the situation can feel even more ominous.

Perhaps, one or more of the following questions leaves you feeling gripped with anxiety:  1)  Are you being sued because of an old debt?  2)  Has the alleged 'balance due' mushroomed out of control due to fees and an exorbitant interest rate?  3)  Have you had contact with the company that is suing you?  4)  Has a Deputy for the Court, or a private service agent, served you with process?

Keep in mind that Plaintiffs frequently employ private process servers. There is no requirement for a uniformed deputy to effect service. The process server may be in blue jeans and his personal vehicle.

If just reading these questions makes you feel uncomfortable, I can help!  I fully realize how unforeseen circumstances can cause finances to spiral out of control – divorce, death of a spouse, medical bills, job loss and a myriad of other circumstances can lead to overwhelming debt – and it can happen to anyone!

You Need an Experienced Ally  

It is vital for you, as a borrower, to gain a basic understanding of the various collection measures creditors have, at their disposal.  It is, also, very important to understand how the law can place restrictions on their activities and how those restrictions can benefit you.  As a seasoned attorney in debt-defense, I would utilize every legal avenue to prevent you from possibly losing your vehicle, having wages garnished or having your bank account frozen.  I will fight for your rights.

Credit Card Lawsuits

When a violation of the original credit card contract takes place and payments are overdue, it means:

***  The credit-card company, or debt collector hired by the credit card company, may choose to sue you.

***  A collection agency might buy the delinquent credit-card debt from the original credit-card company – the debt collector becomes the legal owner of the debt with, virtually, the same rights as the original creditor.

***  The debt may reach a debt-collection attorney's office.

***  The debt-collection attorney's office can sue you in state court.  If attempts at settlement fail, the attorney representing the credit card company will file a lawsuit against you; and you may be held liable for the full amount, as stated in the lawsuit.

If you are being sued, it is vital you respond to the court within a certain time-frame or the court may award the plaintiff – the debt collector – a default judgment.  This means the plaintiff wins the case without having to produce any evidence!  In Texas, you may have as little as 14 days, from the date of service, to respond before you risk a default judgment.

Options For Debt Defense

There are affirmative actions that can benefit you with a debt-related lawsuit.  Those actions include:

1.  Statute of Limitations

With statue of limitations, the debt has run its course and is too old to be subjected to a lawsuit.  Every state has its own standard for regulating how long a debt remains collectible.

2.  Inability to prove ownership of the account

Particularly in debt buyer cases like Midland Funding or Portfolio Recovery, the creditors often sell these accounts in such large bundles that they cannot demonstrate that your particular account was in fact part of the deal.

3. Inability to authenticate documents

Again, more common in a debt buyer scenario, companies like Midland Funding and Portfiolio Recovery have difficulty authenticating the documents of the original creditor.

Possible Outcomes

There are three possible outcomes concerning a credit-card debt lawsuit filed against you:

1.  A Dismissal of the Case

Even if the court dismisses the case, the credit card company can re-file the lawsuit in hopes of correcting any error that may have resulted in the dismissal.  I would to ask the court to dismiss the case 'with prejudice' to ensure your protection against an additional lawsuit of the same type.

2.  A Ruling in Your Favor

If the court rules in your favor, congratulations!  The battle is over; and the credit card company would lose and would not be able to collect anything against you.  At this point, you could consider filing damages against the credit card company.

3.  A Ruling in Favor of the Credit Card Company

If a court rules in favor of the credit card company, you will have a judgment against you that would stipulate the dollar amount you would owe.  Collection on that judgment could take the form of wage garnishment, property liens, bank-account levies, and property seizure.

Law Suits and Secured Debt

Unlike credit card debt, lenders of secured debt take on less risk since some type of asset is, always, used as collateral.  Collateral can be in the form of a vehicle, your home, a camper or boat, business property including inventory and equipment, and other assets.

Repossession, foreclosures and/or sales of property can all take place to satisfy the outstanding debt amount.

Lenders of secured debt can, also, recover money from the borrower to pay for costs associated with the sale of property, including legal fees.  Added attorney's fees, court costs and/or interest added to the owed-balance can result in an end-balance that has doubled or tripled.

There IS Hope

Within all this doom and gloom, there is a silver lining!  Law suits related to secured and unsecured debt is my area of expertise; and I may be able to provide you with an alternative to filing for bankruptcy.

You need legal support and professional guidance to help you wade through the maze of your financial struggle. There are many legal twists and turns that only a highly-trained professional can fully address.  Creditors have tough lawyers on their side to fight for their rights; and so should you!

Give me a call for a complimentary case assessment regarding any of these areas:

***  Defense from debt-buyer suits

***  Defense from original-creditor suits

***  Defense from loan-deficiency suits

I look forward to hearing from you!


James Foley

~Credit Card Lawsuit Defense & Bankruptcy Attorney~


~Greater peace of mind is only a phone call away~