Debt Defense

Are You Being Sued?  I'm on Your Side!

Credit-card holders become acutely aware, once they are being sued for credit-card debt, that consequences for non-payment can be severe – even though credit-card debt is considered 'unsecured'.  If you are facing the reality of a credit-card lawsuit, seeking a professional to help you in this arena is vital –  'debt defense' is my expertise.  You have my promise that I will work with you to ensure you have access to every legal avenue, to which, you are entitled.


Falling behind on, even, a single payment will alert respective credit-card companies that something could be amiss.  As multiple payments become delinquent, you could be faced with a lawsuit; and if a debt collector enters the picture, it can begin to feel like a nightmare.


Do any of the following questions make you feel overly anxious? – 1)  Are you being sued due to lingering debt?  2)  Have you had any communication with the company suing you?  3)  Have you been served with process, via a Deputy for the Court or a private service agent?


As a side note, Plaintiffs will often employ private process servers who may drive up to your home or business in his or her personal car, dressed in regular attire.  The Plaintiff is not required to seek the services of a uniformed deputy, to effect service.


If, at this point, you are feeling concerned about your situation and the possible legal consequences, I can help!  I am very aware of how circumstances in life can lead to financial mayhem:  death of a spouse, medical bills, divorce, job loss and other tragic events will take their toll, emotionally and monetarily.  Life happens; and you are not alone!       


You Need an Expert on Your Side 


The more insight you have concerning the types of collection measures companies employ, the more empowered you can become.  The law places clear-cut restrictions on tactics collectors utilize to secure their money; and there are a number of restrictions on those tactics that can end up benefiting you.  As an experienced attorney in this field, I know every detail of debt-defense measures and would use them as part of my legal arsenal to make sure you are able to keep as many of your assets, as possible.  You don't want to have to think about assets repossessed or bank accounts frozen.  No matter what you are facing, I will, aggressively, fight for your rights!


Credit Card Lawsuits


When the original contract with a credit-card company has been violated and payments are delinquent, the following procedures are the norm:


***  The credit-card company or debt collector may issue a law-suit against you.


***  When a debt buyer buys delinquent debt, they become the legal owner of the debt and assumes the same rights as the original creditor.  However, the assignment of the debt is, typically, the weakest link in the chain of the creditor's evidence.


   ***  The debt-collection attorney's office may handle the debt.  If this happens, you could be sued in Justice of the Peace Courtm, County Court at Law, or District court.  If settlement attempts fail, the attorney for the credit card company would file a lawsuit against you.  You could be liable for the entire amount, as indicated in the lawsuit. In some cases there are no attempts to settle before suit is filed.


If you are being sued, it is absolutely crucial you respond to the court in a timely fashion.  The reason is simple: the court may award the plaintiff – the debt collector – a default judgment if your response is not received within a designated time-frame.  This would mean the plaintiff would win the case and would not be obligated to produce any evidence!  In Texas, you may have as little as 14 days from the date of service to respond or you could risk a default judgment.


Debt Defense – Intended to Help Your Case


There are situations that can help you, when involved with a debt-related lawsuit:


1.  Statute of Limitations


If the debt has run its course and is too old to be involved in a law suit, you can thank the Statute of Limitations.   Each state has its own regulations on how long a debt remains collectible.


This is an affirmative defense; and you must plead it and prove it.  Potential clients have informed me, on too many occasions, that they chose to ignore the lawsuit since they were convinced it was not legitimate – this approach would only backfire on you. The court will expect you to show up in court to defend your case.  If not, the Plaintiff's pleadings will, by default, be taken at face value; and a judgment would be issued against you.


2.  Inability to Prove Ownership of the Account


In debt-buyer cases (Midland Funding or Portfolio Recovery, in particular) creditors often sell these types of accounts in such large bundles they may not be able to demonstrate that your particular account was included in the transaction.


3.  Inability to Authenticate Documents


Again, more common in debt-buyer scenarios, companies like Midland Funding and Portfolio Recovery have difficulty authenticating the documents of the original creditor.


Possible Effects of a Debt Lawsuit:


There are four possible outcomes related to a credit-card debt lawsuit:


1.  A Dismissal of the Case


Though the court could dismiss the case, the credit card company could, still, re-file the lawsuit in hopes of correcting any error that may have resulted in the dismissal.  When creditors face challenging and competent counsel, however, they may utilize a type of withdraw  where they would 'non-suit' against you.  This version of dismissal is deemed 'without prejudice' since it does not constitute a ruling on the merits of the case.  It's important to realize that creditors can refile or sell it to a debt buyer.  The debt could, legally, remain on your credit report.


2.  A Ruling in Your Favor


If the court rules in your favor, you can walk away feeling like a new person!  The credit card company would not be able to collect anything against you; and you would, also, have the option to file damages against the credit card company.  If you are fortunate to have received this outcome, I can continue to work with you on getting the debt removed from your credit report.


3:  An Agreed Settlement


If an agreement and payment schedule can be reached by the involved parties, the hassles of a trial can be avoided.


4.  A Ruling in Favor of the Credit Card Company


If a court would rule in favor of the credit card company, you would incur a judgment that would indicate the dollar amount you would owe.  Property liens, bank-account levies, and property seizures are types of collection judgments you could be forced to deal with.


Law Suits and Secured Debt


Lenders of secured debt take on fewer risks than lenders of unsecured debt since borrowers' assets are used as collateral.  That collateral could include vehicles, homes, campers, boats, and business inventory and equipment.  To satisfy an outstanding debt even further, repossession, foreclosures and/or sales of property can take place, as well.


Lenders of secured debt can, also, recover money from the borrower to pay for costs associated with property sales and legal fees.  Additional attorney's fees, court costs and/or interest that could be added to the owed-balance could result in a final 'balance due' that has doubled or tripled.


There Can Be a Silver Lining


The realities of being sued for secured or unsecured debt are, indeed, frightening!  There is good news, however, since lawsuits of this nature are my area of expertise.  Additionally, I may be able to provide you with an alternative to filing for bankruptcy.


To attempt to wade through a debt lawsuit on your own could be financial suicide – you need legal support and professional guidance to ensure the best outcome, possible.  Creditors have tough lawyers on their side to fight for their rights; and so should you!


Time could be of the essence!  Contact me, today, for a complimentary case-assessment involving any of the following:


***  Defense from debt-buyer suits


***  Defense from original-creditor suits


***  Defense from loan-deficiency suits


*** Chapter 7 Bankruptcy


I look forward to partnering with you!


                                                                          James Foley

                                    ~Credit Card Lawsuit Defense & Bankruptcy Attorney~



                                                ~Peace of mind is only a phone call away~