My name is James Foley; and as a Debt Defense lawyer who represents the residents of Aledo, I am all too familiar with how millions of Americans end up struggling with paying credit-card debt. Life happens; and circumstances including divorce, the death of a spouse, skyrocketing medical bills, job loss and other situations can lead to unpaid credit-card debt which presents a whole new debt dilemma; and it can happen to anyone.
James Foley PLLC is focused on helping the citizens of Aledo get their lives back – lives that are inundated with collection calls and the fear of pending credit-card-debt lawsuits. It is scarey, for sure; but a complimentary case-assessment could open the doors to financial recovery for you and your family.
The first step is to become informed by reading the information, below; and the second step is to give Foley Law a call for an initial case evaluation.
Unsecured Credit Card Debt
Many Americans remain unaware of how their lives can become impacted if credit-card debt is left unpaid. It is true that the term 'unsecured' means credit-card debt is not backed by any collateral, but that doesn't mean there wouldn't be consequences if accounts were left, unpaid.
Possible outcomes of unpaid credit-card debt can include:
*** severe decline of your credit rating
*** inflated fees and penalties and/or exorbitant interest rates on balances due
*** continual phone calls from creditors or collection agencies
*** the serving of a citation
*** a lawsuit filed against you
*** frozen bank accounts
*** seizure of business property or personal property
In some situations, you may be able to negotiate with your credit card companies to make payments more doable where the amount owed, for example, might be lowered. If your creditor is agreeable to any negotiations, it is crucial you secure any agreement in writing. It is important to realize, however, that credit-card companies can, immediately, discontinue you credit if they receive any indication that making payments have become a challenge. BE ADVISED THAT FORGIVEN DEBT CARRIES TAX CONSEQUENCES. Contact your CPA or tax professional for more information.
Depending on your circumstances, filing for bankruptcy may be the better option. Through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy you are allowed to keep your property while paying all or part of your debt; and with Chapter 7 bankruptcy you lose little or no property, as well as being able to discharge all or most of your credit-card debt, medical bills, and personal loans.
Credit-Card Debt Lawsuits
If you face the possibility of being sued by your credit-card company or by a debt-collector, things can become quite intimidating; and it is, here, where being represented by strong, legal counsel is extremely crucial. Ultimately, if a judgment is issued against you, your savings, a portion of your income, business equipment, vehicles, bank accounts and other assets can be seized and used to pay some, most, or all of your outstanding credit-card debt.
Once a lawsuit complaint is issued against you, you have a limited amount of time in which to respond to that lawsuit. Some debtors unwisely choose to not respond, at all; and this is financial suicide. No response or a response that is too late would mean the plaintiff would win, by default, without having to produce any evidence regarding its case against you. At this point, you will have given up all rights to plead your case. In Texas, you may have as little as 14 days from the date of service to avoid a default judgment which would give the creditor everything it requested.
Your Rights are Protected by the Law
There are laws that can benefit the debtor, including:
1. Statute of Limitations
The guidelines for the statute of limitations vary from state to state; but, here, the debt has aged to the point where it is no longer collectable. Creditors and debt-collectors must refrain from any further legal action against you. There is however, a catch: you must prove, in court, that your account meets the time-line that establishes the statue of limitations. The statute of limitations date begins on the last date of activity on the account. That date may or may not be the date the account, officially, went past due!
You can, unknowingly, restart the statute of limitations in one or more ways:
*** acknowledging the owed debt
*** in writing
*** signing the writing
Making a payment in these circumstances can be a terrible idea. Call me first.
If you cannot offer proof that your account qualifies for the statute of limitations, the plaintiff's pleadings would be accepted for face-value; and a judgment would be issued against you.
2. Inability to Prove Ownership of the Account
Often, debt-buyers such as Midland Funding or Portfolio Recovery purchase delinquent credit-card accounts; and those accounts can be bought in huge quantities. Because of the numbers, debt-buyers may not be able to verify that your account was part of those transactions. Additionally, debt-buyers may not be able to prove that the amount being asked for, from you, is correct; and they may not be able to authenticate that you, even, own the account. If debt buyers cannot present the needed proof in these areas, you may have a defense to a collection lawsuit.
3. Inability to Authenticate Documents
Again, debt-buyers may not be able to authenticate documents of the original creditor. In many states, a creditor or debt-collector must do one of two things if they are pursuing a collections lawsuit: 1) attach a copy of the account or a copy of the written contract or agreement to the complaint or 2) state, in the complaint, why the account or document is not attached. If this 'attachment rule' is not followed, you could be eligible for a dismissal of the lawsuit.
Outcomes of a Debt-Related Lawsuit
1. A Non Suit of the Case
Though the court might dismiss your case, your troubles may not be over since you could be sued, again, in the future. If errors contributed to the dismissal, creditors can re-file the lawsuit. The good news is that when creditors are challenged by competent counsel, they may choose a type of withdrawl where they would non-suit their case against you. This action would be considered 'without prejudice' since it would involve a ruling that is not based on the merits of the case.
2. A Ruling in Your Favor
A ruling in your favor by the court means you are free and clear! The plaintiff can must discontinue all legal proceedings against you. If you find yourself in this coveted situation, you would have the right to file for monetary compensation against the creditor. It would be happy to assist you with having the debt removed from your credit report.
3. A Ruling in Favor of the Credit Card Company
A ruling in favor of the credit card company is never good news for the debtor. Here, you would face a judgment which would clearly state the debt amount, for which, you would be fully responsible. Property liens, bank-account levies, property seizures,and other actions could be taken by the creditor to help pay off the outstanding debt. Additionally, you could be held liable to pay all court-related costs affiliated with the credit-card lawsuit.
4. An Agreed Settlement
At times, a trial can be completely avoided if the plaintiff and the defendant reach a mutual agreement with a lump-sum payment or payment schedule.
James Foley PLLC is Here to Help
At this point, you may feel overwhelmed; but there is hope for financial recovery! At James Foley PLLC, I can guide you through the maze of legal details you would not want to face on your own. Creditors partner with expert lawyers to fight for their rights – and so should you!
Call James Foley PLLC, today, for a complimentary case assessment in any of these areas:
*** Debt-buyer suits
*** Original-creditor suits
*** Post Vehicle repossession deficiency suits
*** Loan-deficiency suits
I look forward to discussing your needs!
~Credit Card Lawsuit Defense & Bankruptcy Attorney~
~Your peace of mind is only a phone call away~