Debt-Related Law-Suits

 Don't Battle It Alone

Credit-card debt is 'unsecured'; though the word 'unsecured' is misleading since missed payments can result in devastating consequences for the card-holder.  Frozen bank accounts and property seizures are only two types of legal issues debtors can face when a credit-card-debt lawsuit comes into play.   Perhaps you are in this situation; and, if so, you need a powerful ally who can provide the type of debt defense you need in order to navigate through the legal complexities.   


These questions may generate a fair amount of anxiety, for you:  1)  Has a lawsuit been filed against you by a debt collector?   2)  Have you had communication with the company that is suing?  3)  Have you been served with a citation?


Regarding being served:  It would be common practice for a plaintiff to employ a plain-clothed process server who could arrive at your home or business, without notice.  The plaintiff is not obligated to utilize the services of a uniformed deputy, to effect service.   


I fully understand how circumstances in life can cause debt to spiral out of control – divorce, death of a spouse, medical bills, a job loss and other life-changing circumstances can take their toll emotionally and financially; and it can happen to anyone!  If you want your life back, I am here to help!


Facing a creditor's lawsuit, as fearful as it is, does not mean you would, necessarily, end up paying back the debt or be forced to file for bankruptcy.   Creditors do have a multitude of tactics they can use to recoup outstanding debt; but restrictions regulate what creditors can and cannot do.       


Debt Lawsuits – What to Expect


Lawsuits for delinquent debt follow a sequence of events:


***  The credit-card company, or debt buyerr, may choose to sue you.


***  A collection agency might buy the outstanding credit-card debt from the original credit-card company.  The debt buyer would, then, possess the same legal rights as the original creditor.


***  The debt may be placed with a debt-collection attorney.


***  The debt-collection attorney's office can sue you in state court; and you could be legally responsible for the full amount of the debt, as stated in the creditor's lawsuit.


It is very important you respond to the court in a timely fashion or the plaintiff could be awarded a default judgment against you.  If you fail to respond, the plaintiff wins without having to produce any evidence regarding its case against you!  At the same time, you will have relinquished 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 being asked for.


Debt Defense – Your Rights are Protected


There are laws that protect debtors when presented with a lawsuit:

1.  Statute of Limitations


With statue of limitations, the debt has become old enough to have run its course, legally.  If a statute of limitations applies in your case, your lawsuit would become nothing more than a bad memory –  the creditor would not be able to pursue any further legal action against you!  Every state has its own statute of limitations guidelines.


This is an affirmative defense; and you must plead it and prove it.  All too often, potential clients have informed me they chose to ignore their debt lawsuit since they felt it was invalid – this course of action will never work!  The court will expect you to present yourself in court and defend your case.  If not, the plaintiff's pleadings will be accepted for face-value; and a judgment will be granted against you.


2.  Inability to Prove Ownership of the Account


Frequently, in debt-buyer cases including Midland Funding or Portfolio Recovery, in particular, creditors will sell accounts in huge bundles to the point where they cannot demonstrate that your account was, actually, part of the transaction.


3.  Inability to Authenticate Documents


Particularly common, again, in debt-buyer scenarios that involve Midland Funding or Portfolio Recovery, it can become impossible to authenticate documents of the original creditor.


Outcomes of a Debt-Related Lawsuit


Debt-related lawsuits can end in one of four ways:


1.  A Dismissal of the Case


A court might dismiss your case, but you can be sued, again, in the future.  If errors are found to have contributed to the dismissal, creditors can re-file the lawsuit.  However, when creditors are challenged by competent counsel, they may choose a type of withdrawal 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.   It is important to realize the creditor has the option to refile or sell to a debt buyer.  The debt could remain on your credit report.


2.  A Ruling in Your Favor


A 'ruling in your favor' by the court is the grand prize, so to speak!  The credit card company no longer has any legal power over you.  At this point, you would have the option to file for monetary compensation against the creditor; and I would recommend you stay in touch with me to have 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 would mean you would face a judgment which would indicate the debt amount you would be obligated to pay.  Property liens, bank-account levies, property seizures and other measures could be used by the creditor towards payment of the debt.

4.  An Agreed Settlement


At times, a trial can be avoided if both parties reach an agreement with a payment schedule that is mutually acceptable.


Law Suits and Secured Debt


Unlike unsecured credit-card debt, secured debt utilizes collateral that acts as security against any possible loan default.  Collateral can include vehicles, homes, business properties and equipment and other items of value which could be seized in the event of nonpayment of a loan.  Lenders can, also, recover money from the borrower to pay the lender's expenses that were used for property sales and attorney's fees.


I Am Here to Help


Though circumstances may feel daunting, you can rest easy knowing you have a staunch ally to navigate you through the many legal twists and turns you would not want to face on your own.  Creditors have aggressive lawyers on their side to fight for their rights; and so should you!


Call me, today, for a complimentary case assessment in any of these areas:


***  Defense from debt-buyer suits


***  Defense from original-creditor suits


***  Defense from vehicle repossession


***  Defense from loan-deficiency suits


*** Chapter 7 Bankruptcy


I look forward to discussing your needs!


                                                                               James Foley

                                    ~Credit Card Lawsuit Defense & Bankruptcy Attorney~



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