Concerned About A Debt Lawsuit
I Can Be Your Staunch Ally!
To the surprise of many, the consequences of past-due credit-card payments can be severe for the credit-card holder; and it goes beyond just a black mark on one's credit rating. Credit-card debt, being 'unsecured', may sound minimally intimidating if payments become delinquent, but even if one payment is late, credit-card companies take that as an initial sign of concern and will prepare to fight you, tooth and nail, to recoup their money.
Are one or more credit-card companies beginning to make you feel uncomfortable due to outstanding payments? Know that you are not alone; but more importantly, you must understand how necessary it is for you to seek professional guidance and get into debt-defense, via a seasoned attorney, as soon as possible – time is, literally, of the essence!
Perhaps these questions pertain to your situation: 1) Are you being sued because of an outstanding debt? 2) Have you had any type contact with the company that is suing? 4) Has a Deputy for the Court, or a private service agent, served you with papers or documents?
As a side note: it is common practice for the Plaintiff to utilize private process servers who may arrive to your home or business, dressed in normal street attire. The Plaintiff is not limited to the services of a uniformed deputy, to effect service.
Though the thought of facing a law-suit may keep you awake at night, the good news is I can serve as you powerful ally – protecting your rights and guiding you through the complicated legal process to ensure you achieve the best, possible, outcome! I fully understand how life's circumstances can cause one's finances to spiral out of control: death of a spouse, divorce, loss of employment, mounting medical bills and other challenges can severely impact one's life – if can happen to anyone!
You Need an Expert Attorney
The list of options that creditors can utilize to collect on their money can be frightening if you are on the receiving end of losing multiple assets. Having your bank account(s) frozen is a frightening possibility when creditors become legally aggressive. I know the in's and out's of what creditors can and cannot do; and you can take some peace in knowing that there are restrictions that creditors must abide by. I will see to it that your rights are fully protected!
The Credit Card Lawsuit Process – It Gets Complicated
When the original credit-card contract becomes breached, the following legal steps come into play:
*** You may be sued by the credit-card company or the debt collector hired by the credit card company.
*** The delinquent credit-card debt may be sold by the original credit-card company to a wholesale debt buyer. It is then that the debt collector legally owns the debt and inherits the same rights as the original creditor. With that being said, the assignment of the debt is, often, the weakest component of the creditor's collection of evidence.
*** A debt-collection attorney may be asked to handle the case.
*** The debt-collection attorney's office can sue you in Justice of the Peace Court, County Court at Law, or District Court. As a result, you may be held responsible for the full amount, as described in the lawsuit.
If you or a family member is being sued, do not wait any longer! A response must be presented to the court within a narrow window of time or the court may award the debt collector – the plaintiff – a default judgment against you. You lose; the plaintiff wins. The plaintiff would not be obligated to present any evidence to prove their case; and you will lost all hope of presenting your case. In Texas, you may have as little as 14 days, from the date of service, to respond before you risk a default judgment.
Debt Defense – Creditors Can Lose Cases
There are certain circumstances that can, optimally, benefit your case:
1. Statute of Limitations
With statue of limitations, the debt is too old to be included in a lawsuit; and the creditor is, permanently, restricted from suing you. Any debt collector who might use intimidation tactics and attempt to sue over a debt that is beyond the statute of limitations would be breaking the law.
This is an affirmative defense – you must plead it and prove it. Too often, potential clients have told me they ignored the lawsuit because they were convinced it was invalid – that is the wrong approach! The court will expect you to take the necessary steps by showing up in court and defending your case; and if not, the plaintiff's pleadings will be taken at face-value; and a judgment will be granted against you.
2: Inability to Prove Ownership of the Account
In debt-buyer cases involving Midland Funding or Portfolio Recovery, in particular, the creditors often sell accounts in massive bundles. As a result, it may be impossible for them to prove your account was, in fact, included in the transaction.
3: Inability to Authenticate Documents
More common in a debt-buyer scenario, collection companies, again, like Midland Funding and Portfolio Recovery, can face challenges with authenticating the documents of the original creditor.
What You Need to Know
One of four possible outcomes can emerge from a credit-card debt lawsuit:
1. A Dismissal of the Case
A court's dismissal of the case does not, necessarily, mean you can't be sued again. Unfortunately, the credit card company can re-file the lawsuit. When creditors are challenged by competent counsel, they may choose a type of withdrawal where they would non-suit their case against you. This type of dismissal is considered 'without prejudice' since it is not a ruling on the merits of the case. Keep in mind, the creditors have the option to refile or sell it to a debt buyer. Legally, the debt could remain on your credit report.
2. A Ruling in Your Favor
If the court rules in your favor, the credit card company will have lost and would be unable to collect anything from you – good news! You would, then, have the option to file damages against the credit card company. If the ruling were in your favor, I would encourage you to remain in touch with me to work on getting the debt removed from your credit report.
3: An Agreed Settlement
There are times when a trial can be avoided. If the parties, involved, reach an agreement and payment schedule, the issue can be resolved, without the hassles of going to court.
4. A Ruling in Favor of the Credit Card Company
If a court rules in favor of the credit card company, a judgment against you would ensue; and it would indicate the dollar amount you would need to pay. Property liens, bank-account levies, and property seizures are a few types of collection procedures you could be confronted with.
Law Suits and Secured Debt
Lenders of secured debt deal with much less risk than debts associated with credit cards since secured debt involves collateral as security against non-payment. Borrowers can offer a vehicle, their home, expensive jewelry, an RV, or business property and equipment as collateral to back the loan.
Lenders have the right to recover money from the borrower in order to pay their costs affiliated with property sales and legal fees.
There is Light in the Darkness
No one wants to face a debt lawsuit; but the good news is, there is a silver lining! I offer the type of expertise you need to deal with any lawsuit you might be facing that is related to secured and unsecured debt. There are options that may allow you to bypass bankruptcy; but the bottom line is this: You need legal support and professional guidance to wade through the complexities of what lies ahead – allow me to help you get your life back! Creditors have aggressive lawyers on their side to fight for their rights; and so should you!
Contact me, today, for a complimentary case assessment relevant to 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
Let's do this together!
~Peace of mind is only a phone call away~