Are you in need of a credit-card-lawsuit attorney? My name is James Foley; and as a seasoned lawyer in this arena, I represent the citizens of Arlington. If you are among the millions of Americans who are facing difficulties with paying your credit card debt, you are not alone! Unexpected life experiences can happen to anyone – divorce, the death of a spouse, astronomical medical bills, job loss and other stressful events take their financial and emotional toll.
If you are inundated with calls from creditors or debt collectors, you need a strong ally to help you deal with the complicated legalities associated with collections and possible lawsuits. These are not situations you want to face on your own since a simple miscalculation on your part can make your situation go from 'bad' to 'worse'.
Below, you will find some brief, but helpful, insight regarding delinquent credit-card debt. Please take a few moments to read the information and, then, give me a call. I will be happy to arrange a complimentary case-assessment to fit your schedule. Let's do this together!
Unsecured Credit Card Debt
Even though they are 'unsecured' and not backed by any collateral, credit-card accounts can turn a person's life into a living nightmare if one or more accounts are left unpaid. Some possible consequences of unpaid credit-card debt include:
*** drastic decline of your credit rating
*** maximized fees and penalties and/or exorbitant interest rates on balances due
*** continual calls from creditors or collection agencies
*** a lawsuit filed against you
*** the serving of a citation
*** frozen bank accounts or savings accounts
*** seizure of business property or personal property
At times, credit-card companies are willing to negotiate with the debtor. They may agree to negotiate terms or interest rates or decrease the amount owed; but this is no guarantee. If any changes are made to your account by the creditor to make your payments less painful, it is imperative to get any agreements in writing. Some credit card companies will, immediately, cut off your credit if they realize you are having trouble making regular payments; so speaking with a credit card company has possible draw-backs. BE ADVISED THAT FORGIVEN DEBT CARRIES TAX CONSEQUENCES. Contact your CPA or tax professional for more information.
Circumstances for every one is different; and for some, the only good option is bankruptcy. Through Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are allowed to keep your property while paying all or part of your debt. With Chapter 7 bankruptcy you often lose little or no property, as well as being able to discharge your credit-card debt.
Credit-Card Debt Lawsuits
Delinquent credit-card accounts can, easily, translate into a creditor or debt-collector utilizing their own attorneys to file a lawsuit against you. A 'complaint' would be filed with the court indicating what reimbursement the creditor is seeking. In the end, a default judgment could be issued against you which means your personal income, bank accounts, savings, vehicles, business equipment and other possessions of value can be seized and used as payment towards the debt.
Choosing not to respond to a lawsuit complaint or waiting too long to respond would allow the court to award a money judgment against you. By default, the plaintiff wins; and you would have no rights, at this point, 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 asked for. This is why it is so important to be represented by strong legal counsel.
The Law Can Protect You
The legal system offers protection for the debtor. Here are three scenarios that could find favor with your situation:
1. Statute of Limitations
With the statue of limitations, enough time has passed to allow the debt to become noncollectable. The creditor or debt-collector must cease with any legal action against you. The statute of limitations can get a bit tricky since the time period for the statute of limitations starts on the last date of activity on the account; and this may not, necessarily, be the same as the date the account became past due!
One can, very unwittingly, restart the statute of limitations, via, the following scenarios:
*** acknowledgement of the debt
*** in writing
Making a payment in this scenario may bring you more problems than it serves. Call me first.
With the statute of limitations, you must prove your case and submit evidence, in court. If your proof is found to be accurate, you are no longer legally responsible for payment of the old debt; though the debt does remain on your credit report. If, however, you are unable to submit proof that your debt meets that statute of limitations, the plaintiff wins 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 are involved in accounts that are sold in huge numbers. Because so many accounts are involved, it can become impossible to determine if your account was part of those transactions. It is not uncommon for debt-buyers to lack proof that the debt amount they claim you own is accurate. Additionally, they may be unable to verify if you, even, own the debt. If so, you may have a defense to a collection lawsuit.
3. Inability to Authenticate Documents
When debt-buyers cannot verify documents of the original creditor, it is to your advantage. In many states, an entity suing for collection must: 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 utilized, you may be able to get the lawsuit dismissed.
Debt-Related Lawsuit Outcomes
1. A Non-Suit of the Case
A 'dismissal of the case' by the plaintiff sounds good enough, and often it is our most realistic result ,but the reality is you could get sued, again. At times, errors may contribute to the dismissal of the case; and if this is found to be true, a re-filing of the lawsuit should be expected. When a debtor is represented by competent legal counsel, however, creditors often 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.
2. A Ruling in Your Favor
A ruling in your favor would be the epitome of good news! Here, the creditor or debt collector would be forced to cease any future attempts to collect payments from you. You would have the option to file for monetary compensation against the creditor. Also, I would be happy to help you remove the debt from your credit report.
3. A Ruling in Favor of the Credit Card Company
A ruling in favor of the credit card company means the creditor can issue a judgment against you. At this point, you would be fully liable to pay the debt amount, as stated in the lawsuit complaint. Bank-account levies, property seizures, and other measures could be taken to help pay off the debt.
4. An Agreed Settlement
If the plaintiff and the defendant reach an agreed settlement, a trial can be avoided. The creditor may accept a lesser amount – sometimes a significantly-less amount – than the original amount owed. With agreed settlements, it can still damage your credit.
James Foley PLLC Can Partner with You
Living each day feeling the fear of a possible credit-card-debt lawsuit is something no one should have to endure. If you are tired of fighting your debt dilemma, allow James Foley PLLC to become your much-need ally. Debt happens – it's time to get your life back! Creditors have powerful 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:
*** Debt-buyer suits
*** Original-creditor suits
*** Vehicle repossession
*** Loan-deficiency suits
~Credit Card Lawsuit Defense & Bankruptcy Attorney~
~Your peace of mind is only a phone call away~