Hello – My name is James Foley; and as a credit-card-lawsuit defense attorney, I have provided some basic, yet highly important, information that can help you better understand the painful consequences of unpaid credit-card debt. The silver lining, however, is that I can help! There are many aspects of the law that work in favor of the debtor whose credit-card debt has spiraled out of control; and I can guide you through the maze of legal complexities you wouldn't want to face on your own.
Experiencing challenges with making credit-card payments can happen to anyone. I have helped clients in Fort Worth who are among the millions of Americans who have faced divorce, death of a spouse, huge medical bills, the loss of a job, and more – all, of which, can greatly contribute to financial mayhem.
If you feel you have no where to turn with your mounting credit-card debt, there is light at the end of the tunnel since I can serve as your legal ally to help you achieve financial recovery. You owe it to yourself to schedule a complimentary, one-on-one case-assessment – read the brief information, below, and give me a call.
Things you may not know about delinquent credit-card debt:
Unsecured Credit Card Debt
It is true that credit card debt is 'unsecured' and is not backed by collateral; and because of that, some people feel the repercussions of non-payment might be minimal – not so! Legal consequences can be severe; and with non-payment, one should expect any of the following:
*** serious decline of your credit rating
*** increased fees and penalties and/or hiked 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
You may be able to negotiate a settlement with your credit-card debt where terms, interest rates, a reprieve from payments, or even the amount owed can be modified. The credit card company, however, is under no obligation to cater to any requests. Some credit card companies are more persuaded towards negotiating than others. On the other hand, some will waste no time cutting off your credit if there is any hint of trouble with making payments. If you do manage to successfully negotiate any terms, you absolutely must get the agreement in writing. FORGIVEN DEBT HAS TAX CONSEQUENCES. For more information please contact your CPA or Tax Professional.
Depending on your circumstances, filing for bankruptcy may be the best option. Through 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 your credit-card debt.
Credit-Card Debt Lawsuits – The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly
Facing a credit-card debt lawsuit without legal counsel can get ugly. When credit-card payments cease, a creditor or debt-collector may sue you and get a judgment against you. This means that much of what you hold dear – a portion of your income, bank accounts, savings, machinery, tools, jewelry, vehicles or any other possessions of value – can be up for 'grabs' by the creditor who could use those assets to pay off part, or all, of your owed debt. Yes, it can get ugly.
Choosing to ignore a lawsuit complaint or not responding in a timely manner would, definitely, work against you and create the perfect storm for a 'worst-case' scenario. Here, the plaintiff would win its case without having to produce a single piece of evidence against you – the plaintiff would win by default. Not only that, but you would have legally chosen to surrender any rights you might have had 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.
Your Rights are Protected
Certain laws protect debtors who are facing a credit-card debt lawsuit:
1. Statute of Limitations
With the statue of limitations, a period of time has run long enough where a creditor or bill collector cannot sue you for unpaid credit-card debt. The time period for the statute of limitations starts on the last date of activity on the account, though this is not, necessarily, synonymous with the date the account went past due! In other words, anytime an action is taken on a delinquent account, the statue of limitations will restart. Many credit-card account holders will, unwittingly, restart their account's statute of limitations by doing the following:
*** acknowledging their owed debt
*** in writing
Making a payment under the circumstances may create more problems than it solves.
Though the statute of limitations may sound easy enough, the debtor bears the responsibility of providing evidence in court proving the account meets the appropriate guidelines. If your evidence is deemed valid, you are off the hook. If, however, you cannot offer proof regarding the statute of limitations, the plaintiff would win, and a judgment would be issued against you.
2. Inability to Prove Ownership of the Account
Often, creditors assign debt to debt-buyers such as Midland Funding or Portfolio Recovery. Delinquent credit-card accounts are sold in high numbers, however, which can make it virtually impossible to determine if your account was part of those transactions. Keep in mind, debt-buyers may not, even, be able to prove that the amount they say you owe, is correct. Additionally, they may not be able to verify you owe the debt, at all. If this is the case, you may have a defense to a collection lawsuit.
3. Inability to Authenticate Documents
Again, debt collectors such as Midland Funding or Portfolio Recovery may not be able to verify the documents of the original creditor. In many states, a creditor or debt collector suing for collection must do one of two things: 1) attach a copy of the account, 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 honored, you may have a case to get the lawsuit dismissed.
Outcomes of a Debt-Related Lawsuit
1. A Non-suit of the Case
Good news/bad news: Your case is non-suited by the plaintiff; however, you could be sued, again! If it is found that errors contributed to the dismissal of the case, your creditors would have the right to re-file their lawsuit against you. When creditors are challenged by competent, legal counsel, however, they may choose a type of withdrawal where they would non-suit their case against you. This action would be termed '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 is the ultimate prize! Here, the creditor can no longer pursue you with any legal action. If you are fortunate enough to have a ruling in your favor, you may choose to file for monetary compensation against the creditor. Also, I would be happy to work with you to possibly 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 means the credit card company or debt collector can present a judgment against you. You would be legally responsible to pay the indicated debt amount. It can go from bad to worse, however, since you could, also, be responsible for all court-related costs associated with the lawsuit. In the end, property liens, bank-account levies, property seizures, and more could all be used towards payment of the debt.
4. An Agreed Settlement
With an agreed settlement, the stress and duress of a trial can be bypassed. Both the plaintiff and the defendant must reach an agreement with a lump-sum payment or payment schedule that is mutually agreeable.
James Foley PLLC is Here to Help
Circumstances may feel overwhelming for you; but James Foley PLLC can help! The law is complicated which is why you need an experienced ally on your side! If you want your life back and want to feel normal once again, allow me to begin by assessing your case. Creditors have strong lawyers on their side to fight for their rights; and so should you!
Call me, today, for a complimentary case-evaluation in any of these areas:
*** Debt-buyer suits
*** Original-creditor suits
*** Vehicle repossession
*** 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~