I am a huge fan of TCU Horned Frog Baseball. Frog Coach Jim Schlossnagle is fond of using little sayings to motivate his team. One of my personal favorites is “must be present to win.”
This concept applies to the debt defense realm as well as to sports. Some Courts like to schedule a credit card lawsuit docket where a lot of debt related cases are heard in a short time. All too often when I make court appearances, I am one of the few if not the only defense attorney present. To my frustration, a number of debtors will either not show up at all and allow their credit card lawsuit case to go to default judgment, or show up for court unrepresented and try to speak directly to the attorneys for the collectors.
The debtors do not know their rights, or how to force the other side to produce the required documents. Maybe they do not know that various assets like their homestead and sources of income such as Federal Disability Insurance or Social Security are exempt from collections. Maybe they are not aware that Legal Aid of Northwest Texas provides a monthly pro bono Bankruptcy Clinic, and those who meet certain income guidelines may be eligible for a pro bono or deeply discounted bankruptcy.
There are a number of reasons to seek legal advice and representation when you are served with a credit card lawsuit. While each case is unique, and I can never promise a particular result, it is always better to have an attorney to represent you.
I would like to share some of the more unusual ways that I have obtained favorable outcomes for my clients. These are not garden variety results, but positive results that have come about in more unconventional ways. Just this evening, I received a notice of non-suit from opposing counsel who had missed the deadline to file a business records affidavit with the court. That means my client won’t have to pay a judgment for just over $5,000. I recently defended an original creditor case worth over $25,000 that was dismissed for want of prosecution. The creditor’s law firm folded so no one from the creditor contacted the court to make arrangements for a court date, despite several requests for one by the Court. Several months ago a client hired me less than 2 weeks before her case was set for trial. A cursory review of the Court’s file revealed that the creditors had missed the deadline to file a business records affidavit, and that the court where the creditor sued was not the proper venue to bring suit. Ultimately the debt of little over $3,100 was dismissed with prejudice (meaning that it cannot be re-filed) and the client was very happy. I was once able to get a $6,000 Discover Card lawsuit dismissed with prejudice because opposing counsel failed to disclose their witness. I once had a debt buyer dismiss an auto loan deficiency suit for over $30,000 when the discovery process revealed that the creditor debt buyer did not have the requisite Third Party Bond on file with the Secretary of State as required by the Texas Finance Code Section 392. I once had an FIA Card Services lawsuit for over $63,000 dismissed because the other side missed several deadlines. More than once I have successfully challenged the venue of the court chosen by the creditor’s attorney. If change of venue is granted the creditor must pay a filing fee again. More than once a clients’ credit card lawsuit cases have been dismissed because the creditor failed to timely pay that second filing fee.
These are not the garden variety results, and yes you could say that a lot of these results were obtained by technicalities, but to the client that has a case dismissed, it is often a great relief. Each case is unique, and I can never promise a particular result, but the results that I get are generally far better than a default judgment or what clients often get when they represent themselves. Call me now for a free consultation.