If you’ve been sued by a creditor, don’t panic. Breathe. No one is going to come to your house tomorrow and take your possessions. The legal system, in spite of its flaws, is usually fair, and it gives you lots of time to respond to your collection agency lawsuit, whether it’s from Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery Associates, Kenosian & Miele, Spiwak & Iezza, Lang, Ritchert & Patch, or any of the other hundreds of collection agencies and collection attorneys in existence.
I do LOTS of credit card defense. My clients and I usually set these as our goals
- Delay. Filing an answer and defending the case creates a year or more delay. This permits you to breathe, to save up some money to settle if necessary, and creates opportunities for you to win your case (see “defend,” below).
- Look for collection law violations. You are protected by a number of consumer protection laws. Very frequently, collectors and collection attorneys violate these laws. When they do, we counterattack. The Federal FDCPA and California’s Rosenthal FDCPA, among other laws, are very potent remedies for abusive debt collection tactics. I teach my clients what to look for, and what to bring to my attention, so we can use these laws as our lever to resolve your matter.
- Defend. When we defend a suit brought by a third party debt buyer, they have to prove that they own the right to collect on this debt, that the debt has been calculated properly, and that you are the proper defendant, among other things. Often, debt buyers are unable to meet their burden of proof. In my experience, nearly half of all debt buyer lawsuits end up dismissed before trial because the debt buyer can’t prove their case.
- Seek a settlement opportunity. Defending, with a debt defense attorney, puts you in the less than 2% of defendants who actually fight back. This means that you are causing the debt buyer to expend additional time and money to collect. They bought your debt for 2-4 cents on the dollar. All they want is to be done. Frequently, we can get to a settlement agreement that makes sense for my clients and for the Plaintiff.
- Long-term view. The final issue is to repair the damage to your credit caused by the debt, the lawsuit, and the judgment, if one was entered. I enroll all of my clients, at no cost to them, in a course that that will teach you how to raise your credit scores to a guaranteed FICO 720 between 12-24 months. The program shows you how to systematically rebuild your credit score to a score of 720 or higher (720 is an “A” grade) regardless of the starting point. This means that even people with lawsuits, judgments, bankruptcies, foreclosures, repossessions, and collections can have a 720 credit score in just 12-24 months.
- Fighting Debt Collection Lawsuit
- Fighting Collection Agencies in Court
- Collection Lawsuits
- Fighting Creditors in Court