BEING SUED BY A DEBT COLLECTOR?
- Has a lawsuit been filed against you by a debt collector?
- Have you been served with a summons?
- Are you confused by the legal process?
- Are you nervous about going to court?
- Are you unable to take time off from work to attend court?
- Are you afraid that something bad might happen to your family financially?
- Do you feel like this isn’t fair?
- Do you wish this problem would just go away?
HAS YOUR ACCOUNT BEEN SOLD TO A DEBT BUYER?
Often these agencies, and debt buyers who bought your account for pennies on the dollar, purchase nothing but electronic data and cannot get more. While this is not always so, it is worth your while to get legal advice because not only may the debt be uncollectable but you by these firms may be entitled to damages and attorney’s fees, as well.
Many people believe they have no defenses to debt collection lawsuits if they owed even a portion of the debt being sought. There may be several defenses available to you. You have options.
WHO IS CONSIDERED A DEBT COLLECTOR?
Debt collectors include collection agencies or lawyers who collect debts as part of their business. There are also companies that buy past-due debts from creditors or other businesses and then try to collect them. These debt collectors are also called debt collection agencies, debt collection companies, or debt buyers.
Debt collectors are subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which makes it illegal for debt collectors to use abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices when they collect debts. https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/plain-language/fair-debt-collection-practices-act.pdf
FILING AN ANSWER
You’ll have a short period of time in which to file a credible answer. In Georgia, you have 30 days from the date you are actually served with the lawsuit to file a formal answer in court. If you choose not to file an answer, or you don’t file it in time, or your answer is insufficient, the court will enter default judgment against you. That means the credit card company will be in a position to get court orders for to garnish your wages, levy your bank account, and place liens on your property in order to collect.
There are certain defenses that may apply to your case that you will want to assert in your Answer. The following are a few defenses that may be applicable to your particular situation and should be raised in your Answer.
- Statute of limitations:Creditors only have a certain amount of time in which to sue you. In Georgia, written contracts: 6 yrs., oral contracts: 4 yrs., personal injury claims: 2 yrs.
- Improper service:Creditors must serve you with a copy of the complaint.
- Failure of creditor to prove they own the debt:Creditors have to have real proof that you owe the debt and they have to provide that proof to you and to the court.
- Debt discharged in bankruptcy:If you’ve filed for bankruptcy and received a discharge, credit card companies can’t sue for the discharged debt.
- Identity fraud:If you didn’t rack up the charges, you don’t have to pay for them.
- Suing the wrong consumer:Is it actually your name and your account on the complaint? Mix-ups can happen but you don’t have to pay for it.
- Failure to give credit for payment:Have you already paid the bill? You don’t have to pay it twice.
- Unfair debt collection:This is a counterclaim; if you were harassed or threatened, you may be able to claim damages from the debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
WE HAVE SUCCESSFULLY LITIGATED AGAINST THE LARGEST DEBT BUYERS AND BANKS IN EVERY COURT IN THE STATE
Our office has represented clients in Magistrate, State, and Superior Courts in Georgia. We have defended clients against the following debt collectors, debt buyers, and original creditors:
- Debt buyers (i.e. Cavalry Portfolio Services, Asset Acceptance, Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery Associates, etc.)
- Original creditors (i.e. American Express, Citibank, Bank of America, BB & T Bank)
- Defense of debt collection lawsuits arising from credit cards, automobile repossession deficiencies, apartment leases, and other contract-related matters
- Defense of wage and bank account garnishments
CONTACT US NOW TO EVALUATE YOUR LEGAL DEFENSES
If you have been served with a lawsuit from a bank or debt buyer, you have the right to good legal advice and effective representation from the Parker Law Firm.
Find out more. Call us at 770-246-1331 or firstname.lastname@example.org and let our experience work for you.