HOW TO WIN A DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUIT
It can be stressful being deep in credit card debt, especially when you are unable to pay that debt for one reason or another. Dealing with creditors can be a hassle, and it can be very scary when the credit card company sues you in court.
Once you are hit with a lawsuit, your reasons for not keeping your accounts current might not matter much anymore. You will need to gear up for the legal battle. Do not ignore the lawsuit; that is not an option.
To increase your likelihood of winning the debt collection lawsuit, here are some guidelines:
Even if you know that you borrowed money from the plaintiff, do not agree that everything in the lawsuit is true or accurate. Challenge the lawsuit from the beginning because once you accept full responsibility, it will become harder to win the case in court. You can challenge the authority and standing of the creditor to sue you. By forcing the creditor to prove its case in court, you may cause them to back down or decide on an out of court settlement.
When you refuse to accept liability and challenge the creditor’s standing, the next step is to ask for evidence. You may be surprised to realize how sloppy some of these agencies are when it comes to proper documentation, especially when debts are “charged off,” or sold to third party debt collectors. The plaintiff should be able to validate its claim and the purported amount you owe.
The creditor is counting on your ignorance or inactivity to win the case. Request evidence like the underlying contract, bills of sale, and a debt buyer’s license from the plaintiff.
Examine your card member agreement
You should read the fine print! You may find out that under the terms of your card member agreement that you are not considered to be in default until 60 days after the installment due date. It is possible to win the lawsuit if the plaintiff sued you before you were in default as outlined in the contract.
Scrutinize your own financial records
Take time to go through your financial records to find out what you actually owe and any other loopholes that can help you win the debt collection lawsuit.
Look for evidence of payments, cancelled checks, and other proof that may be of importance to your case.
Statute of limitations
When the statute of limitation has expired, the loan is automatically rendered unenforceable. Statute of limitations provide time limits on the amount of time a creditor has to take action in a debt collection proceeding.
Unfortunately, creditors are able to take advantage of debtors because they are ignorant of their rights.
If your creditor violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in the process of collecting the debt, you should stand up for yourself. Harassment, threats, inflation of debts, wrong financial statements, among other breaches or the law, can help you defend the lawsuit and possibly file a counterclaim of your own.
An attorney knows the nuances of the law and can advise you on the merits of your case. These lawsuits can be complicated and speaking with an attorney is a good idea.