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First, don't ignore the lawsuit ! In fact, keep in mind
that more than 90 percent of cases are won by default judgment because the sued
party simply doesn't appear in court, although this is often because the consumer
does not know the lawsuit has been started in the first place because of
defective service of process (i.e.: unlawful delivery or non-delivery of the
If you are aware of the
lawsuit, and do contact the creditors attorney, be aware that one common tactic
of these lawyers is to tell you
that you don't need to show up in court. They try an convince toy tat t can be
work out in a way that eliminates your need to deal with the court system.
Don’t be fooled, however. Show up in court and make them prove their case. File an answer and then show up on the scheduled Court date.Secondly, contact the Clerk’s Office at the local courthouse where you are being sued. Be aware that many states and courts have free legal services available for the self represented, especially, given the increasing number of junk-debt lawsuits. These are most often lawyer volunteer lawyers helping consumers like you for altruistic reasons, to complete continuing education credits now required of lawyers or as a part of a forma pro bono (free lawyer) program. These free legal services sometimes do not provide you with individual representation but will give you general advice on how to go it alone in the particular courthouse in question.
Next, check for any indication of so-called robo-signing in the junk-debt documentation. Like the foreclosure robo-signing mess that it still in the news, many creditors also use illegal, robo-signing procedures when buying junk debt. We have found that the incidents of robo-signing are rampant.Then, as a fourth step, make sure to read the creditor's documentation with a very critical eye. nd find the errors and inconsistencies.
For example, your creditor may also claim that borrowers owe more money than their actual debts because a bank has added on extra fees that were never agreed upon. If it's a junk-debt lawsuit, the creditors have to prove a chain of title showing they own the debt upon which the lawsuit is based.Finally, avoid the pressure and temptation to just get it over with by entering into settlements negotiated in the hallway. Note that creditor attorneys all try to cut a deal with defendants in the hallway outside the courtroom, especially if they perceive you to be vulnerable or intimidated. In fact, the basic objective of these hallway deals is to set up a payment pan that seems easy for you to comply with but which has hidden and dangerous loopholes and potholes which ultimately force you to wave all of your rights and enter into an unrealistic but seemingly attractive payment plan that could very well leave you liable for the full judgment amount if you miss a single payment.
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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a federal program seeking to create efficient communities and affordable housing for all. This site provides information on foreclosures, resources to contact housing counseling, information on buying a home, ways of finding rental assistance and how to file housing discrimination complaints.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – Consumer Protection – This governmental agency examines banks for compliance with consumer protection laws, and this site provides information and resources to educate and protect consumers.
New York State Department of Financial Services– This state governmental agency regulates and supervises the state’s financial industry and provides consumers with educational resources and protection from unfair business practices.
New York Better Business Bureau – The New York branch of this national organization resolves problems consumers have with businesses, informs businesses about customer problems, provides educational reports about various businesses, alerts consumers and businesses about scams, and promotes self-regulation of businesses.
New York State Division of Consumer Protection – This state agency advocates for and empowers New York consumers by providing consumers with statewide alerts and recalls, methods for consumers to file complaints against businesses, and resources for consumers about.
Here are some facts you need to know when a creditor sues you. First of all, you have a constitutional right to not have your property taken without due process. So, unless there is due process followed, your bank account cannot be legally seized and your salary cannot be legally garnished. In fact, due process begins with your right to proper notice of the lawsuit.
HERE ARE 10 RULES THAT A DEBT COLLECTOR MUST FOLLOW WHEN CONTACTING YOU ABOUT AN UNPAID BILL.
1. No Early Morning or Late Night Calls
A debt collector may not call you before 8am or after 9pm, You may authorize them to call you at a different time.
2. No Calls at Work, Once You Request It
Debt collectors may not contact you at work if they know your employer disapproves of such calls. Make it clear to a debt collector straight away that calls at work are unacceptable.
3. No Repeated or Continuous Calls
Debt collectors may not harass you by calling numerous times a day about a debt.
4. No Verbal Abuse
A debt collector may not use threatening or profane language when contacting you about a debt. A debt collector may not falsely imply that you have committed a crime by failing to pay a bill.
5. No Informing Friends, Neighbors, Co-Workers, or your Family About a Debt
A debt collector may contact people that know you, but only to find out your address, your phone number, and where you work. A debt collector may not tell anyone other than you, your spouse or your attorney that you owe money.
6. No Collecting on a Debt Larger Than You Actually Owe
A debt collector may not demand more money from you than you actually owe.
7. No Dire Threats
A debt collector may not threaten to have you arrested if you do not pay your debt. Debt collectors may not threaten to sue you, unless they actually intend to file a lawsuit.
8. A Debt Collector Must Send Written Notice of a Debt
Within five days of contacting you, a debt collector must send you a written notice telling you the amount of money you owe and the name of the creditor. This notice also must explain what actions to take if you believe you do not owe the money.
9. A Debt Collector Must Honor a Written Request for No Further Contact
A debt collector must cease contact with you if you send a letter requesting that the debt collector do so. If you believe you do not owe the money, you may state this in your letter. Be aware that a legitimate debt will not go away simply because the collection calls stop. You could still be sued by the debt collector or your original creditor for the amount that you owe.
10. The Debt Collector Must Verify All Disputed Debts
Debt collectors must verify any debt that you dispute in writing prior to renewing collection calls. Once a debt collector sends you verification of the debt, collections activities may resume.
DID YOU KNOW THAT:
Even if you were served with the initial papers in a legal fashion, you are nevertheless entitled to a trial before a judge and, if you choose, a jury comprised of regular folks just like you. You do not have to settle your case with the credit card company or with those mean and nasty collection attorneys on the terms they dictate. Instead, let us answer the case as your attorneys and dictate some of your own terms to the creditors and their attorneys.
In fact, if you are reading this, you have taken the first step towards defending and protecting your rights. You are gaining knowledge. Therefore, you might find it interesting and helpful to know that approximately 85% of credit card collection lawsuits result in judgment against the debtor only because the debtor defaults, which means failing to challenge the credit card company's claim in the first place by simply not showing up in Court to answer the summons.
Now here's some more info that you can use. Some debt is so old that it is barred from collection by the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations in fact does exactly what it says. It limits the number of years that a creditor can sue you for a debt. In New York, the statute of limitation on credit card debts is, generally speaking, six years. (See New York CPLR § 213). However, for some creditors, such as Macy's, PC Richards, Best Buy or Sears's cards, the statute of limitations is four years. (See New York UCC § 2-725). In addition, under New York State law and a recent New York State Court of Appeals Ruling, the applicable statue in your case might in fact be less than the standard six years limit on beach of contract actions in New York State.
Call us and we'll see if this defense is applicable to your circumstances. And, if this is the case for you, a good and complete defense is available to you that we can develop and possibly use the get your entire case dismissed.
When you answer in Court, you also need to demand what is known as "Proof of Standing" which is the issue of whether the party suing you has "standing" - the legal right - to collect the debt from you. This is especially true if the debt collector is a third party debt buyer or, in other words, different from the original creditor. Note that you are entitled to see a chain of ownership that establishes whether the debt collector owns the right to sue on the debt. Otherwise, you might pay this collector off and then be sued later by another creditor who also claims to own the very same debt. So, you, as the debtor, must know who owns this debt if the original creditor is not the one try to collect from you.
You need to request proof of the debt. Yes, this is obvious. But you might be surprised to learn that many credit card collection lawsuit attorneys simply do not have the hard evidence that you owe the money, especially when it comes to third party debt buyers. B aware that in order to collect money on a contract in New York a party is required to produce a copy of the original contract, the agreement between the parties, and some kind of evidence that you in fact incurred the debt in question. You are entitled to request production of the contract to determine your obligations and defenses under that credit card agreement.
So, on the defense side, our have to make them present all of these documents at your trial or before the case comes to trial. And, if you retain us as your attorneys, we will of course do this for you. Remember that if they cannot produce the items of hard-evidence proof you are demanding, there is every likelihood that their case against you will be dismissed and you will walk way without ever paying them a dime.
PREPARING FOR A DEBT COLLECTION TRIAL
If the debt collection lawsuit against you actually goes forward to trial, prepare for it by pulling together all of your records related to the debt you are being sued for, including relevant contracts, records of any payments you made on the debt, copies of any correspondence between you and the debt collector or creditor, and so on. Organize the information chronologically, put it in a file folder or binder so that it will be easy for you to access the information you need to prove your points during the court hearing.
Hint: When you are representing yourself, it’s very helpful to visit the court where your hearing will take place and to observe a couple cases. Go directly to the Courtroom where your case will be heard. It is a public place and anyone can go and observe. This way you’ll know ahead of time where the court is located, where the actual court room is located and even you can park. This way you will be more familiar with how the court works. Don’t be shy about sitting in the courtroom; it’s a public space and anyone who wants to can be there. Tip: If you believe that the creditor or debt collector has violated your legal rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) or state law or regulation, bring a copy of that law with you and be prepared to point out the various provisions that have been violated. Make sure that your records help prove the violations.
Now, if the creditors somehow get you into an actual trial, formal rules of evidence apply to credit card collection lawsuits. In other words, the debt collector must present sufficient evidence to meet the burden of proof as to the elements of the case. We are experienced credit card lawsuit defense lawyers. So we always object to the improper admission of "hearsay" evidence, which evidence can be more plainly described as "second hand evidence" which is baseless evidence without foundation. Business records, for example, must be authenticated by a competent live witness who actually gets on the stand to testify about the authenticity of the records being present to the Court. And you should note that credit card collection attorneys, handling thousands of these cases yearly, rarely have a live witness to appear in court and are often not willing to go through the trouble and expense of producing one because it is silly not effective in a large volume collection practice.Your Best Bet ? Hire an experienced Credit Card Defense Center Attorney.
Hire An Experienced Credit Card Defense Attorney
An experienced lawyer knows what questions to ask and what documents to request to possibly get your case dismissed and give you the very best opportunity to get the best outcome by objecting to the improper use of hearsay evidence against you, determining whether the debt is time barred against collection by a statute of limitations and whether or not you were afforded due process in the ways you were served with the summons and complaint in the first place.
Attorneys associated with Lee & Associates are available NOW for Free Consultation regarding credit card collection defense. To find out more info and to obtain a free consultation contact us now:
Helpful Links for Self Help:
- What To Do When You Get Your First Credit Card
- 5 Things to Do With Your First Credit Card
- 5 Top Ways Credit Card Companies Trap You
- A Google Credit Card? It's Coming !
- 5 Ways to Control Credit Card Debt in 2013
- Quick Fixes To Raise Your Credit Score
- The Next Credit Problem: Underwater Car Loans
- Ways to Pay those Holiday Bills
- How to Overturn a Credit Card Rejection
- Chase Can Make Your Debit Card While You Wait