Handling Collections Lawsuits: Respond, Protect Yourself, & Fight!
Credit card companies usually only extend credit to us when our current finances and future are looking bright. Banks are the same way, offering a variety of programs and low-interest loans—but generally when we need them the least. Most of us have experienced money problems at one time or another, along with experiencing the irony that when we need help to get by the most, financial institutions suddenly aren’t too keen on answering our calls, much less extending loans or extending credit.
Many reasons can cause income to dwindle. While overspending or mismanaging funds is always a potential temptation and issue with credit cards (and money overall), serious financial decline is usually caused by an event that completely throws your life out of whack. You may have had hours cut at work, lost your job, or were forced to close your business. Marital issues and divorce may have come into play and wrecked your finances, or you or a family member may have become sick, leading to emotional and physical stress—as well as a pile of bills unable to be paid.
During times of financial stress, bills must get paid in terms of priority, often leaving credit card companies at the bottom of the pile. And while such issues are usually temporary, late payments quickly develop into delinquencies, accompanied by an assortment of late charges and other fees that continue to build. By the time you are ready to make a minimum payment, it may have skyrocketed into a shocking amount. Without an income to match the payments required, debt may continue to escalate and eventually culminate in a collections lawsuit. At that point—and although it may seem like an excruciating and nearly impossible task to handle—your finances and the lawsuit should be dealt with as soon as possible. Acting quickly can mean the difference between getting back on track or continuing to find yourself with building stress—and debt.
Upon consulting with an experienced collections lawsuit attorney you will not only have a better view of your options, but will also understand why it is so important to answer the lawsuit and fight (if possible) to protect your finances. Because so few debtors respond or fight or show up to court, large corporations are used to the quick win—usually resulting in a default judgment being filed against the defendant. With a skilled attorney on your side, you may be able to fight the creditor lawsuit much more easily than you imagined.
Accounts have often been sold multiple times and disorganization runs rampant in the debt collection industry. The company suing you may not be able to verify that they are in standing to sue you, much less supply all the documentation (including signed contracts and more, from the inception of your account and agreement with the original creditor) to show history and accounting. The statute of limitations may have run out—or in some cases, the creditor may have filed a lawsuit against you after you were the victim of identity theft.
Fighting the creditor may lead to a dismissal of the case, or quick negotiations to settle for pennies on the dollar. In avoiding a default judgment, you also eliminate the hassle of trying to have it reversed—or experiencing troubling consequences such as having your income garnished, accounts frozen, or property taken to be sold for satisfaction of the debt.
If you are worried about a creditor lawsuit or judgment, contact us at Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC. We can review your current situation and discuss your options with you, whether that means a negotiated settlement, fighting a judgment, filing for bankruptcy, or more. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in all types of consumer rights matters, and we are here to help you! Call us today for a free consultation at (855) 709-5788 or email us at email@example.com.