Being in significant debt is a terrifying ordeal. It can be overwhelming, leave you with no money to pay your bills, and cause significant stress on your mental well being.
Somehow, the experience can become even worse.
This is what occurs when you are sued for whatever outstanding debt you owe. Why does this happen? Well, it’s typically down to the aggressive nature of collection agencies, where they will push you into court if they don’t think you will pay off the debt in a quick fashion.
Remember that a collection agency will tend to purchase your outstanding debt from the original creditor. As a result, they will be desperate to get you to pay up so they can make money from their investment.
Yet if you do end up facing a lawsuit, this doesn’t necessarily mean you will be on the losing end. Here’s a quick guide on winning a debt collection lawsuit.
Avoid accepting liability
First of all, if you accept liability for the debt, you’re unlikely to have any success once the case reaches court. You must deny liability for your cause and challenge the lawsuit. This doesn’t mean you’re refuting you borrowed money. What you are denying, however, is the collection agency’s right to sue you.
The debt doesn’t last forever
Due to the statute of limitations, there is effectively a time limit on the amount of time a creditor has to send a lawsuit your way. If it’s outside of the window, they don’t have a legal right to sue you.
Just remember that the statute of limitations varies from state to state. Also, the start date of the time is from the last time you made a payment towards the debt.
The FDCPA is on your side
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) ensures you avoid being bullied by a collection agency. The rules state, among other points, that:
- A collection agency cannot use obscene language or threaten violence.
- They can only call between 8am and 9pm.
- If they contact a third party seeking information about you, they can only ask for contact details.
- Unless they have the legal right to do so, they cannot threaten to garnish your wages, sue you, or ruin your credit rating.
You can afford a lawyer
When you are threatened with a debt lawsuit, you might be hesitant to get in touch with a lawyer. This is down to two main reasons: embarrassment and the feeling that you cannot afford their services.
Well, if you want to gain assistance from a expert consumer protection firm with a lawsuit, good news: many attorneys will provide a free consultation at the very least. They will analyze your case and decide right there and then if you have a realistic chance in court.
If it’s not a good case, the consultation is over, and you don’t pay a dime. Yet if the law firm takes it on, you still won’t necessarily have to pay up for their services. In fact, they might get the debt collector to cover their fees, meaning you get their services for free and your debts are wiped out.