Defending Collection Lawsuits

Creditors that bring lawsuits against you for credit card debt must be able to prove that you are responsible for the charges on the card and that the amount you are being sued for is correct. The Law Office of Howard D. Weisinger, Esq., includes active and aggressive Long Island Collection Defense. If you are served with a lawsuit and do nothing [that is, do not file an Answer to contest the allegations in the Complaint], the allegations in the Complaint will be taken as true and the credit card bank will be able to obtain a judgment against you. Once that happens, the collection procedures can include garnishing your paycheck, restraining your bank account, and placing a Judgment lien against your house.

We find that some clients do not even know a Judgment has been entered against them, and in fact, did not even know they were a defendant in a lawsuit. They discover the Judgment only after the attorneys for the credit card bank engage in collection procedures. The reason a person may not know of a collection lawsuit is because some unscrupulous “process servers” [the person hired by the credit card bank’s attorney to serve you with the lawsuit] sometimes engage in what is known as “sewer service”. That is they discard the lawsuit they are supposed to serve on you and file a “service return” stating you have been served. If the records show you have been served and have not file an Answer, the credit card’s attorney can ask for a Judgment. Once a Judgment is entered, the attorneys are free to pursue any and all collection procedures available under the law.

Many times credit card debt is bought by “debt buyers”. This generally happens after the credit card bank has had your debt in collection for some time and has been unable to collect any, or enough, money to justify holding onto the debt. Usually while trying to collect, the original credit card bank is tacking on fees and interest [which is usually increased dramatically]. The amount that you end up owing is substantially more than was originally charged.

Thankfully, there are ways to defend against lawsuits brought by your credit card bank and by debt buyers. Because the debt has usually been passed around during collection, the file in possession of the  bank’s attorney or debt buyer is not complete. We find that they are not able to produce the original contract, an account history or, because debt buyers purchase large blocks of debt, the assignment of your particular debt by the credit card bank. When you are sued these deficiencies become very important in defending your lawsuit.

If you receive a lawsuit because you failed to make payments on a credit card or if you are garnished or notified by your bank that your account has been restrained due to a collection lawsuit of which you were unaware, you must act immediately. Contact us for a free consultation and protect your paycheck, bank account, and home.

 

Credit Cards