If you have been sued by a debt collector, you need to act fast. Doing nothing and hoping that the problem goes away is a recipe for disaster. Even if you believe you are responsible for the debt in question, there are likely multiple defenses that your attorney can raise on your behalf in your California debt collection lawsuit. A debt collection agency must meet specific legal requirements in order to succeed in a debt collection lawsuit, and many debt collectors are unable to do this. However, if you don’t assert the proper defenses in your California debt collection lawsuit, the debt collector is almost certain to prevail. Below are some common defenses to California debt collection lawsuits.
Missing paperwork – A debt collector must produce specific documents to prevail in a debt collection lawsuit. Often, when a debt collection agency purchases debt from another company, this paperwork is unavailable. When key documentation is missing, your debt collection lawsuit attorney may be able to have your case dismissed.
Lack of standing – Standing means that a person or entity has a legal interest in a lawsuit. In a debt collection lawsuit, this means that the debt collection agency must prove that it owns the debt it is attempting to collect. If the debt collector can’t prove that it owns the debt, the judge will likely dismiss the case.
Inaccurate billing and credit statements – Debt collection agencies sometimes submit inaccurate, outdated billing and credit statements as evidence that a consumer owes a debt. Without current, accurate documentation, however, it can be difficult for a debt collection agency to prove that a consumer is responsible for the debt it seeks to collect. This can result in the dismissal of the lawsuit.
Expiration of the statute of limitations – The statute of limitations for debt collection lawsuits in California is four years from the date you allegedly defaulted on your loan. If a debt collection agency files a lawsuit after this date, the court will dismiss the case.
Payment of the Debt – If you can prove that you’ve already paid the debt in question in your debt collection lawsuit, your case will be dismissed. In fact, this is a valid defense even if you’ve paid the wrong party, such as the original creditor.
Bankruptcy – Finally, if a debt collection agency sues you over a debt that has been discharged as part of a bankruptcy filing, the court will dismiss the lawsuit.
Contact Our Experienced California Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense Attorney
If you have been sued by a debt collection agency, you need an experienced California debt collection lawsuit attorney on your side. At the Fullman Firm, we have over 40 years of combined experience protecting the rights of consumers just like you. We understand how debt collection agencies operate, and we understand how to effectively fight back. When you become our client, we will do everything we can to defend you against the debt collection agency and get you back on your feet. Contact us today to speak with one of our experienced consumer protection and credit defense attorneys.