If you’ve been sued for a debt, there is a good chance that the company that filed the lawsuit isn’t the creditor from which you incurred the debt. If this is the case, you’ve been sued by a debt buyer. Fortunately, there are several common defenses to debt buyer lawsuits that you may be able to assert in your debt collection lawsuit.
What Is a Debt Buyer?
A debt buyer is a company that purchases large numbers of debts from creditors. Debt buyers purchase debts cheaply. Therefore, they make a profit even if they only collect a fraction of the debts they buy. When a debt buyer purchases a debt, the original creditor no longer has any legal interest in the debt. A common way that debt buyers try to collect debts is by filing lawsuits.
If you’ve been sued by a debt buyer, you may have several defenses available to assert in your case. Common defenses to debt buyer lawsuits include:
Missing Paperwork: A debt buyer is required to submit paperwork to the court demonstrating the agreement between the debtor and the original creditor. In many cases, debt buyers don’t have this paperwork, and they aren’t able to obtain it.
Lack of Standing: “Standing” means that a person or business has a legal interest in a lawsuit. In a debt collection lawsuit, it means that a debt buyer must prove that it owns the debt it is suing to collect. Since debt buyers don’t enter into contract with debtors, the only way that a debt buyer can demonstrate standing is by proving that the original creditor sold or assigned it the debt. However, debt buyers are often unable to do this.
Incomplete or Inaccurate Credit and Billing Histories: When a debt buyer purchases a debt from an original creditor, it doesn’t know if the original creditor properly credited the payments. Debt buyers also often lack documents or billing statements demonstrating when a consumer incurred a debt.
Deadline for Filing Has Passed: The statute of limitations is the period within which a party must file a lawsuit. In California, the statute of limitations for most types of debt is four years. If a debt buyer misses this deadline, it can no longer file a lawsuit to recover the debt.
Contact a California Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense Attorney
If you’ve been sued by a debt buyer in California, you should have an experienced debt collection lawsuit attorney in your corner. At the Fullman Firm, we have nearly fifty years of combined experience protecting the rights of consumers. We understand that debt buyers routinely use unethical tactics to harass and intimidate consumers, and we take pride in ensuring that they are held accountable for their actions. When you come to us for assistance with your debt collection lawsuit, we will explore all available options and work with you to develop an effective strategy for your case. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.