If you are being sued by a debt collector in California, don’t go at it alone. Turn to the Fullman Firm instead. Our experienced debt collection lawsuit defense lawyers will fight to protect your rights. Although you may think you cannot afford an attorney, we offer flat-fee rates and affordable payment plans.
Once you decide to work with us, we will take the time to explain all your rights and then choose the best line of defense. We truly understand that a debt collection lawsuit can seem overwhelming. Our dedicated credit defense attorneys will use their knowledge and skills to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
I Just Received Legal Papers From a Debt Collector. What Should I Do?
When you default on a credit card payment or other debt such as an auto loan, the creditor can file a lawsuit in court seeking to collect payment. Generally, a lawsuit starts with a summons and complaint. Once you receive these legal papers, you only have 30 days to respond. For this reason, it is very important to contact the Fullman Firm right away.
If you do not respond to the lawsuit, the court may enter a default judgment against you. When this happens, the creditor can take a number of steps. These include garnishing your wages, seizing your bank accounts, and placing a lien on your property. The sooner you get in touch with our office, the sooner we can help. We have successfully defended many clients against big banks, credit card companies, and debt collection agencies.
You should know that if your debt has been sold to a collection agency, you have no choice but to deal with the agency. At the same time, state and federal laws protect you in a number of ways. Debt collectors cannot threaten you with violence or harass you in other ways. In addition, they can only call during certain hours of the day and cannot call you at work without your permission. Regardless of the reasons for your debt problems, you don’t have to put up with abuse. Our credit defense attorneys know how to stop debtor harassment.
How Our California Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense Attorneys Can Help
In a debt collection lawsuit, the creditor or debt collector, known as the “plaintiff” must be able to prove its case. The debt collection lawyers at Fullman Firm have the skills to raise a number of defenses. These include:
- Missing paperwork — A debt collector must have paperwork that verifies the agreement between you and the original creditor. If the debt is for a credit card, for example, this paperwork might be the original cardmember agreement, copies of prior statements, and payment records. If the debt collector does not have these documents, it may be possible to have the case dismissed.
- No Standing to Sue — Standing is simply a legal term which means that the debt collector must have a legal interest in the case. In other words, the debt collector must be able to prove that it owns the debt. This requires providing the court with documents, such as a purchase contract or an “assignment” between the original creditor and the debt collector. If the debt collector does not have these documents or if they contain errors, we may be able to win your case.
- Inaccurate credit and billing histories — Debt collectors typically purchase debts from original creditors “as is.” If your payments have not been properly credited, or the debt collectors do not have up-to-date billing statements, they may not be able to prove that the debt belongs to you.
- The statute of limitations has expired — In California, most creditors must file a debt collection lawsuit within four years of the date you defaulted. If they don’t file a lawsuit in time, the case will be dismissed.
- Lack of evidence — Because the debt collector typically must rely on documents of the original creditor to prove its case, the documents presented as evidence may not be accepted by the court and the case may be dismissed.
In addition, there may be other reasons you don’t owe the debt. As an example, the credit card debts may be a family member’s, or the debts may have been discharged in bankruptcy. You may also have a valid defense if you were the victim of identity theft. This occurs when someone steals your personal information from your mailbox or online and opens credit cards in your name. In any case, the best way to protect your rights is to work with an experienced credit defense attorney.
Contact Our Experienced California Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense Attorney
A debt collection lawsuit is a serious matter and failing to respond to it will have lasting repercussions. In addition to the aggressive actions, debt collection agencies can take if they win a default judgment, your credit rating will be damaged. This can make it difficult to borrow money or refinance your home in the future. With so much at stake, it is crucial to have a credit defense attorney in your corner.
At the Fullman Firm, we have over 40 years of combined experience protecting the rights of consumers. We understand the tactics that debt collection agencies use, and we know how to fight back. When you become our client, we will explore all your options and work to help you get back on our feet. Debt relief is just a phone call away. Contact our office today to speak with our experienced consumer protection and credit defense attorneys.