Zwicker & Associates is a law firm and collection agency that buys consumer debt from major credit card companies. Being chased by a debt collector is stressful enough, and even more so when the company is also a law firm. However, debtors have several rights that protect them. And one of those is the right to hire a dedicated debt settlement attorney.
The Fullman Firm helps indebted consumers resolve their balances so they can move on with their lives. You owe it to yourself to discuss your legal options with us today.
The Facts About Zwicker & Associates and Debt Settlement
Zwicker & Associates purchases delinquent consumer debt accounts from major corporations such as American Express. It’s not common knowledge that Zwicker is a law firm, but that doesn’t keep them from employing aggressive and even harassing tactics against debt holders. Since the company is a law firm, you can expect them to take legal action if you don’t settle your debt with them.
Buying up bad debt is a common practice. After a debtor defaults on a credit card, the company that originally owns the account will do what they can to collect. This often includes hiring collection agencies to go after the debtor. If the debtor refuses to pay, or cannot pay, the original creditor will do a charge off. That doesn’t mean they wipe out the balance, but rather that the account will be sold to a debt buyer. That’s where companies like Zwicker come into the picture.
What Are My Rights Against Zwicker?
Just because Zwicker is a law firm doesn’t mean they can do whatever they want. Some consumers are intimidated by calls from companies they know to be run by lawyers. However, like any other debt collection company, Zwicker is legally obligated to abide by the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA.
This law is designed to protect debtors from abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection tactics. Under the FDCPA, you have the right to verify that the debt is yours. This is an important right. Clerical errors, outdated files, mixed-up accounts, and identity theft cause many consumers to pay debts they don’t even owe.
A collection agency like Zwicker is required to provide you with such information as:
- The name of the creditor
- The amount of debt
- A statement informing you that you have 30 days to dispute the debt
- Upon request, the name and address of the original creditor
Zwicker cannot engage in such abusive practices as calling too early in the morning or too late at night. The company also has to suspend collection activities if you dispute the debt. If you believe you’ve been a victim of abusive debt collection practices, a debt settlement attorney can help.
I Owe The Debt; Now What?
Let’s assume you do owe the debt that Zwicker says you do, and that they follow the FDCPA in their collection activities. Now what? As mentioned above, there’s a good chance Zwicker will ultimately take action against you by filing a lawsuit. This can make the debt situation more complicated.
The company will file a summons and complaint. The summons orders you to respond to the lawsuit and the complaint details the allegations against you. That means Zwicker will spell out how much they claim you owe, and provide other details such as your identity and how far behind on the debt you are. After being served with the lawsuit, you will have 30 days to file an answer.
You can assert any legal defenses you may have to the lawsuit in your answer. As an example, if Zwicker has incorrectly stated the balance of the debt, you can say how much you owe. But you should know that if you legitimately owe the money, there isn’t much you can do. Refusing to answer the complaint also won’t help, since the company can simply get a default judgment against you.
Zwicker is likely to obtain a judgment against you either way. If you go to court to try to plead your case, the judge is obligated to follow the law and will almost certainly rule for the company. The judgment amount will likely contain court costs, attorney’s costs, fees, and interest on top of whatever you owe.
What Can Zwicker & Associates Do With A Court Judgment?
The court judgment, either through default or through having a hearing, will open the door for Zwicker to take direct action to get money from you. They can use it to seize funds from your bank account, garnish your wages, place a lien on your property, and more. Zwicker can use the judgment until it collects what the court says you owe.
How Might Debt Settlement Help with Zwicker & Associates?
All of that might sound like Zwicker has you cornered. Fortunately, there’s another option, known as debt settlement. Whether Zwicker has already filed a lawsuit and gotten their judgment, or they’ve only begun collection efforts against you, it’s possible to settle your balance for less than what you owe.
When Zwicker purchases bad debts, they know they won’t be able to collect everything owed to them. Many consumers are insolvent or can’t be traced. There are even cases where the debtor passed away and no one bothered to tell the creditor. Zwicker buys debts for less than they’re worth because of the difficulty of getting their money. On top of that, sending letters, making phone calls, and filing lawsuits costs money. This gives the debtor a potential advantage.
Zwicker and other debt collection companies would rather make something on the account than nothing. This makes them willing, in many cases, to accept a debt settlement. It will likely take time to work out a favorable debt settlement, which is where having a skilled attorney helps. Our team can negotiate a settlement that pays Zwicker off and gets them out of your life.
The Fullman Firm Can Help
Debt is stressful, and it doesn’t get easier with time. Companies like Zwicker will take aggressive action to get their money. If you’re tired of the phone calls, collection letters, and harassment, let us help you put your debt behind you. Call us today to get started.