If you’re reading this, chances are that you have been sued by a company that you’ve never heard of, regarding an alleged credit card debt that you have no recollection of. These lawsuits are commonly filed by companies known as “junk debt” buyers. Examples include Midland Funding, Asset Acceptance, Portfolio Recovery, CACH, Mainstreet Acquisitions, and many, many more. These companies buy credit card accounts that have been written off by the original card company as bad debt. These third party companies buy these accounts in bulk for pennies on the dollar and then sue the debtor, hoping to collect the full amount of the debt or at least some portion of it.
Debt buyer lawsuits are often lacking in paperwork. In fact, the original credit card contract or debt agreement may be completely lost. Often, debt buyers are suing on little more than some transfer records when they purchased the alleged debt in bulk from the original creditor or another company. If the debt buyer doesn’t have the documentation to prove the debt, they will lose the lawsuit. However, most people either ignore the lawsuit or agree to pay the amount claimed, thinking that they have no defense to the suit. If a person ignores the lawsuit and doesn’t appear in court, the debt buyer obtains a judgment for the full amount claimed and can seek collection of the judgment through garnishment of wages, etc.
Therefore, it is important to act on the lawsuit and defend the case aggressively. Actually, the debt buyer companies are counting on you to ignore the lawsuit, as most people do. There are many reasons people ignore lawsuits and since they probably haven’t heard of these companies when they are sued, they may even be hoping that the lawsuit somehow must not apply to them. But ignoring a lawsuit in Florida has grave consequences. They can and will get a default judgment against you, which allows them to garnish wages and bank accounts. And the judgment amount will include interest, late fees, attorney’s fees, costs, etc. Once a judgment is issued, your options are pretty bleak. But before a judgment is issued, you have several options.
If you’ve been sued by one of these third party debt buyer companies, you should retain a lawyer with the knowledge, experience and passion to aggressively defend these types of lawsuits. Our firm can perform a comprehensive analysis for each case we handle to determine all possible defenses – then we use these defenses to protect our clients. This may mean filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit completely. If a lawsuit is dismissed on a motion, you may end up not having to pay anything. Even if it turns out you owe part or all of the alleged debt, we are skilled at negotiating settlements for a fraction of the debt amount allegedly owed. A settlement like that will allow you to move on with your life without the debt and the lawsuit will be dismissed. We make sure there is a solid settlement agreement in place so that you can’t be sued again.
We provide a free consultation for you to come in and discuss the situation with an attorney. During the consultation, you will learn about your options and get your questions answered. We offer a very reasonable and affordable flat fee. This means you won’t pay hourly rates like other law firms.
If you’ve been sued by a third party debt buyer company, don’t delay. Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your case. Smith & Vanture Firm can be reached at (561) 684-6330, toll free at (800) 443-4529 or online at www.SmithVanture.com