If your credit card or other unsecured debt has led to creditors filing a lawsuit against you, you’re probably wondering how you can contest the charges and defend your interests. While you should certainly consult with a San Diego credit card lawsuit defense attorney regarding the specifics of your case, you can benefit from some general information on ways to defend a debt collection lawsuit.
Ways To Defend A Debt Collection Lawsuit
- File a proper response to the lawsuit. The first notice you receive about a debt collection lawsuit is likely to be the “Summons and Complaint,” which outlines the claims against you. It’s essential that you file a response to this document with the court. You want to avoid having a judgment against you automatically, which is known as a default judgment.
- Ask for proof of the debt. The plaintiff has to prove the allegations against you in order to win the case, so you should request that your creditor provide evidence of the claims. The plaintiff may not have the necessary proof, which may open the door for settlement.
- Determine whether the lawsuit complies with the Statute of Limitations. A creditor does not have an unlimited amount of time to initiate a lawsuit to collect a debt. In California, they must file the lawsuit within four years from the date the debt became due – a time period known as the Statute of Limitations. You can defend a debt collection lawsuit by showing that the plaintiff did not file the lawsuit within that amount of time.
- Contest improper service. There are certain requirements that the plaintiff must meet in terms of notifying you of the lawsuit. In general, you must be served with the Summons and Complaint by a police officer or other official at the place of your normal residence. If you were not, you may have a defense based on improper service.
- Fight the debt collection lawsuit with a counterclaim. You may have a claim against the plaintiff debt collector if they’ve acted in violation of the law, especially the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA allows you to recover attorneys’ fees and costs if the plaintiff does not comply with its provisions.
- Consider bankruptcy as a last resort. You might believe that bankruptcy is the only way out once a lawsuit is filed against you, but it’s important to realize that there are other options. It’s possible to negotiate with the plaintiff to settle the case, such as by paying a lump sum payment to eliminate the debt.
- Retain an attorney to handle your case. Consider hiring a lawyer to defend your interests in a debt collection lawsuit. These professionals have the knowledge to fight for your rights and possibly work out a settlement.
Credit Card Lawsuit Attorney In San Diego
A debt collection lawsuit can be a very complicated matter, especially if you don’t have a legal background in handling these types of cases. You do have certain rights and remedies under the law, so you’re at a disadvantage if you attempt to defend yourself against the charges made by aggressive creditors. It’s wise to consult with a credit card lawsuit attorney in San Diego to represent you and protect your interests.
Daniel R. Gamez, an attorney focusing exclusively in debt settlement, is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in California and Texas. Mr. Gamez owns and operates the Gamez Law Firm in La Jolla, CA. For more information, please contact Daniel Gamez at 858-217-5051, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit gamezlawfirm.com. Stay updated with the latest debt relief tips by following on Facebook and Twitter!