Credit Card Lawsuit Defense Preparation

It’s an understatement to say that being served with a court summons from a credit card company is an extremely distressing experience. Years may have passed since you missed a credit card payment and you may have forgotten all about that particular card. However, you now are grasping a court summons and you are feeling completely overwhelmed by the prospect of a lawsuit. If this is your first summons, you may feel utterly confused and daunted.

However, don’t buckle under the pressure and give-up before you’ve even started. It is far from decided that the credit card company will win their case against you. In fact, if you prepare well, you have an excellent chance that you can fight this case and win.

To begin with, don’t panic! When you first receive the summons, it’s understandable to feel frightened and unnerved but don’t rush into anything. Make sure you prepare yourself by following the advice you find on this site as well as in The Defendant’s Package.


Don’t Ignore it! Decide to Fight!

Just because it has been several years since you missed those payments, don’t think that if you ignore the summons that it will go away and everything will be OK. In fact, if you do ignore the summons, the credit card company will automatically win, get a default judgment against you and you will be expected to pay the full amount they are demanding.

Even though it seems an extremely daunting task, decide to fight this lawsuit. You can even do this and win even without a lawyer. The Defendant’s Package has helped many do just that.


Educate Yourself

Check your state requirements and the FDCPA (The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) and educate yourself regarding what the credit card company is permitted to do. For example, they have the right to sue you but any type of harassment is prohibited. If the company has ever been in violation of your state rules in their dealings with you, you can use this as cause to dismiss the case.

You also need to verify what your state requires of you throughout the process, so study your local court rules very carefully.


Study the Summons

Read your summons carefully and make note of any instructions, dates and deadlines. You must follow these exactly as they are stated. The Defendant’s Package will also tell you what other things you need to look for.

Deadlines – find and note down how much time you have to respond to the summons. You normally have between 20-30 days to file your answer. Don’t miss that deadline or the credit card company can receive a default judgment against you.


Check What’s Needed

Now it’s time to prepare your case and check exactly what you’ve got and whether it’s enough for the credit card company to sue you and win. You will probably be surprised to hear that the majority of companies who sue DO NOT have the necessary paper work but still win. How? Because ordinary Mr John Doe doesn’t know what’s needed and is so freaked out by the summons, that he doesn’t take any time to check whether the credit card company or junk debt buyer actually have what they should have. He assumes that these companies wouldn’t lie or try to mislead anyone. That’s the biggest mistake he, or anyone can make. As a result, Mr Doe ends up paying out a highly inflated amount by settling or loses the case in court, costing him even more in fees.

Don’t assume anything! These companies are, in fact, highly experienced and skilled in deceiving innocent customers.


Statute of Limitations

This is the first thing you need to check. A statute of limitations is the deadline for filing a lawsuit. The majority of lawsuits must be filed within a given amount of time before it ‘runs out’. Once it has run out the claim is no longer valid and cannot be filed for.

The statute of limitations varies from state to state, from anything from 3 years up. This clock generally starts ticking from the time you first default on a payment. So, your first task is to check and see if your Statute of Limitations is in date. If it has run out, you still need to answer your summons. The Defendant’s Package explains how you raise ‘Affirmative Defenses’ in your answer which could lead to a dismissal of the case.


Affidavit

Did your Summons complaint have an Affidavit (a sworn statement) attached to it? This is necessary as it validates the complaint. However, you need to check to see who signed it. Is it an employee from the original creditor? Or, more likely, is it someone from the junk debt buying firm? If it’s the latter, then you could have cause to submit a Motion to strike as hearsay, as a signature from the junk debt buyer is not real proof. This signee was not present when the contract was first authorized and therefore cannot swear that the information in the summons is true.

Check your local rules for what to do in the event that there was no Affidavit or it’s not signed by the original credit card company.


Discovery

By filing for discovery, you’re insisting that the company provide you with all of the documentation proving that you owe the amount they are requesting. If they cannot, or simply if they don’t, you win. The Defendant’s Package guides you through how to file discovery successfully.


In Court

If you follow this and The Defendant’s Package, it probably won’t even get that far. But, if it does, it but it’s vital that you arrive at court on time, smartly dressed and with all of your paper work. Make several copies of any documents, statements or certificates to give to the judge. Remember to speak clearly and confidently.

You have every right to fight this case and you can win!

To get The Defendant’s Package click here.