How To Beat Collection Agencies In Court
Thousands of consumers across the country get sued by many of the same debt collectors. Beating a debt collection lawsuit is a lot more achievable than many people think. Regular people who don’t have the assistance of an attorney can beat debt collectors in court on their own. Simply issuing a summons and complaint will not prove anything. All of the documents must be proven true by the collection agency as evidence that the defendant actually did something wrong. So many times these credit card lawsuits will contain errors. The errors just have to be caught and pointed out to the court and the judge.
The 4 Main Ways Collection Agencies Collect Debts
There are four methods that collection agencies use to collect debt:
- Direct contact.
- Reporting the debt to credit reporting bureaus.
- Suing for the debt.
The least used method is suing for the debt because of the cost and time consumed. However, we will focus on this method because many consumers need to know what defenses are effective for going up against these collectors in court after having received a summons. Letters and direct contact are the most often used methods and can be quite successful. These collection agencies use the threat of bad credit if a continuous stream of phone calls and letters do not yield results. They even use pre-recorded call messages and form letters in order to save on costs as well as the need for employees. By doing so a collection agency is able to manage its efforts of collecting money from even more accounts.
How To Stop Harassment and Being Contacted From A Debt Collector
Should one decides that he does not want the debt collector contacting him again, the consumer can tell them in writing. There are a few things one must do to when mailing the letter:
- Make a copy of the letter requesting the debt collector to cease contact.
- Send the original letter via certified mail.
- Pay for a return receipt in order to document when the letter was received by the collector.
Sending a letter to the debt collector does not necessarily get rid of the debt, but it should stop the contact. Once the debt collector receives the letter, they may or may not continue to make contact. There are two reasons why a debt collector can still contact a person after it has been requested that they stop. One reason is that a collector can contact a person to tell them there will be no further contact. The other reason is that the creditor will be filing a debt lawsuit or taking a specific action. The debt collector can still sue someone to attempt to collect debt. The person just needs to know how to properly respond to such a lawsuit and be prepared to find out if the court complaint is even valid. It is so important for a person to respond if he or she receives a summons from a debt collector.
Many attorneys acting in behalf of debt collectors believe that the regular person has no idea what to do when they see the court summons and complaint. Most people are unaware that the plaintiff must prove a number of things in the court of law in order for the credit card case to even be valid. They become intimidated and sometimes ignore the summons, not even attempting to fight back. This is exactly what debt collectors want. Creditors are going after people who they believe won’t try to answer the summons or are too scared to respond. When the defendant ignores the summons, the creditor wins by default. That’s it. By doing this the consumer is basically handing a win over to the creditor or collection agency.
Great Chance at Beating Collection Attorneys
Defendants must keep in mind that just because a company files a lawsuit against them does not mean that they will win. Receiving a credit card summons can be nerve-wrecking, but the U.S. legal system protects the defendant just as much as it does the plaintiff. The creditor (plaintiff) is the one who initiated the lawsuit, and is also the one claiming that the defendant owes money so it is up to them to prove everything. Collection attorneys want a default judgment because they assume the defendant is unable to pay his credit card bill, has money for a lawyer and isn’t smart enough to fight back. The chances of the creditor proving everything is very slim so regular consumers should really try to fight back.
Dealing with Debt Collectors and Old Debt
Debt collectors purchase old debt with the intention of getting a default judgment. After a default judgment is awarded against a defendant, the debt collectors then freeze their bank accounts and garnish their wages. Old debt is purchased by debt collectors with hundreds and sometimes thousands of other defaulted credit card accounts. All of these accounts are bought together by the debt collector as opposed to one by one. A debt collector may claim that a person owes them a large amount of money. However, the defendant owes money to the bank where the account was opened, not to the debt collectors. Debt collectors cannot just claim a person owes them money and then get it. The only way a debt collector can sue a person and receive the money without proving anything is if the defendant avoids answering their summons.
Remember, debt collectors aren’t buying old credit card accounts for the same amount they are suing a consumer for. They don’t make sure that all the documents required to prove the debt and the account are in tact with the bill of sale. Debt collectors buy these accounts in bulk for pennies on the dollar. When they win the lawsuit, they make thousands of dollars per account. This is why debt collection is such a lucrative business.
Defendants who are willing to fight their credit card lawsuit and go up against these junk debt buyers don’t have to contribute to this business though. Just because the debt collectors win hundreds of cases, taking people’s money on a weekly basis does not mean they are entitled to that money and have to continue winning. Most of those wins are illegitimate anyway. If more people would simply attempt to learn the process and respond to their summons, there would be fewer cases of innocent people being taken advantage of and more victories for those who deserve it.