#1 Best Free Tip If Sued by Debt Collectors

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Fight back if you are being sued by debt collectors.

Are you being sued by debt collector? You're not alone.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit, any number of emotions may surface. Shock. Fear. Panic. Distress. Anger. Numbness. Hopelessness. Maybe some combination of all these. Whatever you may feel, the one question you are almost certainly asking as you hold that accusatory piece of paper in your hand is this: What do I do now?

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The worst thing you can do against a lawsuit is nothing.

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Original Creditors and Third-Party Debt buyers rely on defendants doing nothing. Very often, these creditors do not have the documentation necessary to win their case, or even show that they have the right to sue you to begin with. They are counting on you to ignore their claims or agree to whatever terms they push for. If you have been sued by debt collectors, contact us today and find out how we have saved our clients millions in debt.

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Sued by Debt Collector

Sued by Credit Card Companies

Pennsylvania law requires that original creditors must prove their claims by offering thorough documentation proving the exact terms of the agreement between you and them, any changes in those terms while the account existed, and how they calculated the exact amount they're claiming you owe.
  • Discover Bank
  • Bank of America
  • Citibank
  • Capital One Bank
  • American Express National Bank
  • Synchrony Bank
  • TD Bank

Sued by Third-Party Debt Buyers

Not only does a Third-Party Debt Buyer have to prove everything an original creditor does, but they also have the burden to prove that they have the legal right to sue you to begin with. Often times, they lack this documentation, and thus cannot make their case.
  • LVNV Funding
  • Midland Credit Management
  • Midland Funding
  • Cavalry SPV I
  • Crown Asset Management
  • Portfolio Recovery Associates
  • Second Round, LP

Your Fear is Their Advantage.

When you first receive litigation paperwork, your first instinct may be to just call up the creditor – or, at this point, the creditor’s attorney – and pay what they’re saying you owe. You just want to make everything go away, to make that awful combination of emotions stop. To ease that pit in your stomach, to know that you’ll be able to sleep through the night at long last. To feel Ok again. So, you pick up the phone and open your wallet.

Or maybe you do nothing. You stash the Complaint away in a drawer, or in the pile of junk mail you will someday get around to sorting through. You realize, on some level, that ignoring the Complaint won’t make it disappear – they tell you as much in the Complaint itself – but, again, you just want to feel Ok, and the more you think about this lawsuit, the less Ok you feel.

Let me take off my attorney’s hat for a second and give you whatever comfort this may provide: It’s Ok to not feel Ok. Being on the receiving end of a lawsuit is a frightening experience.   

Feeling overwhelmed is entirely normal. It’s natural. It’s human…and it is exactly what creditors are counting on.

They are counting on the fact that you may be scared into paying whatever number they’ve come up with. They’re counting on the fact that you may choose to simply not appear at the scheduled hearing. They’re counting on your fear to do their work for them.

Chances are good that the Plaintiff suing you isn’t anyone with whom you’ve ever done business. Instead, they are likely to be a Third-Party Debt Buyers. These companies purchase debt accounts from original creditors, often in bulk (meaning hundreds or thousands of files in one transaction), typically for pennies on the dollar. They then turn around and attempt to collect on the full amount of the account, bringing hundreds of lawsuits in the process. It’s simple math: Purchase a debt for $5.00, collect $1,000.00, and you’re up $995.00!

Here’s the thing: The simple fact is that a Plaintiff bears the burden of proof in establishing each element of their claim against a Defendant. Among the most rudimentary elements of any claim being made is that the Plaintiff has the legal right to do so. So a Plaintiff must either show that you owe them money directly, or that they purchased your account – and thus, the right to sue – from that company.

Why does this matter? Because very often, Third-Party Debt Buyers do not have the documentation necessary to show that they have the right to sue you. So, right at the outset, a Defendant can deal an often-fatal blow to the Plaintiff’s claims, provided the Defendant’s attorney knows how deliver it. That is where I come in.

For Original Creditors, the approach is a little different, but a Defendant still has robust and effective defenses against an Original Creditor lawsuit. Specifically, while an Original Creditor may be able to show they have the legal right to initiate the lawsuit (though with banks frequently purchasing each other, this is not a given), they still must show another basic fact: That you owe the exact amount they’re claiming you owe.

How do they do this? Again, documentation. Do they have it? Again, probably not, at least not in the initial Complaint they file. Keep in mind that creditors’ law firms, whether representing Third-Party Debt Buyers or Original Creditors, operate on the “Default Judgment” business model.

As I mentioned earlier, they are counting on you doing nothing…so they do as little as they can get away with.

A Plaintiff doesn’t have to prove their entire case when they file a lawsuit, but the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure and Pennsylvania case law have set forth certain requirements that a creditor must meet before a Complaint is considered valid enough to move forward. However, enforcement of these rules is not automatic.

A Defendant must assert – and prove – that a creditor’s Complaint is defective…and because creditors never anticipate a Defendant responding, they are vulnerable when they do. Creditors’ Complaints are almost always skeletal, threadbare documents, containing maybe a single monthly statement and maybe a boilerplate cardmember agreement that they pulled from the company servers. Or not. I’ve seen Complaints that had not a single syllable of supporting documentation.

Pennsylvania law frowns on this, and the Courts will often dismiss bad Complaints and require the Plaintiff to rewrite the Complaint (called an “Amended Complaint”) that is in compliance with the law. If they can’t – or don’t – the Defendant can go on offense.             

If you have been sued by debt collectors, whether a Third-Party Debt Buyer or an Original Creditor, please call me. I don’t charge a fee for initial consultations. The worst thing you can do right now is nothing. That’s what they want. You have defenses…use them!         

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Attorney At Law

William P. Harrington, Jr. ESQ.

(484) 459-5075
(610) 383-0388
About Our Law Offices
Located in Lancaster County, our office serves clients throughout Southcentral and Southeastern Pennsylvania. In many cases, we can effectively represent clients anywhere in the state. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.
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