Dedicated Bradenton Debt Collection Defense Attorney
If you are sued by a debt collector, the worst thing you can do is ignore the problem and not appear in court. The lawsuit will not go away. If you do not appear in court, you are allowing the debt collector to win "by default" and the collector will likely get a Judgment against you. A Judgment could follow you for up to 20 years and will negatively affect your credit report for 7 years or longer. It will be difficult if not impossible for you to purchase a home while the judgment exists. With a Judgment the collector could:
- Garnish your wages
- Take money from your bank account
- Place a lien on your house
- Take property you have or acquire such a a car
A Judgment Could Haunt You For 20 Years
If you think "I don't need to worry about this because I don't have any wages, money, a car or a house," PLEASE think again. Do you hope to have these things in the next 20 years?
It is much easier to defend or settle the case before a judgment. A judgment can only be set aside under very limited circumstances. And once the creditor gets a judgment, they don't warn you before they freeze your accounts, start garnishment proceedings or place a lien on your house or car.
Talk to an Experienced Bradenton Debt Collection Defense Attorney About Your Case for Free
At The Holland Law Group, we focus our practice on helping people with debt problems. We offer a free consultation with an experienced debt defense attorney. When you call or contact us you will either speak immediately to David, or his legal assistant Ashley will schedule a time for me to call you back at your convenience. We take calls until 7pm on weekdays (sometimes later) and 9-1 on Saturdays. If you prefer, you can meet in person with David to discuss your case during regular business hours at our main office in Bradenton or by appointment in Sarasota or Port Charlotte. During your free consultation David will discuss with you:
- What to expect in court and what will happen if you don't appear
- Legal defenses you may have to the Lawsuit
- Is the debt yours?
- Is the amount correct?
- Has the collector violated State or Federal law with aggressive, deceptive or unfair actions? If so you may be entitled to money damages, and the collector may have to pay your costs to defend the case.
- Has the statute of limitations run? (Is the debt too old to legally sue you?)
- Is it the original creditor or a "junk debt buyer" such as Midland Funding, Cavalry, Cach or Portfolio Associates that is suing you? (Learn more about junk debt buyers)
- Does the debt collector have the paperwork to prove they have the right to collect the debt? The amount of the debt?
- The possibility of negotiating a settlement for less than the amount of the Lawsuit
- The possibility of discharging this and other debt through bankruptcy to get a "fresh start" (Learn more about Bankruptcy)
Steps To Take If You Receive Written Notification Of A Debt Collection Lawsuit
Take the following actions immediately:
- Find out who is suing you. This party is listed as the "Plaintiff" in the Complaint. Is this party a credit card company, or is it a debt collection agency who bought the debt from the original creditor?
- Find out who is listed as the "Defendant." If it isn't you, you were probably sent the Complaint by mistake.
- Find out which lawyer or law firm is representing the plaintiff. This should appear on the Complaint at the bottom.
- Find out how much you are being sued for. This amount should appear in the body of the Complaint.
- Collect all documents you have access to regarding the debt: your credit card agreement, credit card statements, bank statements, correspondence. Anything relevant might be useful.
- Gather together copies of your recent tax returns and evidence of your income. Any proof that you lack the means to pay can be used to help you negotiate a settlement for pennies on the dollar.
- Contact a qualified Florida credit card debt defense lawyer to schedule an initial consultation!
- Do not contact the plaintiff yourself. If the plaintiff attempts to contact you, refer him to your lawyer. Do not answer any questions or make any statements – these can be used against you in court, and believe me, debt collectors are full of tricks
- Show up for your hearing! Bring your lawyer with you. Although all is not necessarily lost if you don't show up, a default judgment will be entered against you under the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, and that will be an additional obstacle you will have to overcome.
Contact Us Today!
At the Holland Law Group we focus on Consumer Bankruptcy and Debt Defense. We proudly serve Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties. We offer free phone or in-office consultations in Bradenton, Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch and Port Charlotte. Contact us through the form on this page or call us at (941) 744-5450 to speak with an experienced bankruptcy and debt defense attorney today. We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.