With inflation soaring, many of our neighbors in Cook County are struggling financially. Groceries, utilities, medical care, educational expenses—it all adds up. Adding to many people’s woes are periods of unemployment or stagnant wages. It’s no mystery that millions of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
Then one day, something happens to push someone over the financial edge. From my experience it’s typically a death, divorce, sickness or unemployment. The person tries to keep up with the bills but at some point, usually because of the high interest rates, it becomes overwhelming. Then a choice is made to pay the rent and buy food or pay the credit card company and their 24% interest.
After someone misses a payment to a bank or credit card company they typically either sue the person or sell the debt to a debt buyer who then sues the person. The people that successfully walk away from a lawsuit hired an experienced law firm.
If you are being sued by a debt collector, contact the Zero Debt Law firm for a free confidential strategy session to help you understand your options. We can then craft a game plan for fighting back. In the majority of cases, we get our client’s case dismissed with our client’s paying the debt collector $0.
We Have Helped Many Clients with Debt
Whether you’re being sued for a credit card debt or personal loan we can help.
Our experience is very detailed. We know all the tricks debt collectors use, as well as the weaknesses in their legal claims. We’ve helped hundreds of people in the Chicago area with their debt defense, and are available to help you, too.
What to Do If You Are Sued
When a debt collector sues, they file paperwork in court and send copies to you, probably hand-delivered to your home or place of work. You might not really understand the paperwork or even recognize the debt which is the basis of the suit.
Unfortunately, you can’t simply ignore the lawsuit. If you don’t respond, a judge can enter a default judgment against you. This is basically an automatic win for the debt collector, who can then move straight to freezing your bank accounts and pulling money out, order your employer to garnish your wages, or even put a lien on your home.
Once you receive the paperwork, we recommend the following steps:
Read it carefully. Find out the deadline for you to e-file an Appearance and Jury Demand.
Contact an experienced Cook County debt collection defense attorney. A lawyer can swing into action quickly to protect your rights. The sooner you do the more options you have.
Gather all documents you have, including collection letters, related to the debt. Many collectors sue on very old debts, so it’s not surprising if you have no documentation. But find what you have.
Document any communication you had with the debt collection agency. Did they send letters? Call you during the day or in the evening? Write down as much as you remember. At our firm, we will review the case to determine your odds of reaching a favorable outcome, such as a dismissal and paying the debt collector $0.
How We Get Cases Dismissed
The results we get for each client depends on many factors, such as the debt collector and the age of the debt. Sometimes, the debt collector doesn’t have adequate paperwork to show a debt really existed. This isn’t surprising. Many debts get sold from creditors to collection agencies, which don’t have the best paperwork retention.
Some debts are too old to sue on. Generally speaking, a creditor or debt collector can’t sue on a credit card debt past 5 years from the date you stopped paying.
Suing a Debt Collector for Abusive Collection Practices
We don’t stop at helping clients resolve debt collection lawsuit. We also hold collection agencies accountable for violating important federal laws related to debt collection. Under these laws, debt collectors can’t call you at unusual times or badger your family about the debt. They should also provide written documents supporting the existence of a valid debt. They also can’t contact you if you’re represented by a law firm. If a debt is disputed, they’re required to list the account as disputed on a credit report the next time they report to the credit bureaus.
When a debt collector violates the law, we can sue. We have recovered damages and attorney’s fees on behalf of hundreds of clients for these types of violations. Hold debt collectors accountable for their harassment so that they think twice before doing it again.