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A debt collection defense attorney can help you understand your rights
When a debt collector comes after you, it can be a scary experience. You might have forgotten about the debt entirely or hoped that it would never come back to haunt you. But when a creditor attempts to collect on their debt, or even worse, sues you, it may be time to contact a defense attorney.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether or not to hire a defense attorney when facing a lawsuit from a creditor. The best way to determine if you need legal representation is to research the strength of the creditor’s case against you and how much it would cost to defend yourself in court.
If you are not able to hire a defense attorney, you may still want to consult with one. This can help you understand your case and what the best course of action would be.
Consider Your Options When Being Sued For Debt
- If you don’t respond to a debt collector, the creditor can get a default judgment against you. This means that they can sue you and try to collect the money you owe them.
- If you are sued by a creditor, you have the right to defend yourself in court. You may be able to prove that the creditor has no legal claim against you.
- Hire an attorney to represent you in the lawsuit.
Decide if You Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney
If you are in debt and facing collection, you may be wondering if you need to hire a debt collection defense attorney. Below are some questions to ask yourself that may help you decide.
Do You Owe the Money?
If you are being contacted by a debt collector and you believe that you do owe the debt, hiring a lawyer may not be your best option.
If you do not have a valid defense against the creditor’s claims, and the creditor can prove their case against you, then you will lose. This will not only mean paying the judgment amount (your debt), but also additional fees for the attorney. In some cases, you may even need to pay the debt collectors to evaluate the Cost of Hiring an Attorney vs. the Cost of Your Debt attorney fees as well.
Do You Have a Valid Defense?
Having a defense against a debt means that you have found a reason why you aren’t liable for the payment. This could be because the creditor legally should not be allowed to collect the debt, or because you have a good defense against the claim. If you believe you have a strong case, it may be worth contacting a lawyer for help.
Common defenses to debt collection lawsuits include:
The statute of limitations: It protects debtors from having to repay debts that are too old. The creditor has a limited amount of time, typically 4-6 years, to bring a lawsuit. If the statute of limitations has expired in your state, then the debtor is no longer legally obligated to repay the debt.
Improper filing: If the debt collector sues you in the wrong court, your case will be thrown out.
Lack of evidence: If you are being sued by a creditor, but they cannot provide original documentation or other forms of proof that you actually owe the debt, you have a strong defense against the lawsuit.
Do You Have a Counterclaim?
If you are considering whether or not to hire a lawyer, another factor that may influence your decision is whether or not you have a strong counterclaim. A counterclaim is a claim made against the creditor, typically alleging that the creditor has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
If you are being harassed by a debt collector, there are various laws that prohibit this behavior. By filing a counterclaim, you may be able to receive a monetary judgment that can either pay off the debt or convince the debt collector to withdraw the lawsuit against you.
Hiring an Attorney vs. the Cost of Your Debt
Hiring an attorney can be a difficult decision, especially when you are already struggling with debt. You want to make sure that you are getting the best possible defense, but you also do not want to add to your financial burdens. Ask yourself if the amount of the debt is worth hiring an attorney. You may not need an attorney to defend you over a small debt because you might end up owing more in legal fees than the debt would cost if you had paid it.
If you’re in debt, the last thing you want is for your creditor to obtain a judgment against you. This not only means you’ll have to pay off your debt, but also the debt collector’s legal fees, court costs, and interest. To avoid this, it’s important to stay on top of your payments and communicate with your creditors.
There are many factors to consider before hiring a lawyer, especially if you are in debt. You must first evaluate your situation and decide if legal representation is the best option for you.