As a result of Covid-19, many people have lost their jobs or have taken significant pay cuts. This economic turmoil has also led to an increase in loan defaults, leaving borrowers at risk of debt collection agencies and law firms.
One way to defend yourself against a debt lawsuit is to understand your rights. Knowing how to navigate these legal proceedings is critical in order to protect yourself from unfair treatment.
Here are some key things to keep in mind:
You have a right to be notified of any lawsuit in writing. This notice must come from either the court or the person suing you and must state what you are being sued for and how much money is owed.
What is Michael J Adams PC?
Michael J Adams PC is a law firm that helps creditors collect a debt. The firm is based in San Antonio, Texas, and has a team of experienced lawyers that work diligently to get results for their clients.
Michael J Adams PC has represented some of the biggest names in the industry, including GE Money Bank, Try Capital LLC, and American Express Bank.
Respond to The Lawsuit As Soon As Possible
Many debtors make the mistake of ignoring a summons and complaint. However, it is crucial to respond to allegations, whether you actually owe a debt or have been sued in error.
You must file a response with the clerk of court within 20-30 days. You can respond to a lawsuit in one of two ways: by filing an answer or by filing a notice of appearance.
Answer The Allegations
A response to a complaint is typically in the form of a written statement that either denies, admits, or claims a lack of knowledge concerning the allegations made by the plaintiff. In some cases, it may be beneficial to admit to certain statements even though you disagree with them.
For instance, admitting to being unsure about the amount owed or the account number listed for the credit card number shows that you are willing to work with the plaintiff to rectify the situation.
It is important to respond to a court summons in a timely manner to protect your legal rights and ensure you are kept abreast of future proceedings.
Be sure to send a copy of your response to the other party involved and keep a copy for yourself.
Require a Hearing by Filing a Notice of Appearance
It is important to respond to any legal summons that you receive, and one way to do this is by filing what is called a “Notice of Appearance.” This simply tells the court that you plan to attend any hearings related to the case.
Failing to do this could result in what is called “default judgment,” which would be decided without your input.
Request Proof of Debt Owed
Different creditors have different policies when it comes to debt collection. In some cases, the original creditor may still hold onto the debtor’s account even after enlisting the help of a debt collection law firm. However, in most cases, the creditor will transfer the account to the debt collection agency.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and state debt collection statutes require that a debt collector or collection law firm must attach proof of assignment to the complaint when suing a debtor. This means that the collector must have a written contract or agreement from the creditor indicating that they have been assigned to collect on the debt. Without this documentation, the collector may not be able to sue the debtor.
Debt collection can be a tricky process, especially when you don’t have all the necessary documentation. In these cases, you can either ask the court to dismiss the case or require the debt collection firm to provide the missing documentation. This is called requesting a more definite statement.
It’s important to note that you must request that the firm’s representative send proof of the debt within 30 days of receiving the initial written notice. Once the law firm gets your letter, it must stop any debt collection activity and provide the requested proof.
Debt collectors may seem relentless, but there are actually laws in place to protect consumers. For example, a debt collection firm can only sue for payment on debt within a certain time frame. Once this time period has lapsed, they can no longer sue or contact you for payment.
The best way to deal with a debt collection firm that is demanding payment without providing proof of assignment is to file a counterclaim in court. Some states allow debtors to sue creditors for damages when they fail to verify the debt, and these lawsuits can be successful.
You may be able to receive $1,000 for every lawsuit, as well as compensation for court costs, attorney fees, and damages.
Michael J Adams PC Can Be Beaten With the Right Defense
Paid The Debt in Part or Full as a Defense
Paying your debts in full or in part is a great defense against any debt collection lawsuit. Even if you’ve paid someone else, like the original creditor, after your name has been sent to Michael J Adams PC, it’s still a valid defense.
As long as the creditor hasn’t told the law firm and you get sued, you can claim payment as a defense. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the full amount or not.
Identity Theft or Mistaken Identity as a Defense
Have you ever been sued for a debt that wasn’t yours? Or had someone steal your identity and open up credit accounts in your name? These are both valid defenses against being sued for debt.
Mistaken identity occurs when the debt collection law firm mistakes you for someone else with the same name or other identifying information. Identity theft happens when a person steals your name and personal information to open credit accounts in your name.
Since the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff to prove that you owe the debt, you can deny the charge based on either of these defenses. So, don’t let anyone bully you into paying a debt that isn’t yours!
Statute of Limitations
Debt collectors and law firms have a limited time to file lawsuits against debtors, depending on the state. This is known as the statute of limitations, and it can range from three to twenty years.
Once the statute of limitations has expired, the debtor is no longer obligated to pay the debt. This is a valid defense against collection efforts. However, making any payments on the debt, even after the statute of limitations has expired, can reset the clock and restart the entire process.
When you are being sued by Michael J Adams PC, it is important not to feel intimidated. You will need to file your answer on time in order to avoid a default judgment, but there are defenses you can use. These defenses can be used when responding to a lawsuit for nonpayment of debt, and it may be worth hiring a lawyer to help you with them.