You are receiving calls and letters from debt collectors collecting credit card debt. The calls are becoming threatening. You no longer answer your telephone. Now the collectors are calling your friends, neighbors and even your employer. You are getting letters from collectors threatening to sue you, garnish your wages and bank accounts, take your home or even put you in jail. What should you do?
It depends. You or your attorney (an experienced attorney—not necessarily the same attorney who helped you with your estate, taxes or divorce) will need to know the answers to these questions:
The answer to these and other questions will make the difference as to how to best assist you with your credit card issues. Credit counseling and debt settlement companies are rarely the answer to your problems—in fact, they frequently make matters worse. For example, credit counselors are frequently funded by credit card companies. How often do you think they will refer you to an unfair debt collection attorney to file a lawsuit against their funding source? Debt settlement companies are often staffed by unqualified individuals—non-lawyers providing poor legal advice. Consumers frequently find themselves defending lawsuits on their own even though they paid a debt settlement company far more than what it would have cost to have a qualified lawyer provide a defense.
If you find yourself struggling with credit card collections, at least give yourself a fighting chance. Make a call to a qualified consumer attorney.
Why pay a credit card debt that is beyond the statute of limitations and uncollectable, and then fall behind on your mortgage payment?
Credit card collectors have been known to go after the wrong person, collect on debts already paid, or try to collect from victims of identity theft. Many times it is impossible to tell from the collection call or collection letter what account is being collected. Requests for verification of the debt can help, but the sketchy verification provided by debt collectors often provides little help.
Is this debt being collected by an out-of-state collector who never sues any consumer, preferring to use harassment or other illegal or unfair debt collection methods? When it comes to prioritizing your debts, most of the time the squeaky wheel should not get the grease.
Many times the best defense is a good offense. Unfair debt collection violations can result in elimination or significant reductions to the alleged debt. Being in debt does not mean you have to be harassed, humiliated or treated as a lesser human being. You are legally entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. Demand it and take action if you do not get it.
If you live in Iowa, a right to cure letter from an Iowa attorney is often a sign you are about to get sued. These letters can come from Iowa lawyers such as Charles Litow of the Litow Law Office, Wetsch and Abbott or Brumbaugh and Quandahl
Identity theft is an epidemic in America today, in large part because creditors and other businesses are careless with personal financial data. It’s hard enough to pay your own bills during tough times, without asking to pay the bills of others. Seek qualified legal assistance if you are the victim of identity theft and are being harassed by debt collectors.
If your only source of income is Social Security or other exempt income or assets, why pay greedy creditors 30% default interest rates and then lose your house? If you are judgment proof, and it appears it is going to remain that way, the best defense may be to simply have an attorney send cease communication letters and live your life in peace—in debt for sure, but in peace.
If your defenses are limited, it is your debt, and bankruptcy is not an option or can be avoided, it may be best to settle the debt. Doing that on your own may not be the best option, as consumers frequently enter into bad deals, fail to properly document the settlement, fail to protect their rights in settlement, settle time barred or uncollectable debts, or simply pay too much. A free telephone call to a qualified attorney can answer many of your questions and explore options.
You have fewer options if the creditor already has a judgment than you do if you contact an attorney before you get sued or immediately after. Nevertheless, you may have options if you were not properly served the lawsuit. Rarely is a default the proper response to a lawsuit.
Unfortunately, some creditors and their attorneys have learned that default judgments are easier to get than dealing with a consumer raising defenses to their lawsuits. As a result, consumers have been victimized by lawsuits where they did not receive notice of the lawsuit and an opportunity to defend. If you are the victim of “sewer service,” contact a qualified consumer credit attorney immediately.
If a debt collection lawsuit has been filed against you, your rights have been violated, you want collection harassment to stop or if you just want to discuss your situation, the Johnson Law Firm is here to help. Click the above link for a free consultation or call us at (515) 224-7090. You have nothing to lose.