Defaulted PayDay Loan

QUESTION: Can I be sued in the Texas for a defaulted online payday loan?

I taken out a few payday loans online and pretty much got in over my head paying them back ! Can I be sued in Texas?

ANSWER: Most payday lenders do not sue in Texas. Having said that, they are certainly entitled to sue you if you defaulted on a loan.

I would be curious to know who is threatening the lawsuit and whether they are a “usual suspect” – – the kind of payday lender that actually does file suit in Texas. If they are not customarily in court, then their threat is illegal, and possibly a violation of either the Texas Debt Collection Act and/or the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The collection industry for payday lenders is infamous for being abusive. I would suggest you keep track of all collection phone calls and keep all of the collection letters.

If the threat to sue is in writing, I would suggest you forward a copy to a consumer rights attorney. If the threat to sue is made verbally, you might still want to talk to an experienced consumer rights attorney who can do a bit of research and find out whether this collector is blowing smoke, or not.

Finally, you might want to have a look at your credit bureau reports through www.AnnualCreditReport.com (That is where you can get your credit reports for free.)

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

 

Getting Sued Over A Debt Already Paid

QUESTION: A collection agency says they’re going to sue me over a debt I already paid, I don’t know what to do.

I have a few emails of paid in full, but a couple of the companies didn’t send me anything, and when I tried to call them it says it’s no longer a working number.

ANSWER: First of all, I would suggest that you pull a copy of your credit bureau reports. You may obtain a free copy through www. AnnualCreditReport.com It is the only website that the Federal Trade Commission has approved of for a free credit report. You might find useful information on that website. Also, do you have old bank statements or cancelled checks to prove you paid?

If a third party debt collector is threatening to sue you on a debt that has been paid (whether you can prove it right now, OR NOT) then it seems your rights have been violated. I would suggest you contact a consumer rights attorney who has experience going after abusive debt collectors. They will probably want to look up this debt collector that is threatening to sue you. Specifically, they will want to see if this debt buyer is a common litigator; and also, they will want to find out if this debt collector has a surety bond on file with the Texas Secretary of State. If they do not, then this whole thing sounds like a scam- an illegal scam.

Keep in mind that the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act allows you to collect a statutory award, other damages, as well as your attorney fees. That is the reason why many consumer rights attorneys do not charge clients up front for their time. They can get paid for by the defendants. I strongly suggest you get your payment history together and call a consumer rights attorney licensed in Texas.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

 

Removing A Dismissed Lawsuit From Credit Report

QUESTION: If you were taken to court for a broken lease and the case was dismissed is it possible to get it off your credit report?

My boyfriend left his old apartment a few years ago on account of his roommate who was unable to pay the full rent and left soon after. They were taken to court but the case was dismissed. Now we’re trying to get a house but the broken lease is still on his credit report. Is it possible to get it taken off because it was dismissed or does he still have to pay it?

ANSWER:The detail that is missing: what sort of dismissal was it? Your boyfriend needs to send a letter to the credit reporting agencies that are listing the broken lease. He will probably need to send a copy of that same letter to the past landlord disputing the negative information. If the dismissal documents from court are favorable to your boyfriend, he should attach them to the dispute letter. He should probably attach the dismissal documents in any event.

Your boyfriend should be gathering information about being declined or rejected from the new housing opportunity. In case the derogatory information on this credit report needs to be removed, and if it is NOT removed, then your boyfriend will have terrific grounds for a lawsuit against the past landlord and/or the credit reporting agencies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

If he needs assistance going through the dispute process, he should contact an experienced attorney. Most attorneys do not charge a fee for helping with the dispute letter writing process, or the resulting litigation, since the federal laws allow for fees to be paid by the defendants.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

 

Disputing Credit Report Errors

QUESTION: I disputed an error on my credit report, the creditor removed it on one bureau but declined to remove it on another credit bureau!

I contacted creditor (home depot) and disputed 30 days late on my credit report. It was first reported on Equifax and was deleted by Equifax, then months later it showed up on my Transunion. This time I disputed with Transunion and the error remains. What ground I have if I need legal assistance?

ANSWER: It is not uncommon for one credit bureau to report things one way, and another to report the exact opposite. I would recommend that you lodge another dispute- both with the creditor and the TransUnion. All credit reporting disputes should be handled by certified mail with return-receipt requested. You are encouraged to include as much helpful information as possible, including all proof that you have to support your claim.

Finally, if the incorrect information continues to appear on your credit report, you may have grounds to sue under the Federal Credit Reporting Act, as well as the Texas Finance Code. These consumer rights statutes allow you to recover damages, as well as your attorney fees (which is why many attorneys do not charge a fee to handle these sorts of matters – from the credit reporting dispute process through litigation.)

One other tidbit: many consumers obtain their credit reports through various websites that charge a fee. I have seen many consumers ask friends of theirs – in the mortgage industry, or car dealers – to pull their credit reports. The only place I recommend consumers go for their credit reports is: www.AnnualCreditReport.com It is the only website that is approved by the federal trade commission and allows you one free credit bureau report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

 

Liens Against Your Property

QUESTION: I went to refinance my home and found 6 liens. None of them actually belong to me. How does this happen and how can I fix this? Seem lazy.

How do people file liens against property without proof it is the correct person. I have to prove these are not me. Some are easy, because the judgments have DOB or Social Security number. They never should have been placed on my title in the first place. Do I have any recourse against the person who placed them there?

In addition to the answers the other attorneys provided, I would also suggest you check your credit reports (if your mortgage broker or other banker hasn’t already done that for you recently). Get your free reports at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Also, you may want to do some homework and learn more about the underlying claims or judgments that resulted in the liens. If these judgments are related to issues that are rightfully yours, you will probably need the assistance of an attorney to unwind the judgments (assuming you were never served with process.)

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

How To Clear My Mother’s Name From A Loan

QUESTION: What do I need to do to clear my mothers name on a loan she has no ideal on how it happen? Her name is on the loan papers.

I’m my mothers executive over her health & finances, she has been diagnosed with dementia. My nephew took her with him to a dealership saying he was going to buy a truck. Later I started receiving notices of declines of loans in the mail so I look up her credit report and seen a loan was taken out on a truck and the payment was over a month late. After confronting him he said her name was not suppose to be on the loan. That’s when I told him he needs to go and have it removed. After four months of no payments he finally made one payment. I told the loan company that she is not making any payments and that I’m working on removing her name on the loan. My mother is 89 so time is precious and I don’t need any problems like this upsetting her. Is there any thing I can do to help my mother?

ANSWER:  There are two sides to this: one is with the finance company. The other is with the credit bureaus. In both cases, you will likely need to file a complaint with the police against the nephew. Will your mother need credit? Consider how important (or unimportant) it is for her to live out the rest of her life without credit. 

If the finance company ever comes after your mother (or her estate) for the deficiency, you will be able to raise the issue of her dementia as a very good defense. You will need doctor’s reports to support the defense. I would suggest you obtain those records now, while she is still in the doctor’s care.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

Using A Credit Card Without Prior Authorization

QUESTION: Can your spouse give you a credit card to use without you signing your signature or authorizing any paperwork you haven’t seen?

Anyone can give you a credit card to use, if they authorized your use with the credit card company. You should find out whether your social security number was used in obtaining the credit card account. If any credit card was taken out (even by your spouse!) without your knowledge, you should dispute it, close it, and ultimately you might need to file a police report for forgery/fraudulent use of your private information. 

The other issue to keep in mind: your spouse may have legally taken the card out using their social security information only. They may be kind enough to give you the card to use at your leisure or discretion. If, however, there is a debt that is built up and your spouse defaults, you might also be sued for the full balance: not just your purchases, but your spouse’s purchases too. The reason for that obligation has to do with Marriage and Community Property laws in the State of Texas. 

I have handled cases in the past where one spouse did not know that the other spouse was running up a debt. Any expenses that are used to benefit the household are joint obligations of both the husband and the wife. If, on the other hand, your spouse is taking vacations alone, you would not necessarily be obligated on that amount of debt. 

You should seek the advice of a family lawyer if your intention is to maintain your marriage as “separate property” as opposed to the usual “community property” which is the default marriage and finance situation in Texas. You should also seek the advice of a consumer lawyer if the account was taken out without your knowledge and it is negatively effecting your credit reports/score.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

Settling A Credit Card Lawsuit

QUESTION: I am involved in a credit law suit in TX and a court date has been set. I have been offered a settlement by the plaintiff for about 60% of the debt payable over 5 years with no interest. The questions I have are: 1.) Is the offered settlement reasonable or should I ask for a larger discount? The discounted amount is slightly less then the principal. So effectively the discounted amount strips out the accrued interest and the attorney’s fees. 2.) The plaintiff’s attorney has drawn up a Rule 11 Agreement and a Agreed Final Judgment to be filled with the court, which requires me to agree to a full judgment sum. Do I have to agree to the Final Judgment? Do these agreements have to be filled with the court?

ANSWER: You have many valid questions. The debt collection lawyer might be giving you answers, but you should certainly seek counsel. An attorney with experience handling the defense of credit suits should review the agreed judgment before you sign it. 

With respect to your credit reports: the agreed judgment will appear on there, just as any judgment would. Have you considered other routes with the goal of avoiding a judgment altogether? Depending on the amount of debt that is at issue, you might be better off hiring an attorney, or at least consulting with an attorney. There are not just debt collection defense matters here, but also debt collection abuse and credit reporting angles that should be considered.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

Settling A Credit Card Lawsuit

QUESTION: I am involved in a credit law suit in TX and a court date has been set. I have been offered a settlement by the plaintiff for about 60% of the debt payable over 5 years with no interest. The questions I have are: 1.) Is the offered settlement reasonable or should I ask for a larger discount? The discounted amount is slightly less then the principal. So effectively the discounted amount strips out the accrued interest and the attorney’s fees. 2.) The plaintiff’s attorney has drawn up a Rule 11 Agreement and a Agreed Final Judgment to be filled with the court, which requires me to agree to a full judgment sum. Do I have to agree to the Final Judgment? Do these agreements have to be filled with the court?

ANSWER: You have many valid questions. The debt collection lawyer might be giving you answers, but you should certainly seek counsel. An attorney with experience handling the defense of credit suits should review the agreed judgment before you sign it. 

With respect to your credit reports: the agreed judgment will appear on there, just as any judgment would. Have you considered other routes with the goal of avoiding a judgment altogether? Depending on the amount of debt that is at issue, you might be better off hiring an attorney, or at least consulting with an attorney. There are not just debt collection defense matters here, but also debt collection abuse and credit reporting angles that should be considered.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.