Sued By A Junk Debt Collector

QUESTION: Sued by a junk debt collector for $1500 on unsecured CC debt from 2011.  This clearly seems to be an attempt to get a default judgment by an attorney who expects that I will not answer. I’ll pay $250 to any licensed TX attorney who will answer on my behalf in the expectation that the junk debt collector will abandon hope due to the presence of an attorney and the weak claim. I seem to be one of many thousands of people who received court docs today judging by the quality of the summons. I’ve been doing research and this seems very easy to defeat. I’m wondering whether or not I should even bother to research how to defeat this when there might be an attorney willing to accept $250 to do it for me.

Last payment on the card was March 19th, 2011. I was served by someone in a $200 car on March 26th, 2015. The lawyer lives 300 miles away. The summons is very sketchy looking.

ANSWER: I don’t know who sued you and who their lawyers are. The debt buyer industry has been empowered over the last 2-3 years for a whole host of reasons. Yes, they may simply be interested in obtaining a default judgment. On the other hand, I have had many debt buyers – the likes of Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery Associates, and many others up put a fight, even for very low balances. Their attorneys are in court with huge dockets all set for the same day: it is unlikely they would be coming to court for your case only. Plus, if this is a lawsuit in the Justice of the Peace court system, then the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure are severely relaxed, making it much easier to obtain a judgment.

You seem to be a terrific negotiator, considering your online bidding efforts here. Any lawyer that makes an appearance for you in an answer is on the hook for the entire case, not just the answer. An attorney who values their law license and their reputation will not get hired for the limited purpose of filing an answer and then asking the court to withdraw from your case. (I may be wrong, of course.)

If you fail to answer the lawsuit, or if you appear – pro se or through an attorney – and lose the case, the judgment will likely be significantly higher than $1,500.00, including interest, fees, court costs and attorney fees. The damage to your credit report, as well as the risk of post-judgment collection would be reasons for you to hire an experienced attorney.

 

Actions That Can Be Taken After A Default Judgment

QUESTION: I have a default judgment, accounts frozen, money taken. There’s a balance, what actions can be taken?

The default judgment was $5,947 plus 5% annum over 2yrs court cost and receiver attorney fees 25% added to total up @ $10,284.. $6,411 was taken from frozen accounts leaving a balance of $3,878 on judgment. Can this be negotiated or settled for less…need legal direction…..

ANSWER: While you can certainly work with the judgment creditor to settle the judgment yourself, I would encourage you to consult with a consumer rights attorney before you proceed alone. Your rights may have been violated in the way that the judgment was taken, the way that the judgment is now being collected, and with respect to your credit reports. I would especially encourage you to talk to a lawyer if the judgment was taken by a Third-Party Debt Buyer (not the original creditor). 

Finally, you should not agree to anything negotiated with the judgment creditor unless it is in writing. 

I have an important follow up question for you: were you served with papers when the lawsuit was originally filed? If not, you should consult with an attorney to have the judgment completely unwound.

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.