If you’re one of the many Americans that checked your mail today to find a credit card lawsuit climbing onto your back, you’re probably freaking out and you’re probably wondering…
What in the world is going on and how am I going to deal with this situation?
Maybe I’m behind a little, but do they really need to sue me?
First of all, you’re not alone. According to an article on AmericanBanker.com, the credit collections department of JP Morgan Chase is being investigated for allegedly taking “shortcuts” when it came to suing credit card borrowers who were behind on their payments.
The issue isn’t that they sued delinquent borrowers; the issue is that nobody bothered to verify if these borrowers were in fact behind or that any of the information was correct. It is estimated that tens of thousands of people were affected by these actions and the worst part is that this isn’t the only company that’s done this kind of thing!
It gets worse…
Bank of America sold credit card debts to collection agencies even though many of those records were wrong. Your trusted credit card company might not be so trusted and it’s happening right under our noses – all in the name of the almighty dollar. It’s enough to make you sick, isn’t it?
So, what does that mean for you? Well, a couple of things really and we’re going to talk about it now.
First of all – you need to contest the lawsuit
Before you go any further, you need to know what to do. Here it is plain and simple: You go to court and you contest it. You don’t need a lawyer, but you need to find out when you have to be there. Then you make arrangements to show up in court and you contest it. At the very least, what you want to do is see if you can get your hands on any supporting documents that the collection company that is suing you has.
Why does this work? It’s simple: many of these collection agencies don’t have the proper amount of documents that it will take to make your debt stand up in court. So, if you go to court to protect your rights and under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you request the documentation that is necessary to make the debt valid and you don’t receive any, the case (and alleged debt) will likely be thrown out of court.
So just showing up in court could be the difference between you owing the debt and having it show up on your credit report. If you do not show up to court then a default ruling will be in the collectors favor.
After you resolve that, it’s time to clean up your credit
If you are being sued for an unpaid credit card bill then your credit has taken a ding. Once you’ve got the situation resolved, you’ll still need to clean up your credit.
Go ahead and make sure that you request documentation of the debt that the collection company is saying that you owe. Even if you do owe the bill and you’re well aware of it, taking this action on your part is not only your right, but it will often cause the collector to simply drop the suit. Remember, these things cost money and if they can’t prove it, your creditor is likely to be spending a lot of money on nothing. It simply isn’t worth it to them.
Another nugget of info that might give you even more courage is that when the original debtor sells debts to collection companies, they make no guarantees regarding the accuracy of the collection accounts they sell. In short, this means that collection companies really can’t contest the suit that you’re contesting. They bought the debt with the risk clearly laid out – what do they expect?
As mentioned before, this tactic works even if you owe what the creditor says you do! Once you’re done with your lawsuit, you can work to remove the negative mark because if the collection company couldn’t produce documentation for the courts, they won’t be able to produce documentation for the credit bureaus. This means that you’re without that debt for good.
If all else fails
So, maybe you’re wondering what you can do when you’re being sued for a credit card debt and they manage to come up with the documentation that you’re requesting. In most cases, you’re going to find that the courts are going to work with you to determine what you can afford and will let you make payments on the account.
You might even find that some of the fees and interest are lowered because they are simply too much. Since it’s a judgment, the creditor has to stick with it or risk losing any amount of money you might pay back.
Getting sued for a credit card bill can be a big scary situation, but when you know how to handle it, you can get through it and even get your credit back on track. So, don’t just settle for what some company says – go and fight for your rights.
If enough people know how to fight their credit card lawsuit, we can save people THOUSANDS of dollars and reduce their financial stress! Share this with those you care about by using the buttons below…
I nor anyone on my team are attorneys. We do not give legal advice. If you need legal advice, you definitely want to speak with a licensed attorney in your state of residence.