When all else fails, and a debt collector wants to get paid, they always have the option to file a lawsuit against you to force the payment of the debt. It can be a scary proposition when you receive that dreaded letter that states a lawsuit has been filed against you.
However, it doesn’t have to be. Once you read below, you might fear it a lot less because debt collectors have some secrets that they would probably just prefer you don’t find out.
Secret 1 – Most people don’t respond to the lawsuit
Studies show that the vast majority of people do nothing when they get sued by a debt collector. As a result, the debt collector can easily win the case and create more ways to make you pay. In fact, studies have shown the 80% to 90% of those who were sued took no action. This is the best-case scenario for the debt collector.
So here is the bottom line - get an attorney and take action. It is common sense if you think about it. If 80% to 90% of the lawsuits filed do not have an attorney, why would the debt collector waste time defend the lawsuits that have one? I think that you have better chances if you seek to defend yourself.
Secret 2 – Most Debt Collectors don’t have the proper evidence to file a Lawsuit
A study by the Federal Trade Commission states that only 6% of lawsuits filed by debt collectors actually have proper documentation that supports their lawsuit. This statistic in itself is reason enough to defend yourself with an attorney.
Secret 3 –You might be sued for a debt that isn’t yours
This happens all of the time. Yet, people will disregard the lawsuit because they know it is not their debt. Unfortunately, it becomes your debt once it goes to court and the debt collector wins the case. This happens a lot. This is another reason for an attorney.
Secret 4 – Your odds of no lawsuit increase every time the debt is sold
An unpaid debt can be sold multiple times from debt collector/buyer to debt collector/buyer. I have always considered this good news. If your debt was worth the time and effort for a lawsuit, it might have already happened by now. Plus, as that debt continues to trade hands, it is less likely the proper documentation comes along with it.
Secret 5 – After the Statute of Limitations has passed, the debt collector has lost power.
The most important thing to remember with a debt lawsuit is the Statute of Limitations. This is the period (set by each State) where a debt collector or creditor has the right to take legal action for an unpaid debt. Beyond this time period, they have no legal firepower to collect the debt. In the State of Texas, it is four years past the initial action that made the debt go bad. In most cases, this is the first missed payment.
Bottom Line - If you get sued, fight it. Chances are pretty good you can defend the lawsuit.
For more information about successfully dealing with a debt situation, get Bob’s book Deceptive Money at www.deceptivemoney.com