Financial Advice

Why People Get Led to Slaughter With Debt Collection Lawsuits

Question:

Dear Steve,

I had a pay day loan 3 years ago that is now in collections. They called me and wanted to settle it out of court. I wanted a validation of debt letter they said no that I know I did it and we will just go to court settle it in court.

How can I get out of this I already talked to them to much I got nervous and basically said I would pay it back before court.

Richard

Answer:

Dear Richard,

This is a great question because it brings up the classic issue that consumers who are not experts on consumer law don’t have a clue when they are being played by the collection efforts. You said yourself that you got nervous and already over promised.

Those inside the debt collection industry know most consumers will not show at court and the collector will win the lawsuit by default. I suspect part of the request to deal with it in court is a hope you actually won’t show.

There is a huge gap between the shot over the head of the consumer the lawyers file and the end result possible. Sometimes when consumers stand up for their rights and are competently represented or know what they are doing they can discover the debt really isn’t collectible at all. Other times the debt is reduced or favorable payment plans entered into.

These debt collection lawsuits are really an offer to deal with the debt in such a way that both parties agree to a solution.

I can’t stress enough how valuable it is to be represented by a consumer attorney who is licensed in your state. There is absolutely no substitution for legal representation. The judge is not there to help you or tell you what your rights are. They are their to run the trial.

One place to look for such an attorney is through the National Association of Consumer Advocates. A knowledgeable attorney can raise issues before or during a court appearance about the demand for verification, proper verification, and/or negotiate on your behalf.

Going to court is scary for people who don’t routinely work in the building. You will be totally out of your element and be at a significant disadvantage without a legal professional acting in your interests.

Now, some people do have the ability to fight their own court battle but in my opinion, those people are few and far between.

So while the thought of hiring a lawyer might feel expensive or painful, just imagine the cost of not making the suit vanish when you might have the legal right to make that happen.

Steve Rhode
Get Out of Debt GuyTwitter, G+, Facebook

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This article by Steve Rhode first appeared on Get Out of Debt Guy and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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