Have You Been Sued on an Old Credit Card Debt?
Thousands of Arizona debtors are being sued each month on old credit card accounts. Most of these suits are filed by third party debt buyers who claim to have purchased the accounts from the original credit card company or from another third party debt buyers.
What To Do If You Have Been Sued?
First, you need to note the exact date you were served with the lawsuit. The court rules require that you file an answer within 20 days. These debt buyers hope you won’t respond and that they will get a quick default judgment against you–no questions asked!
Second, you need to immediately contact a local Arizona lawyer who can assist you in evaluating your case to see if you have any defenses. Many times, these debts are beyond the statute of limitations, meaning that they are too old to collect. That does not, however, stop these debt buyers from filing suit.
For example, if the debt is a credit card account, the statute of limitations is now six years in most instances. This means that if the lawsuit if brought more than six years after the date the account defaulted, they are too late.
Other defenses you might have include that the account has already been settled with the original creditor, or a previous collection agency or debt buyer; the balance claimed includes amounts which were disputed with the original creditor; the debt is not yours; or the debt might be the result of identity theft, or identity confusion.
Hire An Arizona Lawyer.
In any event, if you have a defense, an answer needs to be filed with the court before your 20 day deadline expires. Again, this is best done with the assistance of an Arizona lawyer. Even thought the lawyer may charge a fee up front, the overall cost and resulting credit damage of having a judgment entered against you because of your unfamiliarity with the Court’s rules and state laws, will likely far outweigh the cost of hiring a lawyer.
I have had numerous Arizona consumers contact me after they have attempted to represent themselves in court and ultimately had a judgment entered against them. Its sad, but many of them had bona fide defenses to the lawsuit and could have had the cases dismissed outright. This is why the debt buyers take the gamble — hoping most Arizona consumers will either not respond to the lawsuit or will ineffectively respond to the lawsuit, and the debt buyer get its judgment.
I Can Help.
If you have been recently sued on an old credit card debt, find out what your rights are and whether you have any defenses.
Feel free to call Floyd W. Bybee at the BYBEE LAW CENTER, PLC (480) 756-8822 to set up a consultation.