When facing economic hardship, one of the most common things people do is turn to their credit cards to help. If you’ve run into this situation yourself, you probably know that this often turns into a dead-end strategy that eventually leaves you unable to make your credit card payments.
This, in turn, could mean that you are being sued by creditors like Mastercard and Capital One. If you are unable to pay the debt you owe you may assume there is nothing that you can do and, therefore, there is no point in responding to the lawsuit.
Before you reach that conclusion, however, the Needleman Law Office has some very good reasons why you should always fight back when sued by creditors from a credit card company in Columbus. Ohio.
What Happens When Your Credit Card Defaults
If you get behind on your monthly payment on a credit card, the bank or financial institution will eventually consider you to be in default. This is what leads to your account going into collections and you eventually being sued by Capital One or another credit card company.
If this happens, you will receive a copy of the Summons and Complaint filed in the lawsuit. You will only have a short period of time to respond to the complaint, typically less than 30 days.
But if you already know you owe the money, what is the point of taking the time and energy to respond to the lawsuit? Well, if you fail to respond to the plaintiff when sued by creditors, the credit card company can request that a default judgment be entered against you. The court will likely grant that request if you failed to file a timely answer to the complaint with the court.
Simply contacting the bank or credit card company will not suffice as a response. A response in this case means a formal answer filed with the court in which the lawsuit was filed. Here’s why that matters.
Why You Should Always Fight Back When Sued By Credit Card Companies
There are a number of reasons why you should always fight back when sued by Discover, Mastercard, Capital One, or any other credit card company in Columbus, Ohio. Even if you know the debt is yours and you plan to pay it, fighting a credit card lawsuit can make a huge difference.
Contest the Amount Owed
When you don’t fight a credit card lawsuit, the result is almost always a default judgment turned against you.This means you will be legally forced to owe whatever amount the plaintiff claims you owe regardless of whether this amount is correct or not.
By failing to respond to the complaints you waive your right to contest the amount that you owe.
The judgment may also include attorney fees and other costs associated with filing the complaint. Often, simply by filing an answer when sued by a credit card company, you can negotiate a reduction in the fees and costs.
Make Them Prove It
If you fight the credit card lawsuit by filing an answer, the plaintiff must prove the allegations against you. Often it is a third-party collection agency that actually files the lawsuit and they may be unable to provide the necessary proof.
You may also have defenses against their ability to collect the debt, such as the statute of limitations. In Ohio, every kind of debt, from credit card debt to mortgage debt to tax debt, must be collected within six years.
If you are being sued by creditors trying to collect a debt that is more than six years old, even if the debt is legitimate, they do not have legal standing to collect that debt and you should be able to fight and win against their collection efforts.
Take Control of Collection Efforts
No matter what kind of debt you owe, you have rights regarding how that debt gets collected. Fighting a credit card lawsuit lets you preserve those rights.
If a debt collector has harassed you in a way that violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you may have the basis for a counter suit against them, which can provide you with significant leverage in the original lawsuit.
If you don’t fight back when sued by a credit card company and you allow the creditors to obtain a default judgment against you, they can begin to attempt to collect on the judgment by using tactics such as garnishing your wages or freezing your bank account.
By responding to the lawsuit and fighting back, you allow yourself room to negotiate and take some control on the total amount owed, repayment plans, and debt collection efforts. These can save you from extreme collection measures or even bankruptcy.
Let Us Help You Fight Back When Sued By Creditors
It doesn’t matter how much you owe, who you owe it to, or whether the amount you’re being sued for is legitimate – you should always fight back against a credit card lawsuit.
If you find yourself overwhelmed or confused, don’t worry. The Needleman Law Office is here to help.
If your current financial situation has you worried and see no relief in sight consult with an experienced Ohio bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options.