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  • Writer's pictureSchuyler Laverentz

Being sued by a third-party debt collector?

Time and time again, I go to court and watch unrepresented defendants being sued for thousands of dollars by debt collectors who have purchased a charged-off credit card account. About half the time, the defendant doesn't even show up. Guess what happens? A default judgment is entered and the plaintiff is free to garnish your bank account, garnish your wages, put a lien on your house or ask the sheriff to take your car or boat. The judgment is good for ten years (that means ten years of interest) and can be revived again and again.

But I owe the debt! I should pay it. Here's the deal: Who cares? If you're being sued for not paying a credit card debt, you're obviously in a bad spot and money is tight. And here is what you might not know: A decent lawyer can ALWAYS beat a third-party debt collection case. There are exceptions for lawsuits pertaining to medical bills, but otherwise hiring a lawyer will make that lawsuit go away.

For example, you're being sued by a debt collector you don't recognize for a debt you didn't pay on a JC Penney credit card for $2,000. On top of that, they want you to pay attorney fees, interest and the cost of filing the lawsuit. You can pay a lawyer $500 to make the case go away. (Some attorneys charge more, but that is typically my price unless the circumstances are uncommon).

Don't assume because you're being sued and you owe the debt that you'll have to pay - because there is a good chance you won't have to. And don't feel sorry for the credit card companies. They take the risk of lending you money without collateral and they still make billions of dollars off consumers every year. You can't watch TV for 10 minutes without seeing an ad for a credit card. I think I like Samuel Jackson's the best. "I'm sick and tired of all these mother****** credit cards on this mother******* plane."

If you get served with such a lawsuit, call me. I can probably save you a lot of money.

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