Occasionally we have a person contact us who has been sued for credit card debt. Sometimes these claims are for old debts that people don’t remember. Occasionally we’ll see people sued over charges made by a spouse from a previous marriage.
Anytime and every time a person receives a court complaint they should respond immediately. In court, time matters. If a person waits too long to respond, the court has few options to grant relief.
If a person does not respond, no matter how invalid the complaint may be, the court has no option other than to find in favor of the creditor.
I want to point out that I did not use the term “credit card company” but instead used the term “creditor.” There is a big difference. We see, more often than not, companies buy bad credit card debt in large quantities for pennies on the dollar and file suit to see who doesn’t answer. They get a judgment and try and collect. Sometimes people have moved and find a judgment a few years old when they try and buy a home or obtain credit and by that time nothing can be done.
If you had a Discover card and made charges that weren’t paid for, Discover can sue you and will likely win. On the other hand, if Discover sold that debt to a company that buys debt (for example, Encore, Portfolio, Sherman, LVNV), they may not be able to prove everything they have to prove under the law to win. Those creditors often lose if there is an attorney involved. So, if you were sued by one of the companies with a different name than the credit card, file your answer and go to court. At a minimum, the creditor will offer a discount for an agreed upon settlement. If they don’t have their ducks in a row, you may very well win.
If you don’t file your answer and go to court, you can’t win. Don’t ignore the types of suits, they are winnable.
Buckle up, drive safely, and as always, your referrals are appreciated!