According to Debt.org, Florida has one of the highest bankruptcy, unemployment, and credit rates. This explains why most people live paycheck to paycheck. Unfortunately, sometimes you may have to choose between paying bills and putting food on the table. In most cases, this may lead to aggressive debt collectors harassing you. However, you do not have to tolerate harassment from collectors if you’re having trouble paying your bills. There are stringent State and Federal laws that have been established to prohibit abusive and unjust debt collection activities.
At Shrader Law, PLLC, our experienced debt collection defense lawyers have been providing clients throughout Florida with debt collection defense for many years. Our dedicated lawyers have the credentials, skill set, and knowledge to assist you with debt collection issues. Over the years, we have witnessed many clients who have tried unsuccessfully to handle unjust debt collectors on their own. However, debt collection agencies are often intimidated by lawyers, and your Shrader Law, PLLC debt collection defense lawyer will ensure your rights are protected.
If you’re in debt, you may be wondering if you need a Shrader Law, PLLC debt collection lawyer. Here are some signs that you need one:
According to PEW, approximately 70% of consumers who are sued by creditors allow their cases to go to a default judgment. The aftermath is asset seizure, cleaning of their accounts, wage garnishment, and more. Regardless of your circumstances, it would be best if you didn’t have to face these repercussions. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA strictly prohibits harassment, abusive, and illegal debt collection actions. In case creditors or debt collectors use any of these actions in an attempt to collect a debt, they may face penalties, sanctions, and you can even seek damages against them.
Although you’re allowed to defend yourself against a debt lawsuit without an attorney, you should know that the creditor will have skilled lawyers on their side to represent their interest. Most of these attorneys have years of experience and have most likely handled numerous cases similar to yours. This is why you need a Shrader Law, PLLC debt collection defense lawyer in your corner. Your attorney will:
While responding to a debt lawsuit, your lawyer will challenge the creditor’s legal right to file a lawsuit against you. If you fail to respond to the debt lawsuit, the judge will not require the creditor to show proof that they are legally required to sue you. In fact, the court will consider your silence as admission to the allegations leveled against you.
After you’re served with debt papers, the burden of proof will be on the creditor. They have to prove that:
Challenging the alleged proof of the amount you owe is one of the defense strategies that your Shrader Law, PLLC debt collection lawyer will use against the lawsuit. For example, if the debt collection agency is suing you for $3,000 for your credit account, your attorney will ask for documentation accounting for every dollar that you owe. However, because accounts often change hands before a lawsuit, it may be impossible for them to find such information on time. This can result in the dismissal of your case or a settlement agreement at a much lower rate.
Florida’s statute of limitations dictates how long debt collectors have to file a debt lawsuit against you. For written contracts, like personal loans, creditors will have up to five years to sue you. The statute of limitations begins from the last day you were active. For instance, the last time you used your credit card to make a purchase or make a payment on your card’s balance.
Because making a payment can restart the clock, you may want to speak to your Shrader Law, PLLC debt collection defense lawyer and seek legal advice. Some creditors will make an effort to collect small amounts to extend the timeline and sue you later.
If a debt collector or creditor violates the FDCPA, they may be answerable for more than just your legal fees. Your attorney can help your case get dismissed and seek compensation for damages.
If you’re experiencing financial distress and unable to pay your debt, bankruptcy may be the best option. Your attorney will help you file for bankruptcy, and this will automatically stop all debt collection activities. Although filing for bankruptcy can harm your credit and financial status, it will help you start with a clean slate and rebuild your credit. Your attorney will also help you determine whether to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Bills, calls, and lawsuits from creditors and debt collectors are the last things you want to deal with. According to a survey by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), approximately 70 million Americans have had to deal with creditors and collectors, and more than 25% of them felt threatened.
Most collectors use language that can spark fear. Therefore, when you are served with a lawsuit, you may feel the urge to ignore the issue and hope that everything will go away soon. However, ignoring the issue will only make things worse. Call 813-360-1529 or contact one of our debt collection defense lawyers to help protect your rights and determine the most suitable defense strategy with the best outcome.