Atlanta Consumer Debt Defense Attorneys
We defend consumers against all types of debt collection lawsuits, including credit card debt, medical bills, and past-due rent. We can help negotiate a reasonable settlement or fight the lawsuit in court.
Credit Card Debt
If you’ve been sued for a credit card debt the most important thing to understand is that you have options. Even though you may have used the credit card, this does not mean that you will automatically lose the lawsuit and owe the money to the company that is suing you. In addition to proving the amount of the debt, a plaintiff that sues you on a defaulted credit card must show two things: 1) that you owe the debt, and 2) that the company suing you owns the debt.
Many credit card lawsuits are brought with inadequate paperwork that is insufficient to prove one or both of these things. Also, many lawsuits are filed past the statutory deadline, or statute of limitations for filing such a suit. If this has happened to you, an attorney experienced in this area should be able to get your case dismissed, negotiate a favorable settlement, or possibly file counterclaims against the plaintiff under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or Georgia’s Fair Business Practices Act.
In all debt collection lawsuits, it is important to determine whether you have been sued by the original creditor (like Capital One, Discover, Chase, etc.) or by a third-party debt collector (also called a “debt buyer”). Original creditors will often sell defaulted accounts to debt buyers and transfer the rights to collect on the alleged debt under an agreement called an assignment. While these debt buyers may claim to be the current “owner” of the debt, they often lack the proper legal documents that are necessary to prove their case in court, even if they have attached very “official-looking” documents to the lawsuit.
In order to determine whether the plaintiff in your case is the original creditor or a debt buyer, you should look at the top of the lawsuit. If you don’t recognize the name of the company suing you, or if the plaintiff is listed as something like “Cavalry SPV I, LLC as assignee of Citibank, N.A.” then you have been sued by a debt buyer. Companies like Cavalry SPV I, LLC purchase charged-off debt from banks like Citibank, Capital One, Wells Fargo, and Chase. This happens when the bank has determined that it will cost them more money to try to collect on the debt themselves rather than sell your debt to these debt buyers.
When debt is sold, the debt buyer usually receives a limited amount of information and paperwork. However, in order to win the lawsuit, the debt buyer must show that you not only owe the debt, but that their company is the current legal owner of your account. Most of the time, the debt buyer is unable or unwilling to prove both of these things. An experienced Debt Lawsuit Defense Attorney should be able to successfully challenge the debt buyer’s evidence and show the court that they don’t have legal standing to win a lawsuit against you.
Winning Your Case
It is often difficult for a debt buyer to win a case in Georgia – unless the defendant fails to answer the lawsuit and show up to court properly educated on the legal issues and evidentiary standards. If you don’t hire an experienced debt lawsuit defense attorney, you run the risk of losing your case and having a judgment entered against you. A judgment allows the judgment creditor to obtain a writ of fieri facias (or “FiFa”). A FiFa records a lien on all the real and personal property the debtor has anywhere in Georgia. With a FiFa, the judgment creditor can garnish your wages or your bank accounts. The FiFa also allows the sheriff to levy on any of the debtor’s unencumbered property and hold that property for auction. The proceeds from the auction are paid to the judgment creditor to satisfy the judgment.
Don’t let this happen to you. The Parisi Law Firm specializes in defending consumers against debt buyer lawsuits. We understand the legal and evidentiary standards involved with these lawsuits and can give you an honest assessment of your chances of winning.
Hospital Bills & Medical Debts
Similar to credit card debt, medical debt is often sold to third-party debt buyers, who usually have difficulty proving that the debt was validly assigned to them. Lawsuits for the recovery of healthcare and medical bills may offer the opportunity for affirmative defenses that may not be available in lawsuits brought by original creditors.
Any defense to a lawsuit will result in a substantially improved legal position and may get your case dismissed or help you negotiate a favorable settlement.
An experienced Consumer Debt Defense Attorney will start by challenging the admissibility of every medical bill and record used against you. Privacy laws prohibit the release of your medical records without your consent. Beyond these privacy concerns, you may have defenses regarding the value of the medical services rendered, any prior insurance payments, and contractual defects.
Regardless of the amount or circumstances of your medical debt, you should consider hiring a qualified debt lawsuit defense lawyer to protect you, your family, and your assets.
Past Due Rent
Oftentimes a landlord or management company will sue their former tenants for unpaid rent after they’ve moved out or been evicted. Sometimes third-party collection companies will sue to collect delinquent debts for the property managers of apartment complexes.
If Rent Recovery Solutions or National Credit Systems has filed a lawsuit against you attempting to collect past due rent debt for a landlord, you should call our firm today. There are defenses and potentially counterclaims to many of the lawsuits brought by these companies. Additionally, these companies will sometimes make inaccurate reports to the credit reporting agencies, resulting in errors on your credit report. Give us a call if you have any negative items on your credit report from Rent Recovery Solutions or National Credit Systems.
The Parisi Law Firm defends consumers in debt collection cases. Please call 404-594-5130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation. We represent clients throughout metro Atlanta and North Georgia.