February 10, 2021
Summary: When you're being sued by Harvard Collection Service, the wrong move is to ignore the lawsuit hoping it will go away. Learn how to make the right affirmative defense in court.
If you're served a summons from Harvard Collection Service, the worst thing you can do is nothing. Even if you feel helpless, you still have legal rights. Your actions will determine the outcome of the lawsuit.
These actions are critically important. But you may not know what things you should do and in what order. If Harvard Collection has taken whatever steps were necessary to file a lawsuit against you, then they will do whatever they can to secure a judgment.
Since they are going to perform their due diligence, it makes sense that you do the same. The actions you take will develop your legal strategy to counter their suit. Knowledgeable consumers understand that gathering information and knowing everything they can about Harvard Collection Service can help them prepare the best possible defense against their lawsuit.
Based in Chicago, Illinois, Harvard Collection Service has been in business for almost 40 years. They are an old-fashioned collection agency. The business they get is contingent accounts receivable. For example, a company has old debt that has not been paid. They charge it off their books and submit accounts to collection agencies like Harvard for a contingent fee. These fees can be passed onto the final consumers depending on the original debt contract.
For a collection agency, written and oral communication are strictly governed by federal agencies. There are rules all collection agencies must follow or risk generating complaints, getting sued themselves, or being fined by state or federal regulatory agencies.
As would be expected, a collection agency like Harvard Collection Service has been the recipient of its share of complaints. By getting to know Harvard, you can prepare yourself for what to expect and possibly help generate a favorable outcome to the lawsuit.
Now that you know that when Harvard Collection Service begins communicating with you on a particular debt, that from their perspective the resolution of the account has only three outcomes. First, you pay off the debt. They may offer a settlement to entice you to pay the account. If this is the route taken, Harvard takes their contingent fee on whatever payment is made.
The second possible outcome is that you don't pay the debt. But the balance isn't large enough to take legal action. Keep in mind that if Harvard decides to file suit, they have to incur expenses - court costs, their legal fees, etc. Some smaller balances don't warrant spending more money. So, Harvard will simply close the account and send it back to the original creditor.
The last possible outcome is that you don't pay the debt. But the balance is large enough that Harvard Collection Services files a Complaint. This is the legal word for what is commonly called a lawsuit.
This is the outcome of our focus. Taking the action to file suit, Harvard is making allegations about you regarding this debt. As is the case of almost all of the accounts they bring a suit on, Harvard is not the original creditor.
So, now that you know more about Harvard Collection Service, you can begin to become more proactive in the actions to defend yourself in the lawsuit. The most proactive undertaking you can complete is to “Answer” the Complaint.
Once the summons from Harvard is served to you, there is an imaginary clock that has begun. All jurisdictions have a period that a person named in a suit can respond to the court. These responses are called Affirmative Defenses.
The Complaint filed by Harvard has allegations made by them against you. They allege the debt is owed by you. They can further allege that they have made every attempt to convince you to pay this debt. They allege the origin and balance of the debt. They make every possible allegation about you and this debt.
Every person who is being sued for any reason has the legal right to answer any and all allegations when a suit has been filed against them. This particular right where you respond to a Complaint is known as Affirmative Defense. A big factor in your legal strategy is to provide affirmative defenses for every point in the lawsuit.
The important thing to remember as you prepare your affirmative defenses is that the burden of proof for the allegations in the Complaint rests solely with Harvard Collection Service. If you submit proper affirmative defenses, they have to prove and substantiate every allegation they made in the original Complaint.
This is your chance to test the accuracy of their lawsuit. If Harvard cannot submit to the court the proof as to what they allege, the possibility of a dismissal exists. Requesting their proof to establish their basic facts is your legal right. This is why it is important to draft your “Answer” to the Complaint without delay.
Many people who find themselves named in a lawsuit may not know anyone that can help them in this situation. That's okay. This is where SoloSuit can guide and assist you. SoloSuit can ease your fear and provide an easy avenue for you to file an Answer to a collection lawsuit in any jurisdiction.
We recognize that finding yourself in this situation can be intimidating. It is always a smart move to allow those that can help to get involved. There is an old saying that there is strength in numbers. You can decide to go it alone if Harvard Collection is suing you or you can find the help that is available to you.
If taking proactive measures can get you a reduced settlement or even get the case dismissed, you will realize that it was worth the time and effort to fight back against Harvard Collection Service. No reason to go alone. As a consumer, you have rights. Maybe you don't know what they are but SoloSuit does. Allow them to provide the help you need at this critical time.
SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.
How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? We're making guides on how to beat each one.
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
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