How it feels when creditors come for old debts ^
Summary: Is Commonwealth Financial suing you over a delinquent account? Find out how you can win against them in court.
Getting calls, mail, or a lawsuit notification from a debt collector is not something that anyone wants to deal with. Unfortunately, more than 70 million Americans struggle with debt collectors. Conversations with debt collectors are typically unpleasant, and can immediately strike fear. This is why it is important to respond to all debt collectors. You also need to understand what happens when you get served with debt collection papers and learn how to properly beat a debt collector like Commonwealth Financial, in court.
Who is Commonwealth Financial?
Commonwealth Financial Systems is a debt collection agency. You may have been contacted by Commonwealth to collect a debt. Whether you owe this debt or not, it can be extremely stressful. It is good to note that you have the right to dispute any debt that they have tried to collect from you.
If you have seen the name Commonwealth Financial on your credit report, it may appear as a “collections” account. This typically happens when you forget to pay a bill. It will continue to damage your score unless it is removed.
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How to Beat Commonwealth Financial in Court
Respond to the Complaint
The biggest mistake you can make is to ignore Commonwealth Financial. You must respond to any collection notice that you receive. This may arrive in the form of a summons and complaint. Even if you cannot pay for the debt, you must respond. If you do not respond, Commonwealth will be able to obtain a default judgment against you. This will open up the ability to garnish your wages or take money directly from your bank account. This is why you must always respond to a debt collection lawsuit.
Remember the Following When Responding to a Debt Lawsuit
- Never admit liability.
- Force the creditor to prove your debt.
- File the Answer with the Clerk of Court.
- Ask for a stamped copy of the Answer from the Clerk of Court.
- Send the stamped copy certified mail to the plaintiff.
- Respond to the period set by the lawsuit (anywhere from 20 to 30 days)
Challenge the Company's Legal Right to Sue
There are various methods that you can utilize to respond and beat a debt collector in court. One method is to challenge Commonwealth's right to file a lawsuit. This is because, by the time they have received your debt, it has most likely been sold multiple times. To collect on the debt, they must be able to prove that they have the right to do so and that it belongs to you.
Commonwealth Financial must provide:
- Credit agreement signed by you
- Documentation of the chain of custody of all paperwork
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Push Back on Burden of Proof
When you get served with a debt collection lawsuit, the “burden of proof” rests heavily with the company that is suing you. This means that Commonwealth Financial must prove the following:
- Your responsibility for the debt
- Their right to sue you
- Your owing of a specific amount
One method of defense can be requiring specific proof of the amount you owe. This might include proof of the following:
- Increase in balance when making purchases.
- Increase of balance via fees.
- Increase of balance due to the original credit agreement signed by you. (You cannot be sued for fees you did not agree to).
- Accurate confirmation of the current balance reflecting all adjustments.
Point Out the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a law that governs how long creditors can sue you regarding a debt. The rules vary from state to state, and even regarding the type of lawsuit. When it comes to debt, typically the laws have a range between four to six years, but can go as long as 20 in New York state.
It is important to note that the beginning of the statute of limitations on debt is on the last day that you were active on the account. Activity is defined as the following:
- Making a payment
- Drawing funds
- Making a purchase
Making a payment restarts the clock for your debt, which means you need to examine when the last time you interacted with your account to ensure that the statute of limitations has passed. If it is has, the debt collector can no longer sue you for the debt. Despite this, you will still owe the debt and it may impact your credit, but you cannot have your wages garnished.
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Hiring an Attorney
If you feel that you are in over your head, you can decide to hire an attorney. In this case, consulting an attorney may help you to figure out your options. Consulting with an attorney may help you with the following:
- Knowing what options you have to pursue.
- Understanding if it is beneficial to act against the lawsuit.
- Hearing a third-party opinion.
Sometimes an attorney who believes that the creditor acted illegally may take your case without compensation. This is because if the court determines that the creditor acted illegally, they may order the plaintiff to pay those legal fees including your lawyer.
File a Countersuit
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a set of laws that governs how you may be approached by a third-party debt collector. If you believe that Commonwealth Financial has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) then you may be able to counter sue them and seek compensation for any related damages.
Use SoloSuit to file a response and win in court.
What You Need to Know About Filing Bankruptcy
If you owe a debt and can't pay it and you are also experiencing other financial struggles, then bankruptcy may be an option for you. Despite this, filing bankruptcy is a long process that has huge ramifications on your credit and financial status, it should not be taken lightly.
Whatever decisions you make about defending yourself against a debt collection lawsuit, be sure to remember that your financial history continues your entire life. Weigh all of your options, and make the decision that works best for you.
What is SoloSuit?
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.
Respond with SoloSuit
"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
>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate
>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance
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