Chloe Meltzer | October 19, 2022
Summary: Is Atlantic Credit and Finance suing you? Are you stressed about how you're going to pay it all back. Learn how to respond and win your debt collection lawsuit.
Have you been receiving suspicious letters, phone calls, or in-person service of court documents? You may have been informed that Atlantic Credit and Finance LLC is suing you over outstanding debt. If this is the case, then you may immediately hang up, throw out the letter, or freak out. What you shouldn't do, is ignore it. This could mean you may face damaging financial consequences if you do not respond in time, and in the right manner.
First off, Atlantic Credit and Finance LLC is a legitimate modern junk debt buyer. This means that they purchase debt from allegedly defaulted consumer debt accounts. Then they attempt to sue consumers for these debts and collect on them.
According to the BBB, Atlantic Credit and Finance was founded in 1996 with headquarters in Roanoke, VA. On their website, ACF states that they help customers to handle their debt. Despite this, their collection tactics include robocalls, letters, and lawsuits.
Companies like Atlantic Credit and Finance LLC purchase your account at a fraction of the cost of what you owe, typically from credit card companies, banks, and other companies. These accounts are usually considered risky or hopeless to collect on, and therefore Atlantic Credit and Finance LLC hopes to collect on the full amount by filing lawsuits in bulk against you.
Atlantic Credit & Finance LLC knows how to work the system. They also know that they can obtain an automatic judgment if you do not respond to their summons. Obtaining a debt judgment can be devastating and can lead to the following consequences:
Although your situation may be frightening, you may not need to hire a lawyer. This is because these lawsuits are not a guaranteed win for the debt collector. Some debt lawsuits are based on real accounts and debts, but because many lack the necessary documentation to prove that you owe the amount, you may be able to avoid accepting liability. This is because debt can change hands multiple times before a lawsuit is ever filed.
If you have ever been served a Summons and Complaint, then you must respond to it. This is typically the number one mistake people make when sued for debt. Whether you owe the debt or think you have been sued in error, you still need to respond. This is done in the form of an Answer.
If you do not send an Answer, then you will provide an easy opportunity for Atlantic Credit and Finance to file a default judgment against you. This is when things get serious and the collector can now try to garnish your wages, take money out of your bank account, and even attempt to collect attorney's fees, court costs, and interest charges.
Even if you owe this debt, you should respond in around two sentences denying liability. If you automatically admit to the lawsuit, then the collector may secure all of the funds. If you end up being given the liability but you originally responded, then you may be able to negotiate a settlement and save money in the long run.
Responding means that the debt collector will either back down or offer a settlement. The debt collector typically files the lawsuit assuming that you will not file an Answer. If you do, they may be surprised, and not want to put much more effort into collecting from you. This is why if you automatically deny liability, they will work to settle the debt for a lower cost.
Challenge the debt collector's, ability to file the lawsuit against you in the first place. When it comes to credit card debt, it is typically bought at a very low rate by a collection agency. This is why they try to sue you to collect the money owed. Despite this, they also need to prove they have the right to do so. This evidence can be in the form of a transfer of the signed credit card agreement. Most often they do not have this documentation because it was not properly transferred to the collection agency.
If you are planning to ask the court to dismiss the case, it would be because the debt collector does not have the "chain of custody" paperwork. This means that they do not have the right to collect this debt from you.
Because Atlantic Credit automatically assumes that you will not respond, they are typically not prepared for your response. This also means that they often do not even check to see if they can legally sue you for the debt. The Statute of Limitations is the maximum amount of time that a third-party debt collector can sue you for debt. After this amount of time, the Statute of Limitations expires and the collector will no longer be able to sue you in court. This can be used as a method of defense against a lawsuit.
Countersuing is an option if a debt collector has violated any of the provisions in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In this case, you may be able to sue them and be awarded damages. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act includes when you can legally be contacted and in what manner.
Being sued for debt is never fun, but you always have a way out. Especially when being sued by a third-party debt collector such as Atlantic Credit and Finance. Take these tips and make a decision that works best for you, but always remember, you must respond.
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.
Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.