Debt collectors love to take what belongs to you.
Summary: Is Citibank suing you for a past due balance? Learn how your can beat a big lender like Citibank in court..
If you are being sued by Citibank for credit card debt or a loan, then you need to act quickly. Citibank has a skilled legal team that goes after consumers that do not pay their debt. This is why after you have been served with a debt lawsuit, you will be faced with a series of events that you must do.
When you default on credit card debt, the result is typically a lawsuit. This can become extreme and allow them to garnish your wages or even take money directly from your bank account. You can do a few things, ignore the call and allow them to obtain a default judgment, or you can try to negotiate the settlement. If you truly wish to fight it, you can decide to do this, but first things first, you will need to respond to the summons.
Stand up to creditors by filing a response with SoloSuit.
How to Defend a Debt Collection Lawsuit
In some cases, you might not owe anything on the debt. You could be a victim of one of the following situations:
- Already paid off debt: If you have proof that you already paid the debt, then you can simply respond with this information and the case should be thrown out.
- The statute of limitations has run out: In every type of civil lawsuit, there is a statute of limitations. This varies from state to state and can be anywhere from 4 to 6 years. but most are in the 4-to-6 year range. The last day that you made a payment is when the clock starts over again on the statute of limitations. This means if the complaint was filed with the court after it has ended, the lawsuit is considered invalid. Despite this, you still must show up in court and explain to the judge that the statute of limitations expired.
- Look into the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: Also known as the FDCPA, this is a federal law. It requires debt collectors to do, and not do, a variety of different provisions. If they violate one part of the law then you will have the ability to countersue.
- Fraud: In some cases, you may have had your identity stolen. If this was the case you may not even realize that your credit card is in default. It is essential to find out if that happened and present your case to the court.
- Mistaken identity: Another method of fraud might be that you never signed up for a credit card but then have suddenly be served with a lawsuit. In this case, you can run a free credit report to see if this account was opened in your name.
- Bankruptcy: Any time that you file for bankruptcy it means that any debt should be completely wiped out. This is a real defense to use to not pay a debt that you should not pay.
What to Do If You Owe the Debt
If you have been sued then you will be served with a copy of the complaint against you as well as the court summons. This then will tell you the day you need to show up in court for your hearing. Typically if you are given three to four weeks to respond. You can settle the debt and this happens out of court. In some cases, you may need to respond directly or go through bankruptcy court.
It is essential to file in court because you do not want a default judgment to be entered against you. This means you automatically lose the case.
The first step in fighting a debt collection lawsuit is not to ignore it. Ignoring your lawsuit can only lead to being negligent. It was found that in over 90% of credit card collection cases, the consumer does not show up in court. In this case, a default judgment is automatically given to you, and you will automatically lose your case.
Protect your property from debt collectors. Use SoloSuit to file a response fast.
Know Your Rights
You must understand your rights when it comes to debt collection and the FDCPA. For example, phone calls from debt collectors are limited to seven attempts, or up to one conversation per week. One thing you can do as well is to ask for proof of your debt. If they cannot provide proof, then they cannot legally sue you. You can also ensure that the lawsuit complies with the Statute of Limitations. If it is past the statute of limitations date then you can ask to have the lawsuit dropped immediately.
Debt collectors then must wait 14 days before posting the debt on your credit report. This means if you handle it within 14 days you may be able to settle and possibly save your credit.
They are also required to provide you with a validation notice of your debt immediately or within five days of contacting you. The notice will include:
- How much is owed
- Who the notice is from (a debt collector)
- Your right as a consumer to dispute the debt within 30 days
This would technically be violating the FDCPA if they do not provide this, and if the plaintiff violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, then you can file a counterclaim.
Don't let debt collectors push you around. Respond with SoloSuit.
How to Settle Your Credit Card Debt
In some cases winning your case is not an option, but settling is. In this case, you are essentially attempting to provide some incentive to avoid going to trial and settle by paying a smaller amount of your debt. This is common because oftentimes your debt has been sold at least once, but even multiple times. In this case, your debt will have been sold for a fraction of the cost, so there is room to negotiate.
When attempting to settle the debt you can offer to pay a portion of it. Ask the company to forgive the rest and cancel the lawsuit. You can also ask to be held without blame to protect your credit score. If your settlement is accepted, then you need to ask for written notification to ensure it is not seen as simply a payment, but rather a settlement and completion of the debt.
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
How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection Guides for Other States
Here's a list of guides for other states.
All 50 states.
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