Chloe Meltzer | July 21, 2022
Summary: Is Balekian Hayes threatening you over an old debt? Not sure how you're going to win the fight? Learn how to respond to debt collectors like Balekian Hayes and beat them in court.
Millions of Americans suffer from debt collection calls. This can be anywhere from one call per week, or various calls per day. Debt collectors are often companies who purchase debts and are represented by lawyers, such as Balekian Hayes. Correspondence from the lawyers of a debt collector or creditor can be stressful. Legally, you do not need to deal with this in your encounters with debt collectors.
Debt collectors will often escalate the situation by filing a lawsuit against you. In this case, you should know your rights and be proactive to avoid the situation becoming worst. First off, you will need to respond to the debt collection lawsuit, and second, you will need to learn what steps to take to legally defend yourself. This is how to beat Balekian Hayes in court.
If you are served with a debt collection lawsuit there are a few things you need to know and be prepared for:
If you were served a Summons and Complaint by a debt collector, you will need to respond to the debt within the allotted time given to you. This can be found on the summons and complaint and is usually anywhere from 20 to 30 days. This is a very common mistake for people not to respond in the right amount of time. If you owe the debt, if you think you should not pay the debt, or if you think it is a mistake, regardless, you need to respond to the allegations. This is called an Answer.
You must file an Answer within the number of days listed on your summons then the debt collector will be able to obtain a default judgment against you. This means that the debt collector will be able to garnish your wages, take money directly from your account, and possibly add to the debt with attorney's fees and court costs.
Responding also allows you have a chance at fighting the lawsuit as well. In many cases, the debt collector will be surprised that you answered and may offer a settlement to avoid going to court altogether. It's your decision how you would like to proceed.
When a lawsuit is filed against you, you have the right to ask for proof of the right to sue you. This means that any time a lawsuit is brought against you, you should ask for proof of that debt collector's ability to do so. This might include proving that they have the legal right to collect on your debt, showing evidence such as a signed credit card agreement, or proof of purchase of the debt. Without this, you cannot be sued for debt. This is called lacking chain of custody.
If you are being sued by a debt collector, then you will need to decide whether or not you want to accept the debt collection lawsuit. If you decide to accept the judgment then you will be required to pay it. You can also accept the judgment and avoid going to court. This means that you will be negotiating a settlement out of court. If you have limited wages and assets you can see if you are judgment proof. This means you receive too little income to have your wages garnished.
Settling your debt is possible, and is a good idea if you are looking to have the lawsuit dropped. If you agree you owe the debt, you can negotiate to pay less than the total amount. This allows you to avoid court, and maybe pay less. This is also positive for the debt collector as well because they get to avoid court costs. When settling the debt you can threaten bankruptcy as a method of paying less. Although you may not file for bankruptcy, threatening it can help in your negotiations.
The statute of limitations dictates the specific period that a debt collector may collect on that debt. Once this period is over, the statute of limitations has been reached and expired. You will no longer be able to be sued in court. If you are sued for a debt that is past the statute of limitations, this is considered an affirmative defense to have the lawsuit dismissed.
Although not the best option, sometimes filing for bankruptcy is the only option. This is typically done when debt is unmanageable, and you have other debts along with the one you are being sued for. There are two different types of bankruptcy filings. The first is the Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In this case, all of your debts will be forgiven. The debt collector will no longer be able to collect from you.
When it comes to filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are typically able to negotiate your debts being a lot lower than they are. You will be given a specific amount, you will agree to pay that amount, and then the debt collection will need to stop. It is essential to note that filing bankruptcy will follow you for the rest of your life, and damage your credit. In many cases, it is best to speak with a counselor, financial advisor, or other qualified professional before filing.
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.