Chloe Meltzer | July 21, 2022
Summary: Are you being sued by Northstar Capital Acquisition? Not sure what to do next? Find out how to respond to a debt collection lawsuit and win in court.
Northstar Capital Acquisition is a debt collector that commonly purchases debts from creditors. When this occurs, you may find yourself being sued for that debt. This is extremely common, with around 50% of judgments being from debt-collection lawsuits. When you are sued for a debt, you often find out about it by receiving a summons and complaint. The complaint will explain why you are being sued, and what they are looking to obtain from you. This is often what you owe, but also court costs, lawyer fees, and possibly interest.
You will then be notified of the complaint through the summons. This will be served through the mail or to you directly. This will contain information about how and when you can file your formal response, as well as when you need to show up in court. Most debt collectors believe that you will not show up in court, and bet on this.
You must show up in court. If you do not show up then the debt collector will be given an automatic judgment. This will lead to wage garnishment, liens on your property, frozen bank accounts, and even money being taken directly from your account. This is why you need to respond via an Answer.
If you are being sued for a debt, it is most likely not by your original creditor. Typically debt has been sold multiple times. You may not even recognize the debt because it is so old. This is called zombie debt. Often it is past the statute of limitations that governs how long you may be sued for debt. The length of the statute of limitations varies based on the state you are being sued in. Despite this, on average, it is four to six years. Once that passes, the debt is considered “time-barred.” This means you can no longer be sued. This is a violation of your rights. Despite this, you will still owe the debt, and if you do not pay it, it will continue to lower your credit score.
Review your records and ask the debt collector for a validation and verification letter. This should be sent automatically, but if it is not, they will be required to send it. From these documents, you should be able to understand who the creditor is, if the amount is correct and if you owe the debt. Often there are errors when it comes to debt and amounts may be incorrect.
You will need to respond to a debt lawsuit within 20 to 30 days. The exact date will be mentioned on your summons. If you do not respond then you will suffer from more serious consequences. This includes having your wages, savings, and assets at risk. You will also no longer be able to dispute the debt at all.
Some people choose to work with a lawyer because this process can be complicated. In many cases, a lawyer may provide a free consultation, and take their legal fees if you win. If you win, the debt collector will be required to pay those fees, so it would be a win for everyone. This is not guaranteed though, so it is something you need to consider carefully.
You might want to hire a lawyer to look into defenses you weren't aware of or to help you write out your formal Answer. You may also want a lawyer if you end up going to court. This can help you because the debt collector may not be able to verify the debt and it might get dismissed.
Your hearing will determine whether or not you need to pay, and it will be your chance to work on a defense. Before the hearing, you can also attempt to work out a deal with the debt collector. At this point, you can set up a payment plan and work to make regular payments on the bill, or settle the debt.
Settlements are typically for less than you originally owed and are very common with debt collectors. This is because these debts are often purchased for pennies on the dollar. This provides you with room to negotiate. If you do get a settlement, be sure to get a written agreement that says the creditor considers it settled and that they will report it to the credit bureaus.
If you do not think you should pay the debt then you can use various affirmative defenses. These might include:
Other affirmative defenses include the statute of limitations, which is one of the strongest you can bring forward. Essentially, the defense of using the statute of limitations means a suit was brought on after the statutory limit has passed. This is known as the most powerful affirmative defense you can have.
Another strong defense is “lack of standing”. This occurs when the debt collector does not have a legal right to file a suit. It can mean that there is no clear ownership of the debt or no obvious change of hands during the assignment. Often this occurs when there is a lack of a paper trail in the sale or assignment of a debt from the creditor to the debt collector.
Finally, if the debt collector has failed to cite the statute and give you enough time to fight the lawsuit, then you can state “failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted”. This essentially means there is not enough to build a case on.
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.