Summary:When you're being sued for an old debt, you want to make the right defense. Learn all about a request for dismissal and how it can help you win in court.
Dealing with debt is always stressful, but being able to understand the steps to have your case dismissed is one of the best ways to deal with it. Although this is not always a possibility, it never hurts to try.
Typically a debt collection case involves yourself and a debt collector or the original creditor from who you borrowed money. If you are dealing with the original creditor then you have less of a chance for it to be dismissed, but most often debt collection cases are handled by debt collectors.
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What is a request for dismissal?
If you are involved in a debt collection lawsuit, your hope is typically to get it over and done with. One option is to request that the case be dismissed, known as a “request for dismissal”. This term is essentially asking the court to terminate or dismiss your case.
In some cases, a plaintiff might request for a case to be dismissed. There are a few reasons why they might do this.
- The debt was settled out of court.
- An agreement has been reached and both parties wish to end the case.
- The judgment has been satisfied.
- You have not responded to the lawsuit but the debt collector wants to sue you at a later time.
“With prejudice” means that the case may never be re-filed. “Without prejudice” refers to being able to re-file your case at a later date (as long as it is still within the statute of limitations).
Reasons why you might request a dismissal
- Motion to dismiss on factual grounds. Also known as a C4 motion, this motion to dismiss is typically because both the defendant and the prosecution agree on what happened. In this case, there will be no more need for a trial to continue. In a criminal case, the judge will then decide if your actions were criminal or not.
- Motion to dismiss due to the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the time period on a debt in which a debt collector may bring you to court to sue you for not paying it. If the time period between the debt and filing charges exceeds the statute of limitations, the debt becomes time-barred. This time period usually averages anywhere from three to six years but varies based on the state and type of debt.
- Motion to dismiss due to insufficient evidence. When you are being sued for a debt you should always ask for proof of your responsibility for the debt. This is essential because if the debt collector cannot prove that the debt is yours, there will be insufficient evidence to force you to pay it. This is because the burden of proof rests with the debt collector.
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Dismissals before trial
In many situations, debt collection cases are dismissed by forcing the prosecution to provide documents supporting your debt. Because the debt collectors often file thousands of these cases each year, they may not even respond to the request. In this case, they may also dismiss the case because of insufficient evidence (as mentioned above).
Additionally, debt collectors often purchase these debts for pennies on the dollar in large bulk accounts. They typically would rather not spend the money in legal fees needed to take you to court and often will have the case dismissed.
If the credit card company or debt collector does have proof that the debt is yours, you still have a chance. If you can find some type of error in their paperwork, then you can request that the case be dismissed. Should the company not actively pursue their claim against you, the Court will automatically dismiss your case. This is called a "dismissal for want of prosecution."
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Dismissals at trial
Another common timing for dismissals is actually at trial. If you arrive at the trial and the attorney for the credit card company does not, then the case is automatically dismissed, and you will automatically win. You need to be careful with this though because if you do not show up the opposition will automatically be given a default judgment against you.
In some cases, you may even win your case and they owe nothing to the opposition. This is possible if you show that the documents are not clear, that the affidavits are not trustworthy, or the debt collector did not legally acquire your account.
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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