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How to Resolve Debt With Commonwealth Financial

Chloe Meltzer | March 11, 2024

Chloe Meltzer
Legal Expert
Chloe Meltzer, MA

Chloe Meltzer is an experienced content writer specializing in legal content creation. She holds a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, complemented by a Master’s in Marketing from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: Commonwealth Financial is a debt collection agency that was recently shut down by the CFPB. As a result, Commonwealth should no longer appear on your credit report. If it does, you should report it.

Getting calls, mail, or a lawsuit notification from a debt collector is not something that anyone wants to deal with.. Unfortunately, more than 70 million Americans struggle with debt collectors. If you’re one of these people, it is important to know how to respond to debt collectors.

Conversations with a Commonwealth Financial debt collector can be unpleasant and strike fear. And if these conversations escalate to legal action, you should understand what happens when you get served with debt collection papers and learn how to defend yourself in court.

Keep reading to learn how to resolve debt with Commonwealth Financial.

Who is Commonwealth Financial?

Commonwealth Financial Systems is a debt collection agency. You may have been contacted by Commonwealth to collect a debt. Whether you owe this debt or not, it can be extremely stressful. It is good to note that you have the right to dispute any debt that they have tried to collect from you.

If you have seen the name Commonwealth Financial on your credit report, it may appear as a “collections” account. This typically happens when you forget to pay a bill. It will continue to damage your score unless it is removed.

Remove Commonwealth Financial from your credit report

Commonwealth Financial Systems was recently shut down by the CFPB for illegal debt collection activities in December 2023.

Commonwealth Financial Systems, Inc. breached the FCRA by inadequately investigating disputed debts and failing to notify credit bureaus about the disputes. It also violated the FDCPA by not validating debts upon consumer request.

As a result, Commonwealth Financial has been ordered to ask every credit reporting agency they have sent consumer information to, to remove all records of debt collection from those consumers' accounts.

So, if you’re still seeing Commonwealth Financial debt collection marks on your credit report, you shouldn’t. Contact each credit reporting agency to explain the situation and report that the information should be removed:

If you’ve been sued by a debt collector like Commonwealth Financial, it’s important to respond before you lose the chance to defend yourself in court. Here’s how.

Respond to debt collectors in court

Getting sued for debt can lead to big problems like wage garnishment and liens on your property.

Respond to the Complaint

The biggest mistake you can make is to ignore debt collectors. You must respond to any collection notice that you receive. This may arrive in the form of a summons and complaint. Even if you cannot pay for the debt, you must respond. If you do not respond, collectors will be able to obtain a default judgment against you. This will open up the ability to garnish your wages or take money directly from your bank account. This is why you must always respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

Follow these tips when responding to a debt lawsuit

  • Never admit liability.
  • Force the creditor to prove your debt.
  • File the Answer with the Clerk of Court.
  • Ask for a stamped copy of the Answer from the Clerk of Court.
  • Send the stamped copy certified mail to the plaintiff.
  • Respond to the period set by the lawsuit (anywhere from 20 to 30 days)

Challenge the company’s legal right to sue

There are various methods that you can utilize to respond and beat a debt collector in court. One method is to challenge the collector's right to file a lawsuit. This is because, by the time they have received your debt, it has most likely been sold multiple times. To collect on the debt, they must be able to prove that they have the right to do so and that it belongs to you.

Debt collectors must provide:

  • Credit agreement signed by you
  • Documentation of the chain of custody of all paperwork

Respond to your debt collection lawsuit in 15 minutes with SoloSuit.

Make debt collectors prove their claims

When you get served with a debt collection lawsuit, the “burden of proof” rests heavily with the company that is suing you. This means that debt collectors must prove the following:

  • Your responsibility for the debt
  • Their right to sue you
  • Your owing of a specific amount

One method of defense can be requiring specific proof of the amount you owe. This might include proof of the following:

  • Increase in balance when making purchases.
  • Increase of balance via fees.
  • Increase of balance due to the original credit agreement signed by you. (You cannot be sued for fees you did not agree to).
  • Accurate confirmation of the current balance reflecting all adjustments.

Point out the statute of limitations

The statute of limitations is a law that governs how long creditors can sue you regarding a debt. The rules vary from state to state, and even regarding the type of lawsuit. When it comes to debt, typically the laws have a range between four to six years, but can go as long as 20 in New York state.

It is important to note that the beginning of the statute of limitations on debt is on the last day that you were active on the account. Activity is defined as the following:

  • Making a payment
  • Drawing funds
  • Making a purchase

Making a payment restarts the clock for your debt, which means you need to examine when the last time you interacted with your account to ensure that the statute of limitations has passed. If it is has, the debt collector can no longer sue you for the debt. Despite this, you will still owe the debt and it may impact your credit, but you cannot have your wages garnished.

Make the right affirmative defense with SoloSuit.

Hiring an attorney can help in some cases

If you feel that you are in over your head, you can decide to hire an attorney. In this case, consulting an attorney may help you to figure out your options. Consulting with an attorney may help you with the following:

  • Knowing what options you have to pursue.
  • Understanding if it is beneficial to act against the lawsuit.
  • Hearing a third-party opinion.

Sometimes an attorney who believes that the creditor acted illegally may take your case without compensation. This is because if the court determines that the creditor acted illegally, they may order the plaintiff to pay those legal fees including your lawyer.

File a counterclaim

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a set of laws that governs how you may be approached by a third-party debt collector. If you believe that Commonwealth Financial has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) then you may be able to counter sue them and seek compensation for any related damages.

Use SoloSuit to file a response and win in court.

Consider filing for bankruptcy as a last resort

If you owe a debt and can't pay it and you are also experiencing other financial struggles, then bankruptcy may be an option for you. Despite this, filing bankruptcy is a long process that has huge ramifications on your credit and financial status, it should not be taken lightly.

Whatever decisions you make about defending yourself against a debt collection lawsuit, be sure to remember that your financial history continues your entire life. Weigh all of your options, and make the decision that works best for you.

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

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>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

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