Chloe Meltzer | December 02, 2022
Summary: Are you being sued by Second Round Collections for an old debt? Learn why they're suing you and how to win your case with the right defense.
Calls, letters in the mail, or lawsuits from debt collectors are often things that no one wants to deal with but are typically more common than people think. Millions of Americans deal with debt collection lawsuits each year, but there are ways to defend yourself. Especially if you have felt threatened, you do not need to sit around and just deal with it.
Being served with a lawsuit can be frightening. Your wages, bank accounts, and assets may be at risk. Your first instinct may be to run, but this is why you need to face the lawsuit. If you do not answer then you will be given a default judgment. This is the worst thing that can happen because it means you lose automatically. Here are some ways that you can beat Second Round Collections in court.
Although you cannot necessarily use all of the following defenses, they are some of the most common and useful defenses to use in a lawsuit. When responding to a lawsuit, you will need to list your affirmative defense by name and add facts to support your defense.
The statute of limitations is the period of time that a debt collector can legally sue you. Although you will still owe the debt, you can no longer have your wages garnished nor your assets possessed. Typically the statute will be from four to six years, but it will depend based on the state you are being sued in and the type of debt.
When you respond in an Answer using the Statute of Limitations as an affirmative defense you should state: “Suit was brought on after the statutory limit has passed.”
This is known as the most powerful affirmative defense you can use.
Lack of standing is also a powerful defense to use. It essentially means that a debt collector has no right to file a suit against you. This may mean that there is no clear ownership of the debt, or that the debt was never legally assigned to a debt collector. This is common because typically debts have been sold many times before getting to Second Round Collections. Especially when there is no clear paper trail (known as the chain of custody), this is a very good affirmative defense. You are essentially asking for proof that you can be sued.
When you respond in an Answer using Lack of Standing as an affirmative defense you should state: “No legal basis to file suit based on _____.”
In some cases, the debt collector may have no stated statute of the complaint that fails to state sufficient facts. This means that your case is not valid, or has enough of the basis of the claim. You can use this in case you are told that you owe them money, but have not stated any other facts to back it up.
In some cases, the Plaintiff may admit to purchasing the defaulted debt that is owned by you. This would cause a Plaintiff's injury to its own self. In this case, the “Plaintiff is barred from seeking relief for damages.”
Similar to what it sounds like, this is an affirmative defense to use if the debt collector is acting dirty. This might include providing fake evidence or producing false witnesses. You should use this defense.
If you feel that the Plaintiff's complaint “does not explain that the purported assignment was partial or complete” then there is no evidence of the assignment. This means you can claim the assignment was not bona fide.
In the event you noticed that the debt collector is not acting legally, then you may be able to complain stating that they do not have the “right or license to advertise or solicit”. Whether this is by letter, print, or in person. If they do not have the right to collect or receive payment of a claim for another, then they cannot sue you. This is fair to use if the debt collector is not any of the following:
If you as the defendant invokes the Doctrine of Laches, it means you feel that they waited too long to file the lawsuit. This means that you are stating it has become too difficult, or it is impossible, for you to find a witness or substantial evidence. In the United States, all citizens have the right to a fair trial. Therefore, you are requesting more time to collect evidence because your chance at a proper defense and fair trial has been destroyed.
The most important thing you always need to remember when to comes to debt collection lawsuits is to respond. If you do not respond you will automatically lose your case and be given a default judgment. This is where your wages can be garnished, assets seized, and money taken directly from your bank accounts.
Although not all of these affirmative defenses will work for your case, you can see if they potentially apply to your case. Most of them work in specific situations, but reviewing them may give you some ideas and insight into defenses that you can use. It is essential that you tailor them to your case, and make a strong case against Second Round Debt Collections.
Do your research, put in the work, and always ensure that you show up in court. You never know with whom the judge is going to side, and you may very well beat Second Round Debt Collections in court.
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.