Summary: Is Stenger and Stenger suing you for a debt? SoloSuit can help you take a stand and win in court.
If you are being harassed by a debt collector affiliated with Stenger and Stenger, you may be feeling stressed, frustrated and unsure about the future. This is totally understandable since Stenger and Stenger, like many other debt collectors, use aggressive and unethical practices to try and coerce you into paying what they claim you owe. That's why Stenger and Stenger might call you all day long, at night, and try to get in touch with you on email and social media to intimidate you into paying an alleged debt.
What is Stenger and Stenger and how does it work?
Stenger and Stenger is a debt collection law firm that operates out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Stenger and Stenger provides debt collection and legal services on behalf of clients in various states, including Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, and Tennessee. The firm has developed a reputation for using questionable tactics and being overly aggressive in attempting to collect on delinquent accounts. This is why many consumers have complained about Stenger and Stenger engaging in collection practices that may be in violation of the FDCPA (learn more below).
Stenger and Stenger has bad reviews and lots of complaints
If you're feeling frustrated with Stenger and Stenger, you're not alone. Its Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile gives it a 1.12 out of 5 stars, and its Google rating is similar with just 1.8 stars out of 5. Both the BBB and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have reported several consumer complaints against Stenger and Stenger.
As of 2022, Stenger and Stenger has received 87 complaints on its BBB profile in a three-year period. Even worse, the CFPB has reported 157 complaints against Stenger and Stenger in the last ten years. These complaints accuse Stenger and Stenger of using several debt collection tactics that are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Let's take a look at a real complaint about Stenger.
“I was served papers on a case I never knew existed. I called and set up a payment of 2 payments for a settlement offer. Called made first one no problem. Called and made 2nd payment. No problem that I thought of, now they are taking me back to court because they never processed the 2nd payment I guess that they took. Now they are trying to get me to pay almost double because they are not able to see that I called and authorized the payment via phone.”
Knowing your rights under the FDCPA can help you protect yourself from aggressive debt collectors like Stenger and Stenger.
The FDCPA protects you from debt collectors like Stenger and Stenger
Stenger and Stenger is well-known for trying to prey on consumers who don't understand the legal rights they have as stated in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This law states several rules and guidelines that control how debt collectors can legally treat you. Sometimes debt collectors go over the line because they only receive payment when they collect debts. Some restrictions on these shady companies include:
Debt collectors cannot contact you at work.
Debt collectors cannot use bad language and threats when they talk to you or send you letters.
Debt collectors are not allowed to threaten you with lawsuits.
Debt collectors cannot call you at home before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
Debt collectors cannot discuss your debt with anyone except for you, your spouse, and your lawyer.
Respond to a debt lawsuit against Stenger and Stenger
You can save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress when you represent yourself in court instead of finding an attorney to do it for you. SoloSuit can help you prepare your legal documents for court and win.
Follow these three steps to respond to a debt lawsuit against Stenger and Stenger:
Answer each claim listed in the Complaint.
Assert your affirmative defenses.
File the Answer with the court, and send a copy to Stenger and Stenger.
Now, let's break down each of these steps a little further. Don't like reading? Check out this video instead:
1. Answer each claim listed in the Complaint
Your Answer document should focus primarily on responding to the specific claims, or allegations, listed in the Complaint document that you received. In response to each allegation, you can admit, deny, or deny due to lack of knowledge. Let's explain.
When you admit a claim, it's like saying “This is true.” When you admit a claim, there is no contest. Admitting all the claims in your Answer would probably lead to a judgment against you.
When you deny a claim, it's like saying “Prove it.” Keep in mind that this isn't the same as saying “This is not true.” Denying a claim is simply refusing to admit it as truth before a court of law.
When you deny a claim due to lack of knowledge, it's like saying “I don't know.” This is a perfectly fine response to use if you aren't sure about the allegations being made against you.
Most attorneys recommend denying as many claims as possible, because this will force PFW to do more work to prove their side of the case. If they don't have the proper documentation for proof, their case won't stand.
The plaintiff in a collections lawsuit is always the creditor or debt buyer, or in this case, Stenger and Stenger. Because of this, they hold the burden of proof, which means they must establish the right to collect the debt they owe. Specifically, the plaintiff must provide admissible evidence that the lawsuit is true. This is somewhat difficult, but if you do not show up, or respond to the summons and complaint then they will win automatically.
Here are some examples of affirmative defenses you might raise in a debt lawsuit:
Stenger and Stenger failed to state the basis of the lawsuit: With this affirmative defense, you are stating that the debt collector did not cite a law that was violated meaning there is not a legal reason to sue you.
The debt is time-barred: This means that the statute of limitations has passed. The statute of limitations governs how long you can legally be sued for debt. This may range anywhere from two to 20 years, but on average is anywhere from four to six.
Plaintiff lacks legal standing: If Stenger and Stenger has failed to provide legal evidence that they own and can legally collect your debt, they lack legal standing. This typically occurs when the debt collector cannot prove they purchased or were assigned the debt.
3. File the Answer in court, and send a copy to Stenger and Stenger
After you've drafted your Answer, you should file it within the court's deadline. The deadline to respond to a debt lawsuit is anywhere from 14-35 days, depending on which state you live in. Make a copy of the Answer and send it, via USPS certified mail, to the attorneys representing NPAS.
Negotiate a debt settlement with Stenger and Stenger
It is very common to settle a debt collection lawsuit for less than you owe because debt collectors often purchase your debt for pennies on the dollar. This means that even if you are not able to get the lawsuit thrown out, you may be able to settle it for next to nothing. It is important that you realize you may need to pay a lump sum if you wish to get the lowest price possible. If this is not something you can do, then you should expect to attempt to coordinate monthly payments.
You can begin negotiating a debt settlement with Stenger and Stenger by sending a Debt Lawsuit Settlement Letter. Avoid offering to pay off the whole debt, because you can probably get Stenger and Stenger to settle for a percentage of the debt.
Watch this video to learn more about debt settlement:
What to Do If Stenger and Stenger Sues You for a Debt
Here's a quick summary of actions to take if Stenger and Stenger files a lawsuit against you to recover debts:
Note all phone calls that happen before 8 am and after 9 pm. Also, write down if the company calls you at work or uses bad language and threats.
Be certain you file the Answer within the proper time frame.
In the Answer, it's critical to raise at least one affirmative defense, such as a violation of the statute of limitations. Also, demand evidence that Stenger and Stenger has that you owe them the money they allege in their communications. And, they must prove that you are the one who owes the debt.
The strategies and defenses described above may be effective in prevailing against Stenger and Stenger in court. Also, remember to file a counterclaim if you can prove they violated the FDCPA. They may owe you compensatory damages if they fail to follow the law.
Overall, remember that being sued by a debt collector isn't the end of the world. There are actions you can take to defend yourself in court and protect your rights.
What is SoloSuit?
SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.
You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.
SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.
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
It only takes 15 minutes. And 50% of our customers' cases have been dismissed in the past.
"Finding yourself on the wrong side of the law unexpectedly is kinda scary. I started researching on YouTube and found SoloSuit's channel. The videos were so helpful, easy to understand and encouraging. When I reached out to SoloSuit they were on it. Very professional, impeccably prompt. Thanks for the service!" – Heather