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Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

George Simons | December 01, 2022

If you are Captain America, and the debt collector is Thanos, then SoloSuit is Thor's Hammer.

Summary: Sued for a credit card debt? This article is for you. Use SoloSuit to respond in 15 minutes.

If you have not paid a credit card bill, or multiple credit card bills, there is a high likelihood that the issuer of the credit card will attempt to collect on the unpaid amount through collections and, eventually a lawsuit. If you are receiving harassing phone calls and related correspondence from a credit card company like Visa, American Express, Discover, etc., you are probably feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about your future. Do not fret. You are not alone. Infact, there are millions of people across the country who are forced to endure stress and anxiety related to credit card debt, including debt collection lawsuits. In fact, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, more than 70 million Americans reported having encounters with credit card companies. In addition to hounding calls, many credit card companies will escalate their pursuit by filing a lawsuit against you.

If you are served with a credit card debt collection lawsuit, it is important to be proactive and take steps to protect your rights. You should try to attain an understanding of what happens when you get served with a copy of the Complaint and what steps are necessary to legally defend yourself against the credit card company. In that endeavor, here are some tips on how to effectively defend yourself in court against a credit card company.

Make Sure You Answer the Credit Card Debt Lawsuit

If you were served a Summons and Complaint by a credit card company, it is extremely important that you respond to it in a timely manner. One of the most common mistakes people make in this situation is ignoring the lawsuit. Whether you owe the debt, or you think you are being sued by mistake, you need to be sure you respond to the allegations. In legal terms, your response is referred to as an Answer to the credit card company’s Complaint.

SoloSuit makes it simple to respond the right way.

Filing your Answer in a timely manner is so important because if you fail to do so, the credit card company will likely seek a default judgment against you. If the court grants the default judgment against you, it means the credit card company will be empowered to garnish your wages, take money out of your checking account, and even try to recover attorney's fees and related court costs.

Responding to the lawsuit is also important because it actually gives you an edge in the lawsuit. Many debt collection companies actually bet on people failing to file an Answer thereby allowing the credit card company to obtain the aforementioned default judgment.

When you respond with an Answer to the lawsuit, many credit card companies are actually quite surprised and may even be more inclined to negotiate a settlement in the hopes of avoiding the cost of actually litigating the collections case.

Credit Card Company Needs to Establish They Have the Right to Take Legal Action

When a credit card company files a lawsuit against you, it enables you to raise affirmative defenses to challenge the veracity of the lawsuit. You should consider challenging the credit card company's ability to even file a lawsuit against you. For example, if a credit card company is attempting to recover on an unpaid credit card, they need to actually prove they possess the legal right to collect on this debt by producing evidence to you, and the court. If the credit card company is unable to produce sufficient evidence, you could potentially request the court dismiss the credit card company’s case because the company lacks the "chain of custody" evidence required to enable the company to actually pursue this debt from you.

Statute of Limitations as an Affirmative Defense in a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit

In many states, creditors (including credit card companies) only have a finite period of time to attempt to collect on a debt. After this period of time has elapsed, the statute of limitations is considered to have expired and the credit card company loses their right to pursue a recovery in court. If it turns out that a credit card company sued you on a debt where the statute of limitations expired, you can use this as an affirmative defense in your Answer and in court. This defense could potentially get the credit card company’s lawsuit dismissed by a judge.

With SoloSuit you can make the right affirmative defenses the right way.

If you need assistance in drafting your response to the debt collection lawsuit, including the affirmative defenses that may be included in your Answer, take advantage of the resources offered through SoloSuit.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit takes some of the mystery away from responding to a debt collection lawsuit. Here is what to expect when you use SoloSuit. First, you will utilize our step-by-step web-app. This app will ask you a series of questions. 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

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance

If you need assistance on how to best respond to a debt collection lawsuit, consider utilizing SoloSuit. What is SoloSuit? Take a moment to review these FAQs to learn more.

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Takeaways on How to Effectively Defend Yourself in a Credit Card Debt Collection Lawsuit

Here are some of the key takeaway on what you need to do if you are served with a credit card debt collection lawsuit and have to go to court:

  • Make sure you respond to the Complaint and your response is timely filed
  • Review potential affirmative defenses that could apply to your case
  • Make the credit card company prove that they have the legal right to sue you
  • Make the credit card company prove that you actually owe the amount alleged in the Complaint
  • Show up to court prepared and ready to defend yourself

Best of Luck!

Additional Resources

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

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