Dena Standley is a seasoned paralegal with more than 20 years of experience in legal research and writing, having received a certification as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal from Southern Technical College.
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: When CardWorks contacts you about a debt, you have options. You can send a Debt Validation Letter to request a verification of the debt. If you've been sued, SoloSuit can help you respond to the lawsuit with a written Answer and settle the debt before going to court.
CardWorks Servicing is one of the most confusing debt collection companies to deal with. Aside from the insistent calls, most consumers are never sure whether CardWorks is a bank, a third-party debt collection agency, or another party.
To clear things up for you, CardWorks, Inc. is the parent company of Merrick Bank, CardWorks Servicing, and Carson Smithfield. And yes, CardWorks Servicing offers debt collection services to several creditors across the country.
CardWorks Servicing is a legitimate company that claims to have been around for nearly 35 years. Its BBB profile shows a 1 out of 5 star rating for customer reviews. In fact, there are numerous consumer complaints about how the company contacts and treats consumers on its BBB profile.
Most consumer complaints against CardWorks center around:
Not identifying as a debt collector when communicating with them
Claiming to represent the FDIC (a government agency)
Employees using misleading means to collect a debt
Even though CardWorks has an average-looking 3.8 stars Google review, most positive reviews are from its employees. Most consumer reviews are staggeringly low.
As is true for all debt collection companies, CardWorks has a set of rules to follow when contacting you regarding debt. You can learn more about the rules and regulations debt collectors have to follow from the Federal Trade Commission. You can also file a complaint if you feel you have been treated in an unfair or abusive manner.
CardWorks is in violation of the FDCPA if one of their collectors:
Lies to you
Fails to identify as a debt collector
Harasses you by calling repeatedly
Calls you past 9:00 pm in the night or before 8:00 am
Calls you names
Reveals your financial information to unauthorized third-parties
If CardWorks used any of the tactics listed above to try to collect a debt from you, then you could be eligible for compensation. By filing a countersuit, you could receive up to $1000 from CardWorks for each FDCPA violation they committed.
Send a Debt Validation Letter to CardWorks
CardWorks will confuse you by claiming it is not a debt collection agency, but then go ahead and read you the Mini-Miranda (a set of statements that a debt collector must read out to you when contacting you to collect a debt).
The moment you hear the Mini-Miranda, you know you're dealing with debt collectors. Your immediate action should be to send a Debt Validation Letter to the company. A Debt Validation Letter is the best response as it directs the company to validate your debt within 30 days. If CreditWorks collectors cannot validate the debt, they must cease contact with you. After receiving a request for debt validation, most collection agencies give up. You can draft a Debt Validation Letter in minutes with SoloSuit.
Send your Debt Validation Letter to CardWorks at:
101 Crossways Park Dr. W
Woodbury, NY 11797
To learn more about how to draft a Debt Validation Letter, watch SoloSuit's founder explain how to do it in 2 simple steps:
Ask CardWorks to stop contacting you
You don't have to deal with debt collectors contacting you. You can send a Cease and Desist Letter stating your intentions for the debt and demanding that they stop contacting you. Send the letter certified mail, return receipt requested. Once you have proof that they received your letter, CardWorks can no longer contact you to collect the debt.
They may call you to let you know of any action they plan to take concerning the debt. Instead of dealing with unending debt collection calls, you can now concentrate on other important matters. You can use the same address listed above when sending a Cease and Desist Letter.
Request to pay the original creditor
All hope may seem lost after a debt passes into the hands of a debt collection company. You may feel helpless and resign to dealing with abusive debt collectors. However, you have options to settle the debt.
If you realize that your original creditor paid a collection agency to collect the money, you can still reach them via customer service and ask that you pay them instead.
Request the creditor to work with you to develop a repayment plan that works for you. The creditor may accept or deny your request. If it's accepted, however, you'll put an end to CardWork's unending calls and get back your peace of mind.
This list isn't complete, as phone numbers may change, or the company may use additional numbers to reach you.
If CardWorks has contacted you about a debt, the first step to beating them should be sending a Debt Validation Letter. The letter gives CardWorks 30 days to validate your debt, meaning they must provide proof (legal documentation) that the debt belongs to you and that all the account information they are using is correct. Errors or inconsistencies can result in you no longer being liable for the debt.
Respond to a debt lawsuit against CreditWorks
If CreditWorks Servicing has filed a lawsuit against you for a debt you owe, the first step to beating them is to file a written Answer in the court. Here are 6 helpful tips for drafting a winning Answer:
The Answer isn't the place to tell your side of the story in detail: At this stage in the lawsuit, the burden of proof is not on you. This means that you don't have to elaborately explain your side of the story. In fact, doing so can actually hurt your case. Let the plaintiff (in this case, CardWorks) prove their claims. All you have to do is respond to each claim listed in the Complaint.
Deny Deny Deny: Most attorneys recommend that you deny as many of the claims against you as possible. Denying is kind of like saying, “prove it,” which requires more work and documentation on CardWorks' end. If CardWorks doesn't have enough evidence to prove you owe the debt, it will likely dismiss the case altogether.
Include defenses: You should include a section in your Answer where you state your affirmative defenses. These are short statements that are reasons CardWorks doesn't have a case against you. For example, the debt may be past the statute of limitations, you may be sued in the wrong state or county, and you may not have received a Summons notifying you of the lawsuit. These are all common affirmative defenses that can strengthen your case.
Use standard formatting or “style”: Your Answer should be clean and professional, with standard font, font size, and formatting. It should include a caption that states the court information, parties, and case number.
Include certificate of service: The certificate of service is a short statement at the end of a legal document that certifies the document was actually sent to the opposing party. It should include the address that was used and the manner in which it was sent. So, you should certify that you sent the Answer to the attorney representing CardWorks Services with the address listed on the Summons document.
Sign it: Almost all courts require a signature at the end of the Answer. Without an Answer, the court will most likely reject the document. Make sure to double check whether your court accepts electronic signatures or not.
To learn more about these 6 tips, check out the video below. SoloSuit's founder explains how to effectively draft an Answer to a debt lawsuit:
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
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