George Simons | October 26, 2022
Summary: Known for using sketchy debt collection tactics and suing consumers for debt, Synchrony Bank is the leading provider of private-label credit cards in the US. If you are involved in a Synchrony Bank lawsuit, use SoloSuit to respond in just 15 minutes and increase your chances of winning.
Did you receive a lawsuit via certified mail from Synchrony Bank? If you did, it is time to act, not shy away from the suit. The stakes are too high for your credit score and financial future to ignore the lawsuit, hoping it will disappear. Unfortunately, lawsuits do not go away without action.
If you do not respond to a certified letter from Synchrony Bank, they will obtain a default judgment against you. This judgment means that the court will give Synchrony Bank permission to garnish your wages or access your bank accounts.
The good news is that you can respond to the lawsuit, and you have a strong chance of winning if you prepare for court using the proper documents.
This article will discuss Synchrony Bank and the tactics they use to get you to pay your credit card debt, and how you can fight back against a lawsuit they may have filed. If you have questions about how to effectively respond to a Synchrony Bank lawsuit once you finish reading, contact us at SoloSuit. We are here to help people face debt collectors.
Synchrony Bank provides credit card services for retail stores and online shopping sites. For example, when you apply for a store credit card from Old Navy, DICK'S Sporting Goods, or Guitar Center, you will get a Synchrony Bank credit card with those trade names on the card. The largest online retailer, Amazon, also offers Synchrony Bank credit cards.
So, where did Synchrony Bank come from? Their history is rooted in General Electric (GE). In early 2000, GE reached into the capital, lending, and credit card world with a series of financial companies called GE Capital Retail Bank. However, by 2014, GE Capital Retail had to settle claims for millions of dollars involving illegal credit card practices, including claims filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Justice Department.
Since GE Capital Retail Bank's name was tainted by its unscrupulous activities, it re-branded by changing its name to Synchrony Bank.
Currently, Synchrony Bank is a subsidiary of a publicly-traded company named Synchrony Financial. It is now one of the largest providers of private-label credit cards in the United States. As mentioned earlier, Synchrony Bank works with retailers to support their credit card programs.
Below is an exhaustive list of the credit cards issued by Synchrony Bank as of 2022:
When you receive an email, voicemail, or call from Synchrony Bank, ask for more information about the debt in question. It could be a genuine debt from these companies. Choosing to ignore their attempts to collect can, and does, result in Synchrony filing a lawsuit.
Access your Synchrony card agreements to get more details on your specific contract with Synchrony Financial.
Let's discuss this further.
If you feel like you’ve been harassed or treated unfairly by Synchrony, you’re not alone.
As of 2022, Synchrony Financial has received more than 7,000 complaints on its Better Business Bureau profile in the most recent three-year period. Even worse, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has reported nearly 16,500 complaints against Synchrony in the last ten years.
Complaints raised against Synchrony Bank debt collection range from unfair late fees charges, contacting consumers for a debt they already cleared, refusing to remove a false debt from the credit report, and speaking to unprofessional agents. Overall, Synchrony Bank is known for using sketchy debt collection tactics, increasing fees and interest, and being difficult to reach and work with.
Let’s take a look at a real complaint against Synchrony from the CFPB complaint database (edited for clarity):
“I recently found out that Synchrony Bank filed a lawsuit against me in Virginia where I do not live. I was not served to appear in court and I knew nothing about the court dates. I do not live in Virginia. In addition, the debt they are trying to collect is outside of the statute of limitations in North Carolina where I live which is 3 years. I have disputed the information but they ignore my demands for proper handling of my account.”
As you can see from the example above, Synchrony Bank sues for credit card debt relentlessly. If you find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit against Synchrony, you can fight back and win. Here’s how.
Yes, Synchrony Bank sues for credit card debt. If you’ve opened a line of credit and defaulted on your payments with any of the businesses listed above, there is a good chance that Synchrony Bank collections will start contacting you. If no payment is made to collections, you’ll probably be taken to court.
If Synchrony is suing you, the first step is to respond to the lawsuit with an Answer. This response lets Synchrony Bank know that you are willing to proceed with the legal process, but they have to prove you owe the debt.
You could be aware that you have not paid your Old Navy card invoices. So, you might conclude that "they have me dead to rights," and thus, the only thing you can do is ignore the paperwork because you don't have money for a lawyer. That feeling is completely understandable but a bad idea.
Ignoring Synchrony Bank's attempts to collect its debt is not the best move. You may be surprised to discover that many people who respond correctly to a credit card debt lawsuit get the debt removed because the credit card company could not prove its case.
That is why you are better off responding to a lawsuit. Sending an Answer does not mean you are committing to paying the debt. You are only expressing your interest in seeing the information Synchrony Bank has to prove that you owe the debt. Filing an Answer is the first step in defending yourself, and SoloSuit makes it easy.
Consumers sued for credit card debt often represent themselves in court because hiring an attorney can be cost-prohibitive. You do not need a lawyer to handle your case with SoloSuit's legal documents available. The crucial thing is to understand the requirements and the deadline for your response. Typically, you have about 14–30 days (depending on the state) to file your Answer.
When you file an Answer, you can admit or deny all the allegations in the lawsuit, and you can assert your affirmative defenses. Thus, the three things you need to worry about when filing an Answer are:
Those three steps might seem daunting because you may not have heard the term "affirmative defense" or "statute of limitations" before, but that is where you can easily get the help of SoloSuit. Check out this video to learn more about these three steps:
SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit. SoloSuit is a step-by-step web app that will ask you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer to a lawsuit. Afterward, you can print the completed forms and mail the hard copies to the courts. You can also pay SoloSuit a small fee to have an attorney review the document and file it with the courts.
Check out this video for even more helpful tips that will help you win a debt collection lawsuit against Synchrony Bank:
Synchrony Bank has its own debt collection department, commonly referred to as Synchrony Financial's in-house collections and billing department. They do not hire collection agencies to follow up on their debt. You would expect fewer complaints since they collect their own debt, but Synchrony Bank collections have numerous complaints, as mentioned before.
If you have been a victim of bad business practices from Synchrony Bank collections, report them to FTC, CFPB, and your state's attorney general's offices.
Yes, most credit card issuers have a mandatory arbitration clause that allows consumers, like you, to force a debt lawsuit out of court and into arbitration. This credit card agreement is stipulated in each Synchrony Bank contract, which you can access on the CFPB website’s Synchrony credit card agreement database.
Credit card companies permit consumers to take disputes into a private panel, also known as arbitration, instead of proceeding to court. The reason given for this decision is to avoid lengthy court processes, but consumer advocates believe it is designed to protect credit card companies from wrongdoing.
A CFPB study on arbitration confirmed this position. They found that consumers lose more than they win in these private hearings. The process also lacks an appeal provision, and the companies are not required to enforce any consumer protection laws.
So, if your Synchrony credit card agreement includes an arbitration clause, you should consider filing a Motion to Compel Arbitration into your Synchrony lawsuit. This will force Synchrony to resolve the dispute through arbitration. Keep in mind that the arbitration process is expensive, and creditors like Synchrony are usually responsible for all costs. Therefore, when you compel arbitration, there is a good chance that Synchrony would rather drop the case.
Watch this video to learn more about how to beat Synchrony Bank through arbitration:
Synchrony Bank recently allowed class-action lawsuits by consumers to progress after accepting to take responsibility for long-standing complaints raised against them. Synchrony Bank's class-action lawsuit allows consumers to be paid what they are owed for the suffering and damages they incurred as their customers. Synchrony Bank's class-action lawsuit compensation method states that each consumer who sues will receive a reasonable percentage of the total money owed to Synchrony Bank.
Synchrony Bank came to this decision after the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) became involved when they received many complaints from consumers of mistreatment. Particularly, consumers were regularly receiving annoying robocalls and talking to rude representatives. FTC sued Synchrony Bank collections to hold them accountable and ensure other customers are not mistreated.
Since its inception in 2014, many consumers have sued Synchrony Bank, and a majority have won these class-action lawsuits. An example of a Synchrony Bank class-action lawsuit 2020 was from Gap Inc and Banana Republic credit card holder, who claimed that his reward points were unlawfully deleted after replacing his card. The plaintiff said they were misled by the unfair and deceptive marketing of the card company, and they would not have signed up for the card if they knew Gap would wipe out his reward points.
Another Synchrony Bank class action lawsuit 2021 that got a victorious ruling was filed by California debtors whose complaint was that they were receiving frequent harassing calls from Synchrony Bank collections. The case ended on November 9, and Los Angeles Judge Rupert A. Byrdong ordered Synchrony Bank to pay $ 3.5 million.
The comforting news is that you can also sue Synchrony Bank in small claims courts, but ensure you have a strong case against them. The difference between small claims court and other civil courts is that there's a limit to the amount of money you can receive for damages. The maximum monetary compensation ranges from $2,500 to $20,000, depending on your state.
A debt entry by Synchrony Bank collections can harm your credit score for seven years if you do not plan to have it removed. Companies trust Synchrony Bank, and a negative report from them could reduce your chances of getting a new line of credit or personal loan. You can take action to have the debt removed from your credit report:
Synchrony Bank may file a lawsuit hoping that you will fail to respond. That way, they do not have to prove their case. Yet, whenever they are asked to prove their case, they often do not have the documentation to back up their allegations. That is why you should let SoloSuit help you respond to the Synchrony Bank lawsuit today. You have a way to fight back – and you can easily do it with the help of 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.
"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
You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.
Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? Were 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.