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What should I do if I am sued for credit card debt?

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2022 | Consumer Protection |

Many Ohio residents are financially struggling these days. Recent times have caused people to run up more credit card debt than usual. This can result in missed payments, or the inability to make payments.

Credit card companies can sue you for unpaid credit card debt, although they may wait until several payments are missed, and they will try to contact you first. If you’ve fallen behind on credit card payments, or are overwhelmed with debt, you may overlook letters or phone calls from creditors.

Don’t ignore the complaint

Sometimes a credit card company may sue you directly, and sometimes they may first sell your credit card account to a third-party debt collection agency. You will receive notice of the lawsuit by being served with a complaint. The complaint should list specific information, such as who exactly is suing you and the total amount of debt you allegedly owe.

If a hearing is scheduled, the date, time and place of the hearing will be listed, along with detailed instructions on how you should respond. The debt collector must prove that you owe the debt. If you do not respond, they may obtain a default judgment against you. This means they win the lawsuit simply because you did not respond.

Defenses are available

Contacting an attorney when you receive the complaint is a good idea. A consumer protection attorney knows how to defend against credit card debt lawsuits by raising objections or making arguments demonstrating how the claim cannot be proven.

To prove the debt against you, the debt collector must produce documentation, verified by a witness with personal knowledge of the documentation, showing that the credit card is yours and that you accumulated the exact amount of debt they allege is owed. They often cannot do this. You may also have a statute of limitations argument, if the legally allowable time to collect on the debt has elapsed.

Consider a payment plan

You always have the option of settling the debt through a payment arrangement. If your financial situation allows you the ability to make monthly payments, talk with your attorney about negotiating a payment plan. Most debt collectors are willing to do payment plans, since if they lose in court, they will receive nothing.

Do not panic if you receive a complaint for owed credit card debt. There are many options available that can help you restore financial stability.