Many people who struggle with debt believe that filing for bankruptcy is their only option. In fact, many debt relief attorneys offer only bankruptcy services. However, Brine Consumer Law takes a different approach. We will discuss your situation and what your ideal outcome would be. It’s possible that we will find a solution that doesn’t involve bankruptcy. One such solution is debt defense.
If you have been notified that you are being sued for past debt, you may panic and decide you have to file for bankruptcy. Or you might ignore the lawsuit and hope it goes away. Unfortunately, it will not go away on its own. In fact, the debt collector may have filed a lawsuit hoping you will ignore it, so that he can get a default judgment against you.
What should you do?
First, Contact Brine Consumer Law
When debt buyers purchase debt for pennies on the dollar, they often don’t receive the documentation that will be necessary to prove the debt is legitimate. This can open the door for a skilled debt defense attorney to fight the debt in court.
Here are some important points to understand about debt collection lawsuits:
- Even if the debt is legitimately yours, the entity claiming to have the right to collect the debt from you may not actually be eligible to collect.
- Debt buyers have the burden of proof. This means they must provide admissible evidence that the debt belongs to you. If they bought the debt without underlying documentation, they may not be able to prove that it is yours.
- If you ignore a lawsuit, a judgment will be entered against you by default. In this case, it won’t matter if the debt buyer has documentation or a legal right to collect—your ability to fight the debt may be gone forever. This is why it is so important that you respond to the lawsuit with an attorney by your side.
- If you attend court without an attorney, some debt buyers may try to convince you to sign an “agreement for judgment” with a payment plan. If you sign, you are admitting that the debt is yours—even if it isn’t, and even if the debt buyer lacks evidence. Signing the agreement gives the debt buyer a better outcome than a default, since he gets the judgment plus an agreement from you to make payments. In this case, there will be no hearing and no opportunity for you to defend yourself.
If you only have one or two debts and are being sued by a debt collector, it will be well worth your time to meet with an attorney who takes more than just bankruptcy cases. However, if you ignore the lawsuit or simply give in, this opportunity will be gone.
Christopher Brine Gives His Clients Options
Even if you are swamped with debt, don’t give up. Brine Consumer Law accepts debt defense cases at all court levels throughout Massachusetts: small claims, district court, and superior court. Many of these cases can be taken on a low-cost flat fee agreement. Phone consultations are free, so contact Brine Consumer Law today to discuss your situation.