Dealing with debt collectors can be a nightmare. The incessant calls, threatening mail and pressure of dealing with debt is bad enough – but what happens when debt settlement measures fail and you are faced with a debt collection lawsuit in Davidson County? A Tennessee debt defense lawyer from Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC can help you with seasoned counsel, astute guidance and aggressive representation before courts and debt collection attorneys.
Should I Hire a Consumer Protection Attorney in Franklin?
Although the idea of hiring an attorney and creating even more debt may seem like a bad idea, the reverse is actually true. Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC offers a free initial consultation to review your situation and offer advice on your possible next steps. In this confidential meeting, an experienced Tennessee consumer protection attorney will provide:
- Possible options you can pursue to defend yourself
- An understanding of the benefits legal representation can provide such as time and lower settlements or even dismissals
- A professional review of your situation from an uninvolved third party with extensive experience in handling debt collection lawsuits and debt settlement measures
- Perspective that can help you make the best decision for your situation
A debt collection lawsuit will have a set time for you to respond, so it is imperative that you set an appointment to confer with a consumer protection attorney in Franklin as soon as possible. Call Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC today at 615-845-4595 to schedule a free consultation.
Steps to Contest a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Tennessee
Our debt settlement attorneys are well-versed in the procedures to contest a debt collection lawsuit in Tennessee. Your summons will require you to deal with the matter through the county court in which it was filed (Davidson County, Williamson County, Rutherford County, Dickson County, Robertson County, Maury County, etc.). Your debt defense attorney from Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC can help you respond and take action to defend yourself against debt claims. Here are the steps you should take.
Respond to the Complaint or Summons
You should always respond to the debt complaint or lawsuit summons. Ignoring it will allow your creditor to receive a default judgement in their favor, and the consequences can be severe. Many debt collection attorneys rely on default judgements, so when you respond, they are more likely to make a reasonable settlement.
Challenge the Right to Sue
Since the burden of proof is on the creditor’s shoulders, make them prove every detail. Never just assume that they have their facts straight. You can contest the debt claim as if it is not your debt. Your challenge can include:
- Legal proof that you owe the debt
- Verification that the company has the right to sue – debt collection companies generally obtain old debts from banks and credit card companies, but may not have the proper documentation that allows them to sue for the debt.
- Verification that the debt is within the statute of limitations – creditors only have a specified amount of time to file a lawsuit against you; when this time has passed, you can win the case.
- Filing a countersuit if your rights have been violated – if the creditor violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in any way, you have the right to file a countersuit against them.
Your debt defense attorney from Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC may have other defensive strategies to employ. They will share more about what can be done in your particular situation.
Consider a Motion to Compel Arbitration
Arbitration can be an expensive and time-consuming process, and the creditor usually has to pay the costs. If you file for the court to compel arbitration, the debt collector may offer a suitable resolution or even abandon their claim.
Negotiate a Debt Settlement Plan
Your Tennessee consumer protection attorney can help you construct a debt settlement plan to present to the court and/or debt collection company. If they approve, you may be able to settle the debt on your terms.
Often, a threat of bankruptcy will compel debt collection companies to become more pliable with other solutions. Your attorney can negotiate a fair debt settlement plan or other means of settling your debt when the alternative is filing bankruptcy and the creditor receiving nothing.
Consult with a Tennessee Consumer Protection Attorney
An experienced Tennessee consumer protection attorney from Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC can explain more about contesting a debt collection lawsuit in a free confidential consultation. Contact us in Franklin today and learn more about your options.