When you are not paying a debt for a very long time, the creditor can hire the debt collection agencies and hand the debt to them to get collected. If you have no hands-on experience in debt collection, then you need to know that they are extremely persistent. And when you keep the debt unpaid for a long time, the creditor can file a case against you. Our Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer tells you what you should do if you get sued over the debt.Step 1: Hire a Lawyer
Often even if you have been sued for unpaid debts, you might not know that you have a very strong defense. Or often there are problems with the allegations themselves. That is why you need to hire a Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer.
- When you are being contacted for paying a debt, are you completely sure that the debt is the correct amount? You might be surprised to know that even reputed and popular financial institutes also make mistakes. The Federal Trade Commission uncovered around 40 million mistakes in credit reports.
- Does the plaintiff have the legal right to ask for the debt? Often the defendant can be a victim of identity theft and the debt is not owed by them.
- Has the statute of limitation expired? Unless already 4 years have passed for a consumer debt according to 42 Pa. C. S. 5525(a), the plaintiff cannot file the litigation against you.
Your Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer can use these points to help you in the case.Step 2: Respond or Risk a Default Judgment
Often many debtors, when they are being sued for an unpaid debt, get the summons from the court that tells them about the debt and the time when you need to be present at the court. Now, often many debtors repeat the same mistake. They don’t go to the court with the hope that maybe the court and the debt collectors will forget about the case. No matter how tempting it might sound, unfortunately, this doesn’t happen. Rather, when you are not going to court, you are risking getting default judgment. When the case enters a default judgment, the judge orders the debtor to pay the entire amount mentioned in the summons. Along with that, the debtor also has to pay the court fees. A default judgment can include wage garnishment as well as freezing your bank accounts Too. So, don’t make the mistake of not going to court.Step 3: Should You File an FDCPA Counter Claim
The FDCPA or Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, passed in 1977 is designed to offer the debtor some rights. The debt collectors cannot harass you, call you at any time or show up at your workplace. They also cannot threaten or abuse you or post anything related to your debt on the public platform. If your debt collectors have seriously violated the FDCPA, you can get a reimbursement of $1,000 per violation. For that our Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer can help you.
For further details on how to handle it when you are sued by the debt collector or the creditors, come to us at Pittsburgh Bankruptcy Law Group.