Debt Defense Lawyer
Debt Defense in South Florida
You knew you were behind on your bills, but you never expected to end up with a lawsuit on your hands. You might think that ignoring the lawsuit is your only path forward, but that’s a big mistake. If you don’t defend yourself, the court can enter a default judgment against you. If that happens, the creditor can garnish up to 25 percent of your wages or seize your property to satisfy the debt.
Creditors count on consumers ignoring lawsuits so they can get default judgments. That’s why hiring a debt defense lawyer in South Florida is so important. Your attorney can mount a defense to protect your paycheck, assets, and rights. Even if you owe the debt, your attorney can help you avoid costly garnishments that will make it challenging to pay your living expenses.
Debt Defense Strategies
South Florida debt defense lawyers utilize various legal strategies. Some common defenses include:
- Statute of limitations
- FDCPA violations
- Lack of standing
- Full or partial payment
- Fraudulent charges
- Debt discharged in bankruptcy
These are just some possible strategies. Contact a South Florida debt defense lawyer to go over your legal options.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) And Debt Defense
Debt collectors must follow the FDCPA when attempting to collect a debt. Under the law, they cannot ask you to pay more than what you owe, harass you, threaten you, disclose the debt to a third party unless you allow them to do so, and more. While the law is clear, many debt collection agencies break it.
If the collection agency has violated the law, you can file a lawsuit to recover up to $1,000 in damages, plus attorney’s fees. Also, your South Florida debt defense lawyer can use the violation as leverage to negotiate with the debt collector. If you think a debt collector has violated the law, reach out to an attorney immediately.
Legal Standing For Debt Lawsuits
Creditors must prove they have legal standing to sue you for the debt, and that’s more challenging than you might think. Outstanding debt often changes hands numerous times. By the time the case reaches the courtroom, it might have gone through three, four, or more creditors. It’s not unusual for paperwork to get lost as the debt goes from one collection agency to the next.
If the creditor does not have the proper paperwork to show legal standing and validate the debt, the judge can rule in your favor. This is the main reason why creditors hope consumers ignore lawsuits. Debt can be challenging to prove, and they often don’t have the documentation needed for court. However, the judge is unlikely to notice this unless you fight back in the courtroom.
Why Choose Santos Law offices
- Free Consultation – Go over your case during the free phone consultation.
- Highly Rated – The firm has received numerous rave reviews and recommendations on Google and Avvo.
- Bilingual – Dalyla Santos and the staff at The Santos Law Offices are fluent in English and Spanish, ensuring that each client receives proper representation.
- Multiple Practice Areas – The Santos Law Offices specializes in bankruptcy, civil litigation, insurance claims, and immigration.
- Personalized and Affordable Legal Services – Dalyla Santos truly cares about her clients. She provides personalized and affordable legal services to help individuals and citizens throughout South Florida.
- A Firm With Purpose – The Santos Law Offices gives back to the community through pro bono work, mentorships, and charitable donations. Also, employees are supported and recognized for the work they do.
Statute Of Limitations For Consumer Debt
Consumer debt has a statute of limitations, meaning creditors only have a limited timeframe to collect the money. The statute of limitations is set at five years for credit card debt. Keep in mind that the timeframe resets every time you submit payment. For instance, if you have not paid your credit card bill for four years and 364 days, you are one day from reaching the statute of limitations. However, if you make a payment on that day, it will reset, giving the creditor another five years to collect the money.
If you are being sued for a debt you owe, bankruptcy might be a good option. Once you file, all collection efforts and lawsuits will come to a halt. Then, the bankruptcy court can either discharge the debt through Chapter 7 or allow you to enter an affordable repayment plan through Chapter 13. Filing for bankruptcy is a big decision that you should discuss with your attorney first. Then, after going over the benefits and drawbacks, you can decide if you would like to file.