Mistakes Companies Make When Filing Credit Card Lawsuits
It is impossible to tell when and if you will be sued on a credit card debt. Some companies sue regularly, while some will not. Some will threaten lawsuits every day and never file anything, while some will rarely threaten, but will race to the courthouse to file lawsuits.
Having a lawsuit filed against you for credit card debt may even depend on your background and the information the creditor has about you. What is your income and credit? Are you likely to be able to pay a judgment? Have you ever sued creditors for abusive or harassing debt collection before (there are stories of consumers being left alone by all of their creditors once they file an FDCPA claim against a creditor).
Common Mistakes Made When Lawsuits are Filed
But when and if the day comes that you are sued, it’s best to be prepared. Of course the best course is to get a qualified consumer attorney to help represent you in your credit card lawsuit, but here are some common mistakes that creditors sometimes make when filing lawsuits.
- Failing to attach paperwork about the debt– many companies that sue are not the original creditors. They are debt buyers: companies that purchased thousands of accounts at once, for pennies on the dollar. Some do not have complete paperwork documenting the loan (including the original loan agreement). In many cases, they will file lawsuits that do not have proper paperwork documenting the loan attached to them.
- Failing to attach paperwork about ownership – Again, because many companies who sue are not the original creditors, they must provide documentation that they owned the loan before the suit was filed. Documentation may include a bulk purchase agreement, or some evidence of an assignment or transfer. Yet many companies fail to attach any such paperwork to their lawsuit.
- Asking for damages they aren’t entitled to – Lawsuits may ask for late fees, or attorneys fees. However, to get either of these, there must be some agreement allowing the companies suing to charge these amounts to the consumer. Many companies do not attach paperwork to their Complaints, or attach incomplete paperwork, or even paperwork and agreements that do not explicitly allow them to charge these amounts to the consumer.
- Charging illegal interest – Many companies will charge interest that is illegal, under usury laws. Many national banks have exemptions to state usury laws, but many of the companies that file these lawsuits are not national banks: they are debt collectors or debt buyers. There is some dispute in the law over whether they, like national banks, must comply with usury laws. When the issue is challenged, they usually would rather back down or settle, instead of having a court determine the issue.
Get help if you are sued in any kind of debt collection lawsuit. Contact Jacobs Legal to speak with one of our Miami consumer rights attorneys today.