Should I Work With A Debt Buyer And Make A Payment Plan?
No, for three reasons. First, just speaking with a bill collector signals that you have money and are willing to pay. That moves you to the top of the list for more annoying phone calls and dunning letters. Second, making a payment to a debt buyer restarts the statute of limitations. So if you haven’t paid for several years, time is running out for them to collect– but if you make even a small payment, that restarts the statute of limitations and, bada bing, you’ve given them another five years to collect. Third, any payment plan is likely to be a very bad deal. The people you’re dealing with on the other end of the telephone are low-level workers who have no authority to offer any serious discount on the debt they’ve been ordered to collect.
Does It Ever Help To Try To Explain To A Debt Buyer The Reasons For Non-Payment?
Debt buyers don’t care why you didn’t pay. By the time they get the debt, it has long been written off by the original creditor. Their only interest is in collecting.
Will I Have To Actually Go To Court For a Debt Buyer Lawsuit?
If you hire me as your attorney, you will not have to appear in court except in the rare instance when a case goes to trial.
Can You Walk Me Through The Process of Successfully Handling A Debt Buyer Lawsuit?
The lawsuit. After the lawsuit has been filed, within a certain amount of time you must file a written appearance with the court. If you don’t, eventually a default judgment will be entered against you. In Illinois, if the amount claimed in the lawsuit is $10,000.00 or more you must also file, in addition to your appearance a written answer to the complaint, and also disclosures of facts, witnesses, and theories of defense under Supreme Court Rule 222.
Discovery. In cases of over $10,000.00, there is also discovery. “Discovery” is how the defendant (you) can require the plaintiff (the party suing you) to reveal what documents and witnesses it will use at trial. This is a critical process in exposing that the debt buyer can’t prove that it has any legal standing to sue you.
The debt buyer typically responds to my discovery request by sending documents supposedly showing ownership of the debt. Typically, however, they don’t show any such thing. The debt buyer’s discovery response also usually doesn’t identify a witness by name but says that its witness one of its employees who will testify to establish a foundation for admitting “business records” into evidence. Ultimately, however, such witness will be unable to lay such a foundation because he or she won’t have any personal knowledge about how those documents were created– after all, these documents were created by the original creditor, not the debt buyer for whom the witness works. These professional witnesses are the employees of the debt buyers; they fly around the country and regurgitate the same language in every case.
Most of these cases are dismissed with prejudice, meaning that the case can never be brought again, or voluntarily dismissed (and eventually abandoned) by the other side. Less frequently, we will settle them on extremely good terms for our clients. During the case, there will be several court appearances, but our clients don’t need to attend any of them, except in the rare case when a case goes to trial.
For more information on Fighting Back Against Debt Buyers In Illinois, a free telephone consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (312) 759-1900 today.
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