If you have credit card debt you cannot afford to pay, you are probably in fear of the day a court summons will arrive for that unpaid debt.
You have probably spoken to bank customer service reps who call you repeatedly about your over due credit card payments, and who may have hinted at court action as a last resort. Or, perhaps you have spoken to debt collectors who have lied by saying a summons will soon be arriving, if you fail to make a payment.
It is hard to keep these court-action fears from eating away at you. I know. I have been there. To get control of your fear about the future, you need to talk to a consumer rights attorney. This is the first step you need to take to put your debt behind you without paying it.
With legal protection lined up, you will be much more comfortable demanding proper documentation from, and disputing your debts with, debt collectors, junk debt buyers or collection attorneys.
The fact is credit card banks and junk debt buyers have difficulty documenting alleged credit card debt to court standards. For example, Chase Bank recently settled with a nation-wide consortium of states attorneys general for over $200 million for robo-signing bogus court affidavits in support of alleged credit card debt documentation. They furnished those affidavits because they could not properly document individual consumers’ credit card debt to court standards. And, they were the original creditor. Junk debt buyers who buy blocks of thousands of individual credit card debts have no hope of providing true documentation. In a database of thousands of accounts you are one line; your name and address, your account number, the alleged amount owed, and your social security number. That is all the information they have on you. Junk debt buyers have no way of producing your account history to demonstrate how they arrived at the alleged amount owed.
“I would say that roughly 90 percent of the credit card lawsuits are flawed and can’t prove the person owes the debt,” said Noach Dear, a civil court judge in Brooklyn, who said he presided over as many as 100 such cases a day (As Reported in the New York Times). In addition over 90 percent of consumers who owe do not respond to a credit card debt summons. This is another reason why collection attorneys do not furnish any documentation in their credit card debt summonses. They also do not expect to be challenged in court by consumers who owe. They expect to file for a default judgment. If there is documentation accompanying a summons, it is nothing more than a few poor photocopies of monthly statements and an unsigned contract of adhesion.
For the few consumers who do answer a credit card debt summons on their own, collection attorneys rely on their knowledge of the local rules of civil procedure and the consumer’s ignorance of those rules to win a judgment.
Many good consumer rights attorneys around the country face these opportunities to defeat missing or bogus credit card debt documentation in court every week.
If you want to put your credit card debt behind you, it is your job to find the right, affordable, consumer rights attorney. He or she will be well versed in the local rules of civil procedure. To find the best attorney for your credit card debt problem, you must talk to a consumer rights or a consumer protection attorney. If you call the attorney who handled your will, your divorce, or the closing on your house, you will probably be advised to file for bankruptcy. Or, you could be told to pay up or attempt to settle what you owe. That is because they have no exposure to the documentation realities of credit card debt, unlike a consumer rights attorney who is immersed in this kind of detail. To get the best attorney for the lowest fee, you will need to talk to several consumer rights attorneys. Not all of them defend consumer credit card debt court cases.
How To Deal with Unpaid Bills with Debt Collectors
But, if you have credit card debt, many of them are quite interested in talking to you because they make most of their money suing debt collectors for Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) violations on behalf of consumers like you. This is why you should make these calls even if you cannot afford $1000 – $2000. They may take your case for nothing if they uncover suable rights violations while talking to you.
Since the 2008 Great Recession this type of legal practice has grown to meet the demand of consumers in need of escaping credit card debt they cannot afford to pay. In addition consumer rights is a growing area of practice for the nation’s current glut of attorneys.
To find a consumer rights attorney, you can start by googling “[the name of your city] consumer rights attorneys.” And, then calling the legal offices in the search results. You can also call your state or local legal association of attorneys and ask for referrals to lawyers specializing in consumer rights and protection.
In an almost knee-jerk fashion many consumer websites direct people looking for consumer rights protection to the National Association of Consumer Advocates website (.www.consumeradvocates.org/). You can try this for your area. But, you may find, as I have, that these attorneys are either too busy or too expensive, or simply do not return your phone calls.
To feel better about your chances of surviving your debt and to get control of your finances, you need to have a consumer rights attorney in your hip pocket, in case you need him or her.
There is a lot more to the story of how to succeed at not paying credit card debt you cannot afford to pay, than this short video.
To have the best chance of success at not paying the credit card debt you owe and at regaining as much peace of mind as possible, you need to educate yourself about all aspects of credit card debt. You are welcome to read my blog posts on nonpayment and evaluate my credit card debt survival ebooks.