Manassas Debt Collection Defense; Consumer Protection Lawyer
Debt collectors are often ruthless in pursuit of payment for credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans and all types of debt. However, disputes may arise as to whether or not a consumer is obligated to pay a bill. Debt collectors may often resort to filing a lawsuit to collect on a debt, even if the consumer disputes the debt. In other situations, bill collectors may file a lawsuit, often referred to as a Warrant on Debt, in an effort to collect money that consumers may no longer be obligated to pay.
If you are facing a lawsuit to collect an old debt, or a debt you believe that you do not believe that you owe to the creditor, it is prudent to seek the advice, guidance and representation of an experienced consumer protection lawyer.
Defending Consumers In Debt Collection Lawsuits
Since 1991, the Manassas consumer protection law firm of Thomas R. Breeden, P.C., has served consumers in Virginia with integrity. Mr. Breeden has substantial experience resolving debt issues and disputes. He can review your circumstances and explain your rights regarding debt collection lawsuits. Note that the inability to afford to pay a bill may not be a legal reason to avoid payment on a debt. Debt collection defense is a niche area of consumer protection law that involves defending consumers in court when bill collectors seek money for a debt that the consumer does not owe, or in cases where the statute of limitations on debt collections has run its course.
In today’s economy, many creditors sell portfolios of debt to bill collection companies for pennies on the dollar. Those collection agencies then file lawsuits against alleged “debtors,” even if they have no actual direct proof that the debt is owed, and often are the debt has become too old, too stale and past the legal period of time that the law allows for collection on an old debt.
Debt collection defense differs from lawsuits against abusive debt collectors who violate the rules of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. Debt collection defense lawyers serve to represent consumers in lawsuits seeking to collect on debts that the consumer has no legal obligation to pay. Creditor harassment involves unfair and abusive practices outside of court. Note that an abusive debt collector may later file a debt collection lawsuit when efforts involving abusive debt collection tactics fail to yield them results –the bottom line is these two areas of law do, at times, overlap to some extent at times.
Virginia Debt Collection Law FAQ
The laws and procedures about debt collection and consumer protection can seem confusing and complex if you are not trained in them. Here are general answers to some of the questions our clients most often ask us.
What is the statute of limitations for debt collections in Virginia?
A statute of limitations is a deadline for filing a lawsuit or taking other legal action. The statute of limitations on most debt collections is five years if the debt was agreed to in a written contract and three years if the agreement was made orally with nothing written down. The clock usually starts running on the date the debt accrues, although in some occasions it starts running on the date of your last payment. There are also other events that can delay the start of the statute of limitations so it is best to consult an attorney familiar with this area of law
Do I have to pay an old debt?
When the statute of limitation runs out before the creditor sues, the debtor can assert that fact as an affirmative defense to get the suit dismissed. But it does not necessarily eliminate the debt itself. It may also be possible to revive the obligation to pay a debt after the statute of limitations has run by reaffirming the debt. It is best to speak to a consumer protection attorney to understand your individual circumstances.
If a creditor files a lawsuit to collect an old debt, do I have to go to court?
Nobody likes going to court over a debt, but ignoring the lawsuit won’t make it go away. If you fail to respond or appear, the court probably will rule in the creditor’s favor. You might have one or more affirmative defenses to the suit, but you must act to assert those rights. The judge will not do that for you.
Do I have to pay a debt that I never incurred?
Sometimes, creditors seek repayment of a debt from the wrong party or for a debt that never existed. It is the creditor’s burden to prove that the debt is valid. However, the fact that the debt is invalid is not an excuse to ignore it or the lawsuit. As we said above, failing to respond to a debt collection suit usually leads to a verdict against you.
What are the differences between a creditor, a debt collector and a collection agency?
A creditor is an individual or business that lends money or credit to another party. A debt collector is a third party either hired by the creditor to collect the debt on its behalf, or that purchases the debt from the original creditor or whoever currently owns it. Businesses that do this are also known as collection agencies.
Is Bankruptcy an Option for You?
Bankruptcy can be a viable option for many consumers experiencing overwhelming and unpaid debt. Tom Breeden has been protecting the rights of consumers since 1991. Many consumers requiring debt collection defense are relieved to hear that bankruptcy may be an option. Mr. Breeden can explain to you the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, file an automatic stay — putting an immediate halt to debt collectors’ attempts to collect the debt — and protect your rights in meetings with creditors and trustees.
Our firm offers vigorous debt collection defense services. We have successfully handled many lawsuits against major credit card companies, collection firms and abusive debt collectors.
Call A Skilled Debt Collection Defense, Consumer Protection Lawyer In Manassas
If you are facing unfair harassment from a bill collector, or a lawsuit on debt to which you do not believe you are legally obligated to pay, reach out to the consumer protection law firm, NAP. Call NAP pr send a brief message online. We can arrange to meet in a remote consultation, either telephone or through a Zoom meeting.