Debt collection lawsuits are typically the culmination of excessive collection efforts. During this period of attempted collection, there are many opportunities for lenders to break the law. If a consumer-defendant believes he or she has a legal defense to a lawsuit filed by a debt collector, it is important to consult with an experienced Utah debt collection defense attorney like one of the many qualified attorneys at the Morrison Law Group. The inability to pay a debt is not a legal defense to the debt.
Of course, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Never getting to the point that a lawsuit is filed is obviously preferable. But, while lawsuits are often unexpected and unwelcome, there’s no reason to panic. There are four options in this situation.
If you have the funds or can liquidate assets to obtain the funds, you may simply pay the debt in full. If this isn’t possible, you can attempt to settle the debt for less than the amount owed.
If you have any legal defenses to the debt, you can hire a debt collection defense attorney and defend against the claims. Some examples of common legal defenses include:
- The debt has been paid or excused, so the claims are barred by accord and satisfaction, discharge, waiver, or release.
- The defendant legally cancelled the contract and owes nothing currently, or the creditor canceled the contract and is not entitled to payment.
- The claims were brought after the six-year statute of limitations period for actions based on a contract, or another applicable statute of limitations, and are, therefore, barred.
- The account is not the defendant’s account.
- The defendant is entitled to a setoff for amounts paid, or that should otherwise be credited.
- The defendant was a co-signer but was not informed of his or her rights as a co-signer.
Another option is filing a bankruptcy case. The automatic stay will prevent the lawsuit from proceeding, and the debt underlying the lawsuit will be discharged in your bankruptcy case. Contact an experienced bankruptcy and debt collection defense attorney at the Morrison Law Group for a free consultation if you have received a summons and complaint for a lawsuit concerning an alleged unpaid debt.
Theron Morrison cares about protecting your rights. Talk to the Morrison Law Group about your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy options. Call 801.456.9933 today to schedule a FREE consultation. We have locations in Ogden, Logan, Sandy, and St. George to serve the residents of the counties of Weber, Cache, Salt Lake, Utah, Morgan, Davis, Washington, and surrounding areas.