Credit Card Lawsuit Defense
Credit cards have become a way of life for most Americans and are how most of us bridge the gap between what we need versus what we make. The rising costs of housing and medical care, along with stagnate wage rates have meant that more Americans than ever are finding themselves using their credit card for basic necessities. Unfortunately, the overuse of credit cards also leads to increased credit card debt.
Credit card lawsuits are typically brought by credit card companies after a consumer has gone into default for not paying their bills. However, companies can also sue based on breach of other provisions within the credit card contract.
The initial timeline of a credit card lawsuit occurs the day the lawsuit is served. The two most integral parts of pretrial include:
- The Complaint: Once the lawsuit is served on you, you will have a narrow window to respond to the “complaint.” A complaint issued by a credit card company will likely include a list of statements, primarily which indicate that you, the consumer, have not paid your monthly amount owed on your credit card statement.
- The Answer: An “answer” is required as a response to the complaint. An answer should respond to each point raised in the company’s complaint, and should either affirm or deny the statement. The failure to raise a defense against any statement will prohibit your ability to raise the defense later.
A consumer protection attorney can assist you from the day you receive a complaint. Florida provides 20 days for a consumer to answer the complaint, which means an attorney should be consulted as soon as possible to guarantee an accurate response.
If you do not respond to the complaint, a court will enter a default judgment against you. A default judgment means that a credit card company will have the force of law behind them in pursuing a claim. Therefore, they may collect the debt through wage garnishment, bank levies, and property liens.
Credit card companies often do not expect a response from a consumer, and expect to win by default judgment. According to the New York Times, over 90 percent of all credit card lawsuits rely on erroneous documents. These are often the result of credit card companies who work to hastily through together a complaint without carefully reviewing the facts, anticipating that a consumer will not submit an answer under the statutorily required time period.
Therefore, it is important to carefully review all aspects of the complaint and make sure that you raise all errors and defenses in your response. An experienced consumer protection attorney will be able to assist you throughout this process.
Rodal Law | South Florida Consumer Protection Attorney
If you or a loved one have received notice that your credit card company is suing you, do not hesitate to contact Rodal Law. Credit card companies must follow strict federal laws when bringing a claim against a consumer, and any violation of these laws could impact the lawsuit. Contact our South Florida office near Broward and Miami-Dade County today for your initial free consultation. Our firm prides itself on working closely with clients throughout the process of building a defense and will work tirelessly to ensure your rights are protected.