Being unable to settle your debts on time is hard enough. The last thing you need is a debt collector using deceptive means or abusive language to pressure you into paying back. And there are legislations to protect you from all manner of harassment.
It is critical to note that you, as a defaulter, are protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Bankruptcy and family law attorneys in Kingston understand the provisions of this act. They will do everything to ensure that a challenging financial situation does not erode your peace of mind and dignity.
How Can My Attorney Protect Me From Debt Collector Harassment?
Most creditors try to reach the debtors either directly or through a debt collector, but it has to be done the right way. They do not have the liberty of reaching out to you at any time of day or night. Debt collectors are limited to attempting to collect not later than 9 p.m. and not earlier than 8 a.m.
Also, if you communicate to the debt collector about forbidden calls at your workplace, they should respect that. But if all these text messages, emails, letters, or calls make you uncomfortable, there is a legal way to stop it.
Writing a letter to the debt collection company is an excellent way to stop all manner of unnecessary contact from them. They will only communicate when they want to take specific action against you, such as a lawsuit. And if you attach your attorney’s contacts, they can only contact the attorney unless they are non-respondent.
How Can a Legal Expert Help Prevent a Default Judgement?
Failure to respond to a debt collection summons can have extreme consequences on you as a debtor. Thirty days from the date the summons and complaint were served, the judge can give a default judgment if no response is given.
This would mean that you were not interested in defending yourself through a response letter. The creditor automatically wins in such a case and gets the legal go-ahead, and collects the money through garnishment of your tax returns or paycheck.
Debt collection defense attorneys in Kingston can make sure that all your rights as a debtor are preserved. And this preservation involves ensuring that you present your response within the required time. Remember that it is easy to forget to respond when you are trying to work other things out.
In your response, you might need to acknowledge that indeed you are in debt with the specific debtor. After that, you will get a chance to negotiate a suitable payment plan for your current financial situation.
Can an Attorney Help Me Respond to a Debt Lawsuit?
Creditors can send an accurate or inaccurate claim of debt for you to respond to. That is why you should not be too quick to respond and agree with their allegations because it can implicate you wrongly. Seasoned debt collection defense attorneys serving Kingston and Crossville should remind you to counter-check the claims with your records to verify their claims.
That settled, most debtors wonder how the response letter should be formulated. Notably, there are online forms for some of these legal matters. If the money being claimed is below $25,000, which is usually presented in the small claims court, you can access online forms to agree or disagree with the plaintiff’s claims.
However, matters handled in Chancery or Circuit courts have no online forms to fill out in response to a claim letter. In such instances, it is necessary to draft an “answer” and present it in court. Kingston debt collection defense attorneys can guide you on the proper and acceptable format.
What is the Required Legal Format for an Answer Letter?
The 30-day time frame to file your response in such a short period, and debtors have to rush against a possible lapse. The steps involved are quite simple, and with proper legal guidance, it is easy to get it correctly.
Creating an Answer Document
This part is relatively easy to draft because you simply have to copy the Complaint and Summons document details. So, you don’t have to figure out the case information, court information, plaintiff information, or personal information.
Answering Each Issue of the Complaint
It is critical to respond to each numbered paragraph or each allegation in the letter. You can agree, disagree, or disagree for lack of knowledge. You can agree on information such as your name and account numbers. And if you do not agree with a group of statements, you can draft another document highlighting what you agree and disagree with.
Asserting Affirmative Defenses
After responding to each complaint, you could give reasons why the debtor has no case against you. Debtors can do this if:
- The statute of limitations has lapsed
- You are a co-signer that wasn’t informed of their rights
- The debt was discharged in a bankruptcy
- The debt has already been paid
- The account number listed doesn’t belong to you
Filing the Answer
Simply mailing your response to the court is not recommended because most courts will consider the answer “filed” if you get it stamped. And the most appropriate way to show that you filed within 30 days would be to have a time-stamp of the day you presented it in court? Your Kingston bankruptcy attorney will ensure that you keep a copy for yourself, and the other copy is mailed to the creditor’s attorney.
Knowledgeable and Aggressive Representation in Tennessee
Debt collection can be unbearable or workable, depending on how you handle it. While you have rights as the debtor, failure to take proper action can give the creditor power to take actions that can inconvenience you.
With the help of your attorney, you can negotiate a repayment arrangement that is most suitable for you. The job of your debt collection defense lawyer is to hold your hand and stop you from panicking and making decisions that are not legally beneficial to you. Call a Tennessee attorney for sound advice and guidance.