When dealing with a debt collection lawsuit, I am sure that most people think “I would love to be represented by a lawyer!” The problem is that in most cases, the amount they have been sued for is relatively small and the thought of hiring an attorney is simply outside of the budget. If they had money for a lawyer, they wouldn’t be in debt, right? That may not be true for 2 reasons:
#1. Debt Collectors count on you not showing up. Over 90% of debt collection cases end up in a default judgment. The court holds that if you didn’t believe you owed a debt – you would have responded to contest their allegations. In many cases, they don’t have the evidence to prove their case. In fact, the evidence they have often proves that you don’t owe any money to anyone because the Statute of Limitations has run. So, simply responding to the lawsuit gives you a decent shot at winning it.
#2. Attorneys may be expensive, but not always for consumers. Many of the laws that protect consumers have attorney fees built in to them. If the debt collector violates those statutes, they pay for the consumer’s attorney’s fees. That means if you win, the attorney is paid by the collector, not by you. In many cases, you might be able to get an attorney to take your case for free.
We at the Consumer Legal Clinic, LLC believe that a consumer shouldn’t have to reach into their pocket to get a debt collector off their back. If you have a debt collector calling you or sending you letters, call us. We won’t charge you to look at your case, and we won’t charge if we take your case. Win or lose, you won’t have to worry about our bill.
If you are outside the states of Kansas or Missouri and need an attorney who handles consumer issues and debt collection lawsuits in your state, go to the National Association of Consumer Advocates. (www.NACA.net) They will have an attorney in your area.