That last profane phone call was the last straw. You may have never even gotten so much at a parking ticket before, and now you’re going to court with Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates.
This can feel a bit daunting, but you do have options to make this process easier. Your best one would be to find an experienced FDCPA attorney who can help you figure out how to navigate this process.
But first, you should get to know your rights.
Know Your Rights
Most third-party debt collectors operate within the boundaries of the law, and there is legislation that holds the ones that don’t accountable. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) keeps third-party collectors from engaging in a wide variety of activities.
This includes, but isn’t limited to, the following:
- Sending you an envelope that clearly states that it’s from a debt collector
- Threatening to garnish your wages
- Talking to people other than your spouse or attorney about your debt
- Calling you before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
Most third-party collection agencies like Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates won’t engage in this kind of behavior. However, if the company does, be aware that Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates may be breaking the law.
Talking to an FDCPA attorney can be helpful to figure out how to proceed.
Going to Court With Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates
When you file a claim, Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates will receive a notice in two parts: the summons and the complaint. The summons explains when to come to court, and the complaint tells the company why it’s being asked to come in.
No matter what, you should appear in court on the day and time you’ve been assigned to come in–after all, the lawyer for Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates certainly will be.
Not showing up will only make a bad impression, and unfortunately, those can be enough to torpedo your chances of successfully getting through this process. In practice, there’s not as much to fear as you might suspect; you won’t go to jail over simply not paying your bills.
How to Prepare for Your Day in Court
This process may feel mysterious, but there’s actually quite a bit you can do to prepare for the day you appear in court. The first thing you’ll want to do (after familiarizing yourself with your rights, of course) is to gather the appropriate evidence against the third-party collection agency.
This could come in the form of angry voicemails, a credit report that changed after false credit information was reported, or embarrassing mail that stated it was from a debt collector.
Once you have this evidence together, you’ll want to reach out to an FDCPA attorney who can help you with your case. This lawyer will help you prepare your answers by helping you anticipate what questions will be asked.
Your preparation with your lawyer will not only make your day in court more comfortable; it’ll also increase your chances of having a successful outcome with your claim.
Contact an FDCPA Attorney Today
It’s hard to overstate the positive impact that an FDCPA attorney could have on your case. By having your case handled by a knowledgeable professional, you’re deferring to a person who has the tools to advocate for you. It’s one of the best choices you can make in this situation and one that you won’t regret.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.