Third-party collection agencies aren't always bad. In fact, most of them behave like any typical enterprise-- they treat their occupation professionally and don't attempt to take advantage of consumers.
But even an agency like Southwest Recovery Services can have some bad actors that are willing to use aggressive tactics to collect a debt. The important thing to remember is that you have rights. An attorney is one of your best ways of exercising them.
Know Your Rights
As an American citizen, there is actually a specific law that will protect you from unscrupulous third-party collectors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a law that tells third-party collectors not to engage in the following:
- Calling you before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. in your time zone
- Impersonating a police officer or an IRS agent
- Attempting to collect an old debt
- Asking you to pay more than you owe
The FDCPA prohibits other types of behavior as well. If you've experienced any behavior that seems unreasonably aggressive, consult the original FDCPA law and, most importantly, an attorney.
Going to Court With Southwest Recovery Services
After you've filed your claim, Southwest Recovery Services will be served notice. The information in the notice is split up into two sections: the summons and the complaint. The summons explains where and when the defendant is supposed to appear, and the complaint tells the defendant why they are being asked to come to court.
Southwest Recovery Services will have to respond to your claim, and they will take the opportunity to defend themselves quite seriously. You need to do the same. Part of this is making sure that you appear in court on time.
Showing up late is the quickest way to leave a very bad taste in the judge’s mouth, and unfortunately, that could affect the outcome of your case. If you get a bit nervous about appearing in court, remember that you won’t be imprisoned for being unable to pay your bills.
How to Prepare for Your Appearance
An attorney will be one of the best tools in preparing for your day in court. An attorney is going to help you gather the evidence and prepare you for questioning.
You'll be able to do some evidence-gathering on your own, but your attorney will be the one who will understand how to capitalize on it. For example, you may have recorded phone calls where the third-party collector was using harsh language.
But your attorney will be able to choose which one was a clearer violation of FDCPA law. Additionally, your attorney will also be able to help you look for evidence of wrongdoing in the third-party collector's behavior.
You may not have realized that publishing your name on a "bad debt" list is illegal until your attorney told you, and there are many other types of evidence that your attorney will tell you to look out for so that you can build the strongest case.
Additionally, your attorney is going to help you prepare for the questions that Southwest Recovery Services' attorney will be asking you. Being prepared for those questions and the other attorney's mindset will be a game changer for you when you appear in court.
You'll be able to answer questions with greater ease, you'll be more relaxed, and your case will be stronger for it.
Contact an FDCPA Attorney Today
Even if most third-party collectors behave properly, there will always be a few that will attempt to break the rules. You can't let them. Take charge of your situation and find yourself an FDCPA attorney.
*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 Southwest Recovery Services or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.