According to an influential consumer protection law, you do not have to put up with the harassing and intimidating tactics used by a debt collection agency. Passed in 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) contains dozens of provisions that prohibit previously acceptable debt collection practices.
For example, a debt collection agency like I.Q. Data International, Inc. is forbidden from pursuing the collection of a consumer debt the company has already collected.
Does the FDCPA offer guidelines for how to handle a lawsuit filed by a third party debt collector? The answer is no, but if you hire a FDCPA lawyer, he or she will offer some suggestions.
First, you should respond to the lawsuit. Ignoring a lawsuit filed by a bill collector will not make the lawsuit go away. Second, responding to a lawsuit will force the debt collection agency to prove the debt in question is valid.
Make sure to read the summons for the lawsuit carefully and make sure to respond well before the deadline.
How to Respond to a Lawsuit Filed by a Debt Collection Agency
By consulting with an experienced consumer protection attorney who specializes in litigating FDCPA cases, you will get expert legal advice on how to handle a civil lawsuit filed by a third party debt collector.
To prevent your case from going into default, which means the judge will issue a judgment against you, you need to respond to the summons to appear in court in a timely manner. Your answer to the lawsuit must be filed within 20 days of personal service or 30 days when service of other means has been completed.
Your FDCPA attorney will know the filing deadline requirements for an answer to a civil lawsuit in the state where you live. Responding in a timely manner prevents the court from tacking on additional fees, such as court costs and attorney compensation.
The FDCPA and Monetary Damages
Just because you received a summons informing you of a civil lawsuit does not mean you do not have any legal recourse to file a counter claim. A bill collector such as I.Q. Data International, Inc. might have violated one or more FDCPA provisions, which gives you the right to seek monetary damages for pain and suffering.
If your FDCPA attorney cannot directly link your pain and suffering to FDCPA violations, yet a bill collector has violated the FDCPA, then you are eligible to receive statutory damages up to $1,000. Remember that statutory damages cover all FDCPA violations.
The FDCPA also gives you the right to recover attorney fees and to seek injunctive relief that includes getting I.Q. Data International, Inc. to stop sending you threatening letters or making phone calls that harass you at home and at work.
Be proactive when dealing with a civil lawsuit filed by a debt collection agency. Speak with an accomplished FDCPA attorney to learn more about your rights under the landmark consumer protection law.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against I.Q. Data International, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.