You come home from work one night to find a notarized letter sitting in the mailbox. The notarized letter is from the county where you live and inside the letter, the county demands that you appear in court to answer a lawsuit filed by a debt collection agency against you.
According to most state laws, you have 30 days for responding to the letter, which can include sending a notarized letter back to the county confirming that you will participate in the lawsuit process. If a county official had shown up to your front door with the summons, you then would have just 20 days for responding to the summons.
Failing to take immediate action against a lawsuit summons will lead to the judge overseeing the case to issue a favorable ruling for the debt collection agency that sued you.
If you do not respond to a complaint filed by a third party debt collector like Professional Bureau of Collections of Maryland, the same judge that issued an unfavorable ruling has the power to garnish your wages, as well as place a lien on your property to recover the money owed on a delinquent credit card or personal loan account.
How to Fight Back against a Lawsuit
The worst thing you can do when responding to a summons for a lawsuit is to tell the judge “I wish to represent myself.” The bill collector sitting across the courtroom aisle will have a team of seasoned attorneys who know exactly how to win lawsuits filed against consumers that have fallen behind on their bills. You should meet with a state licensed consumer protection lawyer who knows how to fight back by referencing an historic federal consumer protection law.
Passed by the United States Congress on September 20, 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) forbids debt collection agencies from harassing and intimidating consumers into paying off delinquent credit card and personal loan balances. A third party debt collector cannot deceive you as well. Some companies ask for much more money that is owed on a consumer debt.
You should also be wary of any company that claims to be the IRS. If a bill collector violates one or more provisions of the FDCPA, you can turn a lawsuit against you into a claim filed against the debt collection agency.
Are You Eligible for Monetary Damages?
Filing a claim against a third party debt collector is much more than simply getting the company off your back. Under the FDCPA, you have the right to file a claim seeking monetary damages. Statutory damages, which cover every violation of the FDCPA committed by the same bill collector, cannot exceed $1,000. This means you have to file a claim for actual damages to recover the costs of diagnosing and treating physical and/or emotional duress symptoms.
Reach Out to an FDCPA Lawyer
Winning a claim that awards you monetary damages requires the help of an accomplished FDCPA attorney. Your FDCPA lawyer will gather the evidence required to convince a judge to rule in your favor. Schedule a free initial consultation today with a state licensed FDCPA attorney to get the legal ball rolling for your case.
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Radius Professional Bureau of Collections of Maryland or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.