If you have been sued for a debt in please understand that you are not alone. This may be the first time you have ever been sued. There are credit card debt many consumers who are sued every month for an old debt.
Unfortunately, many consumers make the mistake of not hiring an attorney to defend the lawsuit so they end up with a default judgment against them. Debt buyers and credit card companies are filing thousands of lawsuits against Florida consumers. These debt buyers buy portfolios of debt for as little as three to ten cents on the dollar in most cases, then sue Florida consumers to try and get a judgment for 100% of the balance plus attorney fees, costs, and post-judgment interest.
The debt buyers then send the accounts to local collection attorneys in Florida who file individual lawsuits against Florida Consumers. Under Florida law, they have five years to sue you for the debt pursuant to the statute of limitations if they sue for a breach of contract claim. If they sue you under an account stated or stated account theory, they only have four years.
What can happen to me with a Credit Card Lawsuit in Florida?
1) Cloud title on your West Palm Beach homestead property
If you own a home, a judgment can cloud the title on your HOMESTEAD. In West Palm Beach your homestead is protected from a forced sale by this type of creditor. However, you may have difficulty selling or refinancing your property unless you obtain a full or partial release.
2) Garnish/Freeze/Take your bank account(s)
In West Palm Beach a creditor can garnish your bank account. This can happen years after the judgment or very soon after the judgment.
3) Seize any “non-exempt” property from you
A judgment creditor in West Palm Beach can force the sale of any non-exempt property that you own. Generally they do this with a “writ of execution.” They send the sheriff or constable out to your property to search for non-exempt property that can be seized.
4) Put the judgment on your credit report for 10 years
A judgment is usually reported as a “public record” on your credit report similar to a Bankruptcy. Often this type of record is very detrimental to a credit report because bad debts are supposed to be removed from your credit report after 7 years from the final payment to the original creditor. A judgment, however, can stay on for 10 years or more.
So What Can You Do?
1) Fight the Lawsuit
We have been successful in getting hundreds of collection lawsuits dismissed or settled for far less than what they are suing for.
Our firm may be able to assist in you settling this debt and other debts for a substantial reduction in what is owed. Settlement reduces the risk of going to trial and it may improve your credit rating if the debt is currently reporting as a collection account.
If you qualify for Bankruptcy, it would stop the lawsuit and most likely discharge all of your credit card debt. This is often the best solution if you anticipate multiple lawsuits on multiple debts. A chapter 7 bankruptcy will allow you a fresh start.
What Are the Fees?
There is NO CHARGE to have us examine your situation and advise what the best solution may be.
We would be happy to answer any additional questions that you may have.
Contact us now for free with no obligation consultation.
Call now before there is a judgment!
Carolyn Secor P.A. focuses its practice in the areas of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Defense in Clearwater, Florida. For more information, go to our web site www.BankruptcyforTampa.com or call 727-335-7151.