If you have been sued by a creditor or debt collector, it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. There are several affirmative defenses available in a debt collection lawsuit, but you must asset them in a timely manner or you could lose the right to assert them. Below are a few of the affirmative defenses that may be available to you:
- Lack of standing. If the plaintiff does not have proper standing to file the lawsuit, the case can be dismissed. Lack of standing means that the collector has no legal basis to file the lawsuit. This commonly occurs if the collector cannot prove that it is the rightful owner of your debt. When debts are sold or assigned, the paperwork can get lost and mistakes can occur, which can result in the collector not having the right to sue you.
- Statute of limitations. The law sets strict deadlines for when a lawsuit must be filed to collect a debt. If the statute of limitations has expired, the court will dismiss the lawsuit against you.
- Failure to state a claim. If the plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, your attorney can file a motion seeking to have the case dismissed. This occurs if the plaintiff fails to cite a statute or other legal basis for the cause of action. Merely stating facts or simply alleging that you owe the money is not, without more, sufficient.
There are many other affirmative defenses that may be available to you. Let the knowledgeable attorneys at Fitzgerald Campbell review your individual situation and help you understand all of the defenses we can allege on your behalf.
Even if you are pretty sure you owe the debt, there are still valid defenses that may be available to you. Don’t ignore a collection lawsuit – let us help. Our fee structure is based on the type of debt you have, starting as low as $10/month. For a very small monthly amount you will have experienced attorneys working for you.