A creditor has the right to sue you if you fail to make payments on your debt. They can file a civil lawsuit to obtain a judgment against you in what is usually a last-ditch attempt to collect payment. A debt lawsuit can be extremely damaging, as it can result in wage garnishment and a dramatic drop in your credit score. A low credit score can prevent you from being qualified to purchase a home or acquire a loan, while wage garnishment can limit your immediate funds until you pay the debt in full.
Resuming payment after a credit card company files a lawsuit is usually pointless. Ignoring court issued notices can also be detrimental, as creditors are more likely to obtain the judgment if you fail to respond. You should know that you do have legal options to fight a creditor taking legal action. By acquiring the counsel of an experienced debt collection attorney, you can explore the possible defenses against the lawsuit.
The Statute of Limitations Defense
A common defense is that the statute of limitations had expired before the creditor filed the lawsuit. A statute of limitations is the time allowed by law to file any particular legal claim. The state of Florida has separate deadlines depending on the type of legal action being pursued. The Florida statute of limitations for creditors seeking a legal claim are as follows:
- Four years for debt based on a verbal agreement
- Five years for debt based on a written agreement
Creditors are aware of the statute of limitations, but will still file a lawsuit after it has expired. They do so with the hope that you will ignore the notice which grants them a default judgment.
Your Rights if the Statute of Limitations Has Expired
Be sure to examine the statute of limitations if a creditor seeks a legal claim against you. You can request for the claim to be dismissed if it has expired. If the court approves your request, the creditor will lose the right to collect that particular debt.
Pursuing an expired debt is defined as abusive behavior under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). You have the right to file a legal claim of your own in addition to having the case against you dismissed. Be sure to have a qualified Florida FDCPA attorney on your side who can help you seek maximum compensation for your claim.
We have produced many successful outcomes for consumers just like you at The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi. Millions of dollars have been recovered for FDCPA violations, and you can be the next to benefit from an experienced FDCPA attorney. Do not put up with the demands and harassment of debt collectors. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. Jibrael does not collect a penny until you get paid!