Credit card lawsuits are filed against people with incomes both large and small. Credit card balances can creep up slowly when credit is used to bridge budget gaps. Other times, credit cards make ends meet during a disruption in income, such as a temporary leave from work. Many people can afford to pay off credit card balances, but not with the extremely high interest rates. The high interest typically outpaces the amount people can pay towards credit cards, so the balance only grows and grows. Eventually, the credit card company gives the account to a collection agency or collection attorney who files a lawsuit.
In Northwest Georgia, credit card lawsuits usually end up with one of several large collection law firms out of Atlanta. The firm will send a demand letter and then file the lawsuit in your local county court. The sheriff, constable, or other court officer will “serve” you with the lawsuit by handing you a paper copy. If you do not respond to the lawsuit with a written answer filed in the court, the collection attorney can obtain a default judgment. Once they have obtained a default judgment, the collection attorney can file for a lien on all of your property and, more often, file a garnishment to seize your wages and bank accounts.
At the Hurtt Law Firm, we develop strategies in defending credit card lawsuits unique to each client. In some situations, our clients have good affirmative defenses to the balance or we believe that the collection law firm will have difficulty in gathering sufficient proof of the credit card debt. Other times, our strategy is to reach the most affordable settlement possible that is usually thousands of dollars less than the actual balance. A third common option is to respond to the lawsuit by filing a bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will stop any collection efforts and avoid a potential garnishment.
If you have been served with a credit card lawsuit or believe one is approaching, please call and schedule a free confidential consultation with our of our attorneys to discuss your best course of action.