Hayt Hayt & Landau Lawsuits – Have they sued you?
Hayt Hayt and Landau is a law firm based out of Philadelphia and New Jersey that handles many credit card collection cases in Pennsylvania. They often represent Midland Funding (or Midland Credit Management), which is a large junk debt buyer, or Capital One Bank in these credit card lawsuits. At the time of this writing, HHL appears to be filing approximately 300 credit card lawsuits per week. They appear to be filing all of these cases at the local magistrate level.
The attorneys at Hayt, Hayt and Landau are very good collection attorneys, they are well versed in the law and they know what they are doing. Fortunately for us, their clients are not always the best prepared clients. Credit card cases are based upon documentation. Contracts, Terms and Conditions, monthly statements, Assignments, Bills of Sale and Forward Flow Agreements are some of the essential documents when it comes to credit card litigation. Without documents, or rather, without enough relevant documents, even the best collection attorneys cannot win. Midland Funding is a company that is often lacking in documentation when it comes to these types of lawsuits and it often doesn’t matter how good the collection attorney is.
The typical Hayt lawsuit is filed at the District Justice level. This is good for our clients because it is cheaper to defend a case at this level versus the higher Court of Common Pleas level. Our approach to handling these lawsuits is to defend, defend, defend. In our experience, we don’t believe that Midland Funding is going to have the documentation that is necessary at the District Justice level. As stated above, they need most or all of your credit file to prevail against you. In the alternative, they need you to attend the hearing so that they can cross examine you and use your testimony to prove their case. That’s right, a key component of their attack is to use your words against you. If they are unable to obtain the relevant documentary evidence then a cross examination of the defendant (you) is the next logical step. When a party files a lawsuit in Pennsylvania, there are several issues that need to be recited in the lawsuit. In other words, facts must be established that tend to prove that you had a credit account, that you made certain charges, that you agreed to specific terms and conditions, that you defaulted on it. Another key on debt buyer cases like those filed by Midland Funding is that they have to prove ownership of the credit account in question. Believe it or not this is a task that is much more difficult to prove than it might ordinarily seem and its a big reason why we often shy away from recommending settlements on these cases. Why settle a claim where the other side probably cannot prove that they are the party that you owe money to?
We also see Hayt Hayt and Landau representing Capital One on some credit card cases. While original creditor cases like those with Capital One can be more difficult, we still believe that it’s in your best interests to obtain a consultation with a consumer attorney and then likely look to defend rather than settle. In my experience, and I have no explanation for this, it appears that the Capital One cases that are sent to Hayt, Hayt and Landau are usually legally insufficient or missing documentation and are thus defendable. Again, this insufficiency is not the fault of the attorney, rather, it is the fault of the attorney’s client. We object to these lawsuits on insufficiency grounds with tremendous success across much of Pennsylvania.
In the event that Hayt is able to cure the insufficiency objections, we then move on to defending the claim on its legal merits, i.e. whether you actually had the account, whether you actually defaulted on it, when the alleged default occurred, what the amount of the account was, et cetera. Remember, they have the burden to prove a case, you do not.
Our firm has a great deal of experience in defending credit card collection cases that are filed by Hayt Hayt and Landau. Unless your lawsuit is for a few pennies, it is essential to have a consumer attorney to protect your interests. Please, please do not attempt to handle a case alone. You don’t want to lose a case that a consumer attorney would have won. We don’t charge for the initial consult so at least spend a few minutes on the phone with our office before you do anything else. If you have been sued in any county in Pennsylvania by Hayt, Hayt and Landau or another collection agency, our firm can help you defend this claim at minimal cost, with a great chance at success. Contact our office here, call me at 412-823-8003 or visit our Pennsylvania Credit Card Legal Center here.