Atlantic Credit & Finance is a company that buys bad debt to try to make a profit. They buy large collections of allegedly defaulted credit card accounts for pennies on the dollar for the sole purpose of attempting to collect whatever they can on those accounts from individuals just like you. They file many lawsuits daily in every county in Pennsylvania in hopes of collecting on old debt claims that have been charged off by the original creditor. It is important to know that Atlantic Credit is NOT working for the original creditor…. they are a buyer of the debt. So before you consider making any payment or settlement with them, please keep that in mind.
When a potential client calls us about an Atlantic Credit case, our response is to usually tell the PC to defend the case. In most instances, it is a bad idea to pay Atlantic anything. In our experience, we have found that Atlantic has a very difficult time in proving its case in a court of law. If they cannot prove that you owe them a specific amount of money, why would you pay them anything?
How Do We Defend Against Atlantic Credit Lawsuits?
Our approach to defending lawsuits filed by Atlantic Credit is twofold. First, we defend the case based upon a lack of legal sufficiency. In general, 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 and most importantly that Atlantic Credit has the right to sue you and collect on the alleged debt. This is a key. Atlantic has to prove that they now own your account. Easier said than done…
In my experience, I have found that the lawsuits filed by Atlantic Credit are usually legally insufficient, that is, they are unable to meet the above listed criteria. We object to these lawsuits on insufficiency grounds with tremendous success. While it may sound easy to meet this criteria, these guys simply don’t have the ability to do it on a regular basis. First, they have to prove that they own your specific credit card account. This is accomplished through producing a contract that is called an “assignment”. This is the contract that sells the account from one party to another. Sounds simple, right? No, its not that simple. The assignment contract is typically a multipage set of documents that contains certain terms and conditions and certain account listings. For reasons that we have not yet discovered, despite handling thousands of these cases, Atlantic is weary of allowing us to see the complete assignment. We speculate that they hide it from us because they don’t want us to know the exact purchase price, nor do they want us to know that they bought the accounts “AS IS”. AS IS means that they are truly buying JUNK debt.
If we move past the assignment criteria, Atlantic still has to produce the terms and conditions of the credit account and all of the monthly statements. These pieces of evidence are often not included as part of the sale from the original creditor. If they cannot produce these documents, they cannot move forward.
In the event that Atlantic Credit is able to cure the insufficiency objections, (which occurs very infrequently) 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, whether they filed the lawsuit on time, et cetera. This is where the real attorney work is. Hire the wrong attorney and you end up losing a case that you should have won. Please, please always check references or reviews before hiring a lawyer.
Our firm has a great deal of experience in defending credit card collection cases. Having an attorney to protect your interests has become vital, these are not matters that you should handle yourself. If you have been sued in any county in Pennsylvania by Atlantic Credit 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 us at 412-348-8600 or visit our Pennsylvania Credit Card Legal Center here.