Knowing what we know, it is surprising how many people think that collection agencies cannot be beat in a court of law. They assume that just because they may have defaulted on a credit account that they cannot win. This is simply not true, collection agencies are very beatable. People often also think “I owe the money so I should just pay it”. This is also not true in many cases. At one point, you may have had a credit card and you may have defaulted on it. Right now, you are being sued by a company that you’ve never heard of and you have no true idea if they own your account or if they are working for someone else. So do you owe them money? That’s up to a court of law to decide. Remember, if you make a payment to a debt buyer, none of that money is going back to the original credit card company. Zero. So are you really making things right by making a payment?
Collecting on bad debt is a huge business right now. Junk debt buyers and collection agencies file about 50 to 200 lawsuits every day in every county in Pennsylvania. That is a massive amount of lawsuits. Some counties have actually had to develop a special credit card court, or, have made special credit card rules.
In order to prevail on a claim against you, a collection agency has to have many pieces of documentation that it must submit as evidence in a credit card case. In our experience, we have found that they often do not have, and cannot obtain, those vital pieces of evidence. It goes back to the term “junk debt”. If they were able to purchase all of the necessary information and evidence, then it wouldn’t be “junk” debt would it?
When a credit card case gets to a collection agency, for the most part, it is a very limited claim. What we mean is that the collection agency often does not obtain the vital information that is necessary to prove the case against you. Remember, the collection agency likely bought your defaulted account from the original creditor or from another collection agency. They typically end up buying only your name, address, phone number, account number, date of charge-off and balance due and owing. That simply is not enough information to prevail on a lawsuit in Pennsylvania. They need documents from your credit account and they need lots of them.
Our office routinely files objections to collection agency lawsuits, often with great success. The biggest key to winning a collection agency lawsuit is to remain calm, consult a good consumer attorney, and let him/her do the work.
If you have a credit card company or a collection agency attempting to collect a debt from you, please contact our office at 412-348-8600 or send an email to Attorney Greg Artim