The Importance of Knowing your Rights & Hiring an Experienced Attorney to Protect them...

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In today's economic climate consumers may find it difficult to avoid aggressive debt collection tactics. It's important to know what your rights are in order to stop any abusive and illegal attempts to collect a debt. You have consumer protection rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that protect you from abusive debt collection practices, whether or not you owe the debt. It's important to know your rights and what you need to do to protect them.

If you receive a notice that a debt collection company is suing you over a debt that you may or may not have knowledge of, it's important to respond and dispute that letter timely, asking for verification of the alleged debt.

Additionally, when seeking an attorney to represent you, be sure to find an experienced consumer attorney who regularly practices in this area and litigates these cases enough to be fully knowledgeable of the abusive tactics  all too often used by debt buyers and aggressive debt collectors.

Consumer Attorneys, John Watts & M. Stan Herring, have a very informative law blog on issues pertaining to debt collection, binding arbitration, and credit reporting practices, your consumer rights, lawsuits and more.

Here is a portion of their narrative depicting a recent case they handled. This court room drama paints a picture that illuminates both the importance of knowing your legal rights and the importance of hiring experienced consumer attorneys that can protect those rights!

An Example Of A Recent Debt Buyer Lawsuit

"...Normally the debt buyers concede at the courthouse that they have no proof and ask the court to enter judgment against them in favor of the consumer defendant or they ask for a dismissal with prejudice.

In this particular case, however, the debt buyer sought to win its case by putting our client on the stand and questioning him under oath. We explained that this would do no good as Alabama consumers cannot testify as to whether or not the debt buyer actually owns the debt. The only party that can testify to that is the debt buyer and then the company that the debt buyer allegedly bought the debt from which often is not the original creditor but is, yet another, debt buyer.

Nevertheless, this debt buyer wanted to proceed with trial. It brought no witness. It brought no documents which could be admitted into evidence. Instead, our client was sworn in and was questioned by the attorney for the debt buyer along these lines:

Did you have a credit card account with bracket [original creditor]?

Did you receive bills from the [original creditor]?

Did you owe any money to the [original creditor]?

Finally, the questions turned to the debt buyer which is the only relevant matter as the original creditor had not sued our client. The questions went something like this:

Did you receive letters from the debt buyer?

Don't you admit that you owe the debt buyer money?

We were then allowed to cross-examine our client and we did so in the following way:

Did you ever do business with the debt buyer?

Did you ever borrow any money from the debt buyer?

Did you ever buy any goods or services from the debt buyer?

Had you ever heard of this debt buyer before this debt buyer sued without offering any proof that it owned the debt?

Do you owe this debt buyer any money?

At the end of this questioning of our client, the Jefferson County District Court Judge asked if the debt buyer had any further proof to offer.

Not surprisingly, the answer was "No"..."

To read the rest of the narrative and learn the ruling... click here.

For more info on debt buyers & debt collection practices, and your rights see earlier blogs;

Debt Collectors being held accountable for abusive and illegal debt collection practices

and to listen to Attorney John Watts discuss your consumer protection rights on issues pertaining to debt collection practices on SpotLight click here; Debt Collectors Gone Wild

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