How to defend debt collector lawsuits in Texas

How to defend debt collector lawsuits in Texas, and bankruptcy solutions that may benefit you.

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How to defend debt collector lawsuits in Texas

 We wrote this article to help you get information regarding how to defend debt collector lawsuits in Texas.

Midland Credit Management, Portfolio Recovery, Cavalry SPV, LVNV Funding LLC, Chase, Amex, Synchrony Bank… If these creditor names sound familiar, you are probably being sued by one.

Filing a lawsuit by a debt collector is one of the most aggressive methods of debt collection. Generally, the constable or a private process server shows up at your door, bearing legal documents. It’s a scary time for many hard-working folks. Creditors file these lawsuits knowing the fear it causes for ordinary Americans facing financial challenges.

If you face such a lawsuit, first, know that you are not alone. For example, in Texas, hundreds of these suits initiate every day.

Your Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense Options in Texas 

Second, know of your options. You can either:

(a) Timely respond to the debt collectionlawsuit, alleging legally sufficient reasons why you don’t owe the debt; or

(b) Do nothing (generally not ideal); or

(c) File for Bankruptcy.

With limited exceptions, a successful bankruptcy filing stops creditor lawsuits. The law that stops lawsuits in bankruptcy is called the automatic stay. It kicks in as soon as you have a case number. We file online and get you a case number right away. With the automatic stay law in place, most lawsuits stop.

Once lawsuits, collection letters, and calls stop, you’ll breathe easier. Imagine a future without debt and public officials showing up at your doorstep. A lot of my clients describe their sense of peace once collection calls and letters stop.

There are also different types of bankruptcy, and each has advantages and disadvantages. In your free initial consultation, we will go through your situation and will make you suitable recommendations.

How to defend debt collector lawsuits in Texas

If no type of bankruptcy is helpful to your situation and you need to deal directly with the creditor lawsuit, then here are some of the possibilities:

(a) Defend debt collection lawsuit.

It’s a common misconception that you will automatically be assigned a court date when the lawsuit begins. Sometimes courts set a court date without filing an answer, but that is not the norm. As a defendant in the case, you have a limited time to file a response with the court and meet your service requirements. If you don’t file a timely answer, you are likely to be in default. For your convenience, here is a link to the Justice Court Training Manual published by the State of Texas. It contains helpful self-help information, but keep in mind that it applies to lawsuits filed in the Justice of Peace Courts.

How long do I have to answer a debt collection lawsuit?

Different courts tend to have different deadlines. For example, in Texas, where we practice, The Justice of Peace Courts give you 14 days to respond to the lawsuit; whereas, County and District Court give you 20 to file the answer. Do not delay filing an answer.

If you are looking for a sample answer for a Debt Lawsuit filed against you in the Justice of Peace Courts of the State of Texas, then Harris County has a good self-help page. Use the information even if you don’t live in Harris County. Just be sure to double-check with the actual court to make sure you are doing everything correctly.

For Debt Claims, the Texas Justice Court Training Center also has good resources and sample forms you can use. If you are looking to file your answer, you will find a sample answer on the site.

Should I tell the court that I can’t afford to pay the debt?

Not being able to make payments is typically not a legal defense to these types of lawsuits. Generally, the Judge decides how much is owed (if any) and who owes it. These are the most common questions presented to the Judge.

If you admit that you owe the suing debt collector money but can’t afford to pay it back, you acknowledged the debt owed to the creditor. Therefore, by telling the court that you cannot afford the repayment, you probably admitted to your guilt. So, That is not a good strategy.

If you are in one of the Texas Counties we serve, contact us for a free evaluation of your case. You may end up saving a lot more money than if you did it by yourself.

Can I negotiate a lower balance with monthly payments?

Yes, but it is generally a good idea to get the terms of your settlement in writing before you make payment. Just be sure that you don’t miss any deadlines regarding filing an answer. In other words, don’t rely on a debt collector’s verbal representations. Get all the terms of debt settlement in writing, and don’t miss any deadlines!

Even though I want to know how to defend a debt collector lawsuit, I have a lot more debt. What are my options?

If you face a debt collector lawsuit filed by Midland Credit Management, LVNV Funding LLC, or a famous credit card company, you probably have more than one credit account.

You may be wondering what you are going to do about your other debt. Specifically, if you have more debt out there, settling with just one debt collector may not be your best option as others may sue later. 

If you have more debt out there, it may make sense to address all your debt and not just the one that has sued. Others could follow suit, and you may not be in a position to beat or settle all of your debt.

In these scenarios, it’s good to consider bankruptcy as an option. A properly executed bankruptcy case can provide you with debt relief that includes more of your debt than just one debt collector lawsuit.

If you are looking for a more comprehensive solution to your debt challenges, consider different types of bankruptcy debt relief.  

If you live in one of the Texas counties we serve, please give us a call for your free consultation.

Get help with Debt Collector lawsuit

Connect with an experienced lawyer with your interest in mind.

Our goal is to:

a) Get rid of as much of your debt as possible;
b) protect your home, vehicles, trucks, and other belongings;
c) clear up your medical bills, unpaid bills, and other loans;
d) help you with your tax debt as much as possible.

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It all begins with your first initial consultation.

  • In-office or virtual appointment
  • Debt lawsuit defense or bankruptcy, depending on your needs.
  • We’ll fill out all the forms and paperwork for you.
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