Fighting debt collectors vs. filing bankruptcy

We make a point of not selling any particular service to our clients. We’re here to listen to your story and then lay out the different options you may have. Often, consumers call us when they’ve been sued by a creditor. Getting sued is a scary thing and the person sitting across the table from us is often nervous and upset.  We do our best to take fear out of the equation and get focused on reaching a resolution.

In a situation like this, we generally start with a few questions, like:

-Do you actually owe the debt claimed in the lawsuit?

-Does the amount demanded in the suit seem like approximately what you thought you owed to this creditor?

-Who is suing you (original creditor or debt buyer)?

We’ll then turn to a more holistic discussion of your situation. In order to set forth your options we will need to learn about your work situation, your monthly obligations, your assets and your other debts (are you at a point where other creditors may sue you?). We will also ask about your future plans. If you’re planning to buy a house or a new car in the near future and will require the ability to get new credit, that will impact the way you deal with the suit.

In any case, your unique situation will determine what options are open to you, but the two most common remedies our clients choose are defending/settling the lawsuit or filing bankruptcy.

Defending a lawsuit: If you are interested in defending the lawsuit, we will determine what defenses and potential counterclaims you have. Sometimes we can develop counterclaims that really turn the table on the creditors. We will let you know if we think your case has that potential and give you our opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of the creditor’s claims. We can also discuss whether it makes the most sense for you to litigate the case or try to settle it.

Bankruptcy: You can find more detailed information on the bankruptcy process elsewhere on this blog.

If you are facing suits from multiple creditors we can discuss whether a bankruptcy, either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, makes more sense than fighting a series of lawsuits. In terms of legal fees, it costs about the same to hire us to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy as it does for us to defend one debt collection suit. Of course there are ramifications either way, but rest assured that we’ll discuss them at length with you and help you make the best decision.

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