Debt collection agencies are tricky groups, to put it nicely. They buy up debts from major credit card companies and banks at minimal value, all in hopes of being able to turn a profit by collecting from the debtor through different means. Oftentimes, these means feel like nothing short of deception.
The usual go-to protocol for a collection agency is to hire a lawyer – if they don’t already have one on staff – and have them file a suit against you, which ultimately creates a court summon. Now, if you are like most everyone else, the summons is going to be confusing because it will be from a company you have never heard of before. You had credit card debt with MasterCard or Visa, not whoever this is, right? Regardless if you recognize the name or not, you will want to show up to court for official summons. This is where you can take the advantage.
Four Words Every Creditor Hates
When you arrive at court, the collection agency will probably be surprised you came at all. An estimated 85% of all summons go unanswered, allowing the agency to win by default. A lawyer representing the collection company will give you a sheet of paper that looks suspiciously like a credit card statement but is actually not a credit card statement. As a disclaimer at the top will likely state, it is just an account summary of what you allegedly owe to this new collection company. To repeat, this is not necessarily what you owed your original creditor. What’s more, there is unlikely to be any math or explanation as to how they got this number.
Here is your chance for success. “Show me the evidence.” Press the attorney for any official documentation that shows your actual debt, not the account summary form. If and when they cannot produce it, bring the lack of evidence to the attention of the court judge. In so many cases, this is the end of the hardship, and the collection agency will drop the case.
Why Evidence is So Important in Debt Collection
More often than not, when a credit card company or bank sells an IOU to a collection agency, they only provide your name and how much you owe. Specifics are withheld either due to confidentiality or mere oversight. Without solid proof that shows how your debt came to be, the number means nothing to a judge. The truth really is that collection agencies are largely banking on people not showing up to court and automatically conceding to their claims.
If you have questions about your rights as a debtor in New York – or if you have been summoned or harassed by a debt collection agency – get into contact with Lebedin Kofman LLP right away. Our New York debt lawyers can give you the counsel you need to seek an amicable and fair solution to your situation. Call 888.605.2705 to request a free consultation now.