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What to do When Sued for Credit Card Debt

Most people don’t choose to fall into debt of any kind, especially credit card debt.  Through the clever marketing tactics of credit card companies, people continue to abuse their credit cards until they can’t pay even their minimum monthly balance.  In general, when most people have the money to pay their bills, they want to pay them.  It is when no money exists to pay those bills that the problems begin to arise.  For some reason, the credit card companies fail to realize this.  They pursue legal action against debtors who wish they could pay their bills but simply can’t, drawing their debtors deeper in debt.  Many of the problems that credit card users fall into are the result of irresponsible lending practices on the part of the credit card company.  When looked at from a business stand point, their tactics are genius, when looked at from an ethical stand point, their practices are questionable.  They continue to increase limits on accounts that have little chance of ever being paid off, and consumers continue to spend money they don’t have because they know that after they spend enough of that money, their limit will be increased again. 

A consumer often wonders what to do when sued for credit card debt.  They wonder what they can do when they hear the painful words “You’ve been served” uttered by a complete stranger who they will most likely never see again.  This time can be an intimidating time that produces many questions in the mind of the debtor.  The debtor knows that they have a moral and legal responsibility to pay their debts, but they simply do not have the resources to do so immediately. 

Any person who is sued for credit card debt should first request verification of the debt to ensure two things:

1.  That the debt is in fact owed by the person filed suit against, and

2.  That the debt is in the correct and fair amount.

Some credit card companies have been accused of such unscrupulous acts as inflating fees, miscalculating amounts, and basically “fudging” numbers in order to bleed the debtor of their original debt and as much extra money as they can.  Credit card agencies are large companies with several employees, many of whom are paid a commission based on the amount of money that they recover.  This opens the door for intentional and accidental errors to be made. 

Requiring a credit card company to justify their claim to a debt will sometimes force a company to agree to a settlement amount if it is revealed that their actions are inflating a person’s debt without just cause.  Most credit card companies will not admit fault to the actual consumer, because the consumer is not usually knowledgeable enough for a David and Goliath battle against the credit card company.  Most consumers allow themselves to be bullied by the credit card company because they allow intimidation and scare tactics to get the better of them.  A consumer who is represented by a trained attorney, however, is better equipped to make the credit card company hear their side of the story, which often goes a long way in making the credit card company ease up on the reigns heading toward litigation.   

As soon as the credit card company makes clear their intention to take a debtor to court over an unpaid debt, a lawyer specializing in financial matters should be consulted for the sake of buying a bit of time and to level the playing field.  The tone and tactics that intimidate debtors into making ill informed decisions are not usually present when the credit card company has to deal with an attorney.  In fact most credit card companies will assign an entirely different representative to deal with a lawyer than with a debtor, because the tactics used against one don’t work as well against the other.