Credit Card Debt Lawyers in San Diego Providing Knowledgeable Legal Services for Clients Struggling With Credit Card Debtors
The average credit card debt in California is $5154.00, with only 4.4% of Californians having a credit card that is currently maxed out. But if you are a part of the 4.4% that have a maxed-out credit card or have otherwise found yourself with overwhelming credit card debt, it is critical to know your options and learn what a credit card debt attorney can do to help you.
Can Credit Card Companies Sue You for Nonpayment?
Credit card companies routinely sell delinquent accounts to debt buyers, especially those that have remained unpaid for several months. A debt buyer or a debt collection agency is a business that purchases a large volume of delinquent accounts for pennies. Many of them add extra fees and interest to any existing debt on an account, then attempt to collect the debt using common tactics such as constant phone calls and letters.
In some cases, when the debt collection agency cannot collect payment from a debtor, they may file a claim against that debtor and initiate a lawsuit, and the debtor is notified by mail. In this case, it is important not to ignore the lawsuit and reach out to an attorney immediately, as you may be able to fight back and file an appropriate response.
What Happens if a Credit Card Debt Collector sues me?
If a credit card debt collection agency is suing you, you will likely receive a Summons in the mail. The Summons will contain information such as who the plaintiff is, the amount of debt the plaintiff wants to collect, the date of your hearing, and instructions on how you should respond. The last item is essential, as you usually have a certain amount of time to send your response. Ignoring it or not sending a timely response could result in a default judgment in the debt collector’s favor.
Your first step is to verify that the debt is, in fact, yours and reach out to the debt collector to see if there is any chance you could negotiate a settlement plan rather than going to court. You can also fight the debt if you don’t believe it belongs to you or wish to dispute any aspect of it. In this case, you should speak to a San Diego credit card debt lawyer as soon as possible.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Credit Card Debt in California?
A statute of limitations is a deadline determined by law during which a plaintiff can seek legal remedy for a civil case. The statute of limitations for civil actions regarding written contracts in California is four years. Since credit card companies usually require customers to sign a written contract to obtain a credit line, these companies or the debt collectors that purchase delinquent credit card accounts have four years to initiate a lawsuit against debtors.
The statute of limitations usually starts from the date of your last missed payment, but in some situations, it can be extended or revived. For example, if your credit card company has given you additional time to pay, the additional time extends the 4-year deadline. Making a payment after several months of missed payments may reset the statute of limitations. If a credit card debt collector is contacting you about a debt older than four years old, you may want to contact an attorney to see if your debt can be dismissed because the statute of limitations has expired.
What Can a Credit Card Debt Attorney Do for Me?
While it may be tempting to ignore credit card debt collectors and hope they go away, doing so is a risky strategy that could result in significant consequences such as wage garnishments. A credit card debt lawyer can help you negotiate with the credit card company, often reducing the amount you owe and avoiding the headache of a lawsuit. Reach out to Khosroabadi & Hill in San Diego by calling 858-240-2093 to see how we can help you resolve your debt in a favorable manner.