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Debt Defense Attorneys in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Debt Defense Lawyers
Have You Been Sued by a Debt Collector?
We understand the anxiety and worry that can accompany such circumstances. At Graham & Borgese, our primary goal is to provide you with a seamless and stress-free experience. We recognize that financial constraints can make it challenging for individuals to defend themselves against creditors.
That's why we offer affordable rates and flexible payment plans for all our clients. Our main objective is to help resolve your debt issues rather than exacerbate them. Our team will support you throughout the entire process, presenting various options so that you can make an informed decision based on your specific circumstances.
Information on Debt Lawsuits in Pennsylvania
To initiate a debt lawsuit, the creditor or debt collector files a civil complaint in the appropriate Pennsylvania court. The complaint provides details about the debt, including the amount owed and the basis for the claim. After filing the complaint, they must serve you properly with a copy of the complaint and a summons, which notifies you of the lawsuit and sets a deadline for your response.
It is crucial to respond within the specified timeframe (usually 20 or 30 days) upon receiving the complaint and summons to avoid a default judgment. You can respond by filing an answer, addressing each allegation in the complaint and raising any applicable defenses or counterclaims. It is advisable to consult our Pittsburgh debt defense attorneys to ensure an appropriate response.
After the initial response, both parties enter the discovery phase, exchanging relevant information and evidence related to the debt. This can involve requests for documents, written questions (interrogatories), and out-of-court sworn testimonies (depositions).
Either party can file a motion for summary judgment if they believe there are no genuine disputes of material fact and that the case can be resolved based on the law. If the court grants summary judgment in favor of the creditor or debt collector, it could result in a judgment against you.
If the case proceeds to trial, both parties present their evidence, call witnesses, and make legal arguments. The judge or jury then determines the validity of the debt and, if applicable, the amount owed.
If the court rules in favor of the creditor or debt collector, a judgment will be entered against you. The judgment gives the creditor legal recourse to collect the debt, which may include wage garnishment, property liens, or asset seizure.
Documentation Required as a Debt Collector
To win a debt collection lawsuit in Pennsylvania, debt collectors generally need to provide specific documentation and meet legal requirements. Some elements that debt collectors may need to produce to support their case include:
- Original contract or agreement: Debt collectors should provide the original contract or agreement between the creditor and the debtor, demonstrating the existence of a valid debt.
- Account statements: They may need to provide detailed account statements showing the debtor's transactions, including charges, payments, and any accrued interest or fees.
- Chain of ownership: If the debt has been sold or assigned to a third-party debt collector, they may need to establish the chain of ownership and provide documentation proving that they have the legal right to collect the debt.
- Verification of debt: Debt collectors may be required to provide verification of the debt, which can include itemized statements, correspondence, or other evidence demonstrating the validity and accuracy of the amount owed.
- Compliance with state and federal laws: Debt collectors must comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and other applicable laws. Failure to adhere to these regulations may weaken their case and provide grounds for the debtor to counterclaim.
- Statute of limitations: Debt collectors must ensure that the debt is still within the statute of limitations, which sets the time limit for pursuing legal action. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for most types of debts is four years.
Debt Defenses in Pennsylvania
When facing a lawsuit from debt collectors, individuals may have certain legal claims or defenses they can assert, potentially leading to the dismissal of the lawsuit or even monetary compensation.
Some common claims and defenses that individuals sued by debt collectors may consider:
- Identity theft or mistaken identity: If you believe the debt is not yours or that you have been a victim of identity theft, you can assert this as a defense. Debt collectors would need to provide evidence linking the debt to you specifically.
- Lack of sufficient documentation: Debt collectors must provide appropriate documentation to prove the existence and validity of the debt, including the original contract or agreement, itemized statements, and other relevant records. If they fail to provide adequate documentation, it may weaken their case.
- Payment or settlement: If you have already paid the debt in question or have reached a settlement agreement with the creditor or debt collector, you can assert this as a defense. It is essential to have evidence of the payment or settlement terms.
“I spoke with Kris Graham who was very nice and answered all of my questions.” - Christina P.
“I was so grateful for their straightforward communication as they explained the options I had ahead of me.” - Heather F.
“I cannot believe how quickly Kris Graham and Frank Borgese settled my case!” - Bill S.
When it comes to addressing debt-related problems, such as defending against debt lawsuits, Graham & Borgese is here to offer assistance. Our firm specializes in these matters and possesses the necessary expertise and experience to help you fight back against your creditors. With a proven track record of success, we have helped numerous consumers resolve their debt-related challenges.
By engaging our services, our team of debt defense attorneys in Pittsburgh can provide you with the following benefits:
- Protection from aggressive debt collectors or credit card companies, sparing you direct interaction with them.
- Guidance through the complexities of the court system, eliminating the need for you to navigate it alone.
- Relief from the burden of learning legal processes and procedures on your own.
- Prevention of judgments against you, safeguarding your interests.
- Acquisition of verifiable evidence of your debt before pursuing a settlement.
- Negotiation of a fair and reasonable settlement tailored to your financial situation.
- Protection of your credit report from damaging judgments that can negatively affect your credit score.
- Prevention of wage garnishment, safeguarding your income.
- Security for your bank accounts, ensuring they won't be frozen and that you have access to your funds.
- Safeguarding of your property from liens that could impede the sale of your home.
At Graham & Borgese, we are committed to providing effective solutions and guiding you through the process with expertise and care.
Contact us today to take the first step towards resolving your debt-related challenges.