Sometimes consumers are sued by the big credit card companies, such as
Visa or MasterCard or American Express. Sometimes the credit card companies
decide to sell the debt and write it off as a loss on their taxes. The
companies which buy old credit card debt are often called "debt purchasers".
Debt purchasers make their money by suing people who don't fight back
or who are unable to navigate the complicated rules of the court system.
Debt purchasers frequently make legal mistakes in their attempts to get
paid but few consumers are able to recognize the mistakes.
At the start of most credit-card lawsuits the entity which filed the lawsuit
has to deliver a copy of the lawsuit to the person being sued or to another
member of their household, to actually hand it to them. Debt purchasers
screw up this requirement
all of the time, handing the lawsuit to someone with a similar name who lives at a different
address, handing the lawsuit to a neighbor, handing the lawsuit to a total
stranger or just leaving it in a mailbox. There are even instances where
the lawsuit has never been given to anyone and the process server, the
person whose job it is to deliver the lawsuit simply lies to the court
and claims they delivered a lawsuit and though such instances are rare
they do happen.
Since the person being sued had no knowledge of the lawsuit they do not
appear in court and then automatically lose.
That happened to one of my clients recently. His paycheck was garnished
for a lawsuit he never knew about. He only learned about a lawsuit nine
years after he had already lost for not showing up. We investigated and
discovered that the debt purchaser left the lawsuit with his next door neighbor.
I just got back from Court. The judge overturned a nine year old judgment,
giving our client another chance to fight the case from the beginning.
We are going to fight and we are going to fight hard.