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Reversing a Judgment After Nine Years

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.

  • ABC News
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • CBS 4
  • CNN
  • Daily Business Review
  • Florida Trend's - Florida Legal Elite 2014
  • Florida Trend's - Florida Legal Elite 2014
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates
  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • NBC News
  • National Consumer Law Center
  • The New York Times
  • Avvo
  • Avvo
  • Avvo
  • Avvo
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