We are living in challenging times, the pandemic has left countless people with financial issues that feel overwhelming and impossible to overcome. Unfortunately, banks, creditors, and debt buyers care little about the current crisis, and will still pursue consumers with the same level of force. Even if your debt comes from medical bills or other means that are no fault of your own, debt collectors care little.

If your credit card company is pursuing a lawsuit against you for your unpaid balance, then you need a Austin debt defense attorney to be your advocate. Debt lawsuits are complex, but with high-quality legal assistance, you may be able to drastically reduce the amount you are required to pay and can push back against those hounding you for money.

Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC

Whatever your financial situation, if you are facing a lawsuit then you should contact Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC as soon as possible. He has been devoted to debt negotiation, judgment defense, and tax litigation for over 26 years, with him by your side you can rest easy knowing that everything possible is being done for your case.

Ronald A. Stearns Sr. is a revered attorney, with many honors and important professional associations including the State Bar of Texas and the American Bar Association. With a deep understanding of issues surrounding debt relief, a committed approach to the attorney-client relationship, and a dedication to fiercely fighting on behalf of his clients, he is prepared to protect you to the fullest extent possible.

If you are losing control of your financial stability, speak to a law firm that has the skills, resources, and experience to do everything possible to secure a positive outcome in your case. Contact Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC today at 210-853-2135.

Dealing with Debt Lawsuits from a Creditor or Debt Collector in Austin, TX

If you are facing a lawsuit from a debt collector or creditor, you must respond, even if you believe the lawsuit to be false. Failure to answer could result in further problems and allow the collector to levy your bank account, lien your home, collect court costs and attorney fees, and impose interest.

It is important that you act quickly, and a Austin debt defense lawyer can help you respond in the best way possible. They will help you respond in the form of an Answer, and minimize conflict while protecting your rights. You have just 14 days to provide an Answer in the state of Texas.

The sooner you act the better, as you will have certain deadlines placed upon you and interest will be building. If you fail to respond within the deadline then your case could enter a default judgment, where the debt collector will be declared the winner by default.

At this point, you will lose your right to dispute the debt and you will need to start paying immediately. A debt defense attorney may still be able to help you, but it will become more difficult the longer you leave it.

Discovery Requests

The creditor may include “discovery requests” in the form of Interrogatories, Requests for Admissions, or a Request for Production asking you for documents. You will have 50 days to respond to these requests and if you fail to do so you will automatically lose the lawsuit.

Although an attorney is not a legal requirement for forming an Answer or responding to Discovery Requests, it’s a good idea if you have defenses or claims against the creditor that could improve the outcome of your case.

Austin Debt Defense Lawyer

A debt defense attorney can defend people against both original creditors and third-party debt collectors that often try to collect more than the original overdue balance before default. A debt buyer could be trying to collect far more from you than you originally borrowed and this is entirely unjust.

Many people are surprised to learn that what they owe can often be reduced. A collection defense attorney could help reduce what you owe by fighting against the fees, interest, and costs. They will make sure that you only have to pay what is just, and nothing more.

Ronald A. Stearns Sr. has represented numerous clients in debt collection cases, he protects people’s rights against all forms of debt. His services include:

  • Dealing with third-party collectors such as debt settlement companies who don’t have the right to collect the debt.
  • Working to resolve medical debt, business debt, or consumer debt relief.
  • Helping you to understand the bankruptcy code and decide if filing bankruptcy is the right decision for you.
  • Lawsuits from credit card companies or creditors such as a finance company or retail store if they are asking for more than what you borrowed.
  • Settle a lawsuit before trial, reduce what you owe, or create payment terms that you can afford (preferably without interest).
  • Dealing with unlawful collection attempts, or inflated debt.

What a Austin Collection Defense Attorney Can Do

When you contact the law office of Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC, you will secure representation from someone who is committed to protecting your rights, he will take the fear and intimidation out of the equation and work to resolve your case in the best way possible.

Creditors can use scare tactics in an attempt to get you to pay them quickly, but not everything they say is 100% accurate. Many finance companies, collection companies, and credit card companies are guilty of overcharging or miscalculating their fees. As a consumer, you may feel that you have to pay all that is demanded, but this isn’t always the case.

Ronald A. Stearns Sr. is prepared to protect your rights and secure the best resolution without the stress of a lawsuit or dealing with the creditor’s attorneys. However, if your case does go to court then he will be prepared to fight for you every step of the way.

Limits to Contacting Debtors

The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) places limits on how a debt collector can contact a debtor. They are restricted in how often they can contact you and what they can say. But illegal practices are commonplace, such as:

  • Falsely threatening arrest.
  • Harassing you such as using obscene language.
  • Constantly calling you.
  • Impersonating a government representative or attorney.
  • Misrepresenting what you owe.
  • Calling you too late in the evening or too early in the morning. (In Texas they cannot call you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. unless they know that such times are more convenient).
  • In Texas, state laws also prohibit debt collectors from garnishing your wages. Except for specific kinds of debt: spousal support, child support, student loans, or unpaid taxes. A debt collector cannot take from your wages for ordinary debts.

If debt collectors act illegally then they could be held liable for the damages caused to you. It may even result in your debt being reduced or eliminated entirely, and you could even receive money in the form of damages owed to you. Damages could include financial compensation for the emotional stress they caused through illegal practices.

Debt Validation 

Debt collectors must follow a specific process called debt validation in order to make a collection attempt. If they do not follow the law properly, then an attorney can dispute their methods.

When creditors fail to follow the validation process they may not have a legal right to collect the debt, and could even be liable for penalties. In some cases, their actions may be so egregious that you can file a lawsuit against them and have the debt eliminated entirely.

Ronald A. Stearns Sr. has successfully eliminated third party debt collection cases by showing that they cannot establish their right to collect the debt.

What if You Owe The Debt?

Even if you do owe the debt, you do not necessarily have to pay it all. A debt defense attorney can present your situation to the creditor’s attorney and may be able to have them drop the lawsuit, or significantly reduce the amount you owe, based on your financial hardship.

An attorney may also be able to extend the time you have to pay, and arrange affordable monthly payments to suit your budget, usually eliminating continuing interest. They will arrange a settlement, which is what you will pay.

FAQ

Can debt collectors take you to court in Texas?

If contacting you to get you to pay your debt has failed, then a debt collector can file a lawsuit and take you to court. When this happens, it is essential that you contact a Austin debt defense attorney.

How long can a debt collector legally pursue an old debt in Texas?

The statute of limitations for debt collection in Texas is four years. After four years have passed they can no longer pursue a lawsuit to collect the debt.

What happens if a creditor sues you in Texas?

If a creditor sues you in Texas then they can take harsh actions against you, forcing you to pay what you owe. For example, they can place a judgment lien on your property which will allow them to take the proceeds from your property once you come to sell it. An attorney may be able to have your debt reduced, and work out a manageable payment plan to prevent things like this from happening.

What happens when you get served papers for debt in Texas?

Once you are served papers for debt in Texas, you should contact an attorney immediately. You have just 14 days to provide an answer and failure to do so could result in a default judgment in favor of the creditor.

Contact Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC Today

Debt collectors depend on debtors being unaware of the options available to them and they often use scare tactics in an attempt to get people to pay more than what is just.

Your first step should be speaking to a debt collection defense attorney who can work to reduce or even eliminate your debt.

With over 26 years of experience and the willingness to fiercely advocate for his clients, Ronald A. Stearns Sr. is your best chance at a favorable outcome. Contact his law office today at 210-853-2135.