What Are The Legal Strategies For Defending a Debt?

In common parlance, the defense is the deciding factor why the plaintiff should not win the case. In a debt recovery suit, the defense becomes the major reason for the plaintiff not receiving the money, and they are left with no choice. In any case, with the efforts of the debt defense lawyer and his successful arguments, the winning of the case is for sure, and the plaintiff loses in parallel.  

Several key factors don’t come from the circumference of defense in debt defense lawyers arguments. They are enlisted below:

  • The mere excuse that you forgot to pay a bill today.
  • By chance, you fall behind on your bills.
  • The allegations that debt collectors or creditors failed to make convenient payment methods.
  • A settlement statement is to decide the case and make pre-agreements for making payment, most of the time entered into by debt lawyers for debt settlement.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

Every kind of defense is available to all defense lawyers given under debt collection laws and should be presented briefly before the court of law while answering any arguments. Given below are various defenses:

Defense 1: No Communication About Summons

One of the key defenses that debt defense lawyers take is to let the court know that summons were not served at all. Due to the nonpresence of a summon, it didn’t come to the defendant’s knowledge to argue his defenses in the present case. This led him to no option but to fall into debt collection. Even if it was served by any chance, then it was not properly served and not in compliance with the procedure established by law.

There should be personal service, meaning that the summon or complaint was served to you at your doorstep or the communicator had personally handed over the summon to you. This ensures the safe receipt of summon. The substitute service occurs when the main process server sends two copies of the summon, one copy at your home where your roommate, relative, or any other competent person resides who is responsible and in the capacity to understand the contents of the summon. The second copy is served to your last residence address or known to be your place of business.

The following are examples of incorrect methods for serving summons:

  • Serving summons to the people residing in a nearby apartment.
  • Sending summons to any previously resided place where you no longer stay.
  • Putting summon at inconvenient places where it might get destroyed.
  • The correspondence of mail only via mail and not on the address.

To take any of the above defenses, make sure to keep the following factors in your arguments during court proceedings:

  • Let the court know about the improper service of a summons and lack of communication on their behalf to the defendant.
  •  Make sure to get an “affidavit of service,” which will prove your defense in how you were served with the summoning by a process server.
  • As soon as the plaintiff files the case, you must ask the court to dismiss the case because of a lack of jurisdiction directly. This should be done within 60 days of filing the answer to the court of law.
  • The “traverse hearing”  is another way you should seek from the court. This judge will hear both parties, and if a court concludes the finding that the summons was served improperly, the case will be dismissed at the first instance.
  • All evidence relevant to your case must be duly collected and presented in court to support your arguments.

Defense 2: Mistake In Identification

In most instances, the debt occurs due to a fake identity created by any fraudster in your name, and debt defense lawyers can argue on this ground in a detailed manner. He/she opens an account in your name and takes credit for it. This makes you fall into the circle of debt without any knowledge of you, which is called a debt collection scam. In such a case, make sure to prove in court that the debt doesn’t belong to you as the initial credit taker is someone else, and you are just the victim of such a mistaken identity.

Defense 3: Law of Limitation

The statute prescribes a time limit in a lawsuit relating to debt, again in favor of arguments for debt defense lawyers. In most states, it is from three to six years. According to the law of limitation, a creditor is bound to file a debt lawsuit against you only within the limited period, and if a failure occurs in filing a suit, then his suit will be dismissed by the court on the first hearing itself due to the law of limitation imposed by statute.

Defense 4: On-Time Payment

The debt defense lawyer can successfully prove to the court of law that he/she had timely paid all the payments to the creditor without any failure. Payment slips and transactions can serve as a matter of shreds of evidence for them.

Defense 5: Unreasonable Amount of Debt

Many times debt calculated by the creditor is faulty and incorrect. This means the debt asked by him is not the number of payments agreed to be paid by the defendant. It is the mere exercise of the dominant position. Such an unreasonable amount can be shown in court and can be successfully proven as a defense for the defendant. It reduces the burden of the defendant to repay the debt, and the court can pass an order in favor of the defendant in such cases.

Defense 6: Bankruptcy

If you were previously declared under bankruptcy and are being sued for the charges that occurred during that period, then it is a complete defense for you. The debt collector cannot sue or initiate court proceedings in such cases.

Key Takeaways

Prevention is always better than cure. So make sure whenever you get any lawsuit for debt, you try to use all forms of mechanisms to defend yourself.  The initial discovery of defenses is always best. As a result, you will have a better strategy in hand to win the lawsuit and get it dismissed by the court for any of the above aforesaid defenses. The court will always be bound to pass an order in your favor if you go to a court of law with the right legal strategy. This leaves the plaintiff left with no choice but to lose and ultimately win the case.