Feeling overwhelmed by debt can be one of the most stressful experiences of your life. It can keep you up at night, ruin relationships, and even result in the loss of your home, car, or job. But financial challenges are increasingly common in today’s economic climate, and you don’t have to suffer in silence.
If you are struggling with mounting debt, harassing creditor calls, and the fear of impending lawsuits or losing your home, the skilled and compassionate Los Angeles debt collection defense attorneys at The Sands Law Group, APLC can help. You have rights, and we will work tirelessly to protect them. Offering services in English, Spanish, Arabic, French, and Hebrew, and serving clients throughout Southern California, our legal team has an impressive track record of obtaining the results our clients want.
Debt Collections Lawsuits in Los Angeles, California
If you are facing a debt collection lawsuit in LA, you may be able to resolve it by paying a small fraction of what is actually owed. In some cases, debtors are able to walk away without paying anything at all. Unfortunately, many debtors end up paying significantly more than they need to. It is not uncommon for creditors to initially demand more than what they are owed.
The Los Angeles debt defense attorneys at The Sands Law Group, APLC will ensure that creditors are demanding what you actually owe, not some inflated amount, and that they have a right to collect from you. Once we have made this determination, we will negotiate with your creditors to substantially reduce the total amount owed.
Legal Protections Against Collections Agencies
In California, creditors and collection companies have to follow strict guidelines in their collection attempts. In order for their collection actions to be legal, they must closely adhere to the process of “debt validation.” If an LA debt defense lawyer at The Sands Law Group, APLC determines that your creditors are attempting to collect inflated or miscalculated amounts, or that they violated the debt validation process, they may be penalized, and you may be entirely off the hook for the debt.
Furthermore, the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) puts additional limitations on debt collection actions in all 50 states. Some examples of illegal practices under the Act include:
- Calling debtors very early in the morning or very late in the evening;
- Telling debtors that they will be arrested for failing to pay their debt;
- Using obscene language or other harassing behaviors;
- Calling excessively;
- Impersonating government representatives, lawyers, or others; and
- Misrepresenting the total debt owed.
Engaging in any of the illegal practices above may result in the reduction or elimination of the debt that creditors or collectors are entitled to receive.
In addition to the federal laws, California has state laws restricting what creditors and third-party collectors can do. In California, the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RFDCPA) provides even broader protections than its federal counterpart. For example, under the RFDCPA, creditors and collectors are prohibited from calling from restricted numbers, and making false claims that they are going to report you to a credit reporting agency or sue you; and they are required to identify themselves. When a creditor or collection agency is found to be in violation of any state or federal laws, the debtor can sue for damages.
Benefits of Hiring a Debt Defense Lawyer
If you have received a lawsuit from a creditor, credit card company, or a third-party collector, it is in your best interest to seek immediate legal counsel. A collection defense attorney can help you dispute unlawful collection actions and inflated collection amounts, and negotiate for a reduction in the total payment so that you are paying a fraction of what was originally owed. Our goal is to help our clients start fresh with a clean slate so they can get their lives back and begin rebuilding their financial future.
You are required to respond to debt lawsuits, even if you believe you don’t owe the debt. Ignoring a lawsuit will only lead to additional problems, such as having your wages garnished, your bank accounts levied, and even having a lien placed on your home. Failure to respond to a lawsuit will also result in additional fees, interest, and other costs. By contacting a debt collection defense attorney, you can protect your rights, avoid further conflict, stop harassing calls, resolve your debts, and move on with your life.
At The Sands Law Group, APLC, our Los Angeles debt collection defense attorneys have an impressive track record of getting collections’ amounts reduced, or dismissed entirely. Although incurring more expenses by hiring a lawyer may seem counterintuitive to the goal of debt relief, the reality is quite the opposite. We charge affordable rates and can help you dramatically reduce the total amount owed to creditors. In this case, hiring an attorney may actually save you substantially, in time, stress, and money. Contact us today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a Debt Collector Sue Me in California?
Yes, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to pay. If you are sued by a creditor or debt collector, do not ignore it. Consult with a debt defense attorney who can determine whether the collector violated any state or federal collection laws, and if the debt is time-barred (too old to pursue). Even if the debt and lawsuit are valid, an attorney can help you reduce the total amount due.
How Long Can a Debt Collector Legally Pursue Old Debt in California?
Generally speaking, there is a four-year time limit for filling a lawsuit against a debtor in California. Determining when that four-year clock started ticking, however, is not always clear. An LA debt defense attorney can help you determine if your debt is time-barred.
Can You Go To Jail For Debt?
Not exactly. When it comes to consumer debt, such as debt incurred on credit cards, and for student loans and mortgages, you cannot be arrested or sent to jail for not paying your debts. It’s a different story, however, if the debt in question is for court-ordered child support or another type of court-ordered payment.
Contact Our Compassionate Debt Collection Defense Lawyers
At The Sands Law Group, APLC, our experienced Los Angeles debt collection defense attorneys will evaluate your case, determine whether the debt collection attempts are valid and lawful, and negotiate for a reduction or elimination of debts owed. There is no shame in finding yourself in financial distress, and you don’t need to suffer in silence for another day. Contact us office today for a confidential consultation about your case.