Expert Legal Help for Consumer Debt Defense in St. Louis
When debt collectors sue you for old debt, the process of handling the situation can be time-consuming and overwhelming. The debt collectors know this, and they do everything in their power to cajole you into a judgment or payment plan that may be improper under the law. Before trying to resolve a debt collector’s claim against you, contact Rogers Sevastianos & Bante of St. Louis.
We want to speak to you if you have been:
- Sued for old credit card debt
- Sued for medical debt
- Sued for private student loan debt
- Sued for debt that does not belong to you
- Harassed by collectors for old debt related to personal or household use
Unfortunately, we see many of these lawsuits result in default judgments in favor of the debt collector simply because the consumer does not know about his or her other options. In many cases, all it takes is for a knowledgeable attorney on your side who can contest the debt and force the debt collector to provide necessary proof that you owe the amount. Due to the sloppy process of debts being frequently bought and sold, the collectors often cannot prove these debts in court when challenged by a skilled and aggressive consumer debt defense attorney.
At Rogers Sevastianos & Bante, LLP, we have consistently helped consumers get these cases dismissed for either no payment or for a fraction of what is being claimed. Additionally, if there are sufficient facts to prove the debt collector’s lawsuit violated federal or state law—such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) or the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA)—we will discuss with you the possibility of pursuing a counterclaim for money damages. Contact us now to learn more.
Debt Collection Defenses
Whether or not you incurred the old debt in the first place, there are legal defenses that may still apply in your case. These include, but are not limited to:
- Lack of evidence by the debt collector to establish you actually owe the debt claimed
- The lawsuit against you was outside the statute of limitations (5 or 10 years in Missouri depending on the way the credit or loan was originally provided)
- Missing or improper documentation of the sale of the debt
- The plaintiff does not have standing to bring the claim against you
- The debt has already been paid
- Mistaken identity or identity theft
- There is a dispute on the amount of the debt
- The debt was discharged due to bankruptcy, including medical debt and private student loan debt. Note: Even if you file bankruptcy, a private student loan lender may object to discharge of the private student loan debt. We have experience in helping bankruptcy lawyers and their clients ensure this private student loan is properly discharged under the law.
Only seasoned lawyers, like the ones at Rogers Sevastianos & Bante, LLP, can identify the correct defense or combination of defenses to help reduce or eliminate your alleged debt.
In addition to this, we will evaluate your case for any violations made by the debt collector of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Missouri Merchandising Practice Act (MMPA), or any other consumer protection laws. We may be able to turn the tables on the debt collector and sue them for their own violations.
Consumer Protection Law – Know Your Rights
You have federal rights against being harassed by debt collectors; for example, the Fair Credit Reporting Act purports that if you have requested old or inaccurate debt to be removed from your credit report and it has not been, this would be part of a suit and you may seek compensation.
Also, according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors:
- Cannot repeatedly call or send you letters on a continuous basis
- Cannot represent themselves falsely as a government entity
- Cannot use aggressive, offensive, or profane language
- Cannot threaten you with jail time
- Cannot publicize your address or name
- Cannot use any language on the outside of the envelope that relates to the collection of a debt
- Must identify themselves and the identity of their employer, if requested
- Must inform you of your right to dispute the debt
- Must provide written verification if you dispute the debt
- Must stop communication with you directly after you inform them that you are represented by an attorney
If you feel as if your rights have been violated from harassment of an alleged debt, contact Rogers Sevastianos & Bante, LLP to see what we can do for you.
Our Debt Defense Experience in St. Louis
We are aware of the debt collectors that repeatedly take advantage of consumers, such as Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery Associates, Cavalry SPV, National Collegiate Student Loan Trust, Student Loan Solutions LLC, Unifund, Absolute Resolutions, and many others.
Our proven results against debt collection companies is unmatched in the St. Louis area. We have consistently worked to have these cases dismissed without our client having to pay any amount toward the debt. We have also obtained money damages for our clients, in addition to dismissing the debt outright.
While every case is different, we see debt collection defense as largely a matter of evidence. Our attorneys are specialists in identifying and presenting the evidentiary issues that are key to your case.
Don’t Delay – Speak to a Consumer Debt Defense Lawyer Now
Time is of the essence. The worst mistake you can make is ignoring the lawsuit until it is too late. This means that the debt collection company will likely automatically win, giving them the right to freeze your bank account, garnish your wages, or put a lien on your home until you pay the judgment. It can also irreparably damage your credit, which can be felt far into the future.
If you have been sued for debt older than five years or debt that does not belong to you, seek the advice of knowledgeable debt settlement lawyers at Rogers Sevastianos & Bante, LLP.
We will put our more than 75 years of combined experience to work for you to get your debt reduced or dismissed altogether. Contact us now to get started.