Hiring a lawyer to fight the case is a valid option. The objective here is to win the case so you owe the debt buyer nothing and you may be entitled to sue the debt collector for filing a bogus suit against you.
By way of reminder, the five options you have when sued by a debt buyer (such as LVNV, Midland, Portfolio, etc) are:
1. Bankruptcy 2. Fight the case on your own 3. Settle the case on your own 4. Hire a lawyer to fight the case 5. Hire a lawyer to settle the case
Each option has advantages and disadvantages (particularly bankruptcy which we rarely recommend).
When looking at hiring a lawyer to fight the case, the biggest disadvantage is having to pay the lawyer fee. This fee can range from $1,000 in small claims case, $2,000-$4,000 in district court, and (based upon the amount sued on) several thousand to as much as ten thousand in circuit court. So you have to investigate to see if the advantages justify paying a lawyer fee.
The lawyer will file an answer for you and handle the case for you up to and including trial.
The advantages are you will save time (as you are spending money), you would expect to have a better chance of success with a lawyer who knows what he or she is doing, and you may be able to sue the debt collector/debt buyer for suing you and credit reporting on you.
So does it make sense for you to hire a lawyer?
If you want absolute certainty, then you file bankruptcy or settle the case. But if you want to try to win the case then hiring a lawyer may be a very smart move as we know the rules of evidence and how to fight these guys as we have been specifically fighting debt collection lawsuits for many years and trying cases in state and federal court for almost two decades. There is more reward to go with the higher risk.
We’ll be glad to help you think through your options and figure out which option is best for you.
If you have questions about your options when sued in Alabama, please feel free to get in touch with us by calling us at 205-879-2447 or contacting us through our website AlabamaConsumer.com.
John G. Watts Watts & Herring, LLC Birmingham, Alabama