Will my lawyer want me to be at the debt collection trial?
We get a lot of questions from people we represent or even others that we don’t represent.
And they all want to know if their lawyer will want them present at trial.
We communicate directly with our own clients about this.
We are always harping about how if you miss your trial the collector will get a default judgment against you. But does this change when you have a lawyer?
For our law firm, it does change things.
We typically do not want our clients to be present at trial.
There is really no reason for our clients to be at trial in a debt collection suit.
When we are dealing with these companies, they claim to have bought a debt that my client owed. But the collector must prove that they actually own the debt.
What can my client say about that?
Can my client raise their hand and swear and affirm to tell the truth and testify with personal knowledge about whether or not this company actually owns the debt?
My client has no way of knowing this.
This knowledge is only available to the creditor and the debt buyer who claims to have bought the debt.
Therefore, my client has nothing to say about that.
It is critical to not make guesses about the lawsuit. So, we do not want our clients present to be able to speculate.
The debt collectors would love if we brought our clients in to speculate during every trial.
What they are trying to do is trick the defendant consumer into saying “Yes, Midland owns this debt.”
But you have no way of actually knowing this as a consumer.
Why would I want my client to be at trial when there is a chance they start speculating about things they can’t know?
For many years, we have had the policy that unless there is some unusual circumstance, we do not want our clients showing up for a trial.
We show up for our clients.
We have no obligation to bring our client to trial.
One example of an unusual circumstance would be a Statute of Limitation defense. In this case, we need our client to testify about the date of the last payment on the debt.
This would show that too much time has gone by from when we stopped making payments to when the lawsuit was filed.
We will not have the client present unless it is to our advantage in the lawsuit.
If we represent you, we would personally have this conversation.
However, if you have another lawyer and you happen to be watching this video or you have not yet hired a lawyer, I would suggest that you ask them this question.
Ask if it is helpful for you to be present or not in your case. Trust what they say.
If they say they need you to be present, then you be present. Follow your own lawyer’s lead.
In my own personal cases, where we are trying to get the debt buyer to prove that they own the debt, there is usually no reason to have my client present.
We hope this is helpful to you!
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P.S. If you will be going to trial, here are some of our other articles to help you prepare: