If you are experiencing difficulties in repaying your debt and your creditor has sued you, then it is time to get a debt collection attorney. Your attorney will defend you against collection lawsuit and it is important that you make the right choice when selecting the attorney to get maximum representation. Below are some aspects you should consider when looking for a debt collection lawyer.
Time Is Important
Once you have been informed of the suit, you must act promptly to avoid complicating matters. Based on the rules of the court in your state, you may have at least one week to respond. Summons that are attached to the complaint will give you a deadline of the required response and if you do not respond within the stated time, the court might rule that you are in contempt. It is important that you find an attorney as soon as you can to discuss your position and the steps you should take to avoid complicating matters further. Your lawyer should defend your interest and avoid penalties that you may incur in repaying the suit.
How To Find A Qualified Lawyer
Finding the right lawyer who is conversant with debt collection suit is important because you will be in a better position to explain yourself in court.
- Referrals from family or friends – you can use this method to get a debt collection lawyer, it is a good ground to find the right lawyer because you can look at the previous cases that the lawyer has worked on and know what to expect.
- Online directories – online directories can help you locate a qualified attorney in your state or region. Remember that you will have to do the screening by yourself. Reading reviews and talking to a few lawyers after you have narrowed down will help you make the right decision.
- Pro bono representation – in situations where you are in adverse debts and do not have money to pay for legal fees, you can look for bar associations who have a list of lawyers willing to take your case for free or for an affordable amount.
Cost Of Hiring An Attorney
In most cases, the attorneys will offer the free consultation. This will help you make the right move as it gives you a chance to sample on several lawyers in the state. After you have consulted your lawyers, you will know the estimated amount that you will be required to pay either for the job or per hour. Other features that come into play include whether you have a counterclaim, defense or whether your creditor is likely to settle the case without the need to go on a trial. The model of charging by your attorney can have a significant effect on the total cost of the attorney. Most attorneys have the following techniques for charging clients:
- A flat fee does not matter what the duration of the case is or how the suit will be resolved.
- By the hour. This ensures that the client does not pay the attorney more than he is supposed to be paid.
- By the result. This is based on the money that the attorney saves in the end. If your attorney saves you a certain amount of money, you may be required to give him a percentage of the same.
If you have a counterclaim and you have filed against your creditor then your lawyer can recover fees if you win the case. Most attorneys have the base fee or retainers fees, which they will take before they embark on the case. This ranges from one lawyer to another and it is mostly based on the amount that the creditor is seeking and the estimated time that the case will last.
What To Expect On The First Meeting With The Attorney
When looking for a debt attorney, you can set up several meetings with different lawyers. This will help you compare their services. You should bring any paperwork and lawsuit papers to the meeting, your lawyer will scrutinize the papers and give you a guideline on the best way to handle the case. Depending on the experience and how the lawyer will handle the suit, it will help you choose the best attorney. Some of the features that the attorney will need to know include:
- The age of the debt
- Transactions that gave rise to this type of debt or the credit account that the debt is based
- Collectors behaviors that you have encouraged over time
- Other facts that can help your lawyer come up with counterclaims that will reduce the amount that you owe.
Your lawyer may ask questions about other credit facilities that you might have and the current charges to get a way of charging you correctly. Any additional costs should be explained clearly before you opt to sign the documents.
What You Need To Know
Before you decide on using a certain lawyer’s services, it is important that you ask very crucial questions
- How much experience do they have handling such cases?
- How long will it take to settle your case?
- Will you be given regular updates? Which method is more appropriate?
- Will you negotiate yourself or use services of a paralegal team?
If you have chosen to hire an attorney to defend you in a lawsuit, it is recommended that you sign a retainer agreement. This agreement is contractual and governs the employment relationship between you and your lawyer. It should clearly spell out the fees associated with the case and how the case will be handled. Once you have hired your lawyer, it is important that you cooperate by providing all documents required and information required to help you move the case faster.
How Do I Know If I Need Debt Collection Attorney?
A debt collection lawyer will represent you if you are a debtor and he will help you formulate strategies that will protect you from creditors if you have been overcharged. If you are in debt, there are some indicators that you may use to know if you need an attorney.
- Constant calls and emails from your creditors
- Inability to pay back loans on time
- Unfair treatment from collectors
- Threat of a lawsuit by your creditor
You could also consider settlement lawyer who will help you eliminate loans and avoid debt. As a debtor, facing challenges of repaying debts can be quite excruciating and should find a solution of the problems that could arise from your huge loans. In any case, with the right lawyer, you should have the matter resolved and neither side does not have to bother with the credit alone. A collection lawyer will help you put things into perspective and make a good financial choice.