Credit card lawsuits in Pennsylvania require a written response, typically within 20 days of the date you receive the lawsuit from the Sheriff.
The filing of credit card and collection agency lawsuits is at an all time high in Pennsylvania right now. These lawsuits are filed by the dozens each day in every county and magistrate in our commonwealth. The key to handling one of these lawsuits is to retain a knowledgeable consumer attorney.
From the studies that we have seen, 85% of individuals who are sued by a collection agency or a credit card company either do nothing (a huge mistake) or offer to make payment arrangements with the debt collector (perhaps an even bigger mistake). That means that only 15% of these lawsuits are actually defended. That is a pretty good success rate for the debt collectors right off of the bat.
The truth is that these cases are what we call "document cases". That means that the collection agency needs an enormous amount of documents to prove its case in court. Without these documents, they often do not have the ability to prove a case against you, with one exception. Going back to the illustration above, only 15% of these cases are defended. On about half of those cases, the individual tries to defend themselves. As you can imagine, the collection agencies absolutely love that. A collection attorney versus an inexperienced layperson in a court of law. We'll let you figure out the most common result. What the people who represent themselves fail to realize is that the collection agency can beat them without documents because they have the ability to cross examine the individual. It is with this cross examination that the agency is able to prove its case.
On the other hand, when a consumer attorney is involved, there is little to no opportunity for the collection agency to cross examine you. We often do not let the case get to trial. Our method is to object to the sufficiency of the lawsuit and force them to show their hands early. If they are unable to meet the minimum requirements of the laws of PA, then their cases are dismissed.
In our experience, we have found that we can have about 90% of the collection agency lawsuits thrown out of court without the need for a hearing. Our clients have been more than happy with these results.
If you are being sued by a collection agency or credit card company, contact our office today at 412-281-1250 or 1-888-536-6644 for a no cost, no obligation review of your collection lawsuit.