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Four Common Credit Card Lawsuit Defenses

Four Common Credit Card Lawsuit Defenses

What is a credit card lawsuit defense?

A defense is a ground for the plaintiff to not win the credit card lawsuit. This reason could either be 1) the plaintiff failed to prove that the disputed debt is yours or 2) you do not own the debt. If one of your defenses holds weight in court, the plaintiff loses the case. Below are four of the most common credit card lawsuit defenses:

Credit card lawsuit defense 1: Improper Serving of the Summons

This defense may be used if 1) you did not receive the summons and complaints or 2) you received the summons in an incorrect manner.

In New York, there is a law that requires servers to either make personal or substitute service. Personal service refers to the summons being delivered to the recipient in person while substitute service refers to the server leaving the summons at your home or place of business, as well as to a member of the family, roommate or responsible party and then mails a second copy of the same document to your last known address.

On the other hand, if the process server failed to deliver the summons and complaints via personal or substitute service three consecutive times, he or she may use conspicuous service which refers to attaching the documents to your door and mailing a second copy of the documents at your last known address. Below are examples of summons being delivered in an incorrect manner:

  • Leaving the documents to your neighbor who live in a different house or apartment
  • Mailing the summons to an old address you no longer live
  • Throwing the documents on the lobby floor of your apartment building
  • Sending the documents by mail alone

Credit card lawsuit defense 2: Identity Theft or Wrong Identity

This is the kind of credit card lawsuit defense that applies only if the debt in question is not yours at all. Identity theft refers to a situation wherein someone stole your name and personal details, opens a credit card account under your name and then leaving the balance unpaid. Wrong identity is a situation wherein you’ve been confused with another person who have similar name or identifying personal details. The plaintiff needs to prove that you made or authorized the charges and you do not need to prove that you own the debt. If you are a victim of identity theft or you were wrongly charged for the debt of others, you should never agree to settle.

Credit card lawsuit defense 3:  Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations refers to the period that a creditor may press charges against a delinquent debtor. The statute of limitation starts the day you made the last payment. Some statutes go as short as three years while others go from 6 years and beyond. If your credit debt is out of statutes, consider seeking the advice of a debt attorney to check for defenses for expired statutes. An out of statute debt is the absolute defense because the court will dismiss the case. However, do note that any payment at all, no matter how big or small, could offset the statute of limitations so to be on the safe side, do not make a payment if you plan on using the statute of limitation as a credit card lawsuit defense.

Credit card lawsuit defense 4: Credit Card Sharing

This defense is only applicable for debtors who share their credit card with other people. If you are can use the card but you never agreed to be responsible for paying that card, you are considered as an authorized user. As an authorized user, you are not held responsible for the debt in dispute. However, if you signed a credit card agreement and you agreed to be jointly responsible for the card, you are considered as a co-signer. As a co-signer, you will be held responsible for the debt even if none of the charges were yours to begin with.

There are many credit card lawsuit defenses you may use to defend yourself against certain debt claims. However, it is important to familiarize yourself about the credit card lawsuit process and be one step ahead of your creditor.

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