The debt collection industry is rampant with collection agencies and debt buyers filing lawsuits to collect debts that the defendant has no legal obligation to pay. Service of Process of the Summons & Complaint is frequently invalid, and frequent, lengthy and complicated court appearances drive many people away from defending against collection lawsuits.
The Hurwitz Law Firm is experienced with defending against debt collection lawsuits and ensuring that only valid debts are paid. Often times our clients do not even realize they have defenses to debt collection lawsuits. We use the litigation discovery process to determine whether debts have been sold to a 3rd party investor, and whether that debt buyer maintains the proper licenses to collect the debt from our client. We also work to confirm the validity of the extension of credit in the first place, and scrutinize the terms of Lines of Credit and Personal Guarantees to protect our clients from judgments that should not legally be entered against them.
Our attorneys and staff work closely with our clients to understand their unique circumstances, and we often help our clients organize and determine their goals. Some of our clients are anxious to resolve outstanding financial obligations, and in those cases we may speed the litigation process in attempt to extinguish the debt, or pursue a favorable settlement for less than the amount owed. Some clients are particularly concerned about the status of the debt as reflected on their credit bureau report. We are well versed in working with creditors, collection agencies and the credit bureaus to remove inaccurate notes from a credit file, thereby increasing our clients’ credit rating. We also represent many clients with goals of simply obtaining more time to organize their financial affairs, overcome financial hardship, recover from poor health, or save money. Our attorneys structure the manner in which we defend against collection lawsuits to cater these goals as well.
Legal representation in debt settlement is important in many ways that are not readily apparent. Any portion of a debt forgiven by the creditor as part of a “discounted” settlement may be reported to the Internal Revenue Service on a U.S. Tax Form 1099-C. The debtor can expect to be taxed on the forgiven portion of a settled debt, because the law considers it to be taxable income. Our attorneys know how to work with collection agencies, creditors, and our clients’ accountants or tax preparers to obtain favorable tax treatment of forgiven debt. We are also able to work with collection agencies, creditors, and credit reporting agencies to obtain favorable reporting of settled debts.
If you have been served with a bank account restraining notice, wage garnishment income execution, or a tax lien, contact us immediately to invoke your rights. We are equipped to handle emergency court applications to stop judgment enforcement and protect our clients.
Click on the thumbnails to view in PDF format.