Debt Collection Lawsuits

Although, a debt collection lawsuit against you may seem like a challenge that you cannot win or afford, these lawsuits are very winnable and can be surprisingly affordable. 
If the entity suing you is a debt-buyer (not the original creditor), you have even more potential defenses at your disposal. 
Bernhardt Law brings experience from having previously represented many collection companies. 

Bernhardt Law evens the playing field!
Have a former collection attorney represent your debt defense.  We defend many debt cases across the entire state of Florida. Call us to discuss your case, even if you’re not in the Tampa Bay area. 

Winning a Debt Defense Case

If you win your case against the entity suing you, THEY PAY YOUR ATTORNEY’S FEES in the following circumstances:

1. You’ve been sued and you hired an attorney.

  • You must have actually hired an attorney, the court will not award attorney’s fees to an unrepresented individual.

2. The Contract or Terms & Conditions has a section that states they get attorney’s fees if they win the case.

  • The majority of credit card and auto loan agreements contain such a clause.
  • This above section does not necessarily apply to credit card cases in all jurisdictions in Florida, but it does apply to the 2nd District, which includes the Tampa Bay Area.

3. You are the prevailing party in the case.

  • Naturally, the definition of “Prevailing Party” can be argued, but it includes instances where we win a trial, we win a dispositive motion, and in most instances, where they decide to dismiss the case.
    This is not an all-inclusive list of the nuances involved with recovering attorney’s fees from the losing party, but it shows you the potential risk they incur when you have an attorney representing you.
    Bernhardt Law is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in debt defense cases and, knowing this, the company suing you is likely to avoid the risk of paying attorney’s fees. Thus, Bernhardt Law always aims to have the amount you pay in lawyer fees (if anything) and to the plaintiff (if anything) is substantially less than what you could negotiate on your own.

Credit Card or Financed Purchase

If you have been sued by a company trying to collect on an alleged debt based on a credit card or financed purchase, you are not alone. The courts are flooded with these types of lawsuits.

Companies are attempting to collect debts in mass quantities. This means that many of the alleged debts they pursue are not legitimate, or simply cannot be proven.  

Car Loan Debt

Auto deficiency lawsuits can be very difficult for the company suing you to prove. Sometimes these types of suits arise several years after the car is turned-in to the dealership. Thus, the company suing you might not have all the necessary documents in their possession, nor have they the ability to obtain the witnesses to authenticate the documents.

Some additional defenses may include:

  • The salesperson may have misrepresented the quality of the vehicle.
  • The original contract may have problems.
  • The repossession may have been handled incorrectly.
  • Required notices may not have been sent.
  • The resale of the vehicle may not have been conducted correctly.
  • The calculation of the remaining balance may be inflated.
  • Plus, many other potential defense approaches which are unique to each case.

Along with the original dealerships, common debt-buying companies that sue for alleged auto loan deficiencies include Cascade Capital, LLC, Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC and others.

Debt Collection Harassment

Collection companies are governed by strict rules and regulations. These regulations are intended to protect consumers from deceptive and harassing collection efforts.

Violations may occur if collection companies:

  • Contacted you after you requested not to be contacted
  • Contacted you in a manner in which you have requested not to be contacted. For example, you ask the collection company to only contact you by writing, and they call you
  • Threaten you in any manner whatsoever
  • Insult you
  • Imply that there is a possibility you could go to jail if the debt is not paid
  • Call you late at night or early in the morning
  • Call your work, or other individuals you know, and disclose the reason for the call
  • Misrepresent the amount or nature of the debt
  • Call you after you have hired an attorney

There are many other ways collection companies violate federal or state acts put in place to protect consumers. Call us today if you are being harassed by a collection company.