Defending Against Collection Lawsuits In Virginia
It is unfortunately true that Virginia provides creditors with some of the easiest procedures to file collection lawsuits and collect on alleged debts. The large banks and collectors fill out what’s called a “warrant in debt”, mail it to the alleged debtor and then wait for the scheduled court hearing. They will typically pay a contract attorney licensed in the defendant’s state to show up to the hearing. If the alleged debtor does not show up, then a default judgment is granted in the amount sued. Once this happens, it is nearly impossible for an alleged debtor to challenge the debt and protect their funds from garnishment (see Debt Buyers and the ‘Shadow of Smoke’).
With that being said…
How To Defend Against Collection Lawsuits
Fortunately, for those who know the law and stay informed, there are ways to successfully defend against these lawsuits in Virginia and have them settled or dismissed outright. Once a warrant in debt is received, it is critical for the alleged debtor (defendant) to show up (or have an attorney show up) on the scheduled court date. It is also critical that, if the defendant has a legitimate defense to the debt, the amount being sued for or a counterclaim against the collector, they do not admit to owing the debt and instead request a trial.
At this point, it is very helpful to have an experienced attorney represent you and consider all the possible ways in which you can settle the debt, avoid paying it altogether or even collect money from the collector! APLG can help you navigate this process and take advantage of the changing legal environment, which is starting to recognize that debt collectors often do not have enough evidence to prove the debts they are suing for or the amounts they are suing for. APLG will make sure collectors who sue are held to the same standards of evidence everyone else who files a lawsuit must adhere to