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Washington Debt Defense Attorney

debtor rightsA debtor is someone owes money to a creditor. The creditor can be another person or a company. Debtor rights are rights or protections the debtors have under the law against creditors. Broadly, those rights prohibit creditors from treating debtors unfairly regardless of whether the debt is valid. Different rights apply in different situations, which can include collection lawsuits, foreclosures, and repossessions.

We represent consumers sued on credit card, medical, and other consumer debts. In fact, recent years have seen an explosion in not just the number of consumer debts being enforced in the courts, but also in the number of such actions in which the consumer does not owe the debt or has substantial defenses or in which the creditor has no reliable evidence whether the consumer owes the debt. Today, the entity bringing most consumer collection actions is not an original creditor but a debt buyer represented by a collection law firm bringing enormous numbers of cases in courts. The debt buyer may not even have adequate evidence that it owns the alleged debt being sued upon. We aggressively represent consumers in such cases and protect their rights against unfair and illegal debt collection methods.

In addition to protecting consumers against unscrupulous debt collectors, we assist borrowers facing foreclosure of their homes. We represent borrowers in foreclosures not only in relation to traditional free-standing homes, but also with respect to manufactured homes and condominiums. Relatedly, if your home was sold by a trustee in a foreclosure auction for more money than you owed on the balance of the loan, you may be entitled to the difference, which we can help you recover.

Repossession generally occur when creditors try to seize the debtors’ personal property, including cards, manufactured homes, rent-to-own appliances, and household goods. If you have purchased something on credit, signed an agreement typically called a “security agreement,” and failed to pay the debt for your purchase, the creditor may try to take the purchase back or “repossess” it. In general, repossessions usually happen when you purchase a major item like a car or furniture and agree to pay the price in installments. Although the creditor can try to repossess your property if you do not pay your debt, the creditor cannot enter your house without permission, assault you, or take your property if you physically try to prevent the repossession. Consumer rights in the area of repossessions are governed by numerous different federal and state laws.

If you have not signed any written security agreements, the creditor does not have a right to take any of your property unless the creditor has first obtained a judgment against you. To get a judgment, the creditor must go to court. Either the original creditor or a collection agency may sue you to collect a debt. If so, you will be served with a summons and complaint. If you do not respond to the complaint or if you file a response and ultimately go to court and lose, the creditor will obtain a judgment for the alleged amounts owed, in which case the creditors often claim interest, court costs and legal fees, which may or may not be legally claimed. This judgment may also be used to create a lien upon any real property, such as a house, that you own.

Further, a judgment is not an order telling you that you have to pay any money. Instead, the judgment is a way for the court to confirm that you owe the creditor a certain amount of money. If the creditor wants to collect any money from you based on the judgment, the creditor must take further action. For example, the creditor may try to collect the debt by having the sheriff take some of your real or personal property to sell at a public sale. The proceeds of the sale would then be applied to pay the judgment. The creditor may also take money from your savings and checking accounts, or garnish your wages. It is not a crime to fail to pay most judgments.

If you are sued, you may have not only a defense but also a claim for damages against the creditor. That is why it is very important to consult with an attorney whenever you are sued. Contact your Washington debt defense attorney at the Law Office of Boris Davidovisky today!