I received a notice of a hearing at a magistrates for a credit card bill. What will happen at this hearing.
3 Answers from Attorneys
You really should send a consumer attorney to the hearing, instead of you showing up. If you personally show up, the credit card attorney can cross examine you and use your own testimony against you. They will use you to prove their case. This is especially true if the Plaintiff is a junk debt buyer. Contact my office or the office of another consumer attorney to receive a more in-depth review of the lawsuit, free of charge, with no obligation.
Listen to Greg, this is not a matter you are likely to win by yourself!
Attorney Artim makes sense if you have valid defenses to the lawsuit (statute of limitations which is 4 years in PA), debt was bought by a junk debt buyer like Portfolio Recovery, LVNV, Midland, Asset Acceptance or some other entity and there is no proof (a) of your responsibility for the debt or (b) that the junk debt buyer now owns the debt attached to the complaint.
But if this is in small claims, it means the debt is under $12,000. How much is owed? Would it be cheaper to settle? What do you own? Do you have other debts?
All of this has to be considered in deciding what you want to do. If you have other dischargeable debts, maybe bankruptcy is the answer. As I mentioned, maybe you have valid defenses, in which case it may make sense to litigate. If you are what is known as "judgment proof " and its your debt, maybe you do nothing at all for now.
Which of these is right for you can only be decided after speaking to an attorney about your situation. If you are leaning towards bankruptcy, then get a consult with a bankruptcy attorney. Many attorneys give free consults. If you think litigation is the way to go, then consult with a local attorney specializing in credit card defense like Attorney Artim. Some attorneys give free consults/case evaluation there too.
If neither bankruptcy nor litigation makes sense, I can help give you some pointers on how to protect your assets (like your bank account) or help you resolve your debt for a reasonable flat fee. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested. Email consults are free; there is a $50 charge for a 30 minute phone consult.