Credit card companies regularly sue debtors when they stop paying the monthly minimums. When our clients owe the money, and have no chance of paying them back, we often recommend Massachusetts personal bankruptcy. Many times, however, that is not a good option: when our client’s income is too high, when our client’s assets are too significant, and, in a recent case we handled in West Roxbury District Court, when our client had filed bankruptcy within the past eight years. For these, and other, reasons, they don’t qualify for bankruptcy.
How do you fight them in court? First, while it may be expensive to retain an attorney, you can file an Answer to their Complaint. In many cases, you can file a Counterclaim, or sue them, for violation of the law. Second, we always ask for documents in an official “Request for Production of Documents.” Third, we file written questions, or “interrogatories,” to learn about the credit card company’s case. In our West Roxbury case, the attorney for the credit card company did a haphazard job responding to our document request and in answering interrogatories. The debt had been bought by a collection company, and they likely failed to secure the information necessary to prove they owned the debt. We filed a “Motion to Compel,” appeared before the judge in West Roxbury and got a Court Order that they supply more information. They didn’t. We filed Motion to Dismiss their case. Upon review of our Motion to Dismiss, they agreed to dismiss, without even submitting the Motion to the West Roxbury Court.
Needless to say, our client was appreciative as the debt was eliminated.