Stop a Debt Collection Lawsuit
If you know what you're doing, you can successfully halt a debt collection lawsuit in its tracks using the following methods:
The Statute of Limitations Defense
Each state has a statute of limitations for debt collection lawsuits. The time frame varies and can range from around 4 years in most states to 15 years if you happen to be unlucky enough to be living in Rhode Island. Once the statute of limitations expires, your debt is time-barred.
That doesn't mean that debt collectors won't try to sue you. Not responding to a lawsuit nets you a default judgment which is enforceable regardless of whether or not the debt was time-barred at the time the default judgment was levied. In order to fix it, you'd have to return to court and contest the judgment. It's time-consuming and, if you hire an attorney, expensive.
If you receive a summons for a debt collection lawsuit and you know for a fact that the debt the company is trying to sue you for is outside your state's SOL, fire back with a letter informing the collection agency that the debt is time-barred in your state and you would be more than happy to appear in court and inform the judge of that fact. Knowing that it cannot win, the collection agency will usually drop the lawsuit.
Like I've recommended before, its a wise idea, in situations such as these to shell out a few bucks to have an attorney draft your letter. Collection agencies are always more likely to back off and drop a debt collection lawsuit when they know you have access to an attorney.