Pasadena Credit Card Debt Settlement Attorney
I see it more and more: Clients are drowning in credit card debt and are looking for relief. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans now owe a record $1.04 trillion in credit card debt, up almost 25% from the $854 billion total just five years ago. According to Experian, as of last year the average U.S. consumer held two bank-issued credit cards with a total balance of over $5,500. That is a lot of money, and it may seem insurmountable for many consumers. A southern Pasadena credit card debt settlement attorney at the Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz can help. Andrew Ritholz is ready to help you determine your best option for handling your credit card debt, whether that means fighting a lawsuit, declaring bankruptcy or, ideally, negotiating a settlement that resolves your debt and leaves you above water.
Negotiating a settlement
Credit card companies know that not everyone can actually pay everything they owe. In fact, they are counting on it. Overdue payments generate interest, leaving customers on the hook for vast amounts before they even touch the principal amount they actually “borrowed” on their cards. When it comes time to collect, whether the credit card company comes after you directly or sells your debt to a collector, they fully understand that you may not have the funds to pay the remaining balance in full. A skilled credit card debt attorney can negotiate with the credit card companies on your behalf to reduce the amount that you owe, often by agreeing to a lump sum payment rather than dragging out the payment process over time. Debt collectors in particular make their money by collecting from as many debtors as possible, and thus they are very open to the idea of a quick and painless settlement for a reduced amount.
Credit card settlements do not have to come in the form of a lump sum payment. With the help of a talented attorney, you may be able to negotiate moving back the payment date, reducing the interest rate, or securing a temporary payment reduction. Your settlement may take the form of a long term repayment plan with limited or zero interest or a period of time without payments at all while you strengthen your finances. A credit card debt settlement attorney can help determine the best option for you and negotiate with the credit card or debt collection company to give you the best chance to get out of crippling credit card debt.
Do not talk to a debt collector without consulting an attorney
Credit card companies and other debt collectors want you to make admissions that weaken your case and allow them more time to harass you for payment. If you sign the wrong form or say the wrong thing acknowledging the validity of your debt, for example, you may extend the legal time limit within which the debt collector must bring a claim for the amount you owe. A seasoned attorney can help you deal with the credit card company or other debt collectors in a way that maximizes your chance for a successful and reduced settlement while minimizing the chances that you strengthen their case against you. Whether or not you plan to hire an attorney to take on the full case, consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable credit card debt settlement lawyer can help you keep your strongest arguments for reducing, settling, or eliminating your credit card debt.
What if I am sued by my credit card company?
If your credit card company sues you to collect, it is vital that you retain a dedicated and compassionate credit card debt attorney to fight for your rights. Your attorney can investigate whether you may have a variety of defenses of which you were unaware. As just one example, the statute of limitations may have passed. The statute of limitations is the legal time limit within which a debtor can sue you for an unpaid debt. The time limit in California varies from two to four years depending on the circumstances of the case; because credit cards tend to qualify as a written contract, the limitations period is likely four years. A qualified attorney can determine when the limitations period should have started and whether your debt collector is too late to bring a claim for your debt.
You may also be able to argue that you aren’t the person who actually owes the debt. Credit card companies often sell the unpaid debt to debt collectors, and those collectors are the ones who bring lawsuits. Debt collectors make mistakes. If you have a name that is similar to someone else who is in arrears, you may be the victim of mistaken identity. If you do not believe you should be the one on the hook for the debt collection lawsuit, an attorney can help you prove it.
On the other hand, there may be an argument that the person or entity suing you is not the rightful owner of your debt. Whoever brings the lawsuit has to be able to prove that they own your debt, and if their paperwork is not properly in line, then you may be able to get the lawsuit dismissed. This can give you a much stronger bargaining position and may lead to the elimination of the debt entirely.
Even if you do not have a defense strong enough to dismiss the lawsuit, a seasoned credit card debt attorney can help you negotiate a reduced settlement with the credit card company or another debt collector.
Contact a Credit Card Debt Settlement Attorney
If you are struggling with credit card debt and are ready to learn how our Pasadena debt settlement attorney can assist you and your business, call us today for a free consultation. Andrew Ritholz is an experienced credit card debt settlement attorney who will provide you with effective and compassionate legal representation through each stage of your matter.
You can contact Pasadena credit card debt settlement attorney Andrew Ritholz by calling 626-844-7102 or by filling out the form on the right.