LVNV Sued You In Collection Case?


LVNV Sued You In Collection Case?

lvnvLVNV Funding, LLC is a major debt buyer who files a tremendous number of suits in Alabama, primarily in Alabama District Court and Alabama Small Claims Court.

Normally LVNV is not the original debt buyer but instead is third or fourth in line from the original creditor.

LVNV must prove it OWNS the debt.

We have never seen this debt buyer prove that it owns a debt it has sued on in Alabama.  (Maybe it does in every other case but I wonder…..)

As we have discussed elsewhere, a debt buyer must prove that you owe the debt it is suing on and that the debt buyer owns the debt it is suing you on — if not, then it should lose the case.

Be careful of bogus credit reporting and bogus suits by LVNV

LVNV is famous for filing bogus lawsuits and false credit reporting — we have a number of judgments in Alabama against LVNV for this exact conduct.

We also want to point out that LVNV almost always credit reports on you so pull your credit reports to make sure what is being reported is accurate.

If you win your collection lawsuit against LVNV, this may mean that they have committed false credit reporting against you.

Finally, keep in mind that if LVNV sues you and does not prove its case — and especially if it does not even try to prove its case — and if there is false credit reporting, it may be appropriate to sue them .

Get with a consumer litigation attorney in your state to find out about your five options.

We discuss your five options in depth but here is the quick summary:

  1.  File bankruptcy — usually a terrible idea but maybe you are the exception
  2. Fight LVNV on your own — this can work, especially in Small Claims or District Court
  3. Settle with LVNV on your own — normally you are paying 50-75% in a lump sum and the credit reporting will remain and you may get hit with taxes.  So this is often not such a good plan.
  4. Hire a lawyer to fight these guys — this can be a great idea — you just need to understand the costs and the risks.
  5. Hire a lawyer to settle with this debt collector — again make sure you understand the costs and benefits.

You can find a more in depth discussion of these options regarding LVNV here.

If these guys sue you, understand its goal is to get a default judgment or a settlement with you.

Make sure you are not a victim of a bogus lawsuit or false credit reporting.

If you are, it may be worth your time to fight back by suing these guys.

Contact Us.

We hope this article has been helpful to you.

If you are in Alabama and have any questions, give us a call at 1-205-879-2447.

Or fill out our contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

I look forward to chatting with you!

Have a great day, and thank you for reading.

-John G. Watts


30 Comments

  1. kellie says:

    Thank you for all your information about LVNV. I successfully defeated their lawsuit against me. They are still sending letters and calling me. I will still fight them, but I am no longer afraid of them. Thank your firm for that confidence.

    • JohnGWatts says:

      Kellie,

      Are they calling you and writing you about the SAME debt that you beat them on in court? That is very bad for LVNV if they are doing that. We have sued LVNV a number of times for doing this.

      My suggestion is get with a lawyer in your state — if you live in Alabama you are welcome to call us at 205-879-2447 — as you may have a very good case against LVNV but you have to keep an eye on the statute of limitations which is normally one year.

      Best wishes and congrats on winning your case! Thanks also for your kind words.

      John Watts

    • Rachel says:

      How did you go about fighting them. Please help.

  2. Jessica says:

    I was able to beat them on my own twice, without the assistance of a lawyer. Writing a good response is key, and it’s not hard at all. I literally copied and pasted what other people posted online. Although I got court dates, they didn’t even take it that far. I think they assume most people are afraid to fight, so they rely on default judgements. Several lawyers encouraged me to file bankruptcy, saying it was the only way to fight them. Not true!

    • John Watts says:

      Jessica,

      Congrats!

      Sometimes this happens where the other side gives up before the trial.

      Often, at least in Alabama, they will go to trial and try to get a judgment.

      Yes lots of times bankruptcy lawyers say the only solution is bankruptcy but that is merely one option — and one that should only be used in extreme cases.

      Thanks again for your comment and I encourage you to see what your options are in suing LVNV if it broke the law when it sued you. I’m specifically talking about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act.

      Best wishes and congratulations!

      John Watts
      Birmingham, Alabama

    • Jaun says:

      Jessica
      My mother is going through this right now in Iowa, could you send me the info that you presented in court to beat them
      Here is my email address [email protected]

    • Teresa says:

      Jessica can you tell us how you fought it? I am a wreck, I received a notice to court but no date yet. been researching as much as possible, yours was the only positive post I’ve seen!

    • Guillermo says:

      Greetings, you mention something about writing a good response was key on winning ur settlement. Can u help me with that. I just got served in miami Florida over credit card charge.

      • John Watts says:

        Guillermo,

        I’m sorry I can’t help you as I’m not licensed in Florida. I don’t know the rules there. I would look for a consumer protection attorney in your area to get some help. You should be able to get a free consultation so you know what the costs would be, what your options are, etc.

        Best wishes and sorry I can’t help you more.

        John Watts

  3. G. Roland says:

    This company does not buy the debt. The do not have to prove anything to file a suit. They do not have to prove that it’s not time barred or that they own it. So apparently they simply look for debt on a clearing house site or steal your social and run your credit them simply file suit.

    • John Watts says:

      LVNV claims to buy debts. But claiming and proving are two different things. When they sue they must prove that you owe the debt AND they own the debt.

      Hard for them to do this.

      Thanks for the comments!

      John Watts

  4. G. Roland says:

    In some states you’ll be served with a notice to appear in small claims court for arbitration. Don’t panic. Simply write on a piece of paper the court info at the top then write that you wish for the case to be dismissed because you owe them no money. Sign the bottom and date. Then right that “Copies sent to aplainriffs

    • John Watts says:

      I’m not sure what the procedure is in other states. In Alabama you normally file an answer instead of a motion to dismiss (although sometimes it is appropriate to file a motion to dismiss).

      Cases get set in District/Small Claims very quickly so normally the judges would prefer to go ahead and have the trial rather than dealing with motions to dismiss.

      Thanks!

      John Watts

  5. G. Roland says:

    Copies sent to plaintiffs attornies. Show for the hearing after filing your paper with the clerk of court
    Lvnv’s attorney will have to ask the judge to rule on your motion to dismiss. Show the Judge a copy this site info as court information.Advise that you will file discovery demanding to see a bill of my

  6. G. Roland says:

    Bill of Sale. The Bill of Sale they file will not have your name or account number on on it. It will not be ñotorizef, it will not be on letter head. It will offer no proof of the identity of anyone who signed it. The credit card statements they have are bogus like the generic bill of sale
    Tj

    • John Watts says:

      A lot of times this is true. Normally LVNV (or any other debt buyer) won’t even bring the Bill of Sale where they supposedly bought the debt. Seems kind of basic — you never did business with LVNV so if LVNV is filing a lawsuit against you saying you owe LVNV money, you would think LVNV would bring the proof that it owns the debt.

      For a variety of reasons they do not like to bring the proof. They’ll bring a single sheet or a couple of pieces of paper from the supposed Bill of Sale (usually called the “Purchase Agreement” or “Forward Flow Agreement”) but they don’t want to bring the full contract.

      They claim it is “secret” even though a lot of these are on the internet.

      Whether it is smart or dumb for companies to take this approach, it is helpful to you. As many judges are now saying in their orders setting cases for trial, “This is your trial. You must bring your proof you want the court to consider.”

      They know the rules and if LVNV chooses not to prove their cases, then there are consequences as normally this will lead to a lawsuit against LVNV by you.

      Thanks again for the comments!

      John Watts

  7. G. Roland says:

    If you’re in Alabama please contact Mr
    Watts about these issues. If not perhaps he can recommend an attorney I’m your state.

    • John Watts says:

      Thanks — we are always happy to talk to folks in Alabama. Main thing is to take action or otherwise bad things happen — judgments, garnishments, etc.

      Thanks for your comments!

      John

  8. Juan says:

    Mr. Watt
    I need help in the state of Iowa with a notice to appear in small claims court.

    • John Watts says:

      Juan,

      I’m sorry I’m not licensed in Iowa and I don’t know what the rules are there. Do a search for “consumer protection attorney” in your city or in Iowa and you should find some lawyers who do similar work.

      If you come up empty let me know and I’ll see if I can find anyone for you to talk to.

      Best wishes!!

      John Watts

  9. Eddie says:

    Mr. Watts, I was served a Summons of Suit today – LVNV – there’s no court date, no date of appearance in court of any kind. I watched you video above and it has shown some light on me, per options. The summon was delivered by a Marshall, in Columbus, GA. It is in regards to a Credit Card Debt. The summons does read that I have 30 days requirement to File or Present and Answer, which could be obtained via website above(there) is not one. What is it meant to FILE?
    Thanks for any advice you are able to provide.

    • John Watts says:

      Eddie,

      Were you sued in Georgia?

      If so, I’m not sure what that means as I don’t practice in Georgia state court.

      If you will email me directly I’ll get you the name of a lawyer who can help you — email at [email protected]

      Now if you were sued in Alabama, let me know and I can help you directly.

      Thanks!

      John Watts
      205-879-2447

  10. Sherry says:

    I just got a summons in Illinois what should I do they left it in the mailbox

    • John Watts says:

      Sherry,

      I would get with a consumer protection lawyer ASAP. I don’t know what your time limits are in Illinois but I do know LVNV loves to get default judgments. So I’m sure LVNV will ask for a default judgment the first moment they can.

      My suggestion is have your credit reports ready, any collection letters you have received on this supposed LVNV debt, a copy of the lawsuit, and anything else you think would be helpful. Have that ready when you call the consumer protection lawyer in your state or city.

      Best wishes and congratulations for taking immediate action!

      John Watts

  11. Desiree Ascevich says:

    Mr. Watts,

    I am in a tough spot regarding LVNV Funding…

    In July of 2008 they filed suit against me, however I never received ANY paperwork regarding this, as I was no longer living at the address they sent the paperwork to. Naturally, a default judgement was filed against me – again, I had no idea this was happening. My husband and I own a small business, more for tax purposes than anything has we are sales consultants. He received a summons to garnish my wages (I don’t really make any wages, all I do is keep track of the books). All this time LVNV had been sending paperwork to an address I haven’t lived at since January 2008. The first and only time they correctly mailed paperwork to me was to garnish my wages.
    The first thing we did was pull the records from the suit on the county court’s website. One of the subpoenas they issued says it was delivered to an African American woman – which I am most definitely not.
    This is not on any of my credit reports, in none of the documentation is there a contract with my name on it. There was clearly no effort to actually find me, as I’ve been at my current address since March of 2009. I immediately filed for exemption regarding the wage filing, with the hope of getting the judgement reversed as I was never properly notified of any of the proceedings. However, the judge immediately denied my request for exemption for the wage garnishment as there was “no proof I don’t make enough money to garnish”. She then said she didn’t know what to tell me, there was nothing I could do. I’m on the hook for $6,000 to a company I’ve never heard of, after being denied any form of due process. I know you aren’t licensed in Florida, but is there anyone you may know in the central Florida area that you would recommend reaching out to? My business is now in jeopardy because of this, and I’m terrified I am going to be held accountable for this. I appreciate any help or advice you may be able to offer.

    Thank you,

    Desiree

    • John Watts says:

      Desiree,

      I’m sorry this happened.

      I don’t know any lawyers in that area personally but you can always go to National Association of Consumer Advocates and you can do a search for lawyers in your area.

      Here’s what I would focus on:

      1. Under Florida law were you properly served?

      2. If you were not properly served, does that make the judgment void (this is what Alabama law says)?

      3. Is there a time limit to attack a judgment as being void?

      4. Will the paperwork you filed to get an exemption hurt you with attacking the judgment?

      At least in Alabama we need to attack the judgment pretty quickly after finding out about it — that’s not a legal requirement but a practical one. Judges don’t want to see us doing “nothing” and then years later attacking the judgment.

      Definitely go with whatever your Florida lawyer tells you — I hope the above gives you a few questions to ask to get you started.

      Best wishes and hope you can get out from under LVNV — I know this is a very frustrating experience.

      John Watts

  12. Chuck says:

    I was recently served a summons by LVNV. I answered the summons by citing that Defendant is without information or knowledge sufficient to form an opinion as to the truth or accuracy of Plaintiff’s claim, and based on that denies generally and specifically Plaintiff’s claim.

    I also filed for production of the signed contract between myself and the credit card company, a copy of an executed contract between myself and LVNV Funding, and all statements from the beginning of time.

    I just received a bunch of monthly statements in the mail purporting to be asdociated with the alleged account from the representing attorney.

    They did not send the other documents requested, i.e. a signed contract between myself and the credit card company, nor an executed contract between myself and LVNV Funding.

    Can I file a motion to dismiss based on LVNV having no standing and the statute of frauds, since they did not produce the demanded documents?

    • John Watts says:

      Chuck,

      Thanks for your question. A lot depends on what state you are sued in — I’ll assume Alabama. (If another state then I have no idea about the rules there).

      You can do discovery (ask for documents) in District Court (with the court’s permission) or Circuit Court but not Small Claims Court.

      The monthly statements are what the collection lawyers send anytime you request information or “validation” — they believe that having the monthly statements proves that the debt buyer (LVNV) owns the debt.

      In my view it does prove one thing: They have monthly statements.

      Big deal.

      Lots of companies may have my monthly statements — it doesn’t mean all the companies own my debt.

      The contract between you and the credit card company may not exist — i.e. a signed contract. The law normally says that if you used the card then you agreed to the terms and conditions. But which ones?

      Did they change in year 2 or 5 or 8?

      When did the interest rate change? The amount of late fees, etc.

      LVNV will likely never give you a copy of the purchase agreement between it and whoever they claim to have bought the debt from. They claim this is super secret — like the formula to Coke.

      Technically after you file an Answer you don’t file a motion to dismiss — instead, you would file a motion for summary judgment.

      You have to decide from a strategy standpoint whether you should do this or whether it is better to wait for the trial to bring up these issues. Here are some factors to consider:

      1. Which way would your judge prefer?

      2. Are the collection lawyers you are dealing with more skilled inside or outside of court?

      3. What do you feel most comfortable doing?

      4. Will LVNV send a live witness to trial?

      5. Can LVNV get an affidavit to fight the motion for summary judgment or to move for summary judgment for itself?

      6. Are there deadlines such as disclosing witnesses and exhibits? Will LVNV miss those deadlines and be prevented by your judge from having any witnesses and exhibits? Or will your judge ignore the violation of the order?

      There are many other factors but hopefully that gives you a feel for some of the questions you need to ask yourself.

      If you do live in Alabama feel free to call us at 205-879-2447 and ask for Carolyn. She can look up your case and set us up a call to go over your options.

      Thanks and best wishes whichever way you go!

      John Watts

      • Chuck says:

        Mr. Watts,

        I wanted to check back in and let you know that I went to court today and represented myself using some of the information from your website, your reply to my earlier question, and other information found online.

        The judge, the clerk, and the opposing attorney stated they never had anyone fight a case like this in their time of working within this certain Justice Court. Everyone either does not show up or just agreed to the debt. I watched it happen with my own eyes.

        Long story short, the judge was very intrigued by my arguments that
        LVNV Funding could not prove they owned the debt since they provided no documents signed by me, nor a bill of sale proving they owned the debt.

        The statements were tossed as hearsay, per your recommendation that anyone can get ahold of statements.

        He agreed that since they did not produce all the documents, nor an explanation as to why they could not produce said documents asked for in discovery that should be cited for failure to answer. He could have cited them for contempt, but did not.

        In the end, he ruled in my favor and dismissed the case WITH prejudice. He told me I should go to law school. The opposing attorney shook my hand, congratulated me, and asked me if I needed a job.

        Thank you for the valuable information and resources provided on your site. It helped me save $700.00.

        • John Watts says:

          Chuck that is wonderful!! So happy to hear the good news my friend!

          Sounds like you have some opportunities — law school, working for other side, etc. 🙂

          You did the hard work — you showed up and fought. That is so much of the battle and then having a couple of things you can argue. I think I may have mentioned this before but there is the old Bruce Lee quote of “I don’t fear the man that has practiced 10,000 kicks one time each — I fear the man who has practiced 1 kick 10,000 times.”

          You were prepared and you did not back down.

          That’s wonderful!

          Thanks for letting us know how it turned out — very happy for you.

          John Watts

          PS — You might make sure LVNV comes off of your credit report since you won your case. Each state is a bit different but normally winning a case means you do not owe the money to LVNV so they should not be on your report. You can always dispute through the credit reporting agencies to point this out and they (credit reporting agencies) should remove it.

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