“Why am I getting letters from bankruptcy lawyers before I get served with the collection lawsuit?”


“Why am I getting letters from bankruptcy lawyers before I get served with the collection lawsuit?”

"Why am I getting letters from bankruptcy lawyers before I get served with the collection lawsuit?"Unfortunately there are some bankruptcy lawyers who do not follow the ethical rules about sending advertisement letters to consumers who have been sued and this is why you are getting letters before you even get served with the debt collection lawsuit.

These letters typically say you have been sued by _________ (LVNV, Midland, Portfolio, Capital One, National Collegiate Student Loan Trust, etc) and “you will be served shortly.”

They then tell you that bankruptcy can be a wonderful solution and without any other information you should give them a call as time is running out.

Let’s look at this….

A law-firm cannot ethically send a letter to you until 7 days has gone by since you were served.

So, what does this mean if you have a Birmingham or Huntsville or wherever it may be law-firm writing to you before you have even been served?

Only two possibilities:

  • The lawyers don’t know the rules of ethics so it is ignorance causing the letters to go out; or
  • The lawyers know the rules of ethics and don’t care because, I suppose, they are so desperate for business or they are very arrogant.

It is up to you to decide if you want to do business with any of these firms that do this.

[NOTE:  There is nothing wrong with sending advertisement letters as long as it is done within the rules the Alabama State Bar lays out.  We are only discussing here the lawyers that send out letters before the 7 day mark after you have been served, which is a requirement in Alabama.]

There is some good that comes from these letters — it is like an early warning system that a collection lawsuit is coming.

All lawyers should follow the rules but if not, then let’s at least find something good that can come from these types of lawyer letters.

These letters are like the Ferry & Nicholas letters that warn you about a lawsuit that has just been filed against you.

Take advantage of the warning — almost like a radar — that tells you something bad is about to hit.  In this case, it is a lawsuit filed by a collection lawyer.

Don’t do the following:

  • Get mad and so ignore everything you receive afterwards;
  • Assume no collector or creditor can sue you because a second cousin’s ex wife told you that’s the law;
  • Decide to not open any more mail; and
  • Hope it will all just go away and you won’t have to do anything.

Instead, do this:

  • Take this warning seriously by investigating if you have been sued;
  • You can call the court in the county where you live to see if you have been sued;
  • You can call my firm and we’ll look it for you (205-879-2447); and
  • Start to investigate your options so you can discover which option is best for you.

Bankruptcy can be a valid option if you have no other viable options.

Bankruptcy is extreme.

In the right circumstance it is extremely effective.

But when it is not necessary it is like cutting off your arm because you broke your pinky finger.  I guess it works, but it is way too much of an over-reaction.

Here is when bankruptcy is appropriate — when you don’t have a legitimate chance of paying off your debts any other way.  When you are trapped in a never ending cycle of high interest rates, late fees, and you have no way out.

So yes bankruptcy can be an option — and it may be your best and only option — so investigate it as you look into the five options everyone has when sued (see below).

Time is not your friend so you need to act quickly but you should not rush into it.

You’ve been warned by the letters.  Now, you need to take action after you have figured out what to do.

Let me ask you this:

Which direction should you take to get to Montgomery, Alabama?

Well, it depends, doesn’t it?

Are you in Mobile?  Or Auburn?  Tuscaloosa?  Birmingham?  Huntsville?

Different answers depending on where you are right now.  This is why your GPS has to determine your “current location” before it can tell you where to go.

Same thing when you have been sued.

  • Who sued you?
  • What court?
  • For how much?
  • Who is the collection lawyer?
  • What is your financial situation?
  • Do you prefer to do things yourself or hire professionals to handle it?

So don’t make a hasty decision — figure out your options — and then act decisively.

You should educate yourself on all of your legitimate options — you normally have five, not just bankruptcy.

Your five options include:

So, which option is best for you in your collection lawsuit?

It depends.  For some, bankruptcy is the right option.

Others prefer to fight the lawsuit and we have many clients who have done this successfully and then hired us to sue the debt collector who brought the bogus lawsuit against them along with the false credit reporting the debt buyer was guilty of doing.

Then sometimes the best option is, particularly on a small collection lawsuit where sued for $500 or $750, to settle the case on your own.  We often see false credit reporting after this so be mindful of this.

Some clients prefer to hire us to fight the case or to settle it.  Normally when we settle a case this is where both sides agree to not sue each other and the debt buyer gets rid of credit reporting.

But each situation is different so check out all of your options.  Any lawyer you talk to should be able to explain the good and bad of each of these five options — if not, then decide if you want to continue to talk to that lawyer who can’t or won’t explain all of your options.

If you want to talk about your collection lawsuit options, let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

We represent many consumers sued by debt collectors and original creditors.  We also sue debt collectors and original creditors after we beat them in trial — for example we have recently sued Capital One and Discover Bank for losing at trial and then refusing to delete the credit reporting which can violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

If you want to talk to us, give us a call at 205-879-2447 and tell the receptionist you have been sued and want to talk to Carolyn or Randi who will help you determine who sued you for what and where and when and then they will set up a call or meeting with me.  You are also welcome to fill out this web form here and we will get right back to you as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

-John G. Watts


21 Comments

  1. Sobita says:

    I got bankruptcy letter from Delaware to attend to court. I don’t know why they sent this letter. I don’t have any business.

    • John Watts says:

      I’m not sure why you would get that letter — I suggest getting your attorney to call or you call the court or the lawyer for whoever filed bankruptcy to see what this is all about.

      Hope you get some quick answers — know that is frustrating getting a letter like that.

      John Watts

    • Billy says:

      I also got a bankruptcy letter from Delaware out of the blue. Seems suspicious.

  2. Billy says:

    I just figured it out as I wasn’t able to read the letter myself until now. Energy Future Holdings (TXU) filed for bankruptcy and these letters from Delaware were sent out to their customers.

    • John Watts says:

      Gotcha — that makes sense now. Glad you figured it out and it wasn’t directly related to you other than being their customer.

      John Watts

  3. maria cepeda says:

    I received the letter for the court of Delawere charge me for debits one adress of Dallas Tx . But I never lived over there .

    • John Watts says:

      My suggestion is to call the court and see if you can figure out what is going on.

      Does it say you were sued or it is for bankruptcy or what?

      John Watts

  4. MATT DAILEY says:

    Got a letter from lawyers saying capital one has filed a case against me. Went to one of the lawyers and they did a credit report that showed nothing about any debt to capital one. I do owe them money but it was a long time ago. If its not on my credit report has the statute of limitations run out.

    • John Watts says:

      The time period to sue (statute of limitations) and the time period to credit report are not the same. Normally in Alabama the time limit to sue is either 3 or 6 years (we say 3 — collection lawyers say 6). The time period to credit report is about 7 years from the date of the major default (being months behind).

      So if Capital One is not on your credit report it could be because it was too long ago or it might be it is just not on your report but it could be.

      You need to get with your lawyer to find out how long ago it was that you last made a charge or a payment and then figure out the statute of limitation.

      If it is over — that is it is too long ago to sue — then you will have a good defense.

      Thanks for your question and best wishes on your case!

      John Watts

  5. Jonathan Rose says:

    Must a bankruptcy law firm stop sending out solicitation letters to my place of employment after being put on notice at least three (3) times to cease and descist?

    • John Watts says:

      Jonathan,

      That is odd that a firm is sending letters to your place of employment. Are they saying you are sued or what?

      Have you told them in writing to stop contacting you?

      If you are in Alabama call us and we’ll help you get them to leave you alone — 205-879-2447.

      Thanks

      John Watts

  6. Mandy Jenes says:

    I am in TN and got 2 advertisment letters from 2 different lawyers and it says my name or current resident and says a company Concord Finance Inc filed a lawsuit. I have not received anything and I have checked my credit report and dont see this company on it. I have also never received any type of mail from Concord.

    • John Watts says:

      Mandy,

      Thank you for your comment. You have done the right things by checking your credit report and whether this company has ever written to you.

      At this point, with the advertisement letters, you have a couple of options.

      First, you could contact the lawyers who wrote you and ask them to give you the case number of the lawsuit and the county where you were sued. Then you should be able to call the clerk’s office of the county you were sued in and ask them about this.

      They will likely want you to go pick up the lawsuit. But you will know if this is legitimate or not.

      Second, you can wait and do nothing and see if you are served with the lawsuit. (Keep in mind the link is for being served in Alabama — the rules maybe different in TN).

      Third, and this is what I recommend, is to call a consumer protection lawyer in TN and ask them about this. Hopefully, all of TN court system is online and they can look it up for you very easily. So you will know if you have actually been sued. And if you have been sued — the lawyer can get you a copy of the lawsuit so you can see what it is all about. Finally, the lawyer can help you understand your options. I don’t practice in TN but I suspect that your options will be similar to what we offer folks in Alabama — five different options.

      Best wishes

      John Watts

  7. Mandy Jenes says:

    I have been checking everywhere online that I possibly can and have not seen anything. The advertisment letters say either my name or current resident is which makes me wonder as well.

    • John Watts says:

      Mandy,

      I think you’ll find the answers by asking a TN lawyer to look this up for you. At least in Alabama, it would take us about 2 minutes to tell you whether there is a lawsuit filed against you. I’m assuming the TN court system is online also.

      The other option is to call the lawyers who sent you the advertisement letters and ask them for the case number then you call the clerk’s office if you want to know more about it.

      Best wishes and hope you get some answers soon!

      John Watts

  8. Elisha Jones says:

    Im wondering we I’m receiving mail from bankruptcy attorneys that i have a judgement against me but i haven’t received any thing from anyone telling me who has the judgment against me. Please help me find out who is doing this ? You can email me back .Thanks

    • John Watts says:

      Elisha,

      You have two options.

      First, call the bankruptcy lawyers who are writing you and ask them to send you a copy of the judgment.

      Second — if you are in Alabama — call Carolyn in my office at 205-879-2447. She’ll look up in the court system to see if there is a lawsuit under your name (and let her know any other names been known by — maiden name, etc) as she can usually find the judgment.

      Best wishes

      John Watts

  9. Amanda McBrayer says:

    John and Carolyn are amazing! I can’t express how thankful I am that I found them and they got everything taken care of! They was there every step of the way and we won! Thank you so much! They really care about their clients!

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