Will my FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collector settle or will it go to trial?

Will my FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collector settle or will it go to trial?

Debt collectorThis is a great question.

Most cases settle.

It’s rare that these types of cases go to trial.

You may wonder, “Well, why is that?”

Well, here are a few reasons, at least in Alabama.

1. Most civil cases settle.

When we say “civil,” we mean non-criminal cases.

This is the type of case where someone is asking for money.

It could be a car wreck case, a breach of contact, debt collection, etc.

These are the types of cases that usually get settled.

2. Fee shifting.

If you’re successful with your lawsuit, then the debt collector may be forced to pay your attorney’s fees and costs.

This means that they will pay your attorney’s fees, in addition to their attorney’s fees.

This is a powerful motivator that you can use, and it usually works.

3. If there are good lawyers on both sides, they know the value of the case.

If you have a good lawyer representing you, and there’s a good lawyer representing the debt collector, then that’s great.

Both lawyers will understand the value of the case, and will understand the strengths and weaknesses of the case.

I’m writing this a few days after the Iron Bowl and of course that day many college football teams were playing.

We understand that all teams have strengths and weaknesses.

When we talk about our team, we may say that we have a great defense, great running, but our passing is terrible.  Or some other combination of strengths and weaknesses.

It’s the same with a lawsuit and if there are good lawyers involved, then both of them will be able to see those strengths and weaknesses.

4. Ultimately, both sides shy away from the risk.

If we know the value of the case, and we know the fee shifting is involved, both sides have something to risk.

Here’s an example.

If you’re offered a settlement of $30,000 before your trial, do you take it or turn it down?

Well, it depends.

I have turned down 7 figure personal injury cases because it wasn’t the right amount.

However, I have had cases where I tell my clients that they need to take to $20-$30,000 settlement.

Here’s the bottom line. 

If you file a lawsuit, make it a good one. 

This means that your lawyer needs to make sure that they have a good basis for a lawsuit, in addition to a good understanding of the case.

Be prepared to work.

Make sure your lawyer is prepared to work and you are prepared also.

Be prepared to go to trial.

At Watts & Herring, if you come to us and say, “I want to fight this case, but I will never go to trial,” then we will say that we’re glad you thought of us, but we won’t take that case.  You must be committed to going to trial even though most likely the case will settle.  It settles because the other side knows you are willing to fight all the way.

If you do all of these things, usually good things will happen with the case.

Contact Us.

If you live in Alabama and you have any questions, you can reach us by phone a 1-205-879-2447.

You can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

I look forward to talking with you!

Have a great day, and I’ll talk with you soon.

-John G. Watts

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