Sued by Synchrony Bank? Discover your 5 options now (hint: 4 options do not include bankruptcy!)
Synchrony Bank files hundreds of collection lawsuits in Alabama every month — most if not all filed by the Rausch Sturm law firm out of Enterprise, Alabama. I’m assuming you have been sued by Synchrony Bank if you are reading this. You have five options when sued by Synchrony — and only one is bankruptcy. And bankruptcy is hardly ever a good choice.
But before we get into that, let’s see the big picture of what we’ll cover in this article:
- What happens if you do nothing?
- How long do you have to respond to the lawsuit?
- First option of bankruptcy (rarely appropriate)
- Second option of fighting the lawsuit on your own
- Third option of settling the Synchrony Bank lawsuit on your own
- Fourth option of hiring a lawyer to fight the lawsuit
- Final option of hiring a lawyer to settle the Synchrony Bank lawsuit
- So what do you do right now?
Let’s look into these one at a time. If you ever want to discuss your options with us, feel free to call us at 205-879-2447 if you have been sued in Alabama.
What happens if you do nothing?
It is the same as if during the Iron Bowl one team did not show up — they would lose by “default” for failing to be at the game.
If you do not respond in time (see below for how long you have) then you will lose. Let’s not do that — instead, make sure you have a chance to go through your five options.
How long do you have to respond to the lawsuit?
You start counting days from when you were served.
If you were sued in Small Claims Court, then you have 14 days to respond (answer or file a motion to dismiss) from when you were served.
In District Court, it is also 14 days from when you were served.
For much bigger lawsuits filed in Circuit Court, you have extra time. You have 30 days from when you were served.
But what are your options?
You have five of them — let’s go through them one at a time.
First option of bankruptcy (rarely appropriate)
You probably are getting lots of letters from lawyers telling how bankruptcy is the magic cure to the problem of your Synchrony Bank lawsuit.
Truth be told bankruptcy can be an option, it just normally is not a good one.
It destroys your credit and should only be used as a last resort.
Would you file bankruptcy anyway? Even if you could handle the Synchrony Bank lawsuit? If so, then look at it strongly.
But if not, then I would look at your other (better) options.
Second option of fighting the lawsuit on your own
You always have the option to fight the lawsuit.
What would be the basis?
- Statute of limitations (waiting too long to sue you)
- You don’t owe any debt to Synchrony Bank (maybe you paid it off, or it was ID theft, etc)
- You owe some but not what Synchrony Bank claims
- The Bank is charging bogus fees, interest rate, etc.
The point is you may have a valid legitimate reason (or reasons) to fight.
The advantage of doing this on your own is you pay no attorney fee.
The disadvantage is you have no attorney representing you.
Bottom line is you will not spend money but you will spend time.
Third option of settling the Synchrony Bank lawsuit on your own
Your third option is to handle the suit on your own but with the goal of settling it.
Several things to consider:
- Will you settle on a lump sum or a monthly payment amount?
- What will happen to the credit reporting Synchrony Bank is doing on you?
- Will you face tax consequences from settling (“debt forgiveness“)?
A few suggestions if you decide to go this route:
- Make sure you get the settlement agreement in writing
- Be absolutely sure you understand the terms of the settlement
- Follow the terms of the settlement 100%
Like the previous option, the advantage here is you pay no attorney fees.
The downside is you don’t have a lawyer helping you.
The final two options involve getting an attorney to help you fight the lawsuit or settle it with Synchrony Bank.
Fourth option of hiring a lawyer to fight the lawsuit
You hire a lawyer and the lawyer responds to the lawsuit.
The lawyer gets you and the case ready to fight at trial.
The goal is to win and you have to face the possibility of losing.
The downside is paying a lawyer and you could lose.
The upside is having an experienced lawyer who has handled original creditor cases should give you a much better chance of winning than doing this on your own.
Here are some suggestions when considering this option and a particular lawyer:
- How many cases has the lawyer handled?
- What are the odds of being successful?
- Will your lawyer want you to be at the trial?
- If so, when and how will your lawyer get you ready for trial?
- What is the lawyer’s plan for how to win your case?
But there is a final option involving hiring a lawyer and that is to help you settle the case.
Final option of hiring a lawyer to settle the Synchrony Bank lawsuit
The lawyer is hired. The lawyer will file your answer (response) to the lawsuit.
But the goal is to get the case settled.
You have the same issues as settling it on your own.
The real question is what benefit do you get with the lawyer?
Typically we see the following if you hire the right lawyer:
- Cheapest possible settlement
- Help with credit reporting (often creditors violate the law)
- Peace of mind of knowing things will be handled correctly
So what do you do right now?
Here are my suggestions for you.
First — know if and when you were served. (If you have any questions, call Carolyn at my office at 205-879-2447 and she can look it up for you if you were sued in Alabama only).
Second — make sure you know how long before you run out of time. Remember it is 14 days from when you were served in Small Claims or District Court. And 30 days in Circuit Court from when Synchrony Bank served you.
Third — go through the five options you have.
If you live in Alabama and want us to help you think through your options, give us a call at 205-879-2447 or fill out the contact form and we will get right back with you.
We have represented thousands of consumers all over Alabama and are very familiar with Synchrony Bank and its lawyers. We will be glad to chat with you to help you decide what is the best action for you.
Talk to you soon!