Most creditors DO NOT abide by the laws set by the Fair Credit Act and if they do you can still sue them. Some actions of a creditor that substantiate a law suit are: failure to validate a debt; calls you at work or very late at night; erroneous reporting of your credit history; and, refusing to note partial payments on your credit. Most of the time the creditors don’t bother showing up, and why would they? If the debt is for $1,000 and they have to pay an attorney, travel fees and court fees they generally don’t. Now if it’s for a $25,000 credit card or maybe apartment you may not get so lucky but you can still win your case. If they don’t show up you automatically win and receive a judgment of removal you can send to the (3) credit bureaus. By law the credit bureaus will now have to remove the debt from your credit report, whether it’s valid or not. Also, see the HIPPA section below for medical debt.
1) Get proof (most of the time you don’t need it) but take screen shots of your phone or letter from your boss or even employee saying they called, copy of your credit report etc. You have to build a case against these people and it’s generally very easy because the majority do not follow the laws outlined in the Fair Credit Act.
2) Every state is different so you need to check what your state’s maximum is for filing in small claims court. File your claim with the Small Claims court located in your county. Do not ever file for the state maximum for loss, always file it for a smaller amount. To file a claim, just go to the county courthouse and get the appropriate forms. Make sure to follow all the legal steps for filing this claim, including notifying the other party. Every state has different forms but they are all pretty self explanatory. Generally, there will be a section where you will insert your claim, make sure to ALWAYS include: REMOVAL OF DEROGATORY DEBT from all three credit bureaus; TransUnion, Experian and Equifax along with a dollar amount. This is super important. Without this you don’t really gain anything.
3) Once your claim is submitted you may have to notify the creditor or collection company. This is the easy part. Don’t bother tracking them down too much, a lot of collection companies change addresses often. And it’s in your advantage if they never receive it.
Once the court hearing comes, the creditor or collection representative may or may not show up. Most often the creditor and or the collection company is not located in your county or even state. Like I said, they generally do not for smaller debt. If they do, make sure you have your facts strait and list what Fair Credit Act law they broke, which again is super easy because most don’t follow the laws. Please see the document for the fair credit act laws. Now if they don’t show up, you automatically win and the courts will give you your judgment (what you asked for).
HIPPA laws are very strict. If you validated your debt and the collection agency provided a list of your debt from the hospital or doctor they violated your HIPPA rights. Your medical information can never be shared to a third party without your consent. Some doctors and hospitals are getting smart about this and they bury the vernacular within forms you sign. Always read these forms and draw a line through anything that talks about sharing your information with a 3rd party. Winning a HIPPA case is super easy and most of the time they won’t show because they know they broke the law.
Just remember, suing a collection company or creditor is easy and you don’t need an expensive attorney. The cost to benefit is usually exponential. If you have a debt that’s hurting your score by 50 points or more and they keep validating this is honestly your last hope. I’ve seen cases over $10,000 that the creditor nor collection agency never showed and the debt was relieved, it can be that easy. Sure it’s more work for you but to have an extra 50 points on your credit or better interest rate on your car or home it’s worth it. Never give up fighting!