I talk with a lot of people who presume that when a lender/bank/credit card company has informed them that the debt they owe has been “charged off” that they no longer owe the money and they, therefore, have nothing to worry about. Nothing could be further from the truth as there are collection firms that buy old debt for pennies on the dollar and hire outside counsel to collect and to sue on the debt. That practice has soared in the past 3 years as there has been a spate of bad loans and unpaid credit card accounts…which makes the debt for those accounts cheaper and cheaper to buy for those who specialize in this kind of market. It’s estimated that outstanding debt on credit cards alone is in the neighborhood of $1.9 TRILLION dollars for 2007…back in the 90’s it was in the neighborhood of $475 billion. Not an insubstantial figure in the 90’s but an explosion of debt in most recent years. A consequence of the bad economy no doubt has lead to a plethora of loans and accounts gone bad. It’s estimated that $3.2 trillion in consumer debt of all types has been written off since 9/07. For the debt buyers and debt collectors opportunity knocks! Most of the collection lawsuits are small claims or conciliation court matters where most defendants don’t show and lose by default. Sometimes they aren’t even aware of the lawsuit and many of the affidavits filed by the collectors aren’t property verified as required by law.
The good news…….even if you’ve been sued and there are judgments against you is that if the debt was a debt that was dischargeable in nature in bankruptcy prior to acquiring judgment status we can still get rid of that debt for you in a bankruptcy case. There is a bit more to do after the bankruptcy case is discharged in order to remove the record of the judgment from the judgment roll in the court of record that had docketed the judgment. That’s advisable because even if the debt is discharged the record of the judgment still survives and often appears on a person’s credit report although the debt is now gone and truly uncollectible. Unfortunately anyone looking at your credit later will still see the judgment listed and can only assume it is left unpaid or unsatisfied. That, of course, is an impediment to acquiring new credit at reasonable rates, if at all. Most bankruptcy clients will hire us to perform the judgment removal service for them as well. Best case scenario is, of course, to come and see us before judgments are entered against you to avoid the additional expense and time involved in that process.
If you’ve got debt issues and think you may need to file a bankruptcy we’ve got answers.
David D. Kingsbury Attorney at Law-Bankruptcy Lawyer
Kingsbury Law Office
14827 Energy Way Apple Valley, MN 55124
Tel. (952) 432-4388 Fax. (952) 432-4969