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How a Credit Card Lawyer Can Help With Credit Card Debt Relief

Dealing with credit card debt can be overwhelming. The letters from creditors keep coming, the phone calls don’t stop, and the debt just seems to get bigger and bigger. It’s easy to feel like you’ll never get out from under it. But there is hope – working with a credit card lawyer can help you find real solutions.

Do You Need a Credit Card Lawyer?

If you’ve fallen behind on credit card payments, you may be dealing with aggressive debt collectors. They might call you 10 times a day, threaten lawsuits or other legal action, or generally harass you. This is not only stressful, it’s often illegal. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors can’t lie or mislead you, can’t threaten violence, and can only call you between 8am-9pm.A credit card lawyer can force debt collectors to prove the debt is valid, stop illegal harassment, and make sure you understand all your rights under consumer protection laws. They can also defend you if the credit card company does sue you over the debt.You might also need a credit card lawyer if:

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  • You think identity theft or fraud is behind the debt
  • You have defenses to the debt itself
  • You need help managing medical or other unexpected debts
  • You need advice on bankruptcy or other debt relief options

What Can a Credit Card Lawyer Do?

Here are some of the main ways a skilled credit card attorney can help you deal with debt:

Negotiate Debt Settlements

Credit card companies would often rather settle for less than the full amount than get nothing at all. A lawyer will negotiate with creditors on your behalf to reduce the total debt owed. This can happen either outside of court or as part of a lawsuit settlement. Debt settlements may save you thousands of dollars.

Stop Harassment From Debt Collectors

If a debt collector is breaking the law with abusive calls or threats, a lawyer can force them to stop. They’ll review recordings of calls and letters sent to build your case. If the harassment continues, they can take the debt collector to court for violating federal and state debt collection laws.

Raise Defenses Against Lawsuits

When credit card companies sue over unpaid debts, they often win by default because the debtor doesn’t show up. A lawyer can review the lawsuit paperwork and raise issues like:

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  • Statute of limitations – If too much time has passed since your last payment, the creditor may be barred from suing you.
  • No proof of debt ownership – Debt buyers must prove they actually own the debt. Without this, they don’t have standing to sue you.
  • Mistaken identity – If the creditor is mistaking you for someone else, a lawyer can demand proof you’re the actual debtor.
  • Unfair fees or interest – Creditors can’t charge excessive fees or jack up interest rates without notice. This may invalidate part of the claimed debt.

Help With Bankruptcy

If you have no way to repay your debts, filing for bankruptcy may be your best option. This legally eliminates many types of debt. A skilled bankruptcy lawyer will advise if you qualify and handle the bankruptcy paperwork from start to finish.

Rebuild Your Credit

After settling debts or discharging them in bankruptcy, a lawyer can provide guidance on responsibly rebuilding your credit score over time. This includes reviewing your credit reports for errors and learning how to manage credit wisely going forward.

What Will a Credit Card Lawyer Cost?

Most credit card lawyers work on a contingency fee basis when defending debt collection lawsuits. This means you pay nothing up front. The lawyer only collects a fee if you win your case or receive a favorable settlement. Typical contingency fees range from 30% to 40% of any money awarded by the court or saved through a negotiated settlement.If you hire a lawyer just for debt settlement negotiations outside of court, common fee arrangements include:

  • Flat fee – For example, $500-$1,500 total
  • Hourly rate – Often $100-$300 per hour
  • Percentage of settled debt – For example, 15%-30% of the savings

Keep in mind even relatively high legal fees today could save you far more down the road in waived debt and avoided interest charges. Don’t be afraid to invest in professional help.

Finding the Right Credit Card Lawyer

Sorting through lawyers can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips on finding good credit card legal help:

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  • Ask people you trust – Friends, family members, coworkers, etc – for recommendations of lawyers they were happy with.
  • Check lawyer directories – AvvoFindLaw, and LawInfo all have searchable lawyer profiles including client reviews.
  • Search state bar associations – Every state has an association listing licensed lawyers. Search for consumer debt attorneys near you.
  • Contact legal aid – If money is very tight, you may qualify for pro bono or low-cost legal assistance.

When researching specific lawyers, there are several important things to check:

  • Do they specialize in consumer credit card debt? General practice lawyers may not understand all the intricacies of current consumer debt laws.
  • Do they have a track record of good results? Look for settled lawsuits and positive client testimonials. These are good signs.
  • Do you feel comfortable with them? You’ll be sharing a lot of financial details. Make sure you connect well and trust their judgement.

Alternatives to Hiring a Lawyer

If hiring a lawyer seems out of reach, try these options first:

  • Contact the creditor – Explain your situation and try negotiating reduced or waived fees directly. Get any agreements in writing.
  • Work with a nonprofit credit counselor – They offer free budget and debt advice and can negotiate with creditors too.
  • Learn your rights and defend yourself – With some effort, you may be able to force debt collectors to prove debts, stop harassment, and raise defenses against lawsuits yourself.

Just understand the risks – creditors and collectors often bully unrepresented people into unfair or even illegal settlements. Think carefully before trying to go it completely alone.

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Key Takeaways

Dealing with aggressive collectors or credit card lawsuits can be intimidating. But legal help can make a huge difference. A skilled credit card attorney levels the playing field by forcing collectors to prove and verify debts, negotiating reduced settlements, defending against lawsuits, and making sure your rights are respected every step of the way.If unfair collection practices or lawsuits over credit card debt are making you miserable, talk to a lawyer. Legal assistance today could save you money and stress tomorrow. Don’t keep struggling alone – help is out there!I hope this overview gives you a good sense of how credit card lawyers assist people struggling with debt. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

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