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How to Win When You’re Sued by Paragon Revenue Group

Uh oh…you got served papers saying Paragon Revenue Group is suing you. Don’t panic just yet – there are ways to fight back and win against this debt collection agency.I’ll break it down simply: Paragon buys up old debts for pennies on the dollar, then goes after people aggressively to collect the full amount (plus interest and fees). Their business depends on scaring folks into paying up. But you’ve got rights, and if you play your cards right, you can make this nightmare go away.

Who is Paragon Revenue Group?

Paragon Revenue Group is a debt buyer, which means they purchase defaulted debts from original creditors like credit card companies, then try to collect on those debts themselves. They’re based in Concord, North Carolina and have been around since 2005.Debt buyers like Paragon pay just a tiny fraction of the face value for defaulted accounts. So if your original $5,000 credit card debt got charged off, Paragon may have scooped it up for $50 or less. Not a bad investment if they can squeeze the full amount from you, right?That’s why they sue so aggressively. Paragon figures “Hey, we didn’t pay much for this debt, so we can afford to take it to court and see if the person folds under pressure.” Shady, but a lucrative business when it works.

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Understanding the Lawsuit

If you’ve been served a summons from Paragon, read it carefully. It will lay out:

  • The amount they say you owe (likely much more than the original debt due to fees/interest)
  • The court the case was filed in
  • Your response deadline (usually 20-30 days)

Don’t ignore this! If you blow off the response deadline, Paragon can easily get a default judgment against you. From there, your wages could get garnished and your bank accounts frozen.So what can you do? You’ve got a few potential defenses to fight back:

Lack of proof – Paragon has to prove you owe the debt, which can be tough since they bought it long after the fact. Demand evidence like the original contract and account statements.

Statute of limitations – For most debts, collectors only have a few years to sue before the time limit runs out. If Paragon is suing over an ancient debt, you can use this as a defense.

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Mistaken identity – In the chaos of buying/selling debts, mistakes happen. If Paragon doesn’t have proper documentation linking you to the debt, you can get the case dismissed.

Bankruptcy discharge – If this debt was included in a past bankruptcy, it’s no longer collectible and the case should be thrown out.

Crafting Your Response

So how do you actually respond to Paragon’s lawsuit? You’ll need to file an “Answer” with the court, addressing each claim in their Complaint. This is crucial – if you don’t respond with legal defenses, the judge will assume you agree with everything Paragon alleges.In your Answer, be very specific in denying any wrongdoing. Don’t just say “I deny the allegations” – go point-by-point refuting each claim about owing money, receiving statements, etc. Lay out all your defenses like lack of proof, statute of limitations, bankruptcy, etc.You can find sample Answer templates online, but this one from the CFPB is a good resource. Just be sure to follow all the court’s formatting rules for your jurisdiction.If you have documentation supporting your position (like bankruptcy papers), attach copies as exhibits. The more ammo you give the judge, the better.And don’t be afraid to look into legal aid resources if the forms seem too daunting. LawHelp.org and your local bar association can point you to clinics and low-cost attorneys who can help draft your Answer.

The Discovery Process

Okay, so you’ve filed your formal Answer denying you owe Paragon anything. What’s next? Get ready for the “discovery” phase where you and Paragon have to share evidence backing up your respective cases.Paragon will likely send you requests for documents and admissions trying to box you in. Don’t ignore these! Respond fully but don’t admit to anything you’re unsure about.You’ll also get a chance to demand evidence and information from Paragon through this discovery process. Some good things to request:

  • The original contract with your signature
  • A full account history and statements for the debt
  • Documentation showing the chain of ownership as the debt was sold
  • Details on Paragon’s purchase of the debt and calculations of the amount allegedly owed

The more documentation you can get from Paragon, the better your chances of poking holes in their case. If they can’t produce proper business records and chain of title for the debt, you’re in a strong position to get the case dismissed.

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Going to Court

If the case progresses to an actual court hearing or trial, don’t stress too much. Stick to your key defenses and let Paragon try to prove every element of their case against you.Some quick tips for your day in court:

  • Dress professionally and be polite – first impressions matter
  • Have your documentation organized with a list of evidence to present
  • Consider having an attorney represent you, even if it’s just a legal coach for moral support
  • Don’t ramble – state your case clearly and let Paragon’s lack of proof do the talking
  • If the judge rules in your favor, get it in writing and confirm the case is fully dismissed!

The main thing is not letting Paragon intimidate you. These debt buyers count on people not showing up or properly defending themselves. As long as you come prepared and stand your ground, you’ve got a great shot at winning.

Settling the Debt

In some situations, your best move may be trying to settle the debt for a lump sum instead of fighting it out. Paragon knows these debts are tough to prove after so many years, so they’ll often accept a settlement if it puts cash in their pocket quickly.Negotiating a settlement can make sense if:

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  • You know you legitimately owe something on the debt
  • The amount they’re asking for is way too high
  • You can get a large reduction by paying a settled lump sum

Just be very careful about the wording of any settlement agreement. Get it in writing that paying the settled amount renders the debt fully satisfied, with a promise from Paragon not to re-age or resell the debt later. You don’t want any surprises down the road.And as tempting as it is to finally put this behind you, don’t settle for an amount you can’t realistically afford. Protecting your assets and cash flow is priority #1.

When to Hire a Lawyer

For many people, taking on Paragon alone is doable if you understand the process and potential defenses. But in some cases, hiring an attorney makes sense:

  • The amount being sued over is very large (like $10,000 or more)
  • You’re dealing with a complex situation like bankruptcy
  • The paperwork and procedures seem overwhelming
  • You need expert representation at trial

Look into legal aid services and pro bono options if hiring a private attorney is too expensive. Having professional legal counsel can give you a big advantage, especially against a debt buyer like Paragon that does this for a living.

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