Evidence for a New Jersey Credit Card Debt Lawsuit
After falling behind substantially on credit card payments, the credit card company or collections agency may decide to file a lawsuit against you in court in order to recover the debt. In order to do so, however, the creditor must be able to prove its case against you. Receiving notice of a creditor’s intent to file a lawsuit can be frightening and stressful, and an experienced credit card debt lawyer can help.
The creditor must provide certain specific evidence for a New Jersey credit card debt lawsuit to succeed, and a reputable credit card debt attorney can help evaluate your case and craft a successful defense strategy to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
Required Proof in a New Jersey Credit Card Debt Lawsuit
The New Jersey courts require that the creditor provide certain evidence for a New Jersey credit card debt lawsuit to succeed in court. The creditor must first prove that the debtor actually owes the particular debt to that creditor.
In many cases, an original creditor will sell the debt to a collection agency for a portion of what the debtor owed. This process may be repeated many times so that it can become unclear whether the debtor actually owes the debt.
Valid defenses to this evidentiary issue can include:
- Mistaken identity, where the debtor claims that the creditor has confused them with the individual who actually owes the debt
- Identify theft, including situations where the debtor’s personal information has been stolen and used to incur a debt
- Bankruptcy discharge, so that the debtor no longer owes the debt because it has been discharged in bankruptcy
- Repayment, where the debtor can argue that they have already repaid the debt in question
The creditor must also show that the statute of limitations has not expired. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for suing on a credit card debt is six years. If six years have expired since the debtor defaulted, the creditor is no longer entitled to file a lawsuit to collect the debt.
Written Evidence Supporting the Creditor’s Lawsuit
If the entity that files the lawsuit against the creditor is a secondary debt buyer and not the original creditor, that entity must provide written proof that it now owns the debt in order to provide the required evidence for a New Jersey credit card debt lawsuit. The debt buyer must generally provide an Assignment of Debt document from the original creditor, as well as the debtor’s last statement from the original credit card account.
Importantly, the creditor or third-party debt buyer must establish the amount that the debtor owes. It is required to justify any interest and collection fees that it has applied to the account, in addition to establishing the original amount of the debt itself. The interest charged must be legal under New Jersey law, and the creditor must provide evidence that the debtor was properly notified of any increases in the relevant interest rate. If the creditor or third-party debt buyer is unable to provide this required evidence, the lawsuit can be dismissed.
A New Jersey Attorney Can Help Find Evidence for a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit
An experienced credit card debt attorney can fight to prove that the required evidence for a New Jersey credit card debt lawsuit has not been provided so that the case should not succeed. If you have received notice that you are being sued by a creditor, contact a reputable credit card debt defense lawyer today.