I offer both full representation collection defense for a flat fee, as well as “unbundled” limited services, such as court coaching.
Debt collection cases are brought by all kinds of businesses, but there are two basic categories of plaintiff collecting consumer debt in Maryland: Original Creditors and Debt Buyers.
Original Creditors are businesses that provided you with a service or loaned you money, such as banks, and auto finance companies, or hospitals.
Debt Buyers are businesses that buy old debts from Original Creditors. They purchase debts for a pennies on the dollar, then attempt to collect the full face value of the debt. I wrote an article for the Clearinghouse Review (a publication for public interest lawyers) titled Defending Junk Debt-Buyer Lawsuits, here. type of brief advice.
Courts in Maryland and are flooded with debt buyer collection lawsuits, in which the plaintiff seeks, on average, about $3,000. Any claim for $5,000 or less is treated by the courts as a “small claim” in which basic rules of evidence do not apply, and due process are extremely relaxed (some would say non-existent). The problem is that few people could or would pay a lawyer $1,000 or $2,000 to defend a $3,000 claim. Debt buyers know this, and they file thousands of lawsuits knowing that most of the time, nobody will defend the lawsuit. I have written more about the rate of default judgments in the article “Junk Justice: a Statistical Analysis of 4,400 Debt Buyer Lawsuits Filed by Debt Buyers.”
Many people have found my article “Defending Junk Debt Buyer Lawsuits” to be helpful. In some “small claims” cases, with a little bit of background and formal coaching, a self represented consumer stands a much better chance of prevailing in court.
I made some videos which explore the debt buyer complaint form elsewhere on this website, and the Maryland Courts have produced this video to help you prepare for trial. I also created a smart form Notice of Intention to Defend which you can fill out, upload, and have me review.
If a judgment is entered against you, then in many circumstances the Plaintiff can legally garnish your wages and your bank accounts. The Maryland Courts have produced this brochure explaining this process.