Debt Collector in Georgia

A “debt collector,” as defined by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act [“FDCPA”], is a person or a business that regularly collects debts owed to another.

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Cavalry SPV I, LLC

Cavalry SPV I LLC- Debt Buyer Lawsuit

Cooling and Winter

Cooling & Winter, LLC, Debt Collection Attorneys

What is Cooling & Winter, LLC?

Cooling and Winter is a southeast regional debt collection law firm based out of Atlanta, Georgia. The firm represents national banks, credit card issuers, student loan issuers, debt buyers, and financial institutions.

It is considered a debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Under the FDCPA, a debt collector is a person or a company that regularly collects past-due debts owed to others.

Why is Cooling and Winter Contacting Me?

If Cooling and Winter is contacting you, you most likely owe a debt to either a credit card company or a debt collector.

These debt collection calls and letters are very stressful because they are attempting to collect a debt and are either threatening to sue, in the process of suing you, or have already sued you.

What to do if they file a lawsuit against me?

If Cooling and Winter serves you, you need to promptly respond to the credit card or debt buyer lawsuit.

If you do not respond to the summons, Cooling and Winter will obtain may obtain a default judgment.

Can Cooling and Winter Garnish my Wages?

If a debt buyer or creditor retains a law firm, they have every intention to collect on a debt.

Armed with the judgment, the creditor can garnish your wages and bank accounts.

How can I stop a Cooling and Winter Wage or Bank Garnishment?

If you are being sued or garnished by a debt collector, contact Diwan Law immediately.

We have the knowledge and experience to defend you in every aspect of your case.

Diwan Law will assert all viable defenses you may have, file the appropriate motions, and negotiate with the creditor to prevent the creditor from garnishing you.

Conclusion                  

If Cooling and Winter is suing you for any amount of money, contact Diwan Law, the credit card defense attorney, to discuss your legal options. Call Diwan Law, 404-635-6883, for a free consultation.

About Diwan Law

Diwan Law is dedicated to getting our clients the best result possible.

Diwan Law represents clients facing:

  • Debt buyer lawsuits (i.e. Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery Associates, Asset Acceptance, Cavalry Portfolio Services, Unifund, etc.)
  • Credit Card lawsuits
  • Suits stemming from automobile repossession deficiencies, apartment leases, and other contract-related matters;
  • Dormant judgment revival; and
  • Garnishment actions on bank accounts or wages.

Diwan Law Handles Cases in:

Gwinnett County State Court; Dekalb County State Court; Cobb County State Court; Fulton County State Court; Henry County State Court; and most other state courts in Georgia.

Magistrate Court- Small Claims Cases

Magistrate Court And Small Claims Cases

In Georgia, magistrate court cases are small claims and are limited to cases in which the amount sought is $15,000 or less.

Claims in magistrate court are heard and decided by a magistrate judge without a jury.

Frequently, these cases relate to credit card debt or other small claims for money.

Just because a claim is brought in magistrate court does not change the burden of proof. The plaintiffs still have to prove their claim.

Common Types of Cases Handled in Small Claims Court

  • Dispossessory [Evictions]
  • A landlord not returning a security deposit
  • Gym contract disputes
  • Credit card lawsuits
  • Overcharges for car repairs or faulty work
  • Unlawful eviction notices
  • Construction lawsuits
  • Pet disputes
  • Debt Collection Lawsuits

Do I Need a Lawyer for Small Claims Court?

Whether you need an attorney in magistrate court depends on your specific situation. Either way, you may want to consult a lawyer.

You may wish to have a consultation in which you discuss the facts and circumstances of the case with a neutral party. In this manner, you can get the lawyer’s opinion about the strength of your case. You may also learn about weaknesses in your case that you may not have considered.

A lawyer may advise whether or not you should pursue the action against the other party. They may discuss the problems with collecting on a judgment even if you do win. This can help you make a more informed decision about the likelihood of actually collecting on a judgment.

A lawyer may also be able to assist plaintiffs and counter-defendants with the preparation of evidence. They may describe the process involved in getting evidence admitted in court. They can also point out if some types of evidence may not be admissible.

When you should hire an attorney

  • When the other party has a lawyer in small claims court

If you find out an attorney is representing the other party in a magistrate case and you aren’t, you probably need a lawyer, too.

After all, you don’t want the defendant having what seems like the unfair advantage of professional help.

  • When facing a corporation or business in small claims court

If you are going against a corporation or business [such as a credit card company or a debt collector] in magistrate court, it’s prudent to hire a lawyer if possible.

Conclusion                    

If you are dealing with a claim in magistrate court, contact Diwan Law, the credit card defense attorney, to discuss your legal options. Call Diwan Law, 404-635-6883, for a free consultation today.

Diwan Law Handles Cases in:

Gwinnett County Magistrate Court; Dekalb County Magistrate Court; Cobb County Magistrate Court; Fulton County Magistrate Court; Henry County Magistrate Court; and most other magistrate courts in Georgia.

Portfolio Recovery Associates, Debt Collection

What is Portfolio Recovery Associates?

Portfolio Recovery Associates also know as PRA Portfolio Recovery or PRA is one of the largest debt collection companies in the world.

This collection agency specializes in buying old debt from companies and trying to collect on it. With most cases involving charged-off debt, they can buy it for extremely cheap.

Is Portfolio Recovery Associates a Scam?

Portfolio Recovery is a real collection agency.

Like other debt collectors, Portfolio Recovery often goes straight into litigation without first informing you that they are attempting to collect a debt. This is in an attempt to get you to pay your debt faster or face the repercussions.

Are you being sued by Portfolio Recovery?

If you are served with a summons from PRA, you need to respond quickly.

If you fail to respond to the lawsuit, Portfolio Recovery may be able to obtain a default judgment against you.

Armed with the default judgment, the debt collection company can garnish your wages and bank accounts.

Before accepting a PRA judgment, speak with a debt defense attorney. A collections defense lawyer will explain your rights and the legal process, such as how long you have to answer the lawsuit, the proven defenses, and the impact of a judgment.

Are you being harassed by Portfolio Recovery?

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act [FDCPA], debt collection companies such as Portfolio Recovery Associates cannot take the following actions when attempting to collect a debt:

  • Contact anybody who is not the main person that owes the debt;
  • Threaten to refer to a lawyer, harm of credit, or wage or bank garnishment without the actual intent to act on the threat
  • Contacting you at “unreasonable times,” such as before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM;
  • Contacting your employer;
  • Use profane or obscene language during calls;
  • Sending collection letters that appear to be from a court or government agency;
  • Threaten to arrest you if you do not pay the debt

Contact Diwan Law

We are experienced in debt collection law and have an established record of protecting consumer’s rights. No matter where you are in the collection process, you deserve to know your rights and what to expect. Give us a call at 404.635.6883.

 

Setting Aside a Default Judgment

If a creditor or debt collector has served you with a lawsuit and you do not file an answer within 45 days, you may be able to avoid a default judgment and have your day in court.

The following discussion summarizes Georgia’s policy of deciding cases based on the facts or “on the merits” rather than through default judgments.

Applicable Georgia Statutes

In Georgia, after service, the defendant typically has 30 days to respond to the complaint. If a defendant fails to file an answer within those 30 days, the case is deemed to be “in default.”

After those 30 days have passed, a defendant has an additional 15 days to automatically “open default,” without admitting to the plaintiff’s allegations, under O.C.G.A. § 9-11-55(a).

If a defendant still fails to respond after 45 days, then a defendant may still be able to “open default.” Along with paying court costs, filing an answer under oath, and stating a readiness to proceed to trial, the defendant must satisfy specific statutory requirements and preconditions under O.C.G.A. § 9-11-55(b):

“At any time before final judgment, the court, in its discretion, upon payment of costs, may allow the default to be opened [1] for providential cause preventing the filing of required pleadings or [2] for excusable neglect or [3] where the judge, from all the facts, shall determine that a proper case has been made for the default to be opened, on terms to be fixed by the court.”

Case Law

Providential cause typically covers events over which a party or lawyer lacked control over, including the illness of a litigant, see Phillips v. Taber, 83 Ga. 565(1889), or his lead counsel, Printup v. Mitchell, 19 Ga. 586 (1856); the death of a party, see Dougherty v. Fogle, 48 Ga. 615 (1873); the absence of an attorney due to military service, see Dalton City Co. v. Dalton Mfg. Co., 33 Ga. 243 (1862); and acts of God, see Carhart v. Ross, 15 Ga. 186 (1854).

The term “excusable neglect” refers to a ‘reasonable excuse’ for failing to answer a complaint, which is different from willful disregard of the process of the court. Ga. Farm Bldgs., Inc. v. Willard, 170 Ga. App. 327, (1984).

The “proper” case ground allows the court to reach “out in every conceivable case where injustice might result if the default were not opened,” Axelroad v. Preston, 232 Ga. 836 (1974).

All three grounds require that the defendant’s failure to file a timely answer must not have resulted from willful or gross negligence. See Muscogee Realty Dev. Corp. v. Jefferson Co., 252 Ga. 400 (1984).

What does this mean for defendants?

Even after 45 days have elapsed since being served, litigants may be able to open default and proceed to the merits of the case.

So, if you did not timely respond to a complaint resulting from debt, you might still be able to avoid judgment.

About Diwan Law

Diwan Law is a law firm dedicated to vigorously representing our clients.

Diwan Law represents debt collection cases in the Magistrate, State, and Superior Courts of Georgia.

Diwan Law represents clients facing:

  • Debt buyer lawsuits (i.e. Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery Associates, Asset Acceptance, Cavalry Portfolio Services, Unifund, etc.);
  • Credit Card lawsuits (i.e. American Express, Citibank, Suntrust, etc.);

ATTORNEY VS. DEBT SETTLEMENT COMPANY

Suppose you are struggling to pay your debts. You may question whether you should hire a debt defense attorney or a debt settlement company to assist you in negotiating with the credit card company, debt collection attorney, or debt collector.

In almost all cases, it is best to avoid debt settlement companies.

Debt Settlement

Generally speaking, debt settlement means that a creditor has agreed to accept less than the amount you owe as full payment.

How Debt Settlement Companies Work

Debt settlement companies claim that they can negotiate with your creditors to settle your debts for pennies on the dollar.

If you are current on your credit card payments, they will tell you that the creditors will not negotiate the debt unless you stop making payments.

The settlement company will then tell the consumer to make these payments to them directly while they negotiate with the credit card company or debt collector.

These payments will go towards the debt settlement company’s monthly service fee, and the remainder will be set aside for future settlements of your debts.

The debt settlement company will only contact your creditors after you have enough—based on the company’s opinion—and offer each one a lump sum that is less than what you owe.

Why Settlement Companies Are Not the Best Solution

While debt settlement companies can certainly help you work out a payment plan with your creditors, they can also hurt you.

The main problem with debt settlement companies is that they often charge for their services upfront.

Here are the main downsides to using a debt settlement company:

Downside #1: Your Debt Continues to Increase

The debt relief company might not mention that the total amount you owe will increase once you stop making your payments, which will increase due to various added fees and interest charges.

Downside #2: The Credit Card Company or Debt Collector May Not Settle

The debt settlement company probably won’t tell you that your creditors don’t have to accept a lesser amount than it is owed to satisfy the debt or that many creditors will not agree to a settlement, if you are working with a debt settlement company.

Downside #3: Debt Settlement Fees Are Typically High

Going through a debt settlement company can be costly. These companies often charge a set-up fee, a monthly fee, and a percentage of each settled debt (say, 25%), and they might pay themselves before paying any of your creditors. Or, a debt relief company might disappear with your money.

Why are Debt Defense Lawyers better than Debt Settlement Companies?

Debt settlement lawyer has negotiation skills developed over years of experience dealing with creditors and extensive knowledge about debt collection laws.

A debt settlement attorney will discuss your options with you and decide if you should attempt to settle your debts or do something else, such as fighting the debt or filing for bankruptcy.

A debt defense attorney can represent you in court if you get sued by a credit card company or debt collector.

And, if a debt collector violates any consumer protection law, the consumer protection attorney can assert any claim you may have against the creditor.

Conclusion

Debt relief attorney services and debt settlement company services are both widely available in Georgia. However, an Atlanta debt relief attorney has a broad range of legal tools at their disposal.

Diwan Law works hard to provide positive results for its clients dealing with debt collection issues.

If you are dealing with debt collection issues, you need an experienced collection lawyer. Contact Diwan Law today at 404-635-6883.

Few Consumers in Debt Lawsuits Have a Lawyer

Why do so few consumers in debt collection lawsuits have a debt defense lawyer?

Unfortunately, the main reason is that many consumers choose to ignore the lawsuit because they do not think that they can succeed against the credit card company or debt collector.

Sadly, if a defendant does not participate in the litigation, the creditor wins the case by default.

But, multiple studies have found that consumers who did have a debt defense lawyer in a debt claim were more likely than those without representation to win their cases or reach a settlement.

Debt Collection Lawsuits

Many people think that creditors prefer to avoid lawsuits because it requires them to pay lawyers and incur litigation costs. This is not true.

Creditors routinely file lawsuits against consumers based on allegations of unreported and missed payments, overdue fees, or charges not authorized by the consumer.

If a defendant fails to respond to the court summons or does not appear in court, the judge may rule in the plaintiff’s favor and issue a default judgment that may result in a monetary award against the defendant.

Default Judgments Can Exact Heavy Tolls On Consumers

Debt collection lawsuits that end in default judgments can have lasting consequences for consumers’ economic stability.

Besides the principal amount, the court may also award court and lawyer’s fees to the plaintiff, which can amount to thousands of dollars.

Once a creditor has a monetary judgment, it can garnish the consumer’s bank account and wages.

Post Judgment Interest

Once the monetary judgment is entered, post-judgment interest starts to accrue.

Post-Judgment Interest is interest on a court judgment that a creditor can collect from the time the judgment is entered in the court clerk’s record until it is satisfied.

Consumers who find themselves paying post-judgment interest on default judgments can face an even deeper cycle of debt.

Why Should You Hire a Collection Defense Lawyer?

A debt collection defense attorney plays an integral role in court proceedings.

A collections defense attorney will assert all viable defenses, file the appropriate motions, and negotiate with creditors.

In the majority of cases, customers with an experienced collection defense lawyer will have a better outcome, such as winning their case.

Conclusion

If a creditor is suing you for any amount of money, contact Diwan Law, the credit card defense attorney, to discuss your legal options. Call Diwan Law, 404-635-6883, for a free consultation.

About Diwan Law

Diwan Law is passionate about getting our clients the best result possible.

Diwan Law handles debt collection cases in the Magistrate, State, and Superior Courts of Georgia.

Diwan Law represents clients facing:

  • Debt buyer lawsuits (i.e. Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery Associates, Asset Acceptance, Cavalry Portfolio Services, Unifund, etc.);
  • Credit Card lawsuits (i.e. American Express, Citibank, Suntrust, etc.);
  • Suits stemming from automobile repossession deficiencies, apartment leases, and other contract-related matters;
  • Dormant judgment revival; and
  • Garnishment actions on bank accounts or wages.