We handle a lot of credit card defense lawsuits here at the Dellutri Law Group. In most cases, the debtor incurred the charges and simply can’t afford to pay them back within the creditor’s timeframe. When lawyers get involved, it’s easier to work out a realistic repayment plan, but in most cases, that’s the best-case scenario.
Sometimes the creditor screws something up big time though. Credit card lawsuits are based on a cardholder agreement that should have been provided to you before you got your credit card. Have you ever read it? Probably not. They’re usually long documents with small print that nobody cares to read.
However, as with any contract, the cardholder agreement has a number of provisions in it that directly impact your rights when and if you’re sued by the creditor, so it’s important to know what those provisions say. Most cardholder agreements are drafted by big national banks and credit card companies that are headquartered and/or incorporated in a different state. For the sake of uniformity, the same cardholder agreement is typically used in every state, and the agreement usually has a choice of law provision indicating that the law to be used in any lawsuit to enforce the agreement is the law of the state where the company is headquartered or incorporated.
You might be thinking, “So what? Who cares? I’m still getting sued!” But it’s actually quite important to determine what state’s law is in play because every state has a different statute of limitations when it comes to credit card lawsuits. A statute of limitations is a law that says how long you have to file a lawsuit for something.
If someone has sued you past the applicable statute of limitations, that lawsuit is time-barred, and that’s a defense that may easily win your case. If you open a credit card in Florida, chances are the cardholder agreement says that the laws of a different state apply. If you’re sued by a creditor or debt collector over credit card debt, the first thing you should do is take a look at the cardholder agreement to see what state’s law applies and then check to see what that state’s statute of limitations is for credit card debt.
You may be surprised to find out that you have been sued past the applicable statute, and that’s an excellent legal defense that’s tough to get around.