Receiving a letter that mentions legal action can be unnerving. It is important not to jump to conclusions. Just because a letter threatens legal action does not mean the will initiate a law suit for certain. Collection letters are drafted to invoke fear in the debtor to get a reaction. Collection letters are typically form letters that go to tens of thousands of people using language to instill fear and intimidation. Before you get too nervous take some time to review the language on you letter based on the information below.
First, read the letter and statement about legal action carefully.
Look carefully for phrases like “we ‘may’ sue you”, or “we will consider will”, or “you will leave us no choice but to recommend to our client that law suit began”. The following statements are commonly used by collection firms:
- “We may consider legal action against you should we not receive your payment”
- “We intend to file a lawsuit against you if we do not receive payment in full by the end of the month”
The first statement is softer language than the second. It does not guarantee that the creditor will sue you. This type of phrase is usually a scare tactic.
The second statement is more direct and typically means that the creditor does intend to move forward with legal action. This type of language should be taken more seriously.
Lastly, if the letter is from a collection firm or a law firm that is not licensed on your state, the probability of suit is lower. However, it the law firm is licensed in your state or located in your state, the probability does increase, but still law suit may not be inevitable.
it is important to understand that if a creditor uses direct language indicating that they WILL sue you, it is a violation of the FDCPA to do so unless they intend to.
The information in this article is general information only and is not legal advice.
It is best to seek the advice of a licensed Attorney in your state should you have any question about this matter. UGotiate has access to a network of Attorneys in many states. Should you be interested, you can speak with a UGotiate representative at 1-800-215-2706.