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Collection Actions

Defending Consumers and Their Assets

The only treatise to detail consumer defenses to debt buyer and creditor collection lawsuits and garnishment involving credit card, medical, criminal justice, and other consumer debts.

How to Defend a Collection Lawsuit

  • Case selection, advising the client, and litigation strategy
  • Steps debt buyers need to prove debt ownership
  • When collectors cannot use the state’s courts
  • Common errors in the creditor’s complaint, attachments
  • Surprising ways to succeed with a statute of limitations defense
  • Countering creditor’s abusive use of requests for admissions
  • Limits on creditor attorney fees, collection fees, and pre- and post-judgment interest
  • Special defenses for military personnel
  • The consumer’s counterclaims and class counterclaims
  • Sample pleadings and discovery. See an example here.

Special Tactics for Special Types of Collections

  • Medical and nursing home debt: financial assistance; surprise out-of-network charges; special defenses; limits on credit reporting, refusal of medical care
  • Defending debt owed to the government
  • Minimizing criminal justice debt, harsh consequences of non-payment
  • Stopping unfair collection on dishonored checks
  • Special sections on rental debt, coerced debt by an abusive partner, and private student loan debt.

Steps to Take After Judgment for the Collector or Consumer

  • How to set aside a default judgment
  • Federal rule protecting Social Security, SSI in bank accounts
  • Avoiding wage garnishment, bank account freezes, seizure of homes and cars
  • State-by-state summaries of exemption laws and reprints of key federal exemption statutes and regulations
  • Debtor examinations and imprisonment for debt
  • Seven ways for consumers to obtain their attorney fees
  • Cleaning up the consumer’s credit report after the consumer prevails



"I use the NCLC books in my bankruptcy practice and to expand my practice in other areas... I have used the Collection Actions book to expand my practice into collection defense. In light of the change in bankruptcy law, I have been able to expand my practice to defend collection cases for debtors who if they filed bankruptcy would have been 100% plans. I have gotten better results for my clients that I would have in bankruptcy court and I avoided the bankruptcy on my clients record. Collection defense involves the same debt buyers and the same claims...” —Patrick Kavanagh, Law Offices of Patrick Kavanagh, Bakersfield, CA

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2024 6th ed.

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