Do you have a credit line of any kind, including a home, auto, or student
loan? What about a credit card? Odds are you have one of these things
so you have a credit history, and it’s also highly likely that you
are not fully aware of your rights as a consumer that you are legally
granted when you take out one of these loans. Lenders are forbidden from
certain practices when it comes to debt collection, but that doesn’t
stop those who wish to target consumers from preying on them and making
money back through unjustified lawsuits, bank account freezes, and more.
One recent example is the case of Joseph Onwuteaka, and his small firm
on the edge of Sharpstown, Texas, called Samara Portfolio Management.
Onwuteaka specializes in buying debt from loan companies and retailers
for pennies on the dollar, and then forcing lawsuits through courts to
freeze bank accounts, harass consumers, and more in an attempt to collect
the money. But here’s the catch: in many cases the lawsuits are
filed in courts which have no jurisdiction over the consumers.
Onwuteaka files more than half of his lawsuits in a Harris County court,
but laws in Texas require debt collection lawsuits to be filed either
in the court where the consumer lives or where the loan was initially
taken out. While not all of the suits are in this court, most of them
are in courts where he can gain an “unfair advantage” over
consumers, making it a difficult burden for them to travel to defend themselves
against the suit. In some cases, those facing the suit must travel 200
miles or more to attend their hearing. As a result, debt collectors usually
win the hearing, and are authorized to use tactics such as bank account
seizure, harassing calls, and other debt collection practices. Consumers
are forced to pay debts they can’t afford as a result of a lawsuit
that should never have been allowed to pass.
The issue of the lawsuit being filed in the wrong court must be raised
by one of the parties, or in this case, the consumer, since Onwuteaka
is more than happy to use the court he files the suit in. Doing so involves
submitted a notarized request, but if a judgment has already been issued
then it’s too late.
The loans that are the most vulnerable to this type of fraud are short-term,
high-interest loans, such as payday loans and store credit cards.
Know Your Rights
If you have been served notice of a debt collection lawsuit being issued
against you, you only have a limited amount of time to respond. This means
it is crucial that you speak with a Chicago consumer attorney as soon
as possible. Having a lawyer on your side can ensure your rights are protected
and that you don’t fall victim to these aggressive and sometimes
Sulaiman Law Group, Ltd, we are a dedicated and compassionate team who has your best interest
at heart. We understand how stressful and overwhelming calls from debt
collectors can be, and we know how difficult it can be to fight back against
them. When you trust your case to our firm, we use our aggressive and
tireless method of representation to help you achieve the best possible
outcome to your case, and we won’t settle until we’ve helped
you stop the harassment and your rights have been maintained. If you have
been the victim of harassment, you may also be eligible to receive compensation.
Our team is standing by and ready to help you with your case!
Call Sulaiman Law Group, Ltd today by dialing 312.313.1613 to request a case evaluation.