There has been a growing trend with the collection agencies towards filing their credit card lawsuits at the local magistrate or district justice. My belief is that this is a cost savings measure on their part. Statistics show that approximately 85% of the people who are sued by collection agencies on credit card debt do not defend themselves. The cost savings for the collection agencies works like this: At the DJ level, there is no hearing unless the defendant notifies the court that they intend to defend the case and would like a hearing. In other words, if the plaintiff (collection agency) files a lawsuit at the local DJ, and the defendant fails to respond, then the DJ automatically enters judgment against the Defendant, without even having a hearing. The plaintiff company does not need to send a representative/attorney to court in this instance.
Our best advise, obviously, is to have a consumer attorney representing your interests even at the district justice level, whether its our firm or another firm. As we have mentioned in previous posts, collection agencies are rarely prepared to do battle at the district justice level and our chances of success are extremely high. If you are facing a collection agency or credit card lawsuit, please contact our office at 412-823-8003 or 1-888-536-6644 for a free case review.