Have you received a notice that Suttell & Hammer, P.S. is suing you for an outstanding debt? Our Texas debt collection defense lawyers understand you may feel overwhelmed and uncertain about your next steps. However, you have legal options to resolve the lawsuit against you. Below, we discuss what to know about Suttell and Hammer and what to do if sued for debt collection lawsuit in Texas.
Is Suttell and Hammer Legit?
If you have never heard of Suttell & Hammer, P.S., you may think it is a scam. However, Suttell & Hammer, P.S. is a legitimate law firm. It practices creditors’ rights and consumer debt collection.
What Is Suttell & Hammer?
Suttell & Hammer, P.S. is a debt collection law firm. It represents a range of creditors and financial institutions in consumer debt recovery, which often includes filing lawsuits against consumers. It pursues debt collection on behalf of its clients in many states, including Texas.
Examples of the creditors that Suttell and Hammer represents in Texas include, but are not limited to:
- Barclays Bank Delaware
- Cavalry SPV I, LLC
- Discover Bank
- LVNV Funding, LLC
- Western Funding Incorporated
Does Suttell and Hammer Buy Debt?
Suttell & Hammer, P.C. is not a known debt buyer. A debt buyer purchases debt at a fraction of the value from creditors like banks and credit card companies. Then, a debt buyer attempts to collect the total value of the debt itself or hires law firms like Suttell & Hammer to do it. Rather than buy debt, Suttell and Hammer represents creditors and debt buyers in their efforts to collect outstanding debts.
Why Am I Being Sued by Suttell and Hammer?
You have not opened a credit card account or taken out a loan with Suttell & Hammer, so why is it claiming you owe it money? If Suttell & Hammer is suing you, it means that it has been hired by a creditor or debt buyer who believes you owe a debt.
For example, if you have outstanding debts on a credit card and have missed several payments, your creditor may hire Suttell Hammer to collect the debt. Suttell Hammer’s job is to recover the debt you allegedly owe. In its collection efforts, it may file a lawsuit against you to recover the money.
What Should I Expect With a Texas Debt Collection Lawsuit?
If Suttell & Hammer files a lawsuit against you, it must serve you with a summons and complaint. The summons is the official notice of the lawsuit. It provides information about who is suing you, which court the lawsuit was filed in, and how much time you have to respond.
The complaint outlines the specifics of the debt and why Suttell & Hammer’s client is suing you. It also details what it wants from the court, such as a judgment for a specific amount of money, attorney’s fees, and interest.
According to Suttell & Hammer’s website, its attorneys licensed in Texas are Rachel Flores and Ashley Smith. Therefore, you may see their names on the documents.
What to Do After a Suttell and Hammer Summons
When you are served with a lawsuit, you should not ignore it. It will not make it go away! Whether you believe you owe the debt or think it is a mistake, you should respond to the lawsuit.
Suttell and Hammer wants you to ignore the lawsuit so it can request a default judgment against you. A default judgment means the judge rules in Suttell & Hammer’s favor because you did not respond to the lawsuit or appear in court.
It is an easy win for the creditor to legally collect the debt, even if you do not owe it. With a default judgment, Suttell & Hammer could potentially garnish your bank accounts, put a lien on your property, or seize your personal property to repay the debts.
You typically have a limited time, generally 14 to 20 days, depending on the court, to file a written answer with the court. In your written response, you will admit or deny each of Suttell Hammer’s allegations against you.
It is also your chance to include any affirmative defenses or reasons the creditor should not win. Examples of affirmative defenses may include, but are not limited to:
- Statute of limitations on the debt has passed
- Debt was discharged in bankruptcy
- Debt was already paid
- Mistaken identity
- Identity theft
We recommend working with an experienced Texas debt collection defense lawyer to help you draft and file your response. A lawyer can ensure you do not make any procedural mistakes or miss your deadline. Additionally, an attorney can tailor your defense strategy based on the specifics of your case.
Should I Negotiate a Settlement With Suttell & Hammer?
Negotiating with Suttell and Hammer may be in your best interest, depending on your situation. For example, if it has a strong case against you, you may consider negotiating a settlement. Creditors often prefer settlements, too, to avoid the costs, time, and uncertainty of litigation.
Typically, a settlement agreement is structured in one of two ways: a lump-sum payment that satisfies the debt or a structured installment plan that breaks down the debt into manageable payments. We recommend working with an experienced Texas debt settlement attorney to negotiate on your behalf.
Our Texas debt settlement lawyers aim to help you get the best possible results for your situation. In many cases, we are able to negotiate a settlement that is less than the claimed amount of debt.
Schedule a Consultation With Our Texas Debt Collection Defense Lawyers Today
Defending yourself in a debt collection case, especially when you are up against a law firm with significant experience litigating these cases, is challenging. A skilled Texas debt defense attorney to advocate for you can make the difference in obtaining a favorable outcome for your case.
At Warren & Migliaccio, we have extensive experience and success defending individuals like you in debt collection cases. We can help you in all aspects of your case, from handling your lawsuit response, investigating Suttell Hammer’s case against you, defending you in court, or negotiating a settlement. Depending on your financial situation, we can also help you explore alternative debt resolution options like bankruptcy.
We welcome you to contact us about your Texas debt collection case. During a consultation, we can answer your questions, review the lawsuit against you, discuss your options for resolving it, and how we can help you.