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Personal Loans (Debt Defense)

Personal Loan Debt Defense Attorney in Washington

If you’re drowning in debt, paying your bills might not be the only thing on your mind. You may be subjected to harassing phone calls from collection agencies or even litigation that jeopardize your property ownership and wages. Agencies may take you to court in some situations for debts that are no longer valid—or debts that were never yours to pay.

There are several debt collecting practices that are illegal under the law. You have rights that should be safeguarded if you are being harassed by a creditor or debt collector. You may even be able to file a lawsuit against the debt collector or collection agency for harassing you. The objective may be to have collection efforts dropped altogether or to have the amount due lowered in order to reach a settlement.

We will explain your rights as a borrower and establish if collection agencies have violated those rights at Northwest Debt Defense Law Firm. Our professional personal loan debt defense attorneys in Oregon & Washington have a track record of successfully defending clients and making affirmative claims against creditors, lenders, and debt collectors who have breached consumer protection laws.  

Don’t wait until the last minute to take action. Avoid a default judgment and stop collection efforts by taking a step forward today!

Why Do You Need a Personal Loan Debt Defense Attorney in Washington?

personal loan debt defense attorneyOur skilled personal loan debt defense attorney will take legal action to safeguard your rights if you are being sued by your credit card company or a collection agency. We make sure that when your credit card company or financing firm collects debts, they obey the law and that the amounts they charge are not exaggerated or underestimated.

We will stay by your side and fight for the best possible outcome without putting you through the stress of a lawsuit or dealing with the creditor’s lawyers.

Debt Validation

Debt collectors must go through a procedure known as “debt validation” to get the ability to conduct a collection effort. Our personal loan debt defense attorney can ensure that creditors follow the law by validating the debt appropriately.

When we see that a collection agency or creditor is not following the law to the letter, we challenge their unethical collection practices.

Our knowledgeable personal loan debt defense attorney ensures that third-party debt collectors respect the law and follow the proper procedure while collecting on a debt. The creditor may be unable to collect on the debt if the validation and collection process were not followed correctly, and they may be subject to fines.

Limits to Contacting Debtors

The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) restricts the debt collector’s ability to contact the debtor in certain ways. They have limitations on how frequently they may contact the debtor and what they can say during the conversation. Illegal debt collecting techniques include the following.

  • Calling you too early in the morning or too late in the evening
  • Falsely claiming that you will be arrested
  • Making harassment such as using obscene or profane language
  • Constantly calling you
  • Impersonating as attorneys or government representatives
  • Misrepresenting the amount of debt that you owe

When debt collectors overstep their bounds in how they communicate with you, they may be held accountable for the harm they create. If creditors have used threats and intimidation to collect illegally, the amount owing might be reduced or eliminated, as well as extra damages.

Dealing With a Lawsuit From a Debt Collector or Creditor 

Even if you believe the lawsuit is bogus, you must reply to a creditor or debt collector’s lawsuit. If you don’t respond to the claims, the collector may be able to collect your debt by seizing your bank accounts, garnishing your income (in most states), placing a lien on your house, collecting attorney’s fees, and court expenses, and collecting interest.

To avoid additional controversy, you should reply with an answer if you feel the lawsuit they have filed is wrong. Our experienced personal loan debt defense attorney can help you draft these responses and ensure that your rights are safeguarded throughout the case.

Even if you owe the obligation, you are not required to pay the entire amount owing. Our personal loan debt defense attorney has vast expertise in negotiating with credit card companies and other creditors’ lawyers.

If you need more time to pay a debt and can only afford tiny monthly payments, we’ll be able to find you the best terms and payments for your situation.

Don’t wait until the last minute to take action. Avoid a default judgment and stop collection efforts by taking a step forward today!

What Can Creditors Do If You Don’t Pay?

To begin, understand that you cannot be imprisoned for not paying your debts (except for back child support, if you could pay but don’t). And unless you owe back taxes or have defaulted on a student loan, a creditor can’t immediately remove money from your bank account or seize your tax return.

Most commercial creditors must first sue you and get a money judgment (a court award) against you to collect a debt. However, there is an important exemption to this rule: if the debt is secured by collateral, creditors do not have to sue first.

Debts and creditors come into several legal categories, which means that some of your creditors have more collection rights and a greater capacity to harm you and your business than others. Secured and unsecured debts and creditors are the two basic types of debts and creditors.

Secured Debts

Many businesses have secured debts—companies often put up collateral for credit lines, and company owners sometimes put up personal property as collateral for business debts.


If you miss a couple of payments on your car loan, and the loan was used to buy the car and is secured by the car, the lender has the legal authority to physically seize and sell the car to recoup the money you owe, plus selling expenses and attorney’s fees.

The lender does not need authorization or a court order to do this. A repo guy can simply retrieve the lender’s property under the terms of the contract. In many places, the lender is not required to notify you of the repossession; you will just wake up to find your car has been taken away. When it’s all said and done, you’ll still owe the “deficiency,” or the difference between what the lender sells the automobile for and what you owe on loan.

Also, some department store credit cards immediately grant the creditor a security interest in the goods you purchase. If you don’t pay the bill, the creditor may try to reclaim the merchandise. Repossession of property other than automobiles is uncommon since creditors must get a court order to access your home or company.

Similarly, if you miss a lease payment on leased vehicles or commercial equipment, the leased item may normally be recovered without a court order.


If you have a mortgage, a deed of trust, or an open home equity line of credit on your property, you must make timely payments to preserve it. If you don’t, your lender has the option of foreclosing on your home, which is security for your debt.

However, foreclosures take longer than car repossessions. In half of the states, a lender must go to court before foreclosing, whereas in the other half, the lender must give advance notice. Similarly, if you put your house up as collateral for a business loan or line of credit and default on loan, the lender has the right to foreclose on your home. The lender must always file a foreclosure action in court in this case, regardless of which state you live in.

To keep the lender from foreclosing, you must either refund the debt or, if the debt exceeds your equity in the home, pay the lender the difference so that the lender no longer has a motive to foreclose.

In different states, the foreclosure process operates differently. To foreclose on a home in some states, the lender must file a lawsuit (called judicial foreclosure). In some cases, it can foreclose on the property without going to court (nonjudicial foreclosure). A judicial foreclosure takes far longer than a nonjudicial foreclosure.

Unsecured Debts

Unsecured creditors, such as credit card companies and most trade creditors, must first sue you and get a money judgment before they may take your money and property. This is true whether you are personally accountable for the debt, as sole owners and partners are because you signed a personal guarantee for your business or LLC, or if the obligation is solely owed by your corporation or LLC.

Before considering a lawsuit, however, a creditor would usually try to collect the debt for several months before handing it over to a collection attorney or agency, who will continue the process. In certain cases, the creditor will decide not to sue since you don’t have enough property that can be easily taken to pay off the judgment.

Your creditors, or any collection attorney or agency to whom your debt has been assigned, may not sue you if they believe they will not be able to collect the money judgment. That’s what it means to be “judgment proof.”

Instead, your creditor may simply write off your debt as a tax-deductible business loss. The debt will usually become legally uncollectible after five or six years, depending on your state’s statute of limitations.

How a Creditor Must Collect a Judgment?

It’s more difficult to collect a judgment than it is to win one. If a creditor has gone to court and received a judgment against you for the collection of unsecured debt, the creditor (now referred to as a judgment creditor) might theoretically seize any cash in your firm’s bank account, as well as your business revenue and assets, to pay off the obligation.

Sole proprietor or partner

If you’re a sole proprietor or partner, or if you provided a personal guarantee for a debt, the judgment creditor may garnish your earnings, confiscate money from your personal bank account, and seize your nonexempt personal property to pay off the obligation. To seize money or property, however, the creditor must first find it, then obtain a court order and pay the sheriff to seize it.

The most frequent way of the collection is for a creditor to seek a writ of garnishment, which allows a sheriff to take 25% of your salary to pay the debt. However, if you are a self-employed business owner without a side job, garnishing your earnings will be difficult because you do not receive a paycheck (unless you work for your company).

If you live in a community property state like Washington, however, your spouse’s salary might be garnished to pay your company obligations if your spouse is listed in the court decision.


If your business offers goods or services for cash, having the sheriff come to your location and take whatever money he can find—in the cash register (called a “till tap”) or on your person—is often a more successful collection strategy.

Alternatively, a sheriff may be empowered to seize business cars, equipment, or trade instruments to satisfy your obligations, but this will only happen if the goods are worth more than you owe. It’s also conceivable that the creditor will have a court order that your larger customers and clients pay any money owed to you straight to the court.

Most creditors, on the other hand, will not go to such measures to obtain your property. Instead, if you are personally accountable for the debt, many will simply attach a “judgment lien” to any real estate or assets owned by the firm, as well as any valuable personal property or real estate owned by you. When you sell or refinance the property, the lien will allow the creditor to collect the loan.

What is Debt Defense?

The procedure by which Northwest Debt Defense Law Firm defends a debtor who has been sued by a credit card company or a junk debt buyer is known as debt defense. A debtor will be served with a lawsuit at their home if they are sued by a debt collection agency or a credit card company. 

Served implies a process server will come to your home and leave the lawsuit with you, your spouse, or someone else who lives there. If you’ve been served, please call our experienced personal loan debt defense attorney as soon as possible so that we can help.

What If You Do Nothing When You Are Sued?

When a debtor gets sued, the worst error they can do is to do nothing. By doing nothing, the debtor allows the credit card company or junk debt buyer to win by default, and they risk losing their capacity to raise viable debt defenses in court. When a matter remains inactive, it is far easier to settle or defend it than when a default judgment has been recorded against the debtor.

What Are the Common Defenses to Creditor Lawsuits?

Defense is a reason why the plaintiff’s case should not be successful. A defense is a reason why the plaintiff failed to prove its case or why you do not owe the money in a debt collection lawsuit. The plaintiff will lose and you will win if one of your defenses is effective.

You should briefly describe your defenses in your answer to alert the court to them. You can obtain the response form online, at the civil court clerk’s office, or by contacting our experienced personal loan debt defense attorney for help completing your own Pro Se Answer.

Improper Service

If you never got the summons and complaint at all, or if you did, but the mode of serving was incorrect, you might use the defense of improper service. Here are some common examples of incorrect service:

  • Leaving the summons with your neighbor, who lives in a different apartment.
  • Sending the summons to an old address where you no longer live.
  • Throwing the summons on the floor in the lobby of your apartment building.
  • Sending the summons to you by mail only.

If you want to get a case dismissed for improper service, there are a few things you have to do:

  • The first time you appear in court, you must raise the defense in your answer.
  • You must get a copy of the “affidavit of service” from your courthouse file. 
  • Within 60 days of submitting your answer, you must seek the court to dismiss the matter for lack of jurisdiction. 
  • A “traverse hearing” is a special hearing you must schedule and attend. The judge will hear from both parties during the traverse hearing to determine whether you were properly served. 
  • You’ll need to gather evidence for your traverse hearing as well. Witnesses or documents that support your allegation of improper service may be included in this proof.

The plaintiff might sue you again if your lawsuit is dismissed due to improper serving. You must determine whether a traverse hearing is worthwhile based on the circumstances of your case and the strength of your other defenses.

Identity Theft or Mistaken Identity

When you feel the debt for which you are being sued for is not your own, you can use these defenses. When someone steals your name and personal information and uses it to create credit accounts in your name, this is known as identity theft. When you’re mistaken for someone else with a similar name or other identifying information, it’s called mistaken identification.

Remember that the plaintiff has the burden of proving that you made or approved every charge. You are not required to demonstrate that the debt is not yours. If you’ve been the victim of identity theft or mistaken identification, never accept a settlement.

Statute of Limitations

A creditor’s ability to file a lawsuit against you is limited by a statute of limitations. The time restriction normally begins on the day of default, which is around 30 days after you last paid.

You Were Only an Authorized User

If you’re being sued for a card you shared with someone else, you might be able to use this defense. The distinction between a cosigner and an authorized user is crucial to the defense. You were an authorized user if another individual permitted you to use their card and you never committed to being liable for the card’s payment. You cannot be held liable for the credit card debt if you are an authorized user.

You are a cosigner if you signed a credit card agreement agreeing to be jointly liable for a credit card with someone else, and this defense does not apply to you. Even if none of the charges were yours, as a cosigner, you might be held liable for the debt.


You can raise the defense of payment if you have paid all or part of the debt and think you have not been recognized for it.

Dispute the Amount of the Debt

You have the right to contest the debt amount if you feel it is inaccurate. Keep in mind that it is the plaintiff’s responsibility to establish that you owe the amount for which you have been sued. The plaintiff must show that the principal, interest, collection charges, and lawyers’ fees are correct, agreed to in your contract, and charged properly.

To show the amount of the debt, you have the right to demand that the plaintiff produce your original contract, account statements, and even purchase receipts.

No Business Relationship With the Plaintiff

When the plaintiff is a debt buyer rather than your original creditor, you can use this argument. You have the right to oppose the debt buyer’s right to sue you (also known as “standing”) because you never signed a contract directly with the debt buyer. The plaintiff will not be able to win unless it can show the court that it is the rightful owner of your debt.

To do so, the debt buyer must present a contract of sale (also known as an “assignment”) that references your debt. If your debt was purchased from another debt buyer, the debt buyer must demonstrate a chain of assignments back to the original creditor. The court must dismiss the lawsuit if the debt buyer is unable or unwilling to furnish this documentation.


You do not owe the debt for which you are being sued if you previously declared bankruptcy and the debt was discharged as part of that bankruptcy procedure. In the case of debt collection litigation, bankruptcy is an absolute defense.

Collateral Was Not Sold at a Commercially Reasonable Price

This is a special defense that can be used in instances involving auto loans. When you default on a vehicle loan, the bank will normally seize and sell your car, often for a fraction of its original worth. If the selling profits do not pay the total vehicle loan, the bank may sue you for the remainder (known as the “deficiency”).

The bank, on the other hand, will not be able to prosecute you for a shortfall unless it can secure a fair price for the car (also known as a “commercially reasonable price”). The bank bears the burden of proving that it sold the automobile at a commercially acceptable price.

This is a very powerful argument that should be brought in every vehicle deficiency case since a bank seldom, if ever, receives a commercially acceptable price for the automobile.

What If No Defenses Are Available?

After you engage Northwest Debt Defense Law Firm and we analyze your case, we may tell you that you don’t have any debt defenses, but that doesn’t mean you should let the creditor prevail and obtain a judgment against you.

Even so, our experienced personal loan debt defense attorney will file an answer on your behalf and, if necessary, take the matter to mediation or negotiate a debt settlement with the creditor.

Get the Best Personal Loan Debt Defense Attorney in Washington

Unfortunately, many people wait until they are being hounded by debt collectors before seeking legal help. However, the regulations these agencies must follow are quite complicated, and our dedicated personal loan debt defense attorney works constantly to uncover infractions and guarantee that our clients get the results they deserve.

We may be able to recover compensation for court expenses and attorney’s fees, ruined credit, financial hardship, emotional anguish, and more by applying all consumer protection laws that apply to your case.

We will not hesitate to fight for your future in a court of law since Northwest Debt Defense Legal Firm is one of the few law firms that provides litigation services for debt-related situations.

In Need of Debt Defense? Call Us!

Facing a Debt Lawsuit? We Can Help!

Northwest Debt Defense Law Firm

650 NE Holladay St, Suite 1640
Portland, OR 97232, United States

NW Debt Defense Law Firm is a Debt Relief Agency. Where appropriate we file petitions for relief under the Bankruptcy Code solely for consumers in the District of Oregon. We represent both Oregon and Washington consumers in collections law suits in Oregon and Washington state courts.


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