For most consumers, choosing between credit repair lawyers and a credit repair service seems like too much work, especially when working with a reputable credit repair company is usually enough to help improve their credit scores. However, lawyers provide essential services to consumers who have had their rights violated by creditors and credit reporting companies.
For this week’s Fact Check, we look at what credit repair attorneys have to offer in comparison to credit repair companies, and what you should look for in choosing your own specialist lawyer to represent your case.
Credit Repair Lawyers: Do I Need One?
Myth: Credit repair companies and credit repair lawyers are interchangeable. Both offer the same services and benefits.
Fact: The biggest benefit to expert lawyers is that they can help you to recover money that you are owed as a result of violations in consumer law.
For example, if a debt collector threatens to sue you or garnish your wages as a scare tactic (or threatens to garnish wages in a state where that isn’t allowed) you could be owed monetary damages, if you sue the debt collector.
Lawyers help you to understand your rights in these instances, and can help you to build your case against unscrupulous debt collectors. Furthermore, they will often represent you in court “on contingency” – meaning that they don’t get paid unless they are able to recover money on your behalf.
Do They Really Make a Difference?
Myth: You don’t need a lawyer to recover damages for violations to your consumer rights. It’s easy to sue and win.
Fact: Lawyers are experts in consumer law and in the inner workings of the court system. Unless you’ve spent a lot of time in litigation before, it’s best to have a lawyer to represent you.
Consumer laws are there for your protection, and there are consequences to debt collectors and credit reporting agencies if they don’t abide by those laws. However, most consumers aren’t aware of the nuances of those laws or what is required to provide proof of a violation.
Lawyers can help to clear up any misconceptions you might have. They’ll also be able to tell you exactly what you need to do in order to be able to prove your case in a court of law. Unscrupulous debt collectors will likely have no problem lying in court – and without proof it will just be your word against theirs.
However, most debt collection agencies don’t want to go up against professional credit repair lawyer and may decide to settle. Even if they don’t, if your case is solid, you can expect to recover damages as well as attorney’s fees, so you don’t need to worry about payment.
How Do I Choose?
Myth: Any lawyer can handle a case involving consumer credit law violations. There are only a few laws on the books about consumer protection, so I don’t really need a specialist.
Fact: No matter what kind of legal issue you face, it’s always better to have someone who specializes in that area, and consumer law is no exception.
Having a lawyer means not only having a specialist that understands consumer law as well as the precedent for how the laws have been applied in the past is essential. Even if only one or two laws apply to your case, lawyers will be able to tell you how courts have ruled in the past, what types of evidence are most likely to be accepted, and what you can expect in the court itself.
Choosing the right credit repair lawyer means finding one who:
- Specializes in consumer law only
- Is licensed to practice in your state
- Has a reputation for successful case outcomes
- Can offer to represent you on contingency
- Keeps abreast of the latest changes in consumer credit laws
By putting together the right combination of skill, affordability and experience, you will have a better opportunity to recover monetary damages when debt collectors don’t abide by the rules. Credit repair lawyers, like Lexington Law Firm, may offer similar services to credit repair companies in some ways, but when it comes to litigation and recovering money you are owed, the difference is clear – lawyers are necessary and needed for your own protection.
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