National Collegiate Trust can best be characterized as a lawsuit machine engaging in some highly shady practices and filing thousands of lawsuits each year against holders of private student loans. That they’ve had a lot of those suits dismissed is no deterrent, they just keep going. If you have a private student loan and have heard from them, it’s pretty easy to panic. They threaten and bluster, trying to get you to rush into giving them money and putting yourself on the hook. Some of their collectors may even violate the FDCPA by threatening you with arrest or other actions.
It’s very important that you remain calm, and document your interactions with them, keeping track of phone numbers, who you speak with, and what they say.
Here are the three things you need to do if you are being sued by National Collegiate Trust or if you have been served by them.
- Respond! The worst thing you can do is ignore them. If you ignore them or think it will blow over if you don’t respond, it’s only going to end up with something called a default judgement. That means that you didn’t respond or show up, so the judge made a finding for NCT’s claim, since you didn’t contest it. Judgments can be “good” for 20 years, and can even be revived for another ten years after that.
- Make them produce proof. This is important, and it’s one of the best ways to beat them. In order to have standing to bring the suit, NCT must produce proof that they own the debt and prove the amount of the debt. Without that, they have no standing to bring the suit. Court after court has upheld this. Courts typically do not ask companies to do this, though it would cut down on a lot of clutter on the docket if they did request proof of standing at filing.
- Statute of limitations. In Florida, the statute of limitations to collect a debt is five years unless the holder of that debt has obtained a judgement. Full stop. So, if your debt is older than five years, it’s possible to get it dismissed. One thing you must not so is to make a payment on that debt if the statute of limitations is up – making a payment resets the clock on the debt, and you are then liable again.
Finally, get some sound legal advice.
National Collegiate Trust and their minions count on a lot of people not having adequate access to legal representation in civil court. There are no public defenders for civil suits as there are in criminal cases. We can help, starting with a free initial consultation to help you get a handle on what’s coming at you, and to help us to understand your unique situation. We have offices in West Palm Beach and in Fort Lauderdale, so give us a call and set one of today!