Is Jefferson Capital Systems Suing You? 5 Simple Things You Can Do Today

Have you recently gotten a letter from PO Box 1120 Charlotte NC 28201 and wondered who is contacting you in an unmarked envelope? You are not alone. In fact, there are an estimated 22,200 Google searches per month for Jefferson Capital Systems, a debt collection agency. The purpose of this article is to cover the following what you can do whether or not you are facing a Jefferson Capital Systems lawsuits.

Will Jefferson Capital Garnish Your Wages And How Much Will They Take?

One thing to consider is whether Jefferson Capital may take you to court for the unpaid debt, seek a judgement, and then garnish your wage. How much will they garnish your wages? Feel free to take Ascend Finance's wage garnishment calculator to estimate the amount.

What is Jefferson Capital and Why Do They Contact You From PO Box 1120 Charlotte NC?

Jefferson Capital Systems is a debt collection agency that was founded in 2002. The company is located in St. Cloud Minnesota, so why does it send unmarked mailers from PO Box 1120 Charlotte NC 28201?

It might be because the company doesn't think you will open correspondence from a debt collector. 

Is Jefferson Capital Systems Legitimate?

Jefferson Capital Systems has an accredited A- Rating on BBB, and the agency specializes in collecting on unpaid debt. That said, it has a 1.39 rating based on 5 rating.

That said, on Google, Jefferson has a 1.6 rating based on 400 reviews.

How To Resolve Debt With Jefferson Capital Systems (When You Haven’t Been Sued Yet)

Many collection agencies begin with calls, letters, and potentially emails and texting before they will sue you. A lawsuit can be a costly endeavor, and it can also cause additional stress to you when you are probably already feeling strapped.

So, let’s say you just got your first letter from Jefferson Capital Systems stating that the original creditor just handed over the account to them. 

1. Understand How Debt Collection Agencies Like Jefferson Capital Systems May Work

Debt collection agencies such as Jefferson Capital Systems have made a business out of collecting debt for lenders and creditors. They typically purchase debt or collection on debt from original creditors such as CitiBank or Lending Club in a variety of ways. 

There are multiple ways they make money from doing this. 

  1. Jefferson Capital Systems can either buy the debt at a reduced cost, so any payment they get on that debt can go straight to them
  2. Jefferson Capital Systems can make an agreement with a creditor that they will handle the collection efforts as long as they get a percentage of the debt that is repaid. 

However they decide to do it, debt collection agencies can be vicious, and they do whatever they can to make as much as they can. Here’s their process:

  1. They buy debt or work for the original creditor: As explained above, debt collection agencies typically aren’t the ones lending out money. Their sole purpose is to collect debt payments. There are two main ways they do this. First, they buy debt. A lot of creditors and lenders don’t do their own collections. They may give it a solid effort for a couple of months, but after that, they may sell their debt. The debt is usually sold at a discount. The collection agency then owns the debt and can keep everything they collect. The other option is working with the creditor. A creditor may partner with a collector and promise the collector a percentage of the debt payment collected as compensation for collecting.
  2. They begin pursuing the debtor: Once the collection agency either owns the debt or is promised a percentage of the debt collected, they will begin to pursue the debtor. There are multiple ways this can occur, but the typical tactics seen are daily phone calls, letters, and other forms of communication. All debt collection agencies are supposed to operate within the boundaries outlined in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). If they are not, make sure to document this. 
  3. They file a lawsuit if no progress is made: If the agency has been contacting you for a while (sometimes this is only 30 days, sometimes this is months), they may decide to file a lawsuit against you. This is typically done to either force you to respond so they can move forward with a payment plan, or sue you for the entirety of the debt. 

All debt collection agencies are different. So, there are many Youtube videos that cover how to help you resolve debt with them. If you are interested to see how others have interacted with Jefferson Capital Systems, feel free to check out this YouTube video on Jefferson Capital Systems.

2. Know What Jefferson Capital Systems Can and Cannot Do under FDCPA

You have rights.

Let me reassure you that you do have rights thanks to the FDCPA. Let’s discuss those.

As mentioned above, it's critical for you to know what debt collection agencies can and cannot do to you while pursuing you for debt repayment. For instance, if is in possession of your debt, and they are trying to contact you, there are certain standards they have to workaround. 

  1. Jefferson Capital Systems cannot contact you at unreasonable hours, before 8 A.M. and after 9 P.M. 
  2. Jefferson Capital Systems cannot threaten you, lie to you, or try to hide who they are when speaking to you. 
  3. If you ask Jefferson Capital Systems to not call you while you are at work, they can no longer attempt to contact you while you are at work. 
  4. Jefferson Capital Systems also cannot send out notices of your debt delinquency to third parties or try to get information from third parties more than once. 

In short, the FDCPA was created to help protect you from unfair and harmful debt collection practices. Make sure you are aware of your rights and don’t be afraid to point out and document when a collections agent is acting outside of those rights.

3. Learn About Debt Validation with Jefferson Capital Systems

Within five days of their initial contact, Jefferson Capital Systems is supposed to send you a validation of debt letter that shows the debt that you owe, who you owe it to (the creditor), and should also have information on how you can dispute the debt. 

After this letter is received, you have 30 days to dispute the debt. If, for whatever reason, you feel the debt being collected on is inaccurate, be sure to file a dispute as soon as possible. Once you file a dispute, all collection efforts are supposed to stop until the dispute is resolved. 

One of two things will happen at this point. 

  1. One is that they will come up with the documentation they need to prove that you owe the debt and that the amount listed is correct. At this time, they will continue collection efforts. 
  2. On the other hand, the second option is that they will be unable to provide proof of your debt and what is owed, at which time, they will stop pursuing you. 

Here is a link to a template letter of debt validation. Feel free to use this to help you draft your own letter.

4. Understand Statute of Limitations

If you are being pursued for an old debt, make sure you look at the statute of limitations for your area. 

In most places, Jefferson Capital Systems cannot take legal actions against you for a debt you owe after a certain period of time. This changes from state to state, but it's important to keep track of those dates. 

The time period that is looked at for statute of limitations is from the day that you stopped being active on your payments (so the day after the last payment you made on the debt), to the day that legal action is taken. 

There are four different categories of debt, and each can have a different statute of limitation. The four categories are: 

  1. Oral Agreements
  2. Written Contracts
  3. Promissory Notes
  4. Open-Ended Agreements

Depending on what type of debt you owe, the statute of limitation may be longer or shorter. If you are being pursued for debt repayment, make sure to consider how close to the end of your statute of limitation you are before making a payment. You can also work with an attorney to see if they can give you any legal advice. 

5. Know How to Stop Jefferson Capital Systems Calls, Text, Phone, Letters, and Emails

Living with a constant bombardment of calls, texts, emails, letters, and more from Jefferson Capital Systems can be overwhelming, especially when this is all added on top of your pile of debt. 

Here are some things to be aware of:

  1. You can demand that the c no longer contact you, but, even if they do stop contacting you, this doesn’t mean that they will no longer try to collect. The agency may still file a lawsuit against you, at which time the court will be calling you, not the collections agency. You can send this in writing or you may be able to tell them verbally. See an example: My name is Jane Doe under account number XXXXXX. Please do not call, text, email, or send letters again to me. These are my rights under the FDCPA.
  2. If you are being harassed in ways beyond what is allowed in the FDCPA, filing a lawsuit against the collection agency will stop any more contact until the lawsuit is complete. Make sure you are keeping a record of every encounter you have with a debt collector to help solidify your case if you think they may be harassing you. Similarly, you can dispute the debt, at which time the agency will have to pause on collection efforts until the debt is validated. 
  3. You have the option to tell the Jefferson Capital Systems that you are unable to pay them. This may not stop them from calling, but if they think you aren’t able to pay, there may be less frequent in their attempts to pin you down. You may speak in a way that does not admit to the debt, as this can be used against you if they decide to sue. Simply state that you are unable to pay the amount that they are asking for. Let them know of any financial hardships that may be preventing you from being able to pay. At the very least, this may cause the Jefferson Capital Systems to focus on other consumers for the time being before returning back to you.

How To Handle a Jefferson Capital Systems Debt Collection Lawsuit

Next, let’s cover your options when you face a debt collection lawsuit with Jefferson Capital Systems.

This section will be broken down into 2 sections:

  1. You owe the debt and the debt is yours
  2. You do not owe this debt and the debt is NOT your

Debt collection can happen in a progressively aggressive way. Typically, this begins with phone calls that happen frequently, but it can grow to in-person collection requests, wage garnishments, and can end in a lawsuit.

If it gets to this point, you may be feeling overwhelmed. Once legal action is taken, something will have to happen. In this part of the article, we will try to answer all of the questions you may have about getting sued for your unpaid debt from Jefferson Capital Systems. 

We will look at how you can respond, what you should expect, and what your options are. 

How to Respond to a Debt Collection Lawsuit with Jefferson Capital Systems

When you are served with your lawsuit from Jefferson Capital Systems, there are a few different ways you can respond, but your options change based on your situation. Your response can differ based on variables such as whether or not the entirety of the debt is yours, how delinquent you are on it, and whether or not you are able to pay back the debt. 

The important thing is, though, that you respond in some way. A lot of times, debt collection agencies will file lawsuits hoping that you won’t respond. This is because, if you don’t respond, the court can make a default judgment on your case, and the Jefferson Capital Systems may be able to move forward with wage garnishments, liens on your property, and holds on your bank accounts. 

So, regardless of how you plan to respond, just make sure you do. A timeline may look as follows:

  1. You receive a court summons explaining the lawsuit filed against you.
  2. Talk to an attorney. Getting legal help and representation can make all the difference when you are facing a lawsuit.
  3. You typically have a certain number of days to respond to the summons. We will cover the options for responding in a second. However you decide to respond, make sure that you do so within the time frame.
  4. Once you respond, the court will review your Answer, and depending on your response, appropriate action will be taken.

Let’s take a look at some of your response options.

Is It Your Debt? Understand Your Debt Resolution Options with Jefferson Capital Systems

If the debt with Jefferson Capital Systems is correctly attributed to you, and you really do owe the debt, then the process will look slightly different. Because you do owe the debt, you won’t necessarily be able to have the lawsuit fully dismissed without any form of payment, but there are some things you can try. 

Your response

When you are served with a lawsuit because of your delinquent debt, one of the most important things you need to do is respond. 

As mentioned earlier, not responding can lead to a default judgment against you, meaning they assume that you are admitting to the debt, and the collection agency can begin garnishing your wages, freezing your bank accounts, and putting liens on your property.

 In most cases, your response is expected within a time frame after being served. You will want to check your area’s regulations to find exactly how long you have to respond. 

There are three ways that you can respond to the lawsuit:

  1. Admit: This response simply admits that you owe the debt that is being collected on. Be wary when selecting this as your response. This may take away some of the defense that you have if you are hoping to dispute or settle the claim. Also, make sure you are fully aware of the entire picture. If you know that you owe the debt to Jefferson Capital Systems, but you aren’t entirely sure what the total amount is, or what company the debt has been given to, you may want to pick the last option in this list, which we will cover in just a second. 
  2. Deny: If you are positive that the debt isn’t yours, or is mistakenly attributed to you, you can deny the debt. There will be more paperwork that you will turn in with your response (referred to as your Answer) in which you can outline why you are denying your debt. There are many reasons why you can deny your debt aside from it not being yours. These reasons include:    
  3. A previously canceled contract 
  4. An expired statute of limitations (typically six years in a debt collections case)
  5. You have already paid the debt
  6. You are making consistent payments on the debt 
  7. You cosigned without being informed of the rights and responsibilities of cosigning. 

If any of these apply to your case, you can Answer with denial and an explanation of why you were denied. 

  1. Lack of Knowledge: If you know that you owe some kind of debt to Jefferson Capital Systems, but you aren’t sure if they are suing for the right amount or whether or not you can have the debt dismissed, you can respond with “lack of knowledge.” All this means is that you need a more in-depth report on the lawsuit and the debt contained within the lawsuit before finalizing your response. The Answer that you provide can and will be used in court, so it is important that you have all the information you can before giving a final response. Whether you need to better understand the full extent of what you owe, or you are confused by who is suing you, responding with a lack of knowledge ensures you get the answers you need. 

Other Options

You do have some other options that you could look into if you are being sued for a debt that you owe. 

These could either help get rid of some of the debt, extend the amount of time the process takes — potentially giving you more time to pay off the debt, and it could mean that the lawsuit goes away entirely. Take a look at some of the options below:

  • Challenge the company’s right to sue: Jefferson Capital Systems wants to collect the debt from you. If the debt has changed hands multiple times, there are cases where the company may no longer be in possession of the debt, and therefore cannot collect from you. The agency must provide proof that a credit agreement was signed by you, and proof that they rightfully own your debt (a chain of custody that shows the debt did in fact come from the original creditor). A judge will almost always back your request for this proof. If the agency cannot provide this proof, it is likely that the judge will dismiss the case.
  • Lean on the burden of proof: The plaintiff, or the person suing you, is responsible to prove that you do in fact owe the debt and that you have not yet paid it off. Asking for detailed documentation of the amount that you owe is a viable option when you are sued. When debt changes hands as often as it does, the documentation can get lost in the process. If the agency isn’t able to show you an itemized list accounting for everything they are suing you for, along with the proof, the case may be dismissed, or lead to a settlement at a much lower cost. 
  • Consider the statutes of limitations: There is a statute of limitations that collection agencies have to abide by. Typically, this limitation is between 4-6 years after the last day you were actively paying on the account. If more than 4-6 years has passed since you last paid on your debt, look into the statute of limitations to see if you could have the case dismissed for expiring. You may also want to consider this before making even the smallest payment towards the debt. If you are only a few months out from the statute of limitations, collection agencies may press hard on you to make even a small payment, which will reset your time of being delinquent. If you are at this point, talk to legal counsel before making any payments.
  • File a countersuit: Has the debt collection agency been bugging you for hours on end at unreasonable times of night? Have they been sitting at your door, demanding payments and harassing your family? You may have a legal ground to file a countersuit. Make sure you document the malpractice from the collections agency, and then you can get your own lawsuit together, preferably with the help of legal counsel. This could cause the agency to drop the lawsuit, or, depending on how much you owe and how egregious the agency was, you could end up on top, getting paid for their harassment. 
  • File for bankruptcy: If you are at your wit's end, you don’t have a way to get the case dismissed, but you don’t have a way to pay for the debt, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. When you file for bankruptcy, all cases and collections against you are halted until the bankruptcy hearing is either dismissed or discharged. Bankruptcy has large and long-lasting ramifications, but it could help you reset your financial situation, giving you the ability to rebuild from a clean slate. 

Is it NOT your debt? Understand How to Dispute Your Debt

If you have been served papers from Jefferson Capital Systems that outline debt you supposedly owe, but you have not ever taken out the debt they are suing for, you will want to respond quickly. 

There are many reasons you may have debt under your name that shouldn’t be. If someone fraudulently opened an account under your name, the debt was inaccurately attributed to you, or you paid off the debt, but the payment was not rendered to the account are all reasons that you may have a debt lawsuit that erroneously demands repayment from you. 

When this happens, you will have to help prove that the debt is not yours.

Watch out for scams

Before you begin this process, try to verify that the lawsuit is legitimate, and not a scam. FTC has a clear guide for fake debt collection agencies that is good to review.

Some scammers will send out notices that claim to be debt collection agencies and threaten to file a lawsuit if you don’t make a payment within a certain amount of time. A legitimate company should have full contact information, should be able to provide you with the origin and correct amount of the debt, and should be able to tell you the debt’s history (i.e. what company initially held the debt, when it was sold to the company, and how much interest the debt has accrued over time. If you are certain that you don’t owe debt anywhere, but you received a letter threatening a lawsuit, make sure that the letter is legitimate with a little bit of deeper investigation. If it is real, continue with the following steps.

Dispute the claim

While, theoretically, the burden of proof lies on the agency that is suing you, you will want to play an active role in proving the debt isn’t yours. Also, keep in mind that, oftentimes, creditors will sell off their debt so that they are no longer responsible for collecting on it. Just because you have debt collection notices from a company you don’t recognize doesn't mean that you don’t owe that debt. Make sure you understand who owns your debt before deciding to ignore collection notices.

If you truly have no connection to the debt that is being collected, you may want to dispute the debt. 

Disputing the debt forces Jefferson Capital Systems to produce documentation proving that you are the person that owes the debt. While this is happening, collection efforts have to cease until documentation is produced. 

You can send the dispute via physical mail, but make sure it is sent through a certified mail carrier (not just hand-delivered) so that the postage is time and date stamped, which could later be necessary to help prove you responded in an appropriate time frame.

If Jefferson Capital Systems cannot find proof that the debt is yours, or if you have proof that it isn’t yours, the lawsuit may be dismissed. 

Here is a link to a sample letter you can use to get you started on disputing the debt. 

Verify your credit report

You will also want to check your credit report. If the debt from Jefferson Capital Systems is listed on your credit report, you may also dispute it to the credit bureau if the debt is not yours. 

If this is true, then file a dispute to the three credit bureaus to ensure the faulty debt is completely removed from your account. Do keep in mind that, just because a debt doesn’t show up on your credit report, doesn’t mean that you don’t owe the debt. Credit reports will only show your debt if they report the delinquency, which some may not do until after pursuing the repayment to its fullest extent. It is still an important step in verifying that the debt does not belong to you.

Here is information on the three credit reporting agencies that you can use to collect your credit report:

Equifax

800-685-1111

P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian

888-397-3742

P.O. Box 2104, Allen, TX 75013-0949 

TransUnion

800-916-8800

P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022

Conclusion:

Dealing with debt from Jefferson Capital Systems can be scary and intimidating, especially when Jefferson Capital Systems begins calling, texting, emailing, and writing to you demanding payment and threatening legal action.

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic. 

There are laws in place that were created to protect you. Make sure you fully understand these laws, and don’t let a debt collection agency bully you into thinking you have no options. 

Ask for help, do your research, and, if it comes down to a lawsuit from Jefferson Capital Systems, make sure you have legal representation to help you navigate the tricky world of debt collection. If you have any questions, or you would like to learn more about your debt-relief options, feel free to reach out. We look forward to hearing from you, and we hope this helps. 

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