Who is Cavalry and why are they suing me?
Cavalry’s full name is Cavalry SPV I LLC, and the first time most people hear that name, it’s because they are being sued by the debt buyer. Cavalry SPV I LLC is an affiliate of Cavalry Portfolio Services, a company that describes itself as a “leader in the acquisition and management of non-performing consumer loan portfolios.” In other words, the company buys up debt from other institutions and pursues collections independently. It’s not surprising that the debt buyer would describe its purpose in this way, because debt buyers have a poor reputation among consumers and attorneys. Cavalry is no different in this regard, and since its founding in 2002, it has made its goal clear – turn a profit by any means necessary, including suing people en masse.
It’s a tactic that often works, which is why the company has become one of the best known debt buyers in the country. If you are facing a lawsuit executed by Cavalry, then they have either bought debt that you once accrued, or have mistaken you for someone that has.
What should I do if I am being sued by Cavalry?
Cavalry, as a debt buyer, approaches primary lenders, which includes major banks like Chase, Wells Fargo or Capital One, and purchases any debts that they no longer wish to collect on. This most often includes charged off credit card debt, which banks will often seek to sell to debt buyers after 120 days or so. The company purchases this debt in bulk, so it acquires hundreds, even thousands of accounts at a time, and does so for pennies on the dollar. The company’s profit model is clear, then. If it can get just a small fraction of those account holders to pay up, it’s worth the time and money. Of course, the company only wins this transaction if they get account holders to pay, so they will go to great lengths to ensure account holders do just that. Sometimes, it takes bending the rules (or outright breaking them), but Cavalry gets away with this, more often than not. How can it do that?
When Cavalry files a lawsuit, it wants one of two things. It either wants the defendant to settle and pay up right away, or for the defendant to ignore the lawsuit completely. If the defendant agrees to a settlement or a payment plan, then the company will profit greatly.
If the defendant ignores the lawsuit, then Cavalry wins a default judgment. With this judgment in hand, any debt collector can make the defendant’s life a nightmare. The collector can place a mark on the defendant’s credit, which will make things like a vehicle or house purchase extremely difficult. The collector can also employ more aggressive means of collection, like placing a levy on a bank account or asset. Once a judgment is rendered, there is no easy way to get rid of it, so giving this away to any collector is providing that collector with a long term, decisive advantage.
It should be clear where this is going. Do not ignore the lawsuit. If the amount that is owed is reasonably low, and the debt is something you definitely owe, then settling might be the best choice. Otherwise, prepare to fight back. That is the one outcome the company doesn’t want.
A debt defense attorney is the most valuable ally one could have in this instance. That first notice of a lawsuit, the complaint and summons, is an intimidating experience. Frustration, confusion, anger, panic – those are all normal reactions, but they should only be the first reaction. Once the emotions smooth out, it’s time to contact a debt defense attorney. Here’s why:
- An attorney can help with drafting a proper answer – There are usually several defenses available to the defendant, but they have to be asserted early on in the legal process. The court will not recognize a defense that is used to ambush the debt scavenger. But most people have no idea what tools they have in fighting back. A debt defense attorney does, though, and will ensure these defenses are articulated when they need to be. This may be required in the answer provided in response to the complaint and summons. With an attorney’s help, the defendant won’t give away any of their ground early on.The answer is what the court uses to confirm that the defendant intends on fighting the lawsuit. However, it can also weaken the defendant’s case if they unwittingly admit to things that render some forms of defense void. This isn’t common, but it can happen. A debt defense attorney will help their client say exactly what they need to say, and not a word more.
- An attorney will leave no legal stone unturned – Again, there are several options in defending against a Cavalry lawsuit. These aren’t always obvious, and some of them are particularly effective against debt scavengers.For example, because the company purchases debt in bulk, they constantly acquire accounts with incomplete information. Perhaps payment history is missing, or the account holder’s confirmation to repay the debt isn’t available. This documentation is critical to empowering Cavalry’s legal authority to sue. If it isn’t present, their legal standing is void. This happens more often than one would think, and many debt collection cases are dismissed on this tactic alone.A debt defense attorney will also use the statute of limitations, if relevant, and will test the company’s resolve by making discovery requests. The mere effort involved might not be worth it to Cavalry, at which point they will concede the case and move on.
- An attorney can assist with settlement negotiations, should they be inevitable – Sometimes, Cavalry will hold firm, and the only way for the defendant to avoid continued financial difficulty is to come to a settlement. A debt defense attorney can prove valuable during this process as well. When defendants represent themselves in a settlement, they are often taken advantage of. If an attorney represents the defendant, they will intercept any attempts to coerce or intimidate. In effect, the debt buyer will have to handle the settlement negotiation in good faith.
Cavalry is a resourceful, aggressive debt buyer, and it will bring these resources to bear on anyone it deems worth suing. But you have a right to proper legal representation, and with it, even an intimidating collector can be rebuffed.
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