Is there a way to legally fight a creditor on the amount they are forcing me to pay?

I am being forced by a creditor to pay 15% of my gross income or they will garnish 15% of my wages from my employer. I am finding lots of reports on this company being a scam company. Is there any legal way i can fight them in the amount that I am being forced to pay? Or am I stuck to pay what they want? I tried to talk them down on the price letting them know that there is no way I can afford the payments. I believe they are doing this so i can’t make the payments and they will garnish.

Asked on September 20, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The question is not whether this company is generally a scam--the question is, do you owe the money? If you don't owe it--that is, either you don't owe anything (never did business with them or bought anything from them; or already paid any debts) or you owe less than they claim--you would have good grounds to either fight the debt entirely or at least to have it reduced. Obviously, what will be important is what evidence you and they each have, but assuming that either you can prove that you don't owe them what they claim, or that they cannot prove that you do, you should have a good defense. Indeed, if you can show that they are knowingly trying to defraud you, but claiming amounts which they  know they are not entitled to, you may have a counterclaim against them.

On the other hand, if you legitimately them money, they can seek to collect it; if you can't pay the full amount, they can propose a payment amount or schedule, and if you and they can't work something out, they may be able to garnish your wages. Again, the issue is not what they have done wrong other times; all that matters is the legitimacy and amount of the debt they claim you owe.


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