New Horizons Credit Union is an small credit union that does business primarily in Mobile County and Baldwin County, Alabama. I do not bank there, so I cannot say anything about their customer service before you default on a loan, but I have represented clients who have been sued by New Horizons. As a general rule, New Horizons does not send its defaulted accounts to collection agencies. So if you get behind and the balance is more than a few hundred bucks, you can expect them to sue you. In Mobile County, they are usually represented by Barre Dumas of Dumas & McPhail, a collection law firm based in downtown Mobile. I’ve dealt with Barre on numerous occasions and I can tell you that he’s a nice and honest man. But he is still going to do his job, and unfortunately for you, so is New Horizons. Unlike a lot of the larger out-of-state banks and credit card companies, New Horizons does a decent job of recordkeeping. They try to include copies of the loan agreement and pay history with the complaint and they have a “VP of Collections” who signs an affidavit stating that the records are accurate. To make matters worse, that same VP of Collections will likely show up for a trial date if you deny the allegations.
So basically, New Horizons Credit Union is tough to beat in court unless they’ve just made a mistake or you have a substantive defense like failure to follow UCC rules on repossession, etc. They sue for their own debts, not those made by other companies, they provide the court with copies of their documents, and they may actually send a witness.
If you’ve been sued by New Horizons, it may worth your time to call them and try to work out a settlement you can afford. If they won’t work with you, then you may be forced to either take a 25%-of-your-paycheck garnishment or file bankruptcy.