Help! Im being sued!
I was recently served with papers stating that I was being sued for $2560.65 from a collection agency representing an old debt that is due to fall off of my credit report in 3 months. It says that I have 21 days to file an answer. I would like to settle this before it goes to court without it damaging my credit score. The summons expires on Sep 12. What action should I take? HELP.
is it actually from the court (A sheriff came knocking on your door), or is it just a threat from the collection agency?
if the debt is that old, depending on your state, they may be past the statute of limitation on suing you for it.
I suspect its from the collection agency, since if it was an actual lawsuit from the court, you would have an appearance date on it, not a response date.(most states under $5000 i small claims, and they dont usually do responses from small claims)
Since you assume that the item will fall off your credit reports in three months means that that account has been delinquent for seven years. if you live in a state where the SOL is 7 years or more the creditor/collection goon can legally still go after you. Try to negotiate a settlement.
Originally Posted by beyond700
If the SOL has expired, just show up in court, and use that as a defense.
Ive made a mistake. Here in Michigan a debt is not legally collectable after 6 years and after 7 years it falls off of your credit report. It will be 6 years in Nov.
Originally Posted by delphipgmr
Yes. I was served at my home by a sherrif. A collection agency is suing me. I dont have an actual court date. It just says I have 21 days to file an answer with the court or judgement may be entered against me. I dont want this on my credit report any longer. Should I attempt to settle? How should I do it. I dont want a judgement ordered. I dont want to go to court.
Offer them a settlement of what you feel you should/can pay. Do NOT agree to any phone payments or auto withdrawals. As a matter of fact close your current bank accounts really close to the 21st day. If they don't accept your settlement offer and go through with the judgment the only type of theft would be garnishment of your wages, but not bank levies. If your pay gets automatically deposited just get your employer to issue you paper checks.
Originally Posted by beyond700
I do have direct deposit. I have a savings account and a checking account with Chase. I should empty those accounts even if I am successful in settling this matter? Should I send the collection agency a letter offering my settlement proposal? What should be my next step?
Originally Posted by greg1045
I'm also in Michigan and have been in the same situation as you. The collection agency attempting to take you to court wouldn't happen to be Asset Acceptance?
BTW, your next step is to answer the summons (complaint). Write it out, type it out, whatever you want. Admit or deny. You can submit a copy of your answer to the complaint at the court. Also be sure to send (registered mail w/return receipt) the collection agency a copy of your answer.
FYI... in response to the collection agency complaint I received I included a few things such as; "plaintiff has failed to attach any contract to the complaint", "plaintiff does not own the alleged debt".
If I were in your shoes I'd wait until the last possible moment to answer the complaint and add a few of the above mentioned statements to it. There's a good chance the collection agency won't be able to come up with the necessary documentation before the 6yr time limit.
Also, if it were me, I wouldn't admit to anything until they produced evidence. And I certainly would NOT try to settle when it's this close to the SOL.
Additionally, if you make payment on the account now you will be changing the "date of last activity" which would most likely be noted on the credit report. Paid charge offs are just about as crappy as what you've got on the credit report now.
Thank you. The agency is Capital Alliance Financial, LLC.
Originally Posted by Tuesday
So, I need to send a letter to the court and the collection agency?
Is there a way that I can settle without changing the date of last activity?
Good advice from Greg 1045 and Tuesday . . . . You don't want a judgment but you don't want to go to court. That only leaves the option to settle beforehand. If it were me (and I've been there), I would do as Tuesday recommends. The closer to the court time, the less they will settle for. More than likely here is what will happen. You will show up for court and find (depending on where you are located), that there are from 'a few' to over a hundred cases scheduled for the same time. You will also see a few (3 or 4), lawyers milling around the front of the court room. The judge will not be in court yet. At the appointed time, the court clerk will begin to call the names of the defendants and those who are present will be ushered out one by one, by a lawyer, into an anteroom, where they will try to settle. The amount can be anywhere from 30% to 70% of the original amount. They may offer you payments or not. Anyway, if you agree, you will be asked to sign a Stipulation that the attorney will present when the court is called into session (or it may be handled by the clerk). Be sure that the stipulation states that no judgment is to be entered at this time. You'll also see that ALL of the cases that no one showed up for get a default judgment. So, if you keep your promise to repay, there will never be a judgment but if you fail to keep your end of the bargain, the judgment will be almost automatic. Of course, your other option is to fight the bas***ds. Whatever you decide, don't just hide your head . . . that's a guaranteed judgment. Good Luck
Tuesday is right about not trying to reach a settlement so close to the expiration of the SOL, but if they get a judgment against you before the SOL expires then you might have to put up with wage garnishments.
As I mentioned in my first response, close your current bank account, and try to get paper paychecks from your employer. If they ask why, just tell them that you closed your bank account. Period.