scary letter from laywer help!!!

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by geekpipe, May 12, 2001.

  1. geekpipe

    geekpipe Well-Known Member


    My girlfriend got the weirdest letter today for an old debt. It looked just like a judgment official a document when someone sues you. It has plantiff and her as defendant and docket #. But the weirdest thing is that that there were like 8 of these...and in the body of the document were names of like her bank, basically anyone who my girlfriend had an account with in her life. It was like they were sending this letter to each bank or place that might have some assets of hers. But it says at the bottom...this is information to collect a debt. There is some questionnaore on the back of this document asking all kinds of questions very similar to lizardking's validation letter #1.

    What is this letter? Is this a judgment? The debt is from 1992. WHat should be done?

    Anyone have advice or have this happen to them before?

  2. Erica

    Erica Well-Known Member

    If this letter is from a lawyer, they broke the law! They cannot send anything that looks like court records to collect any debt. Find out EXACTLY where it came from and go from there. Also, check out <> and look under consumer (something) and you will see a class action lawsuit filed for exactly what you described.

    Good luck.
  3. judyputy

    judyputy Well-Known Member


    The SOL can't still be in effect for this debt, can it? I would check out what the debt is for and the SOL in your state. I would bet that after 9 years they don't have the right to sue for anything.

    I also agree with the other poster. That sort of "official" looking letter is illegal. They aren't allowed to scare you into thinking they will attach every account you have to get this money.

    I don't know what steps to tell you to take since I haven't dealt with this before. I don't want to tell you anything wrong. SOMEONE! Help this person if you know what to do.

    I can say I would definately NOT fill out anything on the back.
  4. Crdt Dfnse

    Crdt Dfnse Well-Known Member

    First off you should check statute to see if the debt can be litigated (that your lady friend could be sued) for recovery; you may do this at: Determine whether the debt is based on a written contract or oral agreement, or perhaps an open account, correlated to by state. Then let us know here what youâ??ve determined.
    Well not to say Erica is necessarily wrong, just maybe a bit premature to state any laws were broken. What your lady friend received could be a Summons or a notice for judgment-debtor hearing, and thus quite legit. What youâ??ll want to do is call the court where indicated, give the clerk the docket (case) number and find out for sure then let us know? In the interim, checkout FDCPA at 15 USC 1692e(9)&(13):

    • (9) The use or distribution of any written communication which simulates or is falsely represented to be a document authorized, issued, or approved by any court, official, or agency of the United States or any State, or which creates a false impression as to its source, authorization, or approval.
      (13) The false representation or implication that documents are legal process.
  5. roni

    roni Well-Known Member

    great responses !!!!!
  6. lbrown59

    lbrown59 Well-Known Member

    Good Advice
  7. kenny

    kenny Well-Known Member

    I can tell you this is a judgement. I am paying on a judgement now (2300.00) and I use a docket# as my account #. But mine came from the sheriifs office in my county, not a lawyer. IF it comes from the sheriffs office then you might be in trouble.
  8. SM

    SM Active Member

    If this was an official document from the court stating that you are being sued, then it would have come to you via registered mail. The majority of courts send out any notice of pending lawsuit via registered mail (which would mean only your lady friend could sign for it) or they have a sheriff hand deliver the court summons.

    Sounds like a law office is trying to scam you into thinking you have an actual lawsuit on the docket filed with a civil court. They can send you a letter threatening a lawsuit, but any item with an actual court case # has to be delivered by the courts. Furthermore, any collection agency or lawyer threatening lawsuit must be willing and ready to take action with such lawsuit because threatening to do so without the intent of doing so is grounds for you to sue them big time! I have read on numerous occasions that collection agencies and lawyers have been sued over threats that they never intend to carry out.

    I am truly amazed at the lengths debt collectors will take to collect a debt.

    My personal favorite tatic is the notice that Capital One's collection agency sends whereby they offer to open a "credit" account for you and charge the debt to the credit account, allowing you to pay monthly. Sounds so nice doesn't it???
  9. SM

    SM Active Member

    Sorry, I should have prefaced my previous post with the question of:

    Has your girlfriend ever received a court summons in regards to her debt? Did she receive notice of a summons and ignore it? I don't see how there could be any judgement if she has never received a summons to appear in court.

    Do you see where I am going with this? She needs to try and remember if at any time she has received a court summons or received notice of a registered letter or notice that a sheriff's office is trying to hand deliver a summons.

    I do believe, and forgive me if I am wrong, that a judgement cannot just be placed without going to court. And if she was the defendant in a lawsuit, she would have been notified in some way.
  10. geekpipe

    geekpipe Well-Known Member

    So does anyone have any suggestions on how we should handle this? Should we send the ceist & desist letter or the validation letter #1? Or call this laywer direct? I think if she calls we are probably more well versed in credit rights and scams than the average person (due to all the knowledge gained from this board). But I dont want to sound too smart and have a judgment filed for real. I really think this is just trying to scare her into paying the debt, but remember it even states the debt is from 1992 which is past the SOL.

    Can they get a judgement on a debt from 1992? How do I tell them that the SOL has passed and they have no right to collect this debt? Is that true?

  11. SM

    SM Active Member

    I would not call them. I have learned hard lessons over the years about doing things verbally. It becomes a "he said...I said" game.

    I would first find out the SOL for sure in your state. If the debt is beyond the SOL send them a cease and desist letter. Your attorney general's office may be able to give you a solid answer on this one.

    If it is still in the SOL, ask them to prove it with a validation letter.

    I wouldn't fill out any forms they send you and I sure wouldn't contact them by phone. These "collection" firms tend to have ways of getting you flustered and into a p*ssing contest. Not worth it. Do it in writing, certified mail, always!
  12. LoFico

    LoFico Well-Known Member

    Do your homework, learn all of your rights regarding this subject so you can play offense, NOT defense. Personaly I would send a Validation letter only if you are sure this is not an actual court document. You can call your local courthouse and use this "docket" number as a reference. If this is a fake, let em know you know this is unlawful and quote from the FDCPA. At that time I would send a Validation letter and dispute the debt. Remember have all your ducks in a row before you do anything. Good luck!
  13. Squawk1200

    Squawk1200 Well-Known Member

    The first thing you have to do, and I do mean the first thing, is to figure out exactly what it is that you got. A lot of the responses you've gotten are only correct IF the poster's ASSUMPTION about what you got is correct.

    IF it is a phony court document, then it is illegal.

    IF it is a judgment, EVEN IF IT WAS OBTAINED IN A SUIT FILED AFTER THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS, it could very well be valid. The SOL is a defense - it can be waived if its not asserted. If your GF was sued after the SOL and she defaulted and they got a judgment, then the judgment is valid UNLESS and UNTIL you get it vacated.

    IF it is a judgment obtained in a suit FILED before the SOL expired, it is most likely valid, even if the SOL expried in the meantime -- even if it was before the judgment was issued! Moreover. obtaining a JUDGMENT starts a new SOL in virtually every state, and the SOLs on Judgments go up to 20 YEARS.

    So I say again, FIGURE OUT exactly what you've got on your hands. Then let us know what it is and people will be able to give you better advice.

    Good luck.
  14. Crdt Dfnse

    Crdt Dfnse Well-Known Member

    Once again, before accurate suggestions can be offered more info from your end needs to be obtained! Otherwise, all youâ??re going to continue receiving are speculations and inaccurate assumptions. This very well could be a notice re; judgment debtor hearing, which must be addressed. If so it must be addressed under threat of contempt, jail time if your friend ignores or refuses the process.

    But of course, Iâ??m speculating here because you havenâ??t addressed the primary issue; a very pertinent detail... So Iâ??ll suggest again: call the court tomorrow and check whether or not the â??docket numberâ? correlates to a case, if your lady friend is named defendant, and let us know. Once this is determined I and others can guide you more accurately, but frankly, not until then.
  15. G. Fisher

    G. Fisher Banned

    How much is it?

    Why didn't she pay?

    Why is she unwilling to pay?

    What notation is on the credit reports?
  16. Karen

    Karen Well-Known Member

    If it is a real court document, it will say something at the top like "In the Circuit Court of Broward County, Florida'. That tells you where to look. Then, usually on the right side, near the top, it will have a case number. Frequently,but not always, the first numbers tell the year the suit was filed. 98 indicates it was filed in 1998, for example. With this info, call the court clerk. These people are always nice (except in Miami) and very helpful. Give the person the case number and they can tell you what happened. It's possible your girlfriend was served and forgot about it. Or, they made have done "sewer service" where the summons is thrown in the sewer and they claim to the court that they served the person. This is the first step. Find out if this is real. You cannot do anything unless you know if you are dealing with a real judgment. If its real, then you can figure out what to do. If its bogus, then you have to go after them in a different way.

    Let us know and maybe we can help more.

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