Summons received, what to do!?

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by jp78558, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. jp78558

    jp78558 New Member

    2 issues, one major credit problem.

    First, I received a legit summons from my county in NJ, not to appear in court but it's a filed complaint. 35 days to respond or attempt to negotiate with the plaintiffs (CACH of NJ) attorney. I called my own laywer friend and for free he mentioned that if I owe the money I should just call the Law firm, they should come up with a monthly payment schedule and have them send a stipulation of settlement which my lawyer will take a look at (free of charge). My fear in doing this is whether or not I have to pay this full amount since the bank probably sold it to CACH for pennies on the dollar, or if in this stipulation of settlement I can have them agree to have the record deleted from my credit report once paid off in monthly payments... Respond to the complaint or call the law firm to work out a payment schedule???

    On the other hand, another collections agency regarding a different credit card (paid my way through college) called also (ARS in California) and says I can settle a $3062 balance for $1550 in 4 monthly payments or pay in full for $256 for 12 months. Financially, I could do either one. My main concern is the outcome on my credit report and I'm trying to weigh the difference from where this account stands now- "charge-off" or settle for almost half, or to pay in full over a year.

    I'm only 24 years old my main concern is my credit report and getting these accounts in the best standing as possible. In either case the ultimate situation would have these taken off of my credit report... I have a full time job and can afford between $200-300 a month for each of these cases.

    Please help with any advice. I don't want to go to court and end up in a legal battle over money I know that I owe. I appreciate any help here. Thanks.
  2. ccbob

    ccbob Well-Known Member

    You're both right.

    You should call the law firm and see if you can negotiate a payment that will settle the debt completely. Ideally you could do this in one payment, but, if you can't, then agreeing to a payment plan that's acceptable to everyone is the next best thing. Get the payment plan terms in writing and keep track of the payments (e.g. cancelled checks). The people to whom you owe the money have a habit of losing payments and agreements and then asking for everything all over again.

    You should also answer the complaint, otherwise, you could start paying AND they could get a default judgment which means you'd have to pay even more. You don't want the complaint to go unanswered. Even if you answer the complaint, you can still work out a deal so that the law firm will send in the necessary paperwork.

    What gets reported on your credit report is likely to be the same in either case (a collection that's been paid/settled). As far as you're concerned, whichever costs the least would be the best. Ideally you could get the $1550 option reported as paid-in-full.

  3. cap1sucks

    cap1sucks Well-Known Member

    Nice friendly folks you are dealing with there. Did they tell you that a stipulation of settlement is going to get turned into a judgment almost automatically? Did either of your nice friends tell you that in some states the courts will not allow those unless you show up in court and agree to it before the judge? Did your nice friends tell you that if you agree to it the resulting judgment will be on your credit report for another 7 plus years? I didn't think so. I'd advise that you get their nice little agreement and check it over to see if it has a mini-miranda anywhere on it and if not I'd make sure they got a summons to federal court instead of a signature. Of course, there are probably other violations that have already occurred that you might be able to sue them for. You should also be advised that once they get your signature on that stipulated settlement and get it turned into a judgment they can immediately grab any and all money they can find in your bank accounts and then go for a garnishment of up to 25% of your wages. CACH is well known for doing that. They have also been sued in federal court many, many times for their violations of both federal and various state laws. Really nice folks, eh?
    Yes, you will have to pay off the full amount plus attorney fees plus all other collection costs they may incur in the future plus interest of at least 10% if not more. Most attorneys want at least $400 and some as much as $1500 plus 25% of all the money collected through garnishment. That's what they charge CACH but in the judgment they may be able to get more than that from you on top of what they get from CACH. Nice folks, arent they? So its not only the fulll amount you originally owed the creditor but a few thousand tacked on top of that. Oh yes, and I forgot to mention the court costs too. That can run anywhere from maybe $100 on up to as much as maybe $400. Did CACH tell you about all of that? I didn't think so. Did your lawyer friend tell you about all of that? I didn't think so. Nice friendly folks, aren't they?
    I'd respond to the complaint if I were you and of course now you know or should know that your lawyer friend already told you he thinks you should settle so if you ask him to defend you will probably get the judgment anyway. After all, what defense can he present that will work? You might ask him what his defense would be if he were to defend you? I'll bet that if you do that he will tell you not to waste even more money on a case you can't win. He would be correct in telling you that but just because you won't win in local court is not a reason you shouldn't fight anyway. If you fight you will probably be able to come up with even more violations and causes of action to take them to federal court where you can win.
    And why would you want to do that? The answer is that while your employer can't fire you for getting a judgment and garnishment against you they can fire you if you get a second one. That means that if you owe more debts than this one and meet up with some more nice folks in the process your boss just might be nice enough to tell you he don't need you anymore. Then what are you going to do? Jobs aren't all that plentiful these days. You could be out of work for a couple of years or more and even if you do find other employment it might be for a lot lower pay.
    You are worried about the outcome on your credit report with at least two negatives on it now and a judgment coming up, maybe two of them? Then you just might want to fight as hard as you possibly can and learn how to do it yourself instead of listening to those nice friends who will obviously do even more damage to your credit reports. As it stands now you will have bad credit until about 2018 and maybe longer than that. You need some new friends with a totally different point of view than that. Yes, I know you probably dread having to go to court but letting that fear get the best of you simply isn't using good judgment. I'll agree that if you can pay in full before it gets to court you would actually be better off but if you can't then you aren't going to keep it out of court and out of your credit reports.
    Agreed that such an outcome would be ideal but so would winning the national lottery or getting a few million from your rich uncle. Of course you already know how likely any of that happening is, don't you? A dream like having them take it off your credit reports need not be a dream at all but a reality you can make happen but not the way you are currently thinking.
    I'd say quit worrying about going to court and fighting over money you know you owe. Start thinking about your rights and defending them vigorously. The way you are thinking your due process and your civil rights are going to go down the drain without a whimper from you and you pay those who have abrogated those rights. Maybe you ought to go to the movies first and watch the series of movies starting with Marbury vs Madison. Other great movies to watch are McCulloch vs. Maryland and many more so you learn how much others throughout history cared about their rights under the law. If the civil and due process rights were so important to those who have gone before you were so important that they would take their complaints all the way to the United States Supreme Court then maybe you should put a much higher value on your own. Do as you wish but your current thinking will surely lead to disastrous results.

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