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I just Filed an appearance, idk what to expect at court, can someone give me more info. Especially on how to create my defense
I've received a couple of letters from third parties "You're being sued - hire us" type letters. I've never been served, and am obviously easy to find! I've been unemployed for almost three years, have zero savings, already lost my house (sold it for a $130K loss to pay off the home equity loan and taxes - was going to lose it to a tax sale), have no car, and am relying on relatives. I'm not on disability, but probably could be - problems with both arms and hands. That's why I can't work. Unfortunately I was self employed for a long time and any disability I received would be darn little. Anyway, obviously Portfolio Recovery is suing me. I owe a lot on credit cards - I had to rely on them for almost a year with every intention of paying them off. But my arms got worse, and no work=no money. I defaulted on all my cards, probably to the tune of $50,000. Do I owe the money? Sure. Can I pay it? Nope. Can't see getting work any time soon, and occupational therapy is not helping. I assume I'll have to file bankruptcy sometime in the near future, but simply can't afford it right now. Any suggestions? I live in Cook County, IL so I assume I'm being sued there, but honestly have no idea. Thanks Rick
Hi everyone, A summons was left for me today sticking out of my apartment mailbox. There is a space that says "Date of service (To be inserted by officer on copy left with defendant or other person)" which is blank (since it wasn't left with a person at all). Is that an appropriate way to be served? There are also two copies of the top sheet (the YOU ARE SUMMONED one). The lawsuit is from PRA and is regarding a credit card account that they apparently bought from GE Capital Bank/Gap. The complaint has my name and the county I'm a resident of, a statement saying that I opened a charge account with ge capital bank agreeing to make monthly payments, a statement saying PRA is "the successor in interest of said account... having purchased said account... in good faith and for value", a statement saying I did make purchases and charge the account but failed to make payments and the balance (>2500) "(See Client affidavit as Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 1)" and lastly a statement that the plaintiff declares me to be in default and demands payment of balance. Then there is "Exhibit 1" an affidavit from Virginia (I'm in IL?) signed by a notary public that "affirms" 6 points: 1 she is competent to testify, 2 she's an authorized employee of PRA and authorized to make statements on behalf of PRA about the records transferred to them from GE Capital Retail Bank/Gap which have become integrated into PRA's business records. 3 according to the records the account and all proceeds are owned by PRA, all of the banks interest in the account having been sold, assigned and transferred in 2012 and saying PRA has been assigned all of the banks original authority to do and perform all necessary acts for settlement. 4 that according to the records there was >2500 (edited exact amount) due (with the last 4 digits of the original account number) and owed as of 2011 and the last two aren't really relevant info to this post. There's no other information or proof, no DV or anything like that. I'm thinking my next step would be to call their lawyer and talk to them about a payment plan to avoid the suit going forward. Would this be a proper next step? I have very, very limited income and no consistent paycheck, I don't own any assets (house, car etc.) or have any money in the bank. We (family of 4) just live on the money we get, pay the rent and the bills and that's all we have. There's an appearance fee of $186 that I'd have to pay just for showing up to respond to the suit, even that is going to be a struggle to pay. I also read this: http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/General-Credit-Topics/Sued-by-a-Junk-Debt-Buyer-Portfolio-Recovery-Associates/td-p/2296511 about a woman who had argued that she never signed a contract with PRA and so owes them nothing (or something more polite to that affect), does that hold any water? Would that be an option should we end up in court? Advice would be more than appreciated. Thanks! Edited to add: If calling them tomorrow is the right thing to do, how should I talk to them, what should I say and not say? Edited again for the questionnaire: 1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? PRA 2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.) BHLM 3. How much are you being sued for? See original post above. 4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff) See original post above. 5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?) Kind of served, summons was shoved half into mailbox and half sticking out. 6. How were you served? (Mail, In person, Notice on door) As above. 7. Was the service legal as required by your state? Process Service Requirements by State - Summons Complaint As understood (for IL) they are meant to leave it with a person, I'm not sure what point 3 means. They left it shoved into the side of the mailbox, which doesn't seem appropriate to me, but I may be wrong. 8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? None. Possibly phone calls which were blocked. 9. What state and county do you live in? IL, USA. 10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations) I believe it was 2010 11. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out: Statute of Limitations on Debts 5 or 10 I'm not sure. 12. What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed? You can find this by a) calling the court or looking it up online (many states have this information posted - when you find the online court site, search by case number or your name). - 13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?) No 14. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? Note: if you haven't sent a debt validation request, don't bother doing this now - it's too late. No 15. How long do you have to respond to the suit? (This should be in your paperwork). If you don't respond to the lawsuit notice you will lose automatically. In 99% of the cases, they will require you to answer the summons, and each point they are claiming. We need to know what the "charges" are. Please post what they are claiming. Did you receive an interrogatory (questionnaire) regarding the lawsuit? No questionnaire, no answer requested because of amount, but appearance required in 16 days (2/20) with fee of $186. 16. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits. Affidavit. 17. Read this article: Sued by a Debt Collector - Learn How to Fight Debt Lawsuits