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Hello All, Second post. First post was introductory that illustrates my background, knowledge and areas of expertise. This one specifically describes a lawsuit filed against me. What's really bad about this is that I am mostly alone with this. I have not disclosed this to friends or relatives. (As I do not know anyone likely to respond to help anyway.) There was little time to respond in time to file answer once verified as fact. I am looking for a path with the least cost and damage. This hit me at the worst possible time when other issues are happening including the loss of a friend (20 years known) and I am on a long path to recovery from two low income years but making progress. PRA, LLC is not helping. May 2016 Early in May I started receiving legal advertisements in the mail that suggested something serious was up. I was focused on building a good work record with a local temporary staffing employer. After two years of underemployment, failed "work at home" jobs or clients that did not pay me, I was finally on a path to recovery. Then on Tuesday May 24th I looked myself up on the Waukesha County Courthouse CCAP system to check a "you have been sued" ad and found that it was real. When I called the Courthouse, I was told there was no indication of service. I went to the courthouse Thursday morning to purchase the document, having to decline the start of a new $11/hour contract work assignment to run to July 15th to tend to the debt collection lawsuit as a top priority. I feared future court issues would interfere with work. It's best to not be absent any day with temp staffing work because it is not guaranteed 40 hour per week work. Summary The Summons and Complaint has no documents other than the printed copy of the nonmilitary service page, not relevant for me as I am not (and have never) served in the military. The attachment has the list of allegations, the name of the creditor, the alleged amount owed and a start date. On the second page it indicates any payments I made to PRA, LLC, which is zero and what the debt PRA, LLC claims I owe. I do not trust any mail, phone or email notification of debt claims because I get these all the time, some from actual scammers. How does one distinguish them when they are generally hostile or aggressive and there are warnings everywhere to protect one's financial privacy? Context of 2014 May-June Claim Period I got bit by Green Dot Loan scam two years ago on May 31, 2014 but did not go out and get the card as requested. Abusive calls led to me terminating my phone service something not to do when actively seeking employment. I also closed my checking account and opened a new account with the same bank the first week in June 2014. This was right on top of an unsolicited debt relief caller trying to fix my issues that same week. And while waiting for a lead seller merchant dispute to be resolved with Barclay Mastercard. A business opportunity I checked out May 30th turned out to be too expensive but charges were successfully refunded a month later. My main job at the time was freelance business loan lead generator for a loan broker, a job contract won at Freelancer.com in March 2014. It was doing OK but loss of money made it not possible to keep paying for advertising. 1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC 2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? Rausch, Sturm, Israel, Enerich & Hornik, LLC 3. How much are you being sued for? 2,xxx.xx 4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff) CITIBANK, N.A. (BEST BUY) 5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?) I was NOT served. Increased volume of legal ads by mail prompted my own search using the Wisconsin Court System Circuit Court Access. 6. How were you served? (Mail, In person, Notice on door) I was NOT served to my knowledge. When I purchased Summons, the box for service was blank. (as you can see in the copy) There was no excuse not to serve. Though I live in a secured apartment other officials have accessed building before. I have been home after 3 PM during the day. They had my address. I never found anything in the mail that looked official along with official looking junk mail. "Sewer Service" I think is where there was a claim of service. It's skipped step in this case. (This is where I need legal help because I don't know how to take actions.) 7. Was the service legal as required by your state? According to the yellow information sheet and on the county website, service is required or the case may be dismissed. It's a box in the flowchart on the County website about how to file a lawsuit. Wisconsin has recent changes to debt collection lawsuits. If there is a state vs federal entanglement issue here, this feels out of my league to fight. 8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? There is a letter dated April 16th. I did not read it seriously until yesterday (see below). There are 13 PRA, Inc. sourced phone numbers in my Skype block list. While seeking employment and working on projects for clients, repeated phone calls are a nuisance. Skype typically (in my experience) does not connect well with robo or automated calls. I relied on Google searches of phone numbers to identify the source. There were other (not PRA) scam callers or Skype trolls to block. I've been very tight with my Safelink cell phone number with the limited minutes. 9. What state and county do you live in? Wisconsin, Waukesha County 10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations) I am unable to determine this with any accuracy other than a credit report I recently pulled up. I have lost two checking accounts since then the most recent closed on June 1st, 2016 so I don't have access to payment information. I am unable to identify if this account is mine or if the amount is accurate. There were multiple credit and debit cards reported either lost or compromised from November 27, 2013 (Target) to the present. The only credit accounts I have been making payments are my one open VISA credit card (paid in full in May), a closed Discover account and a moved to collections Amazon.com account to pay off purchase of laptop in February 2014. I am current with my auto insurance, rent, ISP and utilities. 11. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out: 6 years to my understanding. 12. What is the status of your case? I filed the Answer on May 31st with an attached full page Answer created with MS-Word after taking notes at various sites and selected best statements to use. My primary points are lack of service, lack of documents, uncertain financial activity period, receiving public assistance and plaintiff not known to me. I mailed a copy to the Plaintiff legal team address via certified mail. I was given a yellow fact sheet that includes a mediation requirement. The court date was set to August 5th. Then, I received a letter that the date was moved to August 12th. I have not heard from legal firm. The certified mail service I used reports June 1st as the last day of activity. (I did not know it was going to be a slow delivery at the regular rate. I used an online certified mail service I found.) 13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?) No. Though not directly related to PRA filing, I filed a credit bureau 90 day alert due to a ACS Inc email I received in my Gmail inbox. I get this email regularly and consider it abuse of my financial data. The first time I received this was July 2014. I have a copy of my credit reports that I have not looked at for two years. I see that PRA is listed as a debt collector. That could be a separate matter to pursue at another time. 14. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? No. 15. How long do you have to respond to the suit? (This should be in your paperwork). From payment for Summons on June 26th, I had a week to respond in time to file answer, apparently not enough time for the plaintiff to receive the answer copy by certified mail when sent at normal rate on May 31st. 16. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? The Summons consists of the State of Wisconsin, Circuit Court, Waukesha County Small Claims form marked "Claim for money ($10,000 or less)", the clerk/attorney signature of someone unknown to me, notarized and with attachment of the claim specifics. The notary stamp looks faded to me. It has a May 10th stamp FILED IN CIRCUIT COURT. There are no documents, just forms filled out with claims. It is apparently signed by a member of the legal firm. He's in LinkedIn and top of Google search. Included is an "Affidavit of Non-Military Service". It says that I am not in the US Military and therefore, not entitled to rights and privileges provided under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Another note is that the complaint does not include my middle initial. So the non-military search is not correct. My signature always includes my middle initial which leads me to suspect they don't have a signed document or any signed payments. There's more: The letter mailed to me in April (which I did not read until Saturday June 4th) claims that I can request copies of credit card documents if I write. If they had this, why is none of this included in the Summons and Complaint? Is the letter a lie to perhaps have me send a letter and get a signature? Or visit their website and give my IP address? Additional: I received public benefits including a gas card, a Safelink phone and was awarded an energy assistance grant in May. Good people led me to these services back in April. I filed to receive FoodShare benefits with assistance of my employer. I have read that wages cannot be garnished in Wisconsin if any benefits have been received. My answer included a copy of my Safelink renewal notice and my energy assistance grant check stub. Any Harm Done? The filing more than likely interfered with my employment path with my employment agency. There might be better jobs ahead of me but I lost the certainty of regular income in June and July which is what is needed to pay bills in confidence. I was unable to rescue my June 2014 opened checking account closed on June 1st, 2016. I started another account back in April at another bank so I'd have something to send employment earnings and pay bills. (Employer uses VISA debit card to pay.) I considered a counterclaim but the answer was easier to do with my own research and in a short time. Any assistance in this matter would be appreciated. I plan to call Legal Action at intake hours on Tuesday to see if I can get help with the mandatory mediation part. Will I have to decline work (if work is available)? How much will it cost? There are more current bills I need to pay, but am afraid to spend anything now. I am worried about paying July rent and auto insurance (as promised) payment due late in June. prasummons.pdf