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Hi all- I got served today. I had been on this site before and followed Linda7 advice- sent a letter: "I dispute this alleged account. As per the FDCPA, I have the right to request proper validation of the alleged debt. I elect private contractual arbitration via JAMS to resolve any disputes between us. All phone calls are inconvenient, so all communications need to be by mail." I did get a letter from their fraud department a bout a month later asking why I disputed. I didn't respond to that.I also got a package with some statements , cancelled checks stuff liek that, which I just set aside for later. I've been pretty out of it from an injury and trying to deal with recovery and the legal proceedings of that as well. Today I was served at my home- it was a legal serving. I'm in Washington State. They claim I owe over 16k. (I dont think its that much) Firm is Sutter, White Hammer I Checked and they do not have a "collection agency " license which I think WA state requires (my eyes are bleeding from all the reading but I read if a law firm practices majority of collecting debt for their clients then they are considered a "collection agency" and require special licensure- which Sutter, Hammer and White don't seem to have under WA business lic search. I don't know if that's my loophole? I wanted to go for arbitration just to buy time, but am afraid that will end up costing me a bunch more for the fees. I was injured and lost my ability to earn virtually overnight. Its been 2 years. I paid my debts for one year then I just havent been able to keep it going for the last one. I had surgery a few weeks ago and all the sob story later- I believed I just need to buy time and maybe pay them off with the settlement from my lawsuit (injury) But that is taking longer than I thought. All the advice i get is to hire an attorney- If I could afford an attorney, ID just pay the debt. I have no money at this time to negotiate with. Id file Bankruptcy but I cant because of the lawsuit. Any advice.. Everyone seems so knowledgeable. I love the way you guys help. I hope one of you will see this and help me. I want to respond to the summons it says to do so in writing within 20 days. I thought I would say I had requested arbitration... and was waiting for a response to that. ? Can anyone offer any guidance what do I do next?