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Help with summons in GA!


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After having read through the guides and messageboard, I’m still not real clear on procedures to follow after getting a summons. Do I send the summons response to the plaintiff and court? Do I still serve a request for DV on plaintiff? I have copied the DV sample letter, but what about sample summons reply? Do I need to modify DV wording to apply to summons situation vs. CA inquiry? Also, at what point would it be best to seek a settlement?

Here are the facts of this case:

Opened CC account with Direct Merchant (OC) in Sept 2002

When financial situation become difficult (early 2003), I asked OC for assistance to get my debt more manageable and they refused. They told me that interest and fees would not stop unless account was closed. I verbally requested that account be closed in April 03, which they did not do until Jan 04. I stopped making payments in May 2003 and ignored all further collection attempts.

In Feb. 04, I received the 1st of 3 letters (certified, I think) from Wolpoff & Abramson, (W&A) notifying me that they were representing a company called Great Seneca Financial Corp., assignee of OC, in the body of the letter it indicated that Seneca had purchased the debt from OC. I ignored attempts by W&A to collect from me.

In May 04, I received letter from another collection attorney, Trauner, Cohen & Thomas (TCT), representing Great Seneca. Because I still felt unable to honor any regular payment plan at this point, I ignored their attempts to collect, until June 2004. Through phone contact with a female representative, identifying herself as a sub-contractor, working from home for TCT, I gave the following information: verification of address and home phone, full-time student status, unemployed status with no means to pay my debts, college graduation date of May 04. I did not acknowledge that I owed this debt. I verbally requested validation of the debt. She informed me that because my account had been assigned to her, she was responsible for making the determination of how TCT would continue the collection process. Because I had indicated that I was a college student and would be returning to work, she informed me that the account could be “put on hold” until such time as I returned to work and could make payments. She then stated that she would not proceed with any further collection attempts at this time and reiterated that she would put the account “on hold” and check back with me in 2005, after I had graduated, about making payment arrangements. I said that was nice of her, I thanked her for her assistance and ended the call.

While I knew that her collection approach was bizarre and I she was probably full of BS, I really thought I might receive temporary relief or at least I would be contacted again before things got ugly. I know now that I should have requested that she provide me a written copy of her proposal and not relied on verbal offer. I have no way to verify a phone conversation and to make matters worse I don’t have her name or the 2 collection letters from TCT (accidentally shredded). Summons served by Marshall on July 14, 2004 from TCT

I appreciate any help I can get on how to proceed from here?

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TCT are big liars and it's not surprising one of their "subs" told you they would work with you. I probably even know who it was that called you! You were sued on behalf of Great Seneca which is a subsidiary or another name for UNIFUND, a slimy debt buyer out of Ohio. If you answer the complaint, go to court and ask them to provide proof in front of the judge you will likely win even though they will likely argue you have admitted to owing the debt, etc. Suing you now as opposed to waiting may have had something to do with the SOL because if it had expired they would not have been able to enforce collection from you. BTW, I can tell you that going to college is not an acceptable reason for holding off on creditors, at least in the opinion of MBNA here as they feel education is a vacation repreive on their dime!

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Thanks LadynRed and ghacorp! I'm preparing my answer now. Should I still file a DV with TCT? Also, can anyone give me an idea of what to expect with mediation? I found out from a friend who used to work in the Superior Court that most cases like mine don't even go to court anymore, they go striaght to mediation. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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I sent a DV to the attorney who sued me and I also included a copy with my answer.

It just seemed a good idea to me to have my DV request in with the court so they could see what I was doing as well.

NOW the difference in my case is my lawsuit WAS the first communication from those bozos.

needless to say the case was dismissed.

good luck.

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I'm confused about a couple of things. I've been served with a complaint by Great Seneca on 7/9, being represented by TCT and I'm also holding a letter that was dated 7/7 but received on 7/13 (4 days after summons) from TCT acting as a CA and offering a 50% settlement. How do I handle the two different parties. Should I send the attorney a DV too? Am I able to make a counter claim for FDCPA violations or anything else? Is the attorney addressed as the acting CA in the State of Georgia for sake of counter claims and violations or am I just addressing Great Seneca, since they are listed as the Plaintiff on the Complaint?

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  • 1 year later...

Doesn't it seem strange that they would sue her when she has no job, no significant assets, and therefore no obvious or easy way of paying any subsequent judgment?

It seems like they are throwing good money after bad. It costs them additional money to sue someone, and it will cost more to hire people to do a judgment debtor exam, and then to levy on a checking account, or to have a sheriff seize any non-exempt assets. All of this stuff costs them money, and while yes, they can just roll it all back into the costs of the judgment and try to collect it along with the judgment plus interest, it doesn't do them much good if she still can't pay the judgment.

What are they thinking?

About 80% of judgments are never collected. It seems like they are using a shotgun approach to filing lawsuits, when they should spend a little bit of time doing some research and investigation to see which debtors are likely to be able to pay a judgment out of income and assets, and then go after them, but the ones who can't pay a judgment would just seem to be a waste of time, effort, and money.

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I can HIGHLY recommend attorney Lisa Wright (the attorney whose link appears above). I don't know why EVERYONE in Georgia with a problem with a CA does not call her.

...and, no, I am not a paid endorser, just a consumer who greatly admires her and knows she can help. She really knows how to handle CAs. :D

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