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I hope someone here has some words of wisdom as to how to handle this crazy situation. Please, please read all I know this is long, but I really need some advice as I have several really bizarre problems here and am completely without a clue what to do.

I am being sued simultaneously by two different "law firms" for the same old CITIBANK credit card debt and have been summoned to appear in court with one group the end of this month and a week later with the other group. Keep in mind this is the same credit card bill - the amount showed owing on the summons is approximately 5,000, not the exact same amount on each, but within a few hundred dollars. I didn't know that two people could collect the same debt at the same time and I am absolutely positive these two people are not the same group and I am also positive it is the same credit card bill. The original credit line on this card was 1,800.00. I believe the rush to collect this money now is because the statute of limitations is bound to be running out (it is 6 yrs in TENNESSEE). Of course it has been so many years I can't remember how old it is and can find no documentation besides one bill from 99 which had not been paid for months.

Here is how it started -- we got seriously behind in 98-99. I contacted Citibank to see if we could work a payment schedule - at the time they were adding on late fees, finance charges and over the credit limit fees (the over the limit charges were accrued by late fees and finance charges - not purchases) which was pushing the debt up about 150.00 a month. They agreed to stop the late, finance, over the credit fees if I would commit to a 75.00 a month payment schedule. I paid the 75.00 and the next month on the bill - the fees were still there, spoke with them several more times and found that they indeed would not stop the additional fees so I stopped paying the 75.00 to them and applied it to other debts. I contacted them a few months later and was told that they could not deal with me anymore as it was out of their hands and had gone to collection.

Since that time (99? I think) I have received letters from various collectors attempting to collect this bill. In all honesty on my part, as I was no longer going to be paying this debt to Citibank I haven't been in any rush to pay a collector and have focused on repaying original creditors and making the attempt to get caught up and stay caught up. I had some money last year and looked into paying back the loan, but found that after that much time it may be in my best interest to ride it out as making a payment would start the clock ticking again on my credit record, keeping the debt on our record for another 7 years.

I pulled my credit report earlier this summer and again today from all three credit reporting agencies and there is no record of an account through CITIBANK at all -- nothing.....which is really odd as everything I have done for the last 14 years is there, but no mention of this card and I have gone over with a fine tooth comb - it is like it never existed! Under the "COLLECTION" section however both of the people taking me to court are listed - one with the original collector being what appears to be a collection agency name and the STATUS DATE being July 2002 and the other with original creditor being CITIBANK and status date of MAY 2004.

My dilemma is:

1) I would like to try to settle with one of these companies before going to court to keep from possibly having a judgement on my record and if I do which one and what happens to the other one -- can they still try to collect the debt if I pay it to the other person? Am I probably going to have to go to court one way or the other?

2) If I have to go to court for this will they have to show proper documentation of this debt to a judge and how does CITIBANK not being on my credit report impact anything? Why on earth would this debt not be showing on my credit report?? Everything else is there. Basically, if it is not showing on the credit reports it is essentially my word against theirs. right? For all I know the statute of limitations is already up. I have no way to prove any of this debt or the true amount one way or the other. I have to believe that if they are taking me to court -- they will be able to prove their case. One of the people suing me actually left a message for me to call them yesterday after they had already had papers served to me. What is up with that?

3) Is it too late to for me to request validation of this debt or should I not try to at all at this point. Is it too late to request a validation if they have both already served papers for me to appear in court? What is the possibility that CitiBank is trying to get this money? One of the people coming after me is Excalibur as successor in interest to Citibank. I know that Excalibur buys old debts. I am really concerned about revealing too much information to either company- as I don't know what is in my best interest to reveal such as another company is trying to collect this debt etc....and what they do not need to know.

3) Lastly, this credit card is in my name alone, but it was acquired after I was married -- can they garnish my husbands wages for a credit card that wasn't in his name? I do not work as I am a stay at home mom and have not worked the entire length of our 15 year marriage.

I am really feeling like I should get a lawyer as I truly do not know how to proceed with two people coming after me for the same debt. Any additional info anyone could provide would be so very appreciated.

Thanks so much!!


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I think the best thing to do is submit a motion to join the cases! After all the matter in each case is the same debt and the defendant in each is the same. Then they are going to have to fight it out between themseles in front of the judge. How are they going to convence a judge you owe them money, if they can not decided between themselves who you owe it to.

I would like to be there for that hearing with my popcorn! :D

My thinking is that the underlying facts are far too muddled for them to be able to prove a thing.

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At the very least, you need to call the court clerk and explain that these two cases are for the SAME account but being sued upon by two DIFFERENT entities -- which is ridiculous, only ONE of them can legally own the debt.

If the Citibank is nowhere on your reports, then it has probably dropped off already - and that means that the collection should NOT be there either. Collections can NOT surivive the obsolesence of the ORIGINAL delinquent debt as the 'date certain' use to determine the reporting period can NOT legally be changed. If it has, they are breaking the law by attempting to run the statute and you can nail them for FCRA vioaltions.

I have to agree, you need to consult with an attorney and get BOTH of these bozo's in front of a judge at the same time... only 1 can claim legal ownership or legal rights to sue and/or collect.

In addition, if this debt has dropped off your credit reports, the SOL has expired and I would argue that point in court !!

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