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BEING SUED! NEED HELP NOW!!


legalhelpnow
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OK-I already have a thread on this list about my history with Citi and I should probably find it and continue, but I don't think I can look for it now.

The really short version of the story is that Citibank turned over my account to Academy Collections, and they closed the account and returned it back to Citi since they couldn't validate. Citi then gave the account to a local law firm in my area. This account is not past SOL and the last time I used the card was early 2004 so I can't DOLA or SOL to win anything.

The DV process played out-this firm sent me the proof that I needed. Seems like they sent me every statement I've ever had (through Citi of course)

The debt is for 5,000. They want 500 a month (spoke to them yesterday) and I said there was no way in hell I could afford that amount of money. I don't work, am going to school full time, and the money just wont grow on a tree in my backyard. Now mind you, I received "the proof" from them on February 12. Now in the DV letter that I copied word for word from this site (with exceptions and alterations of course) I stated that I would need an additional 30 days from the time they sent me my proof, to investigate myself, blah, blah, blah. So then yesterday (March 4th) I get a summons in the mail saying that I'm being sued, and that I have 35 days to respond, or I can work things out with the plaintiff and stay out of court, blah, blah, blah

Now when I spoke to this #$^* at the law firm, she tells me that at the end of their letter to me, it says "This concludes the debt verification process. Kindly contact this office to discuss payment arrangements" So by saying that, they override the part in my DV letter where I say, "I'll need an additional 30 days to review the documentation that they send me" And that they didn't need to give me an additional 30 days, but they chose to do so.

IS THAT LEGAL?? I mean I have it in writing. Then I told her that I couldn't afford the 500/monthly that Citi wanted. I mean where did they expect me to get the money? Then I also told her that if they were to take me to court, the judge wouldn't force me to pay what I didn't have, because that would be retarded. Even if I wanted to give 5 bucks a month, that is what they would have to take. She agreed and said yes, that was very true. I could pay what I could afford in judgment talks, but taking me to court and getting a judgment against me would mean that this would appear on my credit report for 15 years. Is that true!!! I'm only 26, and don't want my credit destroyed by this. What on earth do I do? I can't afford this, and Citi isn't willing to go any lower. If they take me to court, I can pay them a penny a month if I want, but my credit will be trashed. PLEASE I NEED ADVICE. Should I try and deal with Citi again? What should I do?? Should I get an attorney? I mean I don't want to bother if the outcome will be the same. I don't want my credit trashed by this, but I just can't afford 500/month. Hell I can't even afford 100/month but that I was more than willing to do. What now guys??? And if any of you know an attorney in NJ please point me his/her way!

Thanks

Irene

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First, there's no way in hell a judgment can stay on your reports for 15 years, that's an outright LIE! Judgment's CAN stay on as long as they're unpaid, but for the most part they drop off after the required 7-1/2 years anyway. If you're to the point of a lawsuit, your credit is already trashed, there's no help for it.

They do NOT have to accept a penny a month, get real. No court would ever allow that, no judge would approve it. However, with no job and no wages to garnish, the only things they can go after for payment is your bank account and any non-exempt assets you might have. You need to be prepared to claim your exemptions too.

If you have nothing, they can get nothing - at least for now. The judgment will hang around long enough that once you get a job, they'll go after your paycheck.

File your Answer with the court as required. Go to court, the judge will make you try to settle it with the lawyer one last time before he/she makes the decision, so you will have one last chance at settlement.

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Lady-

Thanks. Now as far as my credit being trashed, it's a peculiar thing, but it's not. My score is 655 (which I assume is good) and the present attorney along with Academy Collections don't appear on any of my reports (checked yesterday) Citi of course is reporting that the debt has been charged off. Not in dispute, nada. Except for Citi my credit has been excellent-and I mean excellent. I could kill myself for letting this one slip, but no use crying over spilt milk. I suppose at this point though that my credit is on a good road to being trashed, even if for the present, it shines.

I mean I'm not sure what the point is, if the attorney I'm dealing with is once again going to say that Citi wants 500 and will absolutely not go lower, vs. not going to court, working out a deal in writing and still paying 500 a month. The only different is I would have avoided court and regained some piece of mind. As for assets, I live with parents, don't rent, and don't own a car. There is nothing they can get from me. Not a thing. I'm just wondering if at this point I should give Citi one more try. Their department is closed of course, but I was thinking I could have one more go at it on Monday when they open.

OK-so I go to court, and then what? What ends up happening? I pay what I say I am able to pay? The 100/month? How does this process work? And as far as the whole pay for delete issue, since the law firm doesn't even appear on my report, who do I deal with in this matter? Citi? Do I negotiate with them for a delete?

Thanks

Irene

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Hi-

The law firm is Eichenbaum, Kantrowitz, Leff & Gulko L.L.C They are a law firm. The case has been filed; I received the summons-I've got the docket number and everything. The lawyer I spoke with said I could call her Monday with my decision, and that if I agreed to settle, everything would be in writing, and that the case (they would provide me documentation) would be withdrawn. And yes, everything is real. Checked with the courts. Of course I've got 35 days (about 15 remaining of that) to file my answer. Of course I'd have to go to court to file the response and all, but at least it would be out of court. I'm running out of ideas with this one. At this point I'm thinking that even if I have to take out a loan to get rid of this debt, I'll do it, and be done with Citi for good. No wonder they lose customers like water.

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Another quick question:

As I mentioned before, I received a summons yesterday (March 4, 2005) It wasn't certified or hand delivered or anything. Simply left in the mailbox. I don't know where to go to check whether my state (NJ) allows such a thing. But an interesting twist-I receive the same exact summons today, but this time it is certified.

Now, on the front, one line reads:

"If a judgment is entered against you, a special Civil Part Officer may seize your money, wages or personal property to pay all or part of the judgment and the judgment is valid for 20 years"

Now what on earth does that mean???????? 20 years? Is this different from the suit being listed on my credit report for 7 years? Or does it mean the court can try to collect for the next 20 years, but that has nothing to do with my credit report?

Irene

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a judgement being valid for twenty years in my opinion, means that they can continue to try to collect, bank accounts, leins, garnishments, whatever they can legally do to collect. In my state after the time is up (ten years I believe) they can petition the court to keep the case open for another ten years. So if you buy any property, they can put a lein on it, or if you win a lottery, they can collect etc...

You will have to check with your own state laws (google is great for stuff like that) but, I am pretty sure that is what it means.

Christina

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I just got sued in Jersey also, I DV'd the lawyers who didn't provide any info at all. I pulled letters off the FTC website about how to correctly DV a consumer and showed that the lawyers were in the wrong. I put together a picture perfect case to throw out the lawsuit. My original debt was for $1200 and I now have a judgement against me for $2700. Obviously, my case didn't make its case. Luckily, I own nothing either, as in your case, everything is in my spouses name and I don't work anymore. I never received a court date or anything either, I'm really pissed. My advice is that if you don't know how to represent yourself in court or don't know any of the case law, find a way to settle. I now wish that I had. I was going to school full-time at BCC and working full time when I got sued and I hardly had the time to get anything accomplished with the case. Either find a way to settle (get a loan like you mentioned) or wing it like I did, maybe you'll get lucky. BTW, the court clerks are a-holes and won't help you out, remember your in Jersey not South Carolina. If you do get one to help you out forward me their name so I can talk to them. Good luck.

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Mr. Lev and MMM-

Thanks for replying. Thought about this long and hard, and going to court isn't worth it. Just got a loan, so I'm paying this debt off. I'll call the law firm tomorrow to get things in action.

Something I'm still confused about though. This present law firm is not listed on any of my credit reports, not even as an inquiry. Citi has listed the account as a charge off. Now how do I get this deleted (if at all) from my report once it has been paid? I asked this before but I guess no one had an answer. If the OC no longer owns the account, but the law firm hasn't put anything on my credit report, who do I deal with? Should I contact Cit again, with the settlement documentation I'll be receiving from the law firm? I'm confused.

Irene

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