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being sued - no money


bidasx
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I have a debt for about $15k+ with Citi Bank, and I have been getting collection calls from 3 different collection agencys. Citi bank refused to work with me even though they offered me 21 days to contact them in regard to this debt and I contacted them only after about 11 days. They claimed the letter was a mistake and they already sent my account to a collection agency. Anyway... My sister's husband's family is now getting messages about a court date for me and that my legal representation should contact them. One thing is how did the Collection Agency get their number? I don't even know their phone number/address.

On to the main point... It seems they are sueing me yet I have no money. I make about $120 a month and I own nothing except a $3,000 car. Everything else of mine is borrowed either from my family or from my wife's family. Upon buying our own house we will be giving this stuff back to them. Anyway, what would they hope to accomplish in court about this... I don't make enough to garnish my wages and I have nothing for them to collect as payment, except the car but that is only a fraction of what I owe.

On another note, I live in TN but they are in CA and the court date is set in CA. I used to live in CA but i moved to TN, is there any issue with this?

Thanks for any advice.

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If you have no money then there is really nothing they can do accept obtain a judgement against you. As to the collection calls, send these companies a letter telling them not to call you any more. Also ask them to validate the debt. There are great suggestions for both types of these letters in the COLLECTIONs forum.

If your a home owner, chances are they will actually take you to court. This way they can get a judgement against you and just sit back and wait for you to sell your home to get paid.

Collections are not the end of the world. They make living hard, but the important thing to remember is, YOU COME FIRST. Paying these collections should come a distant last place priority. Good luck to you, your not alone so hang in there.

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What does this judgement mean? Does it stay on me until i come up with the funds? My understanding is that a judement would basically order me to pay or allow them to collect off of me. If i have no money to pay and have nothing for them to take then what other consequences does a judgement bring about for me.

I do not own a home. I own nothing except a car. I understand they could take that but after that when I have no money and am not really in a position to get any for awhile, will the "judgement" just hang over me? and if so, for how long. Sorry, I am quite new to all of this.

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Did the CA happen to say where the court was in CA they are suing you in. If so, I would call that court to make sure there is a summons actually there. From what I understand Citi will sue. If there is one, you need to let them know that you live in TN and unable to attend. Also ask the court what the procedure is get this changed to where you live. The CA has to sue you where you live. I can't remember what the legal term for that is. One of the experts can chime in and let you know that. In fact, I don't think the CA can sue you unless they bought the debt which would make them a JDB (Junk Debt Buyer) If they are just collecting the debt for Citi, then it would be Citi that has to sue.

You also need to pay close attention to bank accounts as well. It sounds like the CA is trying to get a quick default judgement and then they would attach your accounts. Once that happens, its a pain to get your money back.

You need to get this cleared up before you purchase your home.

In order to get the calls to stop, you need to send them a DV letter CMRR telling them "it is inconvenient to contact you by phone. All correspondence should be made via mail" This should stop all calls.

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What does this judgement mean? Does it stay on me until i come up with the funds? My understanding is that a judement would basically order me to pay or allow them to collect off of me. If i have no money to pay and have nothing for them to take then what other consequences does a judgement bring about for me.

Getting a judgement is one thing. Collecting on it is another. I know people that have judgements, no money whatsoever in the bank, so there is nothing to collect. They have had accounts frozen and all the CA was able to get is $50. Needless to say, the CA is not happy. More than likely what will happen is that if a judgement is obtained, a CA will be hired to collect the judgement. Therefore it will be hard for you to keep bank accounts etc until that judgement is collected.

I do not own a home. I own nothing except a car. I understand they could take that but after that when I have no money and am not really in a position to get any for awhile, will the "judgement" just hang over me? and if so, for how long. Sorry, I am quite new to all of this.

That is why you have to clear this up if you want to get a house. That way, no lein can be placed against your property. A friend of mine has that problem right now. Has a judgment, CA trying to collect. Bank account was just frozen and cannot sell the house until all judgement are paid. Or sell the house and pay the judgement and make no profit from the sale.

If I were in your shoes my first step would be to call the court in CA and see if a summons was actually filed. Then you have to get the venue (I think that is what its called) changed to where you live.

You also need to find out if its a OC/CA or JDB that is suing you. That will determine what direction you can take with this. Its easier to deal with a JDB than OC.

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What if I have no accounts with any money. I'm not planning on buying a house any time soon until this is actually cleared up. But how long after getting a judgement on me does this "hold" on everything of mine last. For example say they get a judgement then 5 years passed and they were unable to get anything, would there still be this judgement over my head or does it disappear after a certain length of time?

The person calling my sister's husband's family gave a phone number for a Collection Agency and said to get my legal representation to contact that number, wouldn't that mean the Collection Agency bought it off? Or can collection agencies goto court on behalf of the OC? If it was the OC i would assume a representative from the OC would be calling me.

Also, I think i read something about if a Collection Agency hasn't registered in your State they can't collect/sue in your state. Did i read that right? Wouldn't that mean if I stayed here in TN and they weren't registered to collect here then they couldn't sue me?

Also again, how does my sister's husband's family get the many many calls to stop? Send a Cease and desist letter explaining i don't live there? Then if they continued calling them wouldn't that violate the FDCPA?

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What if I have no accounts with any money. I'm not planning on buying a house any time soon until this is actually cleared up. But how long after getting a judgement on me does this "hold" on everything of mine last. For example say they get a judgement then 5 years passed and they were unable to get anything, would there still be this judgement over my head or does it disappear after a certain length of time?

From what I know, they can renew the judgement. It depends how aggressive they want to be about collecting it. If you are dealing with Citi directly and not a JDB, I would think they will be aggressive about it.

The person calling my sister's husband's family gave a phone number for a Collection Agency and said to get my legal representation to contact that number, wouldn't that mean the Collection Agency bought it off? Or can collection agencies goto court on behalf of the OC? If it was the OC i would assume a representative from the OC would be calling me.

Some CA are also JDB. One notorious one is NCO. Just because they left a number for a CA does not mean they bought the debt off. Have you received any dunning letters for this debt. Get hard copies of your CR from each bureau if you have not done so already. If Citi has sold the debt, your position would be better. I don't know if CA can go to court on behalf the OC. Someone else would have to answer that. Sifexpert is very familiar with Citi. Hopefully h/she will chime in here and give some input.

When did you default on this debt? Is the debt past SOL? Find out the SOL for your state. There is a link at the top of the page.

Also, I think i read something about if a Collection Agency hasn't registered in your State they can't collect/sue in your state. Did i read that right? Wouldn't that mean if I stayed here in TN and they weren't registered to collect here then they couldn't sue me?

I never had to deal with this issue, so you may have to do a search on the board for the answer to this one or someone will chime in on it.

Also again, how does my sister's husband's family get the many many calls to stop? Send a Cease and desist letter explaining i don't live there? Then if they continued calling them wouldn't that violate the FDCPA?

I would think they have to send a full C&D letter to the CA to get them to stop calling. But if they take that route, the letter would have to be on behalf of your sister husband's family and not you. Otherwise, if there is no lawsuit, there may surely be one after that. In my situation, what my family member did was write and tell them not to contact anymore. They did call after that, but we were not as knowledgable then as we are now on what to do. But eventually, they stopped calling my family.

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The SoL for TN i believe is 7 years, for CA it is only 4 (I think).

I defaulted at the beginning of this year though so it is not even close. It is also gaining $500 a month in interest :x I'm trying to figure out what to do and get this settled. Possibly a hardship letter to the CA and offering them about 30% is the best I could do. The only money I have atm (and living off of) is my Stafford Loan for college.

Is the best way to find out if it has been bought off by a JDB by looking at the credit reports. Citi claimed they "couldn't call the debt back" from the CA when i did deal with them a few month ago. Probably just BS so they didn't have to deal with me, but I figure since there are more than one CA calling me it is probably not a JDB. My reasoning could be flawed though.

I thank you for all you help

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I think your SOL in TN is 6 years not 7.

Do a search on the board for Sifexpert and see what s/he has to say about settling with Citi. It seems like they are hard to settle with and only take certain things into consideration with those hardship letters.

You CR can tell you if they sold the debt or not. It would say "transferred or sold" If you get any dunning letters, that will tell you as well. If you only defaulted earlier this year, I suspect that Citi still owns the account but has a CA after you to try to collect. That would be why they are telling you they can't recall the account. In this case, it may be better to try to settle with the CA but I am no expert at that. So take that advice with a grain of salt.

If you don't mind saying, who is the CA that you are dealing with? Make sure you call the courts in CA first thing in the morning and find out if a suit has been filed against you and the specifics. When it was filed, who filed etc.

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I have read the many posts of Sifexpert. They have helped me alot, but the fact is I can't settle with anyone, except like 30% and won't be getting money for a long time I still have a year of school left and a part time job barely brings money in. So i figure I'm pretty much doomed to goto court and just trying to figure out about a judgement. Does the judgement fall under the SoL? So even if a Judgement is issued against me after 6 years if will be gone? I doubt it...

It is Academy Collection Agency.

What is a "dunning" letter? I am unfamiliar with this term.

Thanks again.

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It sounds like you are in a pretty tough situation. I don't know how you are going to be able to stall them until you come up with the money. I know there is a certain length of time a judgement can remain on your report. I just can't remember right now how long that is. From what I know, after the reporting time is up, they can renew the judgement.

I am not familiar with that CA so I can't even tell you what to expect from them. But I think they are a CA, so in this case, they are probably just collecting for Citi. This default is still fairly new. I don't know if they are a JDB or not.

A dunning letter is a collection letter. Basically those letters that they send you every month or however often telling you that you owe the debt.

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You always have the NUCLEAR OPTION.... Bankruptcy.

Clearly YOU are able to pass the means test, with so little income, and so little assets.

I'd say to use the threat of BK "hypothetically" to leverage a settlement, but you dont have the income to even handle a settlement.

I would file for BK before letting them get a judgment. Look at it this way:

A) You settle, setup a payment plan, maybe default again, but this starts a fresh 7 year ticker on a nasty negative mark on your credit report.

B) You file for BK, its a 10 year ding on your CR, but the ill effect falls off within 3-4 yrs.

C) You let them get a judgment and they haunt you for 20 years, and very unlikely you can get a reasonable mortgage with a judgment hanging over your head. They'd most likely require you to settle it first.

If you had the ability to pay off a settlement, then the THREAT (hypothetically, since you cant threaten it clearly without following up for real) of BK could get a more reasonable settlement terms.... ie: it's take $X or $0... YOUR choice Mr Creditor.

Best way to transmit the threat, is to go to the required credit counseling, obtain the certificate required BEFORE you can even file, then have it in plain sight and arrange for a face to face settlement talk. Mention "I've completed the required credit counseling needed for BK filing, I've learned alot about proper handling of my debt, and would like to discuss the possibility of amicably settling our issues." Only a dummy wouldn't get the message.

________

Vaporizer shop

Edited by uwackme
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I know lots of people with judgements, Makes life difficult but not impossible. Biggest thing to worry about if you do finally get a job is wage garnishment. Which varies State to State.

Can't get blood out of a stone, you could open a new JOINT Bank account that they probably can't touch and if they do you can un-freeze the funds.

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I have never heard of a CA who has won a judgement ever being able to take someones only car. That I think is a myth. They can however, assign a lein against your car and if you ever sell it, they would get the money. Same thing if it were wrecked and you received money.

In most cases if you are truly destitue they will leave you alone for a few years until your situation improves. Then without warning, they will decend upon you like bee's to a fresh flower.

I would see if you could get some legal aid through your states Bar Association. Many states have a pro-bono program to help those in need.

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Can't get blood out of a stone, you could open a new JOINT Bank account that they probably can't touch and if they do you can un-freeze the funds.

Just wanted to jump in and ask a question. I promise I won't hijack the thread, but if you have a joint account there's no way money can be withdrawn from them without formal consent or some type of judgement?

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