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Received a summons from citi, help please


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Today I received a summons from a law office called Zakheim & Associates, P.A. There is no court date mentioned on the summons, however there is a case #. It states "A lawsuit has been filed against you. You have 20 days after this summons is served on you to file a written response to the attached complaint or petition with the clerk of this court. The summons says the type of case is contracts(what ever that means) and there is no jury trial demanded in complaint.

The debt is now over 11,000 thanks to fees and interest. Back in April of 2005 I receuived a collection notice from Associated recovery systems (ARS National Services) I D/V them they never answered, a couple months later I D/V them again never heard from again. In June 2005 I received a letter from law offices of Zakheim & Associated P.A. trying to collect this debt. So I D/V them in Oct 2005 I received a pile of papers with a list of charges made to the citi credit card. I don't believe thats a proper D/V, it wasn't what I asked for according to the debt validation law. Now I receive this summons mentioned above. I saved all my certified mail receipts just in case there is something I can do.

My question is what are my options. I know I had this citi credit card but I disagree with the amount they say I owe. They already hit my credit hard why deal with them unless the OC worked with me. I contacted the OC(citi) by phone and letter to try to settle this issue. They don't want anything to do with me.

Any advise would be great, thanks.

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Hi,

Are they an in state law firm? Were you served properly in accordance with state requirements? If so it may be legit.

And yes... you're right about their lack of TRUE debt validation.

If I were looking at this... I'd answer the suit for sure and gain some time to review my options... (settlement, fight the suit, learn about asset protection, Open a surf shop in Tahiti)... whatever.

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Excuse me.

First of all, Citi assigned your case to collections...and the law firm. The law firm is the one you must deal with now; Citi will not, and likely legally cannot intervene. That is, if they still own the account; Associated Recovery Services/ARS is a JDB. So, ARS may have done the deed, instead.

That "pile of papers" listing all the charges made on the card CAN be more than adequate to prove the account existed! Especially if this "pile of papers" is actually copies of the actual credit card statements! If they came from Citi, and it is likely they did (a CA/JDB rarely goes to the trouble of faking that much paperwork), you need to attack this from another angle.

And, you have at least one: The dispute as to how much you owe Citi. That may help offset some of any award to the plaintiffs, if they should win. So would counterclaiming any violations of law that ARS made while they had the account. Same for the law firm which took over the collection of the account. I'd say to also make them prove where they got their validation. And, the ownership of the account, if they are claiming they are suing for Citi, and Discovery proves that Citi sold it to ARS.

Don't ignore this in any case! Yes, do check with the court, but the summons is probably legit, especially since it has a case number. Trial dates are not assigned until after the parties have been served, and often not until the period in which the Answer is to be filed is up.

The case type is correct: It IS a contract action! Credit card suits are done because one party--usually the defendant--breached the contract (the card agreement is a contract).

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I called the court today and the summons is legit. So I plan on responding to both the court and the law office of Zakheim & Associates.

Can anyone advise me on what I should write. I would like to settle this out of court if that option still stands. Would it be alright to send and make an offer like "I'll pay 80% of the debt at payments of $100.00 a month".

Will that work? Also should I send the court the same letter I send to the law office?

Thanks to you who have responded before, your help is appreciated.

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Hi - I've settled two suits with Citi. One for 75%, the other at the magic 80% (search for other posts on this subject). I tried to settle these sooner but they would not even talk to me until they filed suit - go figure. They had both accounts assigned to several CAs. I DV'd each but never received anything - they just shined it on to the next CA. Citi then took the accounts back, gave them to a collection attorney who did provide validation (statements) and then they filed suit immediately. I wanted to settle but when negotiations on the one account stalled out at 80% I had my attorney contact them - they responded with the following "options":

1) Pay the amount of 80% in one lump sum;

2) Pay the amount of 100% in 24 monthly payments; or

3) Request to settle for less than 80% by completing a

request form which includes providing the following

information:

A. Amount of proposed Settlement;

B. What is specific hardship (including proof);

C. Who is originating the offer;

D. What is the source of funds;

E. Are you settling with other creditors (provide

details); and

F. Why was offer of 80% rejected?

I thought that completing their settlement requiest form was absurd and admit that I gave up and paid the 80% lump sum. They are tough nuts to crack and they would not even discuss anything to do with credit reporting. BTW, both of mine were in the $5 - $6,000 range - just high enough to put both suits in court mandated arbitration in our county (rather than small claims). Those statements they sent you would certainly stand as validation in our county court system. I saw it happen over and over again.

I sincerely hope you have better luck with them - some have.

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Guest sifxpert

This is a perfect example of what happens when you send a DV or CD to Citi. Once you do this, you get sued. I've posted numerous times on this subject.

Unfortunately, you are stuck with either 75-80% settlement prior to suit or balance in full. Now, what you can also do is pay the full balance over 24 months with 25% of the balance down.

You can also settle this for 50% if you can prove a medical condition...a serious one.

Zakheim and the other idiots are a bunch of a$$holes. Good luck trying to get anything done.

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Guest sifxpert

yes never send anything just ignore. as soon as you send anything to them they initiate lawsuit. it is recalled from the CA immediately and you are sued. i've posted this all over the debt settlement area.

same with MBNA HHold Target GE Money bank...only pre-charge off though for these guys.

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Guest sifxpert

your only real arguement would be that citi breached their contract. believe me, i have fought plenty of these cases and spoke to many many others ho have as well and the only real defense you may have is that citi breached their contract and you want to see the original signed agreement which they do not have or they only have the front side...not the back of the page where the terms are written. So, therefore, what can they prove?

This is the only way I have had any lick fighting them. Once I changed my plan of attack I started seeing major stalls on citis behalf and letters to settle being sent where before, no letters were ever sent other than appearance notices.

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Six,

It's the case of the greasy wheel gets oil, or similar to those who click "Remove me from your mailing list": THEY KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE! Collections agency sends out thousands of letters and those who respond are live bait to go after. I use to send back letters at my PO Box saying "No such person" and I never hear from them again. The two I DV promptly filed a lawsuit!

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Six,

It's the case of the greasy wheel gets oil, or similar to those who click "Remove me from your mailing list": THEY KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE! Collections agency sends out thousands of letters and those who respond are live bait to go after. I use to send back letters at my PO Box saying "No such person" and I never hear from them again. The two I DV promptly filed a lawsuit!

Very interesting....

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  • 2 months later...

Thought Id piggyback on this post.

Here is my situation:

Got a summons from a Citi-hired attorney . I faxed an offer for 40% ($5600 on $14108 balance).

Questions:

1. What do you think they will take? Will they always want lump sum? This thread says no less than 80% but I see others say maybe 50%.

2. When is best time to settle? Although they have summoned, no complaint filed with court yet, they said they would ask for default on 4 April. One of SIFXPERTs posts said they settle better AFTER the pretrial.

3. This thread also talks about what is good validation. The complaint contained one statement and an affidavit from Citi's attorney management specialist. Is this good enough for most courts or should I insist on original contract as SIFXPERT discussed?

4. Finally, they have already broken rules for summons (Colorado rules say they must file with court within 10 days after summons). It is now at 16 days. A local attorney told me I can file for motion to dismiss once they do file but they just resue. So is their value in that? It just slows them down and they refile, right?

Id appreciate your comments. Id really like to settle with them but may need some leverage and time.

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True...I offered 75% and they wouldn't settle. At what point on a charged off account must they stop charging interest on a default credit card? Six months?

75%? That is truly ridiculous. They told us they would only settle for 80%. What makes these bastards think they are better than other cards who will settle with consumers in dire straights?

I don't know the answer to the interest question. We are not going to pay them now; they had their chance. We are judgement proof and my husband is 61 and doesn't need any more credit for the rest of his life. Let them have their little judgement because our charges were run up by the Ex wife and they can go scr*w themselves.

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