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Need help Answering Summons and Complaint.


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I stopped paying an outstanding credit card/debt last Spring because my current income of long-term disability insurance, and social security disability, is not even enough to pay my rent, food, medical costs and helpers. I'm paralyzed, and live in WA state.

I have ignored calls and letters. I did write an initial letter to the original creditor last Spring, stating my position.

When the debt was sold to a collection agency, I sent them the dispute letter found at this website, and asked them to contact me only by writing. The debt was then sent to an attorney in my state. I sent the same dispute letter to them.

They wrote back with an Affidavit of Creditor, and billing statement, and said they were told to proceed to collect unless arrangements were made. I can't negotiate anything right now.

I received a summons and complaint. I know I have to Answer it within 20 days.

I am going to Answer the Complaint with deny for everything, except the section which states the county I live in. I found this form to use... http://www.lawhelp.org/documents/1387410205EN.pdf?stateabbrev=/WA/

They have not filed this at the court, and state in the summons that I can demand the plaintiff file this lawsuit.

* Are they just trying to get me to respond?

* Do I need to send a notice of appearance?

I am also going to include a letter again with this answer stating my current sole sources of soc. sec. disability/long-term disability insurance, and include a line on the Answer form...stating my exempt income. I'm not sure where though.

* Is this all I have to do? I have $6000 left of money lent to me to help me, but it's been tough. I will protect that. An invasive surgery last week has left me in pain, so trying to deal with this has also not been easy.

I appreciate any assistance.

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First, if I read this correctly you got something from an "attorney". (Collection agencies sometimes try to disguise items as coming from an attorney for intimidation though it's not legal). Check with the Washington state bar and see if there is a licensed attorney by that name. Was it signed by the attorney? If there is an attorney by that name, is he a member of the bar in good standing?

You said you were "served". Was service proper and legal? But you said it was not filed at the court, which makes me suspicious. If it was not filed with the court, there is no current lawsuit and nothing to answer. You would have (should have) been served with a file-stamped copy.

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They are real attorneys. The summons lists 4 attorneys and their WSBA #'s.

I was "served" by someone knocking on my door.. them saying delivery for me.. I say...yes, and they hand me the papers.

As for no summons number... I found on this website...


"NOTE: If the papers you received do not have a file number, that may mean that the plaintiff decided to deliver (or serve) the papers to you before filing them with the court. The law allows this, and you are still bound by the time limit listed in your Summons. However, if this is the case, you may not need to file your Answer with the court yet. You will still have to deliver a copy to the plaintiff's lawyer (or the plaintiff if s/he has no lawyer). Read your Summons carefully. It should tell you what to do."

In further research.. I've found that this law firm and the original creditor have sent out similar summons to 2 people that are searching for answers on the internet.

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I wouldn't trust the internet as essentially reliable.

You can deny teh allegations, but I would add the following affirmative defenses:

The plaintiff fails to state a cause of action against me,

The claim is barred by the statute of frauds.

The plaintiff lacks the legal capacity or legal standing to bring and maintain this action.

The court would unjustly enrich the plaintiff.

You will want to slow them down by asking for discovery.

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I should put down in my affirmative defense area...

"The plaintiff fails to state a cause of action against me."

even though in the complaint it says,

"comes now the plaintiff for cause of action against the defendants, and complains and alleges as follows:"


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