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Capital One - registered letter from magistrates office?


BigHair
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I received a registered letter notice in the mail last week -from a local magistrates office. I called the magistrates office because the P.O was closed for the weekend/holiday and they explained it's from Capital One for old charges and a judgment. If the charges aren't paid a judgment will be filed and additional costs will be added on. I don't even know what a judgment is!

When I went to the post office to pick it up this morning, they wouldn't give it to me because the letter was addressed to a masculine spelling of my name instead of my name. Of course I know it's intended for me. They said they would have to return the letter to the magistrate and have them resend it to me, however they said if Capital One has the records in the name of "his" name, they could just send the Magistrate to arrest "me/him". Is this true? Can't I just pay Capital One and get this over with? Do I have to go to court at the magistrates? Why did they send something to him instead of me?

Additionally, and I apologize for rambling, they said something about willful evasion. I don't know what that is, either.

So, I'm sorry for sounding like an idiot and not knowing what any of this is. I was married for a long time to someone who handled all the finances and I know nothing about any of it. Or anything about credit, including my own.

I feel so stupid. Thankfully I found this place. Thank you for any and all of your help.

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Welcome to the club! And, no need to feel stupid...we've all been new to this at one time or another, and we've all had to learn how to deal with it.

Here's some things to start with...

1. Nobody gets arrested for NOT paying a Credit Card (CC). Who told you that? The PO?

2. If the name isn't spelled right...it really might not be for you. Just because you owe Crap 1 some money, doesn't mean they've got the right person.

3. Have you received any collection letters about this? Even Crap 1 doesn't go right to court from delinquent debts.

4. And, who mentioned willful evasion? The PO again? If that's the case, and if this letter is from a collection agency rather than directly from Crap 1, you may have grounds for a suit against them (if indeed this is your debt).

5. If this does turn out to be yours...you'll have two choices. Contact Crap 1 and arrange to pay them (they'll probably want the full amount...and do not deal with any collection agencies in the middle), or 2. show up in court so they don't get a "default" judgement against you.

I'd suggest you read everything you can on the board here...there's lots of information you need to know.

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Thanks for the warm welcome. :-) I know I shouldn't feel embarassed about this, but I do. It's indeed my debt and I did ignore the late notices, etc. STUPID on my part. When the letters stopped, I figured "woohoo!". Again, stupid on my part.

So to answer your questions:

1) The PO counter clerk is the person who said the magistrates office would send someone over with a bench warrent for me. I'm assuming that's because the letter wasn't/couldn't be retrieved. However if they typoed it, whose fault is that? Not mine, right?

3) I used to receive letter from Crap 1 (love that!) but they stopped a while ago. I received letters from a collection agency for a while but they, too, stopped. I did ignore them because I wasn't/am not working and couldn't pay them. I believe the total is only around $2000.

4) A woman at the magistrates office mentioned willful evasion. I can't remember exactly what she said because she was saying so much, so fast. But she threw that in there and it really kind of caught me off guard.

5) I would rather contact Captial One to pay it off. I can NOT allow my current husband to find out about this, therefor I can't go to court over this. KWIM?

I've been trying to read as much as I can on this website and it's so overwhelming. There's so much information, GOOD information, but I don't even know where to begin!

Thanks so much for your help. I'm sure I'll be back once I get this darn letter in my hands.

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What country are you in? This doesn't sound like the US for some reason.

The county courthouse will serve a bench warrant for not picking up your mail? Even if Crap 1 sued you and won a default judgement, the post office has no involvement in that, and there is no bench warrant. The only time you get served a bench warrant is if you fail to follow a court's orders. Which would mean you had to have already been sued, and the judge ordered you to do something.

You should call the local courthouse and find out if there is a case against you from Crapone or a CA first of all.

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I'm guessing the PO lady was trying to be helpful...or nosy...

That's why I mentioned that she might have a "third party disclosure" claim against somebody. If its the OC or the courts that tipped off the PO by something in their letter, that's one thing...but if the PO figured it out from a CAs communication, that's another.

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Correct, I'm in Pennsylvania. And yes, the P.O. woman was being nosey or helpful, whichever.

I got a letter in the mail today from a mediation service offering their "help". It's also addressed to the masculine spelling of my name. It confirms there is a court summons that has been or will be served regarding my being sued by Capital One Bank/Attorney David Apothaker.

So here's my continued list of questions: Does that mean I have to physically go to court? What happens if I don't show up? Do they (Capital One) just win and I pay? As you can see, I've never been in a court room or been sued in my life. I wish I could just call them and say "ok, what do I owe you and give me your address". Because the suit lists an attorney, will the payoff remove the debt from my credit?

I'm sorry for all of the questions but I can't seem to figure out the answers by reading through the site. I'm trying, really I am.

Thanks again for all your help.

ETA: I don't want my husband to know about this because I don't want to dissapoint him. He bailed me out of a huge financial mess once when we were first married. I couldn't stand to hurt him with this. :cry:

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ETA: I don't want my husband to know about this because I don't want to dissapoint him. He bailed me out of a huge financial mess once when we were first married. I couldn't stand to hurt him with this. :cry:

Actually, I think you should tell him about it but insist you'll handle it all on your own. Insist that it's your problem and you're willing to do what it takes to rectify it. The amount of respect you'll gain will more than completely offset any momentary disappointment and may even win you smooze points with him over your last financial bailout.

Plus, honesty is always the best answer.

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She's in PA...see the little location at the top left? Them Pennsylvanites has colorful names for local courts and the like...

:)++ Hello bighair.............it does seem that things are a bit different for us. I have a very hard time finding information, but the good people here try to help as much as possible. I am new to all this also, and I too find it very confusing. The more I read, the more overwhelmed I become, so I just wanted to let you know, you are not alone.

I did show up in District Court, and Apothaker didn't show. It seems they love those "default judgements", and I refused to let them win by default.

Good Luck with this.........ps......I think I would tell hubby. I am dealing with all this mess on my own, and it sure would be nice to have a shoulder to lean on.

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Thank you, Drewbert. I also agree and about always being honest and never, ever lie to my husband. I just keep thinking I can handle this on my own and not let him find out about it. *sigh*

Thank you, too west1012. It's killing me knowing that there's something wrong and not being able to tell him. I keep going over the scenario in my head but without having the letter in my hands yet, I'm not sure what to say. And especially not knowing all of the "legalese" that everyone is speaking, not having a single clue, I feel so helpless. :( So when you showed up in court and Apothaker didn't, what happened to your suit? I know I owe this money so it's not like I feel I should fight it. I should just pay. But if they don't show, then maybe I should fight it. They're on the east side of PA and I'm on the west.....

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Lots to digest in one pile, I know, but lets start with this

I know I owe this money so it's not like I feel I should fight it. I should just pay. But if they don't show, then maybe I should fight it.

Okay, maybe you do owe Crap 1 money...but...so far you have no evidence that this guys is collecting it. All you have is some nosy PO lady telling you they tried to send something to someone with a similiar name at your address. That's not enough to start handing over money. You need PROOF that they have the right person, the right account, the right amount, and the right to collect in your state. You need this proof to prove that if you do hand over money, it will get applied to your Crap 1 account, rather than disappearing into the lawyer's pocket.

So...what to do. First...check the local courts. In most states (I'm not certain about PA, but I gotta beleive they're one) there are county web sites you can go to. If the "mediation service" found out there's a judgement pending, you can also. Learn what you can from there. Once you've found where the case has been filed (assuming it has...this could be a gimmick also), call the clerk of courts. Find out for sure that its you (again, don't assume it yours). Explain that the PO tried to deliver something to someone with a similiar sounding name, and you're not sure its yours. Ask what to do.

Once you know for certain its yours...plan on showing up in court. If the lawyer doesn't show, the case will be dismissed. If the lawyer does show, tell the judge..."gee...I don't know, your honor. That's not my name. I don't think this is my debt. I've asked for proof and they haven't given me any."

The CAs and the lawyers really don't care who pays them money. They don't care if they've got the right case. Write them a check, and they'll move on to the next sucker...but...if this WASN"T your account...it will be back, and you'll have the thrill of doing it all over again.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi guys, it's been a while but I finally got the letter. Because it was mailed certified with restricted delivery and the name was incorrect, it was sent back to the magistrates office and I couldn't get it. Well, it came today. Interesting enough, the magistrate simply called Apothaker's office to tell them my name was spelled wrong and they attached Apothaker's letter stating "per our telephone conversation, kindly change the defendants name from X to XX. blah, blah, blah". The civil complaint has the one letter of my name hand written on the end of my name and the 2nd page of the complaint which Cap One/Apothaker is calling the Statement of Account still has debtor/my name spelled in the masculine/incorrect way.

So, here's my list of questions.

  • The hearing date is February 13. Other than collection phone calls from 2003 and 2004, I never received anything from them. Is it too late to request proof of anything? I'm sorry I don't know all the legal terms for this and I've tried reading through everything to figure it out, but honestly I'm so overwhelmed with it all I'm about ready to have a heart attack.
  • If I just go to the hearing and Apothaker doesn't show, what happens?
  • If Apothaker or a representative DOES show up, what happens? I'll have to pay, but all at once?

Again, thanks for any and all help.

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So when did this account go delinquent? Looks like PA might have a universal 4 year SOL on contracts.

At the risk of sounding lie a complete idiot, I have no idea but it's been a long while. The letter says June 2003. How would I find out? I really have no idea where to begin.

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I don't have all the answers for you, but I can tell you that much of what you need to know has been discussed on the board here...

And, here's some thoughts...

The civil complaint has the one letter of my name hand written on the end of my name and the 2nd page of the complaint which Cap One/Apothaker is calling the Statement of Account still has debtor/my name spelled in the masculine/incorrect way.

It sounds like the "Statement of Account" may be what's referred to as an "Account Stated"...an affadavit from someone in the lawyers office that simply states what they think they've been told. Search for that term...

Also...if the name on the Statement is incorrect, then its obviously not proof this is your account...

The hearing date is February 13. Other than collection phone calls from 2003 and 2004, I never received anything from them. Is it too late to request proof of anything?

Probably too late. If what you've got is a summons, then there should be some rules of "discovery" in your state. Perhaps the magistrate's office can help you find what they are.

If I just go to the hearing and Apothaker doesn't show, what happens?

If that would be the case, the judge should dismiss the claim. However, I don't think that's likely....in fact, they're probably thinking you won't show up and they'll get a default judgement. Plan on going...

If Apothaker or a representative DOES show up, what happens? I'll have to pay, but all at once?

Normally, the judge suggest you two go somewhere and try to come to an agreement before he even hears the case. Even if the lawyer gets his judgement, you don't have to write him a check right then. But...I think you've got enough irregularities here to fight...

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I read through your entire post and just want to get a better idea of your current situation. At first read, I too thought you were in a different country.

I am curious about the whole post office conversation. When I read what you wrote, being nosey is not what first came to mind. Rather, since the post office handles all of your mail, they would be in a position to see things others would not. For instance, you have told us over and over that the name on the letter was in the masculine form. Most people that I know would have just said that the name was not spelled correctly. Is there a reason you think that the name being masculine has some specific importance?

Do you receive any other mail that is also addressed to the masculine form of the name, for instance on other collection notices?

Is Capital One the only credit card company that is sending you collection notices?

You mentioned that your husband bailed you out a while back which is why you don't want to tell him. Was the Capital One card issued to you under his SSN?

Are you aware that in most cases, debt that has accrued during a marriage is a debt of the marriage and is owed by both of you?

You said that you have no idea where to find the information regarding the last activity on the account, have you tried to look at your credit report?

You do have the right to a free annual credit report, so your first step should be to run your credit report and access your situation.

You can go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com to get your free report.

Sorry for all of the questions, but your answers would help to access your situation properly.

SBD

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Yeah, that magistrates stuff was throwing me off.

And the fact that the PO clerk was giving her legal advice? What the hell would a PO clerk know about her business? Does the PO serve as an agent of the courts in PA?

...and how does the PO folks even know what the letter is in regards to??? It could be a certified letter from someone else who IS NOT a bill collector. I got one once from a life insurance company!

Elyse

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I tried to get my credit report online and it wouldn't go through. Either there's a fraud alert on my file or I answered a secruity question incorrectly. Either way, I had to print the form and mail it in. I'm ready to cry, again.:cry:

Anyway, to answer the questions you all asked.

For instance, you have told us over and over that the name on the letter was in the masculine form. Most people that I know would have just said that the name was not spelled correctly. Is there a reason you think that the name being masculine has some specific importance?

Do you receive any other mail that is also addressed to the masculine form of the name, for instance on other collection notices?

My name is Karla and the mail came addressed to Karl. I tend to ramble on and over-explain things, that's why I kept repeating it. We do get mail addressed that way at times, but not a lot. We do, however, get mail for a guy who's never lived here.

Is Capital One the only credit card company that is sending you collection notices?
So far...but just tonight an 800 number showed up on our called ID. I Googled it and it came back as Portfolio Recovery. This is a new question, but what do you do when a CA calls the first time? Whatever this is for has to be ancient.
Was the Capital One card issued to you under his SSN?
God NO!!!
Are you aware that in most cases, debt that has accrued during a marriage is a debt of the marriage and is owed by both of you?
Yes, I know that. I just don't want my husband to have to know about this if I can help it.

Willingtocope - I'm going to call the magistrates office tomorrow to ask a few questions. I'm definitely going to show up for the hearing. I gathered all of my cancelled checks from when I did pay Cap One up until the date Apothekar has listed on their paper work. Do you think that will be worthwile? Thanks again for all of your help.

Question for anyone - Were you all scared the first time? I'm so, so afraid. I'm embarassed to death and just terrified. I'm not sure of what, but I'm so afraid. It's not like it's a felony hearing or anything terrible like that, but I'm so damn scared. I look at people when I'm out and wonder who else is in the same boat and think maybe it won't be so bad. I wish someone here lived nearby and could go with me and hold my hand. Silly, I know, but at least I'd have someone there who's been there and knows what it's like. I just wish I knew where to beging and had as much knowledge as you all do.

Thanks for letting me ramble. It's a big relief being able to come here.

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I gathered all of my cancelled checks from when I did pay Cap One up until the date Apothekar has listed on their paper work. Do you think that will be worthwile?

Well, it will certainly help you understand what you've paid...but...like I keep saying...at this point, you really don't have proof its your debt they're trying to collect. It is possible that when you go before the judge and say "that's not my name", he'll say something like "well, its your debt, isn't it"...but...that hasn't happened yet. At this point, they've got the wrong guy...

Question for anyone - Were you all scared the first time? I'm so, so afraid. I'm embarassed to death and just terrified.

Oh yeah...BK hearing was probably right up there in my 4 or 5 worst times. And embarased doesn't quite cover it. I was sure everyone in the city knew I'd screwed up. The important thing to remember is that you didn't do it on purpose. Maybe you could have done some things differently, but it wasn't your intent to go take money from somebody. Stuff happens. We need to just deal with it, and then get on with the good things in our lives...

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