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Being sued and don't know where to begin to fight back - advice please?


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I've read and read here until I'm blue in the face and still so overwhelmed that I honestly don't know where or how to begin. With no legal knowledge and very little time to prepare, I'm scared to death of how to proceed and would appreciate any help - in very basic, easy to understand words please!

I'm being sued by Capital One and my hearing is in 3 weeks. I don't know if the account is mine or not because the Certified Mail I received came in the name of Karl and my name is Karla. You can read all about that here http://www.debt-consolidation-credit-repair-service.com/forums/showthread.php?t=261070 instead of me yapping on about it all over again.

I tried to get a copy of my credit report online so I can see when I first defaulted on Cap One, but either there's a fraud alert on my file or I answered a secruity question incorrectly so I had to print the form and mail it in. Once I get that I'll be better able to give you more details.

To begin here are a few questions:

I'm looking at the paperwork I received from the magistrate and it says "Civil Complaint" - is that the same as a summons?

At the bottom is states in big, bold capital letters "IF YOU INTEND TO ENTER A DEFENSE TO THIS COMPLAINT, NOTIFY THIS OFFICE IMMEDIATELY AT THE ABOVE TELEPHONE NUMBER. YOU MUST APPEAR A THT HEARING AND REPRESNET YOUR DEFENSE. UNLESS YOU DO SO, JUDGMENT WILL BE ENTERED AGAINST YOU BY DEFAULT". Does that mean I have to call and let them know YES, I'll be there? Don't they assume I will? Also, and maybe I watch too much TV, I'd rather wait until the last minute to call them so that Cap One's attorney may not show up. I know, I know....but I'm so damn scared!

What do I take with me besides lots of prayers? My cancelled checks? Should I dress nice? Not too nice? And remember, all of the paperwork still has Karl instead of Karla spelled on it so should I use that to my defense or no? Is it ever good to lie and say things like "I thought I paid off the account and stopped using it"?

Cap One/the attorney's "EXHIBIT A" attachment is a generic piece of white paper with Capital One Bank and the attorney's name and address on the top, my name and address then statement of account in the middle with my name, an account number, date of debt, balance due and a file number. Is this all they'll bring with them?

I don't work because I lost my job in March '06 so my husband supports our family (it's only he and I). Will they ask me things like that? Do I have to answer?

This is so overwhelming. I can't sleep or eat and it's killing me. If I had the money I'd just write them a check and be over with it.

Thank you so very, very much for your help. I hope to one day know 1/2 as much as you all do.

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I've read and read here until I'm blue in the face and still so overwhelmed that I honestly don't know where or how to begin. With no legal knowledge and very little time to prepare, I'm scared to death of how to proceed and would appreciate any help - in very basic, easy to understand words please!

I'm being sued by Capital One and my hearing is in 3 weeks. I don't know if the account is mine or not because the Certified Mail I received came in the name of Karl and my name is Karla. You can read all about that here http://www.debt-consolidation-credit-repair-service.com/forums/showthread.php?t=261070 instead of me yapping on about it all over again.

I tried to get a copy of my credit report online so I can see when I first defaulted on Cap One, but either there's a fraud alert on my file or I answered a secruity question incorrectly so I had to print the form and mail it in. Once I get that I'll be better able to give you more details.

To begin here are a few questions:

I'm looking at the paperwork I received from the magistrate and it says "Civil Complaint" - is that the same as a summons?

At the bottom is states in big, bold capital letters "IF YOU INTEND TO ENTER A DEFENSE TO THIS COMPLAINT, NOTIFY THIS OFFICE IMMEDIATELY AT THE ABOVE TELEPHONE NUMBER. YOU MUST APPEAR A THT HEARING AND REPRESNET YOUR DEFENSE. UNLESS YOU DO SO, JUDGMENT WILL BE ENTERED AGAINST YOU BY DEFAULT". Does that mean I have to call and let them know YES, I'll be there? Don't they assume I will? Also, and maybe I watch too much TV, I'd rather wait until the last minute to call them so that Cap One's attorney may not show up. I know, I know....but I'm so damn scared!

What do I take with me besides lots of prayers? My cancelled checks? Should I dress nice? Not too nice? And remember, all of the paperwork still has Karl instead of Karla spelled on it so should I use that to my defense or no? Is it ever good to lie and say things like "I thought I paid off the account and stopped using it"?

Cap One/the attorney's "EXHIBIT A" attachment is a generic piece of white paper with Capital One Bank and the attorney's name and address on the top, my name and address then statement of account in the middle with my name, an account number, date of debt, balance due and a file number. Is this all they'll bring with them?

I don't work because I lost my job in March '06 so my husband supports our family (it's only he and I). Will they ask me things like that? Do I have to answer?

This is so overwhelming. I can't sleep or eat and it's killing me. If I had the money I'd just write them a check and be over with it.

Thank you so very, very much for your help. I hope to one day know 1/2 as much as you all do.

I may not be the most knowledgeable person but I can at least tell you that you must respond to the letter that came from the magistrate's office. I had a friend that did not get the letter for her to call and appear as it went to an old address with no forwarding address. The creditor/collection agency filed in civil court and got a judgment and she pays 25% of her biweekly check on this judgment. She only found out through her job who sent her the garnishment papers. She does have the option to "vacate the judgment" but this means you have to appear where the judgment was given. If it's in the same city, you're fine. If not, you would have to go there to complete this process. So I recommend contacting the magistrate's office. If she did go, she would have explained her circumstances as she did owe the debt but possibly the amount would have been much less. You need to go to explain your current financial situation if you owe this debt. You don't have to be too fancy to appear but I would be conservative. Also, no it's not a good idea to lie. Did you dispute it online? You have the name of the company and the account number. As I said, I know there are others more versed than I on this but what I have told you I do know from experience. :boxing:

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Hi there,

I am NOT an attorney.

I just wanted to add that going to court can be quite scary, but remember-you do have rights. All court is meant to be is a means for settling disagreements. That's it.

You most definitely ALWAYS respond to court forms. They DO NOT assume you will be there. I wouldn't go for the shock value of not telling them you're coming and than showing up. As far as the spelling of your name, you'll have to look at your CR's for more info, once you have that it'll be one less thing. You'll be able to view dates, amounts, etc.

You said; What do I take with me besides lots of prayers? My cancelled checks?"

Bring ANYTHING that may help you. Do you have any paperwork on this debt? Any at all? When was your last payment on this account? Can you prove it?

You said; "Should I dress nice? Not too nice?" Simple slacks and a shirt is fine. Jeans are also ok. It doesn't seem to matter these days, but than if you came in silk I suppose the judge would wonder if you could afford the debt. Ya know?

You said; "And remember, all of the paperwork still has Karl instead of Karla spelled on it so should I use that to my defense or no? Is it ever good to lie and say things like "I thought I paid off the account and stopped using it?"

I would never suggest to ANYONE to lie, but you do want to be sure this is YOUR debt. You have the right to request further info from their attorney. Also, consider visiting the court house ahead of time and having a look at the case file in full. See what all is in there. Did you submit your defense yet? In other words, did you respond to this claim?

You said; "I don't work because I lost my job in March '06..."

Are you disabled then?

You said; "Will they ask me things like that? Do I have to answer?"

They may ask you where things are for you now. You'll have to explain that you are not employed. It'll be to your benefit to do so. Be honest and realistic. Unfortunately if you reside in a community property state your dh may end up with some of this judgment, so you'll want to be careful how you proceed. I may be wrong on this, but I live in a community property state and my poor sis got sued over something and her dh was NOWHERE on the lease agreement and they STILL added his name and proceeded with a judgment. It sucked. Than again, that's lease agreements (for a business mind you)-not credit cards so I don't know how that'll effect things.

You said; "This is so overwhelming. I can't sleep or eat and it's killing me. If I had the money I'd just write them a check and be over with it."

Keep this in perspective. It's just money. That's all it is and it doesn't deserve to have this kind of hold over your life. And yes, too bad it isn't as easy as writing a check and being done with it, but that isn't where you're at and you'll just have to gather all the info you have on this debt and go from there. Either way, you must stamp out the fear...they'll SMELL it and it'll make things worse...that much I can absolutely PROMISE. Get your credit reports and let us know what the dates say...view the COMPLETE case file at the courthouse in question...Perhaps they'll be willing to settle with you.

Take heart hon, you are not alone.

Elyse

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