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Received debt validation letter after hearing is scheduled

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I am currently being sued by a collection agency in small claims court, this was filed by the debt collector on July 30th. I have entered my intent to defend and also have counter sued for debt collection violations. The hearing is scheduled for October 1st. This suit is for $3,233.46 plus Costs.

Today I received a letter from an attorney with the whole thing about the disputing the validity of the debt...etc. Then it says that if they do not receive the dispute of the validity or my payment soon after 30 days of the receipt of the letter, they will review their client's options to collect this debt...they are debt collectors and any information obtained will be used for that purpose, etc., etc. This letter is in reference to the same account that the hearing is currently scheduled for. They are saying on this letter the full balance due is $5,852.62.

Should I ask for validation? Does anyone know what they are trying to pull? Why the two different amounts?

This is the history of this account:

I received a Civil Action Hearing Notice from the District Court today. I'm thinking the SOL has expired, I am in need of some help from you folks.

1. Who is suing you? Commonwealth Financial Systems, Inc.

2. For how much? $3,233.46 plus Costs

3. Who is the original creditor? First USA Bank (bought out by Chase). Shows as Chase on my CR.

4. How do you know you are being sued? I received a complaint (certified letter) from the District Court saying when and where the hearing will be.

5. How were you served? Certified Letter

6. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? They have called on numerous occasions and left me messages. I called them once and asked for validation of this debt and they were VERY rude...would not give me any proof unless I made a payment. They have also sent numerous letters asking for payment. Finally, I received a letter stating that if I did not pay within 10 days - they were commencing legal action.

7. Where do you live? Pennsylvania

8. When is the last time you paid on this account? The last time this account has been paid on was in January of 2003, according to my CR. February was 30 days, March 60 days...so on and so forth.

9. What is the status of your case (if anything has been opened)? You can find this by a) calling the court or B) looking it up online (many states have this information posted daily). Hearing is scheduled with District Court on 10/01/07. (I asked for a continuance because the original was two weeks prior to my due date, by the way)

10. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?) Yes, that the account has been re-aged by the Collection Agency.

11. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? If not, don't bother doing this now. Not in writing, but over the phone, yes. Nothing was sent because they wanted a payment first.

12. Does your summons require a response? (Look hard!) If you don't get a questionnaire with your summons, you are still probably required to answer it in writing. If you don't respond to the lawsuit notice you will lose automatically. In 99% of the cases, they will require you to answer the summons, and each point they are claiming. We need to know what the "charges" are. Please post what they are claiming. Did you receive an interrogatory (questionnaire) regarding the lawsuit? I did not receive a questionnaire, just the hearing notice. It says that if I intend to defend to notify the District Court office immediately at the above phone number.

Complaint states: The amount of $3,233.46 (File No. 1585902) are due and owed for a revolving Credit Card issued by First USA Bank where the balance is in default as of 8/31/2003. Commonwealth Financial Systems, Inc. purchased these accounts on 9/18/2004 and is entitled to all rights, assignments, and judgments. The Plaintiff respectfully requests that this court grant judgment in favor of Plaintiff and against Defendant in the amount of $3,233.46 plus court costs.

13. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affadavit? A statement from the OC? Anything else they attached as exhibits? They did not send anything with the letter.

14. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out: 4 years, my last payment was January 2003.

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Sorry, one more quick little thing. It does state at the beginning of the letter that the law firm has been retained by Commonwealth Financial Systems, Inc./Bank One, Delaware to collect their claim against you. We believe you want to pay your just debts. Then goes on to say:

Unless you dispute the validity of the debt, or any portion, thereof, within thirty (30) days....etc.

Then the rest of the letter as explained in my previous post.

Thank you.

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Well, CAS are not the most organized places in the world...even the ones that claim to be lawyers. Its possible that the latest letter is just sent out automatically...or, it may be their attempt to settle before court.

Just to be on the safe side (and to add to their confusion), I'd suggest you go ahead and DV them. Don't mention the law suit.

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It would be a waste of postage to request DV at this point. Once a complaint has been filed, the case moves forward until you request a continuance or attempt another legal strategy. Generally, the debt is validated in court; if not, you can argue the other side hasn't proven their case and request a dismissal. People who buy bad debt have come to realization over the past several years that in order to prevail in court they must be able to prove the debt and that typically includes presenting the account history in its entirety. They must also have sufficient evidence the debt is yours. Unfortunately, most judges don't care when of if DV was requested, only that they must be presented convicing evidence when in court. The debtor must be aware of SOL and bring that up as a defense.

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I don't understand why it's from a different CA office and why the amount is almost doubled within 1 1/2 months. Also in the demand letter it says nothing about the pending legal action.

I went ahead and DV'd them, just so I know I'm covered.

I was thinking that maybe the CA that is taking me to court was hoping for a default judgment, but when I submitted my intent to defend and also my counterclaim...they hired this attorney to come to the hearing. If that was the case though, would I have even received this demand letter?

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