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Threatening to sue without DV


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Hi All,

Any help will be truly appreciated. My old Citibank debt was picked up by Asset Acceptance. I usually ignored their attempts to contact me until they hired Bidna & Keys. In fact, that is how I found this website.

Upon receipt of the first letter from Bidna & Keys, I sent the sample DV letter found on this website (within 30 days). The main item I was interested in was whether the SOL had expired. I believe it has, but I am not 100% sure. I did not receive a response from them after 30 days and assumed they had dropped the case. However, I just recently received a "Notice of Intent to Sue." I called them up and asked that since they had never verified the debt, how could they sue and the guy said "Yeah, it looks like we are getting ready to sue. We have already sent what we are legally obligated to send. It lists the creditor and the original account number; that is all we need to send."

I am not sure what to do at this point in time. Even though I will probably win because of the SOL expiring, I don't want to go to court and fight this battle. My major concern is how do I prove that the SOL has expired? Also, I believe that Bidna & Keys are in LA and I am in the SF Bay Area, so I cannot go to court in LA and I don't have the money for a lawyer (local to LA).

The two things I thought of were to 1.) Ask Citibank if they are even pursuing the original debt 2.) Write another letter to Bidna & Keys clearly stating that since the SOL has expired, their lawsuit will be frivolous. I am hoping that a.) after reading that statement, the clerk who I spoke to might actually go to an attorney at Bidna & Keys and then they will drop the case b.) if they still file, I can make the point to the judge that they deliberately filed a frivolous lawsuit and hopefully get some money on a counterclaim.

Is there a sample letter I can use in this situation? Is there a big flaw in my strategy? I want to say thanks in advance for any advice that anyone can give. Thanks.

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Hi All,

Thank you for your replies.

In response to razr, basically I got the credit card when I was in college around 1998. The account probably defaulted late 2000 and was most likely closed around early 2001. I did set up a monthly payment for 12 months, but I don't remember when that was. My guess is that the monthly payments were set-up by late 2001 (at the latest, but could have been set-up earlier than that) and were finished by late 2002.

I used to get a lot of calls. but since I had no means to pay, I ignored them. In general, no legal action has been brought against me. As I said, I am not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that the 4 year California SOL limitations has expired. I don't think the monthly payments continued past August 2003. I wish I knew how to find that out for sure. I did call up Citibank, but they have no record of my account.

The details of my communication with B&K are in my original post. All they sent in reply to the DV letter is the "Notice of Intent to Sue." I think it would be a frivolous lawsuit, but my general experiences with lawyers has taught me that that won't stop them. Mainly because they may or may not be aware that they SOL has expired. From the phone conversation, it seemed like the person at B&K took DV to be whether I was the owner of the card (i.e. not identity theft) versus the legality of the SOL expiring and/or the legality of the original creditor (Citibank) not suing me.

To summarize, I think that Citibank (the original creditor) has sold the debt to someone else and the SOL (of 4 years in California) has already expired. I am hoping that a letter stating these facts will convince Bidna & Keys to drop the case. My only problem is that I do not know how to gather the evidence to prove this. Again, any help will be truly appreciated. Thanks.

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Hi All,

Thank you for your replies.

In response to razr, basically I got the credit card when I was in college around 1998. The account probably defaulted late 2000 and was most likely closed around early 2001. I did set up a monthly payment for 12 months, but I don't remember when that was. My guess is that the monthly payments were set-up by late 2001 (at the latest, but could have been set-up earlier than that) and were finished by late 2002.

I used to get a lot of calls. but since I had no means to pay, I ignored them. In general, no legal action has been brought against me. As I said, I am not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that the 4 year California SOL limitations has expired. I don't think the monthly payments continued past August 2003. I wish I knew how to find that out for sure. I did call up Citibank, but they have no record of my account.

The details of my communication with B&K are in my original post. All they sent in reply to the DV letter is the "Notice of Intent to Sue." I think it would be a frivolous lawsuit, but my general experiences with lawyers has taught me that that won't stop them. Mainly because they may or may not be aware that they SOL has expired. From the phone conversation, it seemed like the person at B&K took DV to be whether I was the owner of the card (i.e. not identity theft) versus the legality of the SOL expiring and/or the legality of the original creditor (Citibank) not suing me.

To summarize, I think that Citibank (the original creditor) has sold the debt to someone else and the SOL (of 4 years in California) has already expired. I am hoping that a letter stating these facts will convince Bidna & Keys to drop the case. My only problem is that I do not know how to gather the evidence to prove this. Again, any help will be truly appreciated. Thanks.

One more thing. Since I was a resident of California when the card was issued and since I am a resident of California now, I am assuming that SOL in California are applicable to me. Also, the last payment from my end was in 2002, but they have been adding interest charges continuously. I assume that Asset Acceptance adding interest charges does not constitute activity for the purposes of SOL.

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One more thing. Since I was a resident of California when the card was issued and since I am a resident of California now, I am assuming that SOL in California are applicable to me. Also, the last payment from my end was in 2002, but they have been adding interest charges continuously. I assume that Asset Acceptance adding interest charges does not constitute activity for the purposes of SOL.

Sounds like Asshat Acceptence has decided to sue you. This is pretty typical of them. They probably will claim you made a recent payment and reset the SoL. "Activity" for SoL purposes would be you making a payment or promise of payment. California law would apply to you. Go to http://www.naca.net/ and find a lawyer.

Also, look around in the stickies on this site, there is a section about "If you are being sued"...you might want to read up on it.

-r

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were you in la county at any time when u activated the card or did you have an la county address when it defaulted?any la county ties?

if not , file a motion to dismiss based on lack of jurisdiction...you must be sued in the county where you reside...

if last payment was in 2002 then its sol...

but that must be used in your affirmative defenses if it goes that far..

is it small claims or bigboy court?

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Hi All,

Thank you for your responses. They all help. Just wanted to provide an update.

Unfortunately, I have been very sick for the last couple of days, so no movement on my part. One interesting thing I wanted to mention was that I spoke to B&K on Friday afternoon. The following Monday afternoon, I received a backdated letter from them as a response to my DV request. Apparently, they had not given all that was legally required :) The response was nothing worth noting. Just copies of monthly statements 3-4 years after I stopped using the card showing they were charging interest on the debt. The one thing that did catch my eye was that the Notice of Intention to Sue stated the debt was $6,500. Since the CC statements listed the debt as $4,500, the latest letter from B&K also listed the debt as only $4,500. Interesting how the number quietly went down :)

Some responses now:

cracrap: Thanks. That is good to know. No, I have never been in LA county. The only tie is that my brother lives there. I have not been sued thus far (so no bigboy or small claims) and I am hoping that if I tell them I plan to use SOL, they may not sue. I don't think they will give up that easy, but I just don't want to go to court.

razr: would the burden of proof be on AA to show that I made a partial payment? Those monthly payments were only to Citibank.

Finally, a general question: I know the mentality of bullies, so I can understand their threats, but would a legitimate law firm actually sue for $4,500 of SOL expired debt? I think the principle on the original debt is probably only $1,500 (maybe not even that much) and it is such an old debt. Is it really worth their time to sue?

Thanks all. I will keep updating as things happen and once I feel better I will mail the FOAD (i.e. SOL has expired) letter. Again, thanks once more for your responses. Keep them coming :)

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I just wanted to add my 2 cents, I think that the law office will sue you. I was recently sued by an office for $1500. Here is the main thing that I would advice you on. Do not think that you are helpless because you do not know the law, Do your research, Do not admit at all to owing the debt (this was one of my big mistakes) If you can afford a GOOD atty get one and most importantly READ, READ and did I mention READ this forum big help. Here is some links that might help you.

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/rebuild/debt_validation_workflow.shtml

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/rebuild/debt_validation.shtml

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  • 1 month later...

Hi All,

I don't if this post will be on anyone's radar, but I was recently served papers and the firm is going ahead with the lawsuit. I'll write more about my strategy later, but I was wondering what people's thoughts are.

I spoke to an attorney and he has quoted around $2,000 for the entire case. I believe I could negotiate it down, so I am not sure if hiring an attorney and going to court is the right way to go.

I believe I have a strong affirmative defense with the SOL expiring. One credit report shows the account being closed in 2002, another credit report does not even list the (adverse Citibank) account anymore and the third credit report I forgot to print, unfortunately. Also, Citibank told me on the phone that they have no record of the account and the credit reports show the account as being written off (what does that mean?).

My main reason for hiring an attorney would be for damages for them filing a SOL expired case, but perhaps it is incorrect thinking on my part. However, do other people think it would make sense to hire an attorney? Even if I win, I am still out $2,000, even though it is less than the $5,000+ Bidna & Keys is asking. Does anyone have any experience with, or has heard of someone, winning damages?

I am not an attorney, but I think I am fairly educated and could type up a SOL expired response with the credit report as my proof. Would this be good enough? If anyone has tried this and failed, please let me know as I would like to avoid the same result.

To summarize, I think my three options are:

  1. Negotiate (i.e. not go to court) and settle for $2,000 or less if I can.
  2. Respond myself, using expired SOL as an affirmative defense (with credit report as evidence). Perhaps even sue for damages myself
  3. Go to court and hire an attorney.

Which option do you think is best? Looking forward to any advice anyone can give. Share your experiences if you have any. Thanks.

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Hi All,

I don't if this post will be on anyone's radar, but I was recently served papers and the firm is going ahead with the lawsuit. I'll write more about my strategy later, but I was wondering what people's thoughts are.

I spoke to an attorney and he has quoted around $2,000 for the entire case. I believe I could negotiate it down, so I am not sure if hiring an attorney and going to court is the right way to go.

I believe I have a strong affirmative defense with the SOL expiring. One credit report shows the account being closed in 2002, another credit report does not even list the (adverse Citibank) account anymore and the third credit report I forgot to print, unfortunately. Also, Citibank told me on the phone that they have no record of the account and the credit reports show the account as being written off (what does that mean?).

My main reason for hiring an attorney would be for damages for them filing a SOL expired case, but perhaps it is incorrect thinking on my part. However, do other people think it would make sense to hire an attorney? Even if I win, I am still out $2,000, even though it is less than the $5,000+ Bidna & Keys is asking. Does anyone have any experience with, or has heard of someone, winning damages?

I am not an attorney, but I think I am fairly educated and could type up a SOL expired response with the credit report as my proof. Would this be good enough? If anyone has tried this and failed, please let me know as I would like to avoid the same result.

To summarize, I think my three options are:

  1. Negotiate (i.e. not go to court) and settle for $2,000 or less if I can.
  2. Respond myself, using expired SOL as an affirmative defense (with credit report as evidence). Perhaps even sue for damages myself
  3. Go to court and hire an attorney.

Which option do you think is best? Looking forward to any advice anyone can give. Share your experiences if you have any. Thanks.

You should really post this in the legal forum - you would get more answers and more help. :goodluck:

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