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Please help! Received a Summon on old debt!

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I received a court summons to my old address (parents house) by a sherriff. It was left in the mailbox unsealed with no postage. The claim is fron Capital One credit card. I became delinquent on the account in 2003. The original credit limit on the account was for $1000 and they are now saying I owe $3656.70. I don't know how to respond to this. There is no court date. This summons was signed on December 10th and I just received it on the 27th. It says I have 20 days to reply. I would like to settle on this but I honestly dont have 4 grand. It also seems unfair to me that I have to pay triple of what i orginally owed. Is this legal?

Should I call the lawyers office and see if I can negotiate something lower, maybe even just the 1000? I need help! Thanks!

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1. Who is suing you? Capital One Bank

2. For how much? $3656.70

3. Who is the original creditor? Capital One Bank

4. How do you know you are being sued? I received a summons letter from Lustig, Glaser & Wilson PC Attorneys at law

5. How were you served? Were you served? I was served by the Essex County sheriff's Department. The summons was delivered to my parents house by a sheriff and left in my mailbox.

6. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? none

7. Where do you live? Lynn, Ma

8. When is the last time you paid on this account? 2003

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).

I put a call in and I am waiting for a response.

10. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?)


11. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? If not, don't bother doing this now.

No I have not but would like to

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?

Yes it requires an answer to the complaint and I am not sure what to write. I am supposed to send a copy the Plaintiff's laywer and then one to the court

13. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affadavit? A statement from the OC? Anything else they attached as exhibits?

Complaint, Affidavit, Statement of Damages, Uniform Counsel Certification for Civil Cases, Coporate Disclosure Statement on Possible Judicial Conflict of Interest.

Only the complaint is signed by the Plaintiff's attorney, all other documents do not have a signature.

14. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out:

6 years


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First you need to get copies of all your credit reports:

Go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com/

You are entitled to one from each bureau free per year.

Have you researched this company (the attorney)? Are they a legitimate law firm or just a JDB with a law degree? What you need to know at this point is if CapOne still owns the account or did they sell it off to someone? That will determine alot of your responses when you file an answer.

You can also go to naca.net and try to find a lawyer in your area that will give you a free consultation.

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You need to respond to their complaint. Look for examples on this website. Basically, you admit facts that are true and deny anything you are not 100% sure about. Like for example, if you don't know how they came up with the amount they're claiming, etc.

This is a formality, but needs to be done or they will win.

Cap1 keeps very good records, and the account seems to be within SOL, and you don't seem to have much leverage, since you never validated... so your best bet is to call the lawyer up and try to settle.

I think you can quash service. According to Rule 5b, they were supposed to either mail it or leave it with someone "of suitable age and discretion" or they could have mailed it.

So this could buy you some time if you can't respond on time and prevent them from getting a default judgment while you're trying to settle.

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BAsically What cjtx is saying, and I agree, is that you have a very small chance of winning, thus you need to switch to damage control.

The point of this is that right now Cap 1 and the lawyer have nothing to gain by settling and thus will not give you a decent deal. The way most of these cases go is the lawyer files suit, the debtor does not reply and the lawyer gets a default judgement. He earns 500 for less than a hour worth of work and you get a judgement/garnishment on you.

So thus your goal is to make the the lawyer earn his money. I would start by reading the local court rules of procedure, paying special attention to requirements of summons. If indeed the summons was not correct, instantly file a motion for the case to be dismissed for inadequate service.

This is just a delay to buy more time and to show that you are not going to give in easy and the lawyer is going to have to earn his money. Perhaps you can get a better settlement.

I would advice if there is any possible to see a lawyer and get some help with everything.

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This is what I found:

(d) Summons: Personal Service within the Commonwealth. The summons and a copy of the complaint shall be served together. The plaintiff shall furnish the person making service with such copies as are necessary. Service shall be made as follows:

(1) Upon an individual by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to him personally; or by leaving copies thereof at his last and usual place of abode; or by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by statute to receive service of process, provided that any further notice required by such statute be given. If the person authorized to serve process makes return that after diligent search he can find neither the defendant, nor defendant's last and usual abode, nor any agent upon whom service may be made in compliance with this subsection, the court may on application of the plaintiff issue an order of notice in the manner and form prescribed by law.

So does that mean since they left the summons at my old address in my mailbox that it was okay to do so?

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Thank you all for your help and happy new year! I feel very ignorant to all of this and your help is greatly appreciated.

Should I call and try and settle with the Lawyers? They look legit http://www.lgw.com/index.htm

I honestly don't have the money to settle at this time. Do you think they will work out some sort of payment plan with me or will they want the amount in a lump sum?

I also wanted to mention that the summons that I received was dated for 12/10 and it was delivered to me on 12/27 and it said that i only had 20 days to submit my response. Does that mean I only have until today or until mid January?

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You have 20 days from the date it was served on you, NOT from the summons date, so you still have time.

You can, and should, both ANSWER the Complaint and call the suing attorney to see if you can negotiate a settlement. Keep in mind that offering $25/mo (or other small amount) on a $3600 debt is NOT going to be acceptable to them, not when they can get 25% of your wages thru garnishment once they have their judgment or seizing your bank account. Getting a settlement will also likely mean you will have to sign a 'consent to judgment' - which means they get a judgment, but as long as you stick to your agreement, they won't try to enforce it.

Just make sure that you get ANY agreement/settlement IN WRITING FIRST, signed by a person with the authority to do so before you send them a dime.

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