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Hi, this is my first post. I got a letter in the mail from arrow financial saying they've been trying to get ahold of me, and unless i pay them by feb 7, they're going to take me to court.

The dispute is over a card i stopped paying on about 3 years ago i think. Basically i was in college and living off the card, got out and tried to make payments on it but i kept getting all kinds of setbacks, and it became obvious i just couldnt pay. I wanted to file for bankruptcy, but the problem is our family property is in my name, so i'd have to sell that to go bankrupt, which nobody in the family would agree too. I wanted them to take my name off it, but they wouldnt, so i'm kind of screwed there.

So fast forward to now, i had a pretty lengthy sickness, and i'm unemployed and broke. Now, this debt has jumped around from debt collectors a few times, and i basically just ignored them, my attitude was go ahead and take me to court if you want...there isnt anything to get from me. It might be too late but now i'm just sick of these guys, and i'd like to do something about it, or at least know how i should go about this.

They're saying i owe almost 8 grand. I do remember the card had a 6 grand limit though, so who knows what kind of penelties they put on it. I just now found about about the whole dv thing, and i'd like to try it, but i bet i've gone beyond the 30 day time limit. Obviously, i dont have the money to pay it, or even make payments, and i certainly cant afford a lawyer. So i'm just trying to get ideas on where to go from here. I suppose even if i do end up going to court, i'm not entirely sure what they think they'll get, as i have pretty much no money or substantial property, you'd think they'd research it a little beforehand. My old law professor would always say "you can only sue people with money".

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Broke people can be sued too. What they'll get is a judgment against you and put a lien on your properties or garnish future paychecks.

As a former resident, I can say that Ohio has some pretty craptacular consumer credit laws. For one, CC debt lives for 10 years after you first go delinquent (compared to 6 years in MI, and as low as 2-3 years in other states). Judgments also live for 10 years, plus they're renewable. And finally, there are no hard limits on interest rates imposed on legal judgments. I have an Ohio judgment currently earning a creditor 24% interest that they'll never see (meaning the amount doubles every four years--exponentially).

I'd recommend that you get more than my opinion on the topic, but you might just give up trying to stave off the inevitable lawsuit and load for bear. Spend hours reading about lawsuits in the CIC forums. Couple of pointers:

  • First, make sure that you never put down an accurate employer on another credit app again. That's the easiest way for them to find you and garnish you.
  • Don't ignore the summons when it comes. In Ohio, they can be personally served, but will most likely come by certified mail. If you reject or don't claim the certified letter, it will be returned to the court. The court will then resend it via first class mail and consider you legally served.
  • Arrow is a JDB which is much easier to fight in court than an OC. Make them absolutely prove that you owe every cent they say you do.
  • Move to a more consumer friendly state before they sue. :p

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Since you aren't really sure about the particulars on the account. I would go ahead and send a DV letter to the collection agency. DO NOT just copy and paste the one from this site. Something simple is usually best...look around the forum, you'll find lots of samples so just pick one and make it your own.

Also, you need to request a copy of all three credit reports. If this CA is listed on there, then you need to dispute the information with the credit bureau.

Finally, you need to search whatever records you have and find out the most you can about this account, when you last paid on it, what the balance was then, etc.

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Just a thought...

if you aren't working.

and you have family in another state that will receive your mail,

(preferably in a non garnish state like Texas or South Carolina)

then that new state could

be your new "residence."

especially easy to do if you aren't working.

even could get a pay as you go cell phone with

that states area code.

but since the property is in your name...

don't know the implications of that.


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