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Mann Bracken DV questions


Nurse2Be
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Where to start...

I have a Discover CC that my ex-husband opened in my name. When we got divorced, I got stuck with the debt (around $8000). I didn't hire an attorney to represent me in the divorce...long story, it was uncontested, etc. I have two children and do not get child support nor alimony (like an idiot, I agreed to all of this just to get my ex out of my life...pride, I guess).

I was paying on time, etc, until I was in a car accident in Oct 07. I was hit head-on by a reckless driver. Her insurance company accepted liability and depositions are scheduled for Feb. My attorney believes they will settle soon after the depositions. My medicals are over $20,000 (broken arm, two ruptured discs in my neck, glass in scalp and arm, sprained foot, etc.).

The vehicle I was driving was paid in full, and was totaled in the accident. I had to buy another car (bought something used but safe).

The accident caused me to have significantly more expenses (car payment, medical bills), so I had to start paying less on the Discover card. I did the best I can, but I'm a single mom with limited income. I explained all of this to Discover and asked to work out a payment plan. They refused to accept anything less than $350 a month. I offered less, and they refused and said they were going to send me to an attorney.

I got a letter from Mann-Bracken a couple of months ago. I immediately sent them a debt verification letter via certified mail. After about 3 weeks, I didn't hear anything from them, so I called their office and spoke to one of the legal assistants. He reviewed my letter and said I was "definitely entitled to all of the information requested" and said he'd talk to one of the attorneys and get back to me. I never heard back. About two weeks later, I rec'd a "Warrant in Debt" from Mann-Bracken stating that I have a court date scheduled for Jan 14. It was not signed by the court, and I have not been served with a summons (yet). I checked the court docket online and nothing is showing there. I still have not rec'd debt validation or verification.

I'm very scared and am not sure where to go from here. Should I hire an attorney, or can I handle this on my own? I'm a single mom and am terrified that they will be able to take my home or my bank account. I own my home with my ex-husband, but I live in it. I fully intend on paying this debt in full, and am fairly certain that my accident settlement will be more than enough to do so, but in the meantime I've got this mess to deal with.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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Despite your divorce court settlement, I have real doubts that you are legally liable for the Discover card debt…if your ex-husband opened the card in your name without your permission and if you didn’t use the card/nor obligate yourself in some way then he is a thief and you cannot be held liable.

Of course, this would be easier if you had filed charges against him at the time…you might actually be able to file identify theft now but given the amount of time and your divorce settlement and that you’ve been paying, it may be too late for that to help and the divorce court may hold you in contempt if you don’t live up to your agreement with them – also, without funds to hire an attorney now to help, fighting the debt may be a fight not worth taking on…only you can answer that for yourself.

Based on what you’ve said in your post, I think if I were you, I’d do two things…

1. I’d write a follow-up letter to MB; explain that they’ve not responded to your request for information, even after your “follow-up” phone call of XX date and that you consider the matter closed. Do keep checking your local courts and I would follow-up on this alleged “court date” so that they don’t slip something by you.

2. Concurrent with the letter above, I’d resume payments directly to Discover at whatever level you can afford (I would suggest that consistency is more important here than amount) – what they want is far less important than what you can afford to pay; in fact, paying a CC debt should be far down on the list of priorities and only done after you’ve covered the essentials.

I suspect that if you are consistent with paying every month, they may well leave you alone and it may buy you the time you need to get your accident settlement done and get back to normal financially.

I hope your attorney for your accident is doing a good job for you and will get you a fair settlement.

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Based on what you’ve said in your post, I think if I were you, I’d do two things…

1. I’d write a follow-up letter to MB; explain that they’ve not responded to your request for information, even after your “follow-up” phone call of XX date and that you consider the matter closed. Do keep checking your local courts and I would follow-up on this alleged “court date” so that they don’t slip something by you.

2. Concurrent with the letter above, I’d resume payments directly to Discover at whatever level you can afford (I would suggest that consistency is more important here than amount) – what they want is far less important than what you can afford to pay; in fact, paying a CC debt should be far down on the list of priorities and only done after you’ve covered the essentials.

I suspect that if you are consistent with paying every month, they may well leave you alone and it may buy you the time you need to get your accident settlement done and get back to normal financially.

I hope your attorney for your accident is doing a good job for you and will get you a fair settlement.

Thanks for your response. :)

I got the real subpeona today...some process server company put it in my mailbox. I thought they weren't supposed to do that!

I'm hiring an attorney. I found one who is a consumer advocacy lawyer, with a lot of experience in debt collection, etc. I don't have the energy or time to deal with this on my own.

I think the attorney who is handling my accident case is doing a good job. He has a great reputation around here. :) I guess time will tell.

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  • 4 months later...

I ended up hiring a consumer advocacy attorney. :D

Mann Bracken still hasn't produced the documents we requested in Discovery. We were supposed to go to court tomorrow, but they asked for a continuance because they are having trouble gathering the documents my attorney requested. :!:

My attorney said this is probably a good sign. I am nervous, though...part of me thinks that if they could prove I owe this debt they would have done it by now, but...who knows.

New court date is on my birthday. :roll:

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