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Being sued/should I try to settle?

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My husband has a HSBC store card ($4k balance) in which he fell delinquent on when he lost his job early last year. The account went to a collections law firm and I sent the law firm a debt validation letter in which then they provided the creditors info and amount and at that point I tried to offer them a settlement of 30% and they never responded to the settlement letter. Couple months went by and I received a letter from a new collections law firm in my state and I did a debt validation letter again and they responded with the current creditors name, original creditor name, amount (which is about $400 more than the balance) and account number. It’s been less than a month that I received the letter back from them and my husband received a summons yesterday that he was being sued and has 20 days to respond to the summons. I don’t have $4k to pay to them right now. Can anyone advise what we should do? What is the likelihood that they follow through with the summons? Is it too late for us to try to send them a settlement letter since we received the summons? What other steps should I take to not be brought to court or prolong the process until I can come up with some additional money? Thanks for all the great advice on this forum.

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I know it's scary, but the first thing you should do is to answer the summons.

This will buy you some time to figure out what you want to do...fight the collection agency (you do have a good chance of beating them) or settle with them.

There are many examples of how to answer the summons in this forum do a search.

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Thank you for your help. The summons is very general that we recieved. It just has the amount due the lawyer collectors name and the possible lawyer fees. What exactly do I say for the summons? Is there something on this forum that could help me with the wording? Should I wait until I answer the summons then do a settlement letter or should I do the settlement letter now. This is the first time that this has happened to me so I want to make sure Im doing all the correct necessary steps.

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Who is suing you?

Lawyer firm representing collections agency

2. For how much? 4K

3. Who is the original creditor? Best Buy

4. How do you know you are being sued? I received a citation from the county clerk indicating that I’m being sued and I have 20 days to respond.

5. How were you served? Were you served? Yes I was served at my house

6. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? I received a letter from this law firm in Feb. indicating that I owe their client. I was dealing with a different collections agency a couple months prior to that in which I tried to do a settlement with them and never received a response.

7. Where do you live? TX

8. When is the last time you paid on this account? 1 year ago

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 don’t see anything on the county website indicating my case # on the citation.

10. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?) No the current collections agency doesn’t show on my TRW. I sent the collector’s attorney a debt validation

11. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? If not, don't bother doing this now. Yes, they responded with the name of the current creditor, original creditor and store account # and that was all.

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 indicates we have 200 days to respond and it’s been 5 days since I have been served

13. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? A statement from the OC? Anything else they attached as exhibits? The Plaintiffs original petition indicating who I owe with possible attorney fees No statement was attached.

14. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out: Texas SOL is 4

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