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Filed my answer -- second-guessing myself now


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I was recently sued by a local attorney for a credit card I defaulted on a few years ago when I was unemployed. I received a summons and complaint at the end of March, and yesterday, I filed my answer with the local court. In my answer, I admitted to one of the complaint's paragraphs (the one in which I was named as the defendant) and for the rest, I said I lacked sufficient information to admit to anything. The only exhibit that was attached the the complaint was an old statement, plus a barely legible copy of the cardholder agreement. My signature wasn't on any of the documentation and while I did indeed have the card (and the debt is within the SOL), the lawyer (who's representing a JDB) is asking for more than twice the amount listed on the statement. He's asking for something like $3000 at an interest rate of 28% and one of the charges he listed in the complaint was "unjust enrichment." I raised a few defenses, including on in which I indicate that my signature isn't on any of the exhibits submitted to the court.

Anyway, my answer was informed by some of the information I've come across on this website, plus Nolo's "Solve Your Money Troubles" book. Of course, now that I've filed the answer, I'm second-guessing myself and wondering if I did everything correctly. I mainly filed the answer so I wouldn't get a default judgment, but I really don't have the means to pay off the debt. Right now, I can't even really afford monthly payments because I lost my full-time job recently and am only working 10 hours a week. The lawyer did send me paperwork two weeks ago regarding a stipulated judgment that would demand I pay $75 per month. This was in response to a letter I sent him regarding a possible payment plan. (I sent that letter when I was still employed full-time.)

Does it sound like I handled this correctly? What happens now? I'm hoping the lawsuit will get thrown out, but I'm not holding my breath. :-(

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If this is a small claims case you may not get discovery, find out if you are allowed any discovery by asking the clerk of the court. If you are allowed, send discovery requests to plaintiff's attorney.

Check out the sticky's or do a search on discovery on this forum, many people have posted on the subject of discovery including me.

If you are allowed no discovery, show up to any hearings scheduled!

Challenge their ownership of the debt, can they show they own it, the one they claim you owe?

Can they show how the amount they claim was calculated?

Come back with any more questions, there's lots smarter folks here then me.

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