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Just got served


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Just got the papers today, and I have been reading through it, and reading sites for a few hours. I am kinda lost on how to go about the whole ordeal and am just looking for some direction, and possibly a way to get them off my back.

1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? Some Collection Agency

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.) None

3. How much are you being sued for? $3500

4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff) A hospital

5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?) yeah

6. How were you served? (Mail, In person, Notice on door) In person, he gave me the envelope.

7. Was the service legal as required by your state? No idea. There is a form Labeled "return of service" that the 'processor' should have filled out and signed. But it is not filled out at all.

8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? I mainly ignored the phone calls after i told them i am in school and have no money to give until i graduate.

9. What state and county do you live in? Colorado, mesa county

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations). never.

-Main account: 3400 - Date is 9-21-2006

-another account: 100 - date 10-6-2006

11. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out: I think 6 years?

12. What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed? You can find this by a) calling the court or B) looking it up online (many states have this information posted - when you find the online court site, search by case number or your name). No info online. I will have to call tomorrow. There is no case number on my paperwork, but there is a court date.

13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?) no.

14. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? Note: if you haven't sent a debt validation request, don't bother doing this now - it's too late. -No. i was young and ignorant.

15. How long do you have to respond to the suit? (This should be in your paperwork). 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?

- I have about a month to respond.

COMPLAINT:

1) My address

2) something about me not being in the military and employed in civilian pursuits/activities.

3)The amount claimed:

-Principal: 3500

-interest at 8% per annum through 1-2-12: 950

-interest after 1-2-12 at 8%

-Court Costs

-'reasonable' attorney fees

4) venues is my local court house cause that is where i lived at the commencement of this action

5) the plaintiff does not demand a trial by jury

16. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits.

Exhibit a:

-"the following accounts are owed by the defendant, interest, costs and attorney fees not included"

-Name of hospital acc # date: 10-6-06 Amount

Name of second hospital then same info except date is 9-21-06

There is also a paper called "verification" and it is the manager of the CA stating that the complaint and the evidence are "true and correct to the best of my knowledge". He also says he is authorized to represent the company.

More details: They are licensed to collect debts in Colorado. They called me AT LEAST once a day for a few months before this. The amount I owe to the larger of the accounts is actually about 50$ less than it should be according to my paperwork from 5 years ago. The smaller account i have no record of.

I have told them i do not have the money to pay anything. any money i give them will not even negate the interest. I only make about 400$ a month and my rent is 300.... and i still have to make sure my car runs so i can get to class.

Thanks for any help guys!

Edited by somethingwitty
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You need to file an answer, and show up at court, otherwise they will get a default judgement.

Then you need to decide if you are going to try to settle or fight it in court. If the plaintiff is the hospital, the hill is a bigger one to climb than if the debt was purchased by a junk debt buyer.

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I have told them i do not have the money to pay anything.

Keep in mind this in no way is a legal defense to the lawsuit. This just simply means at this time you're judgment proof.

Whether you decide to fight this or not, I would not be entering into any discussion with the other side about how much money you have or don't have.

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Check your statutes, find out how long judgments are enforceable in your state. This thing could follow you around for many years if you lose, gaining interest all the while. You may be collection proof now, but some day down the line you may get a better job, etc., then they'll come after you.

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thanks for the info, This will be the first time i have ever been in court so this is a lot to learn. I am currently formulating what to put in my answer.

I have read the rules of procedure for Colorado, but i could use some verification if anyone can help. I will also visit the court house this week to ask some questions also.

From what i have read it looks like i cannot amend anything to my to my plea (my answer i assume?) unless the court allows, so I assume that i need to cover everything in my answer... am I reading this right?

If that is the case should I go for a 'everything and the kitchen sink' approach just to cover every possible option for my defense. Or should I only include things I am sure can apply?

Also anyone have any tips for finding a lawyer that will help me out for free or one that will help for cheap?

What is the difference between a disclosure statement, and discovery? It looks like I have to request disclosure after i submit my answer, and discovery is only allowed if i request it in a pretrial conference.

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I can't tell for sure if this is an original creditor (hospital) suing you or a debt buyer (somebody that bought the account). It appears to be a debt buyer.

If the hospital is having their collection dept suing you, then you face a tough road. The hospital will probably have all the records and a witness that will show up for court to authenticate those records.

If it is a buyer, then you a great shot at winning. Rarely can they prove their case and due to the low price they paid for the account don't like to tie up a lot of money in a legal battle.

When you say laundry list, are you referring to affirmative defenses? If so, you might want to take a look at this thread. It's long but discusses all the defenses.

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forums/there-lawyer-house/311576-detailed-discussion-affirmative-defenses-including-standing.html

It does appear you might have a great shot at using the affirmative defense of statute of limitations. That could wrap this up quickly.

I would heavily recommend not putting something in your answer that you can't explain or know what it means. The rules will tell you but you might just be able to do a general denial and then start discovery.

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Through some research it does seen the CA is part of a healthcare network or something along those lines... I take it this is not good.

An original creditor can be beat, but a ton more difficult than a debt buyer. Still not sure from your answer if this is an original creditor or a buyer. What is the name of the Plaintiff? You can guess right most of the time just by the name of the party suing you.

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