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Suttell & Hammer - Need help please

Guest iamtywithani

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Guest iamtywithani

Hello there. To start off with I am in Seattle, WA and this was filed in King County Superior Court.


So in the midst of reading through everything on this forum, I like many people are stumped on how to handle the motion I just received and on what I can actually do at this point. 


History - I received a summons from Suttell & Hammer on behalf of Midland, LLC back in Nov 2012. I admittedly did not respond to the summons because it did not appear real or to be not actually filed, no date stamp, nothing. There was no document filed with the courts until Feb 2013. To which I received nothing until today.


Today - May 4 2013 - my girlfriend was served, well she wasnt because she wouldnt accept but the individual just left it on our porch an "Order and Proceedings Supplemental To Execution and Order to Show Cause Pursuant to RCW 50.12.070. 


In this motion, it states that I have to appear before the courts on May 29th, 2013 and produce all this paperwork (of which I am sure you know of)... bank statements, assets, vehicles, etc. At the end of the motion it states:


"The Judgement creditor's attorneys are debt collectors. This is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose. If you fail to appear, the Court may enter an Order for Judicial Subpoena to the Department of Employment Security."


Of course the included the questionnarie that I could return with ALL of my personal information - which for the record, I am NOT giving those a*holes any of my personal records. 


I know I made a mistake not replying to the summons (perhaps, which wasnt from the courts), but at this point that is a mute issue. So here is what I would like to know. 


Do I have any ability at this point to fight them?

Can I make them prove the debt at this point?

Can I ask for a continuance - legitimately because I am teach that day and also because I could use some extra time to think?

It appears to me that if I sign their little form and give them all the information in the questionnaire, they can just do whatever they want, which I am again, not going to do. However, I am trying to figure out if I have to go to court and what might happen if I do or if I can not appear and if all they will get is the order to the department of employment security?


Unlike other people, mine does not read it would be contempt of court. I just says, the Court may enter...

Second, my understanding is that if they get the employment record, they can garnish my wages - but wont be able to touch my back accounts. I honestly dont care if they garnish me. If its going to happen, its going to happen. I would prefer no, but at the same time if I can just limit them to that, I am fine with that. It just scares the **** out of me that these a*holes could get their grubby hands on my account info. Which I know is not legit. Also, I do have some assets, limited, but some. Like I own a Harley because my father gifted it to me. I dont want them touching that either. 


Any thoughts or advice on how to deal with these guys at this point?




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The summons you received back in November required a response.  I'm betting they now have a default judgement against you for which you are being summoned now for a debtors exam.  Not sure you have a good reason to vacate the judgement.  In Washington, the intial summons comes from the law firm and is not required to be filed with the courts in order to for you to be compelled to answer.  You must answer the summons back to the law firm.  Then, if they file it with the courts, you file the answer with the courts.  I really hate that system because so many people believe the absence of a court stamp and case number means they don't have to answer.  On online to the Washington courts and look up your name, see what you find there.


Honestly, I'm not sure you can do much at this point.  Please review all the Washington RCWs so you'll understand exactly what the process is from here. 



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http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/resource/motion-to-vacate-judgmentorder-cr-60  This is a motion to vacate a default judgement. Show up for your court hearing, This will be your last chance otherwise you will be doing dishes for Suttell & Hammer on behalf of Midland Funding, LLC.



This is what happens when you don't show up for court, The plaintiff gets everything they ask for and doesn't even have to prove their case.  The first thing they do is go after your bank accounts and 1/3 of your paycheck till your debt is payed.If that harley is titled in your name it may also be taken.



RCW 6.32.010 Order for examination of judgment debtor — Plaintiff entitled to costs — Additional fees if debtor fails to answer or appear.  


At any time within ten years after entry of a judgment for the sum of twenty-five dollars or over, unless the time is extended in accordance with RCW 6.17.020(3), upon application by the judgment creditor such court or judge may, by an order, require the judgment debtor to appear at a specified time and place before the judge granting the order, or a referee appointed by the judge, to answer concerning the same; and the judge to whom application is made under this chapter may, if it is made to appear to him or her by the affidavit of the judgment creditor, his or her agent or attorney that there is danger of the debtor absconding, order the sheriff to arrest the debtor and bring him or her before the judge granting the order. Upon being brought before the judge, he or she may be ordered to enter into a bond, with sufficient sureties, that he or she will attend from time to time before the judge or referee, as shall be directed, during the pendency of the proceedings and until the final termination thereof. If the judgment debtor or other persons against whom the special proceedings are instituted has been served with these proceedings, the plaintiff shall be entitled to costs of service, notary fees, and an appearance fee of twenty-five dollars. If the judgment debtor or other persons fail to answer or appear, the plaintiff shall additionally be entitled to reasonable attorney fees. If a plaintiff institutes special proceedings and fails to appear, a judgment debtor or other person against whom the proceeding was instituted who appears is entitled to an appearance fee of twenty-five dollars and reasonable attorney fees.


[1994 c 189 § 4; 1985 c 215 § 1; 1983 1st ex.s. c 45 § 6; 1980 c 105 § 5; 1971 ex.s. c 211 § 1; 1957 c 8 § 7; 1899 c 93 § 1; 1893 c 133 § 1; RRS § 613.]


RCW 6.32.015 Order to require judgment debtor to answer interrogatories.  


At any time within ten years after entry of a judgment for a sum of twenty-five dollars or over, unless the time is extended in accordance with RCW 6.17.020(3), upon application by the judgment creditor such court or judge may, by order served on the judgment debtor, require such debtor to answer written interrogatories, under oath, in such form as may be approved by the court. No such creditor shall be required to proceed under this section nor shall he or she waive his or her rights to proceed under RCW 6.32.010 by proceeding under this section.


[1994 c 189 § 5; 1980 c 105 § 6; 1971 ex.s. c 211 § 2.]



RCW 6.32.080 Order requiring delivery of money or property to sheriff.  


Where it appears from the examination or testimony taken in the special proceedings authorized by this chapter that the judgment debtor has in his or her possession or under his or her control money or other personal property belonging to him or her, or that one or more articles of personal property capable of manual delivery, his or her right to the possession whereof is not substantially disputed, are in the possession or under the control of another person, the judge by whom the order or warrant was granted, or to whom it is returnable, may in his or her discretion, and upon such notice given to such persons as he or she deems just, or without notice, make an order directing the judgment debtor, or other person, immediately to pay the money or deliver the articles of personal property to a sheriff designated in the order, unless a receiver has been appointed or a receivership has been extended to the special proceedings, and in that case to the receiver.


[2011 c 336 § 154; 1893 c 133 § 8; RRS § 620.]



RCW 6.32.250 Property exempt from seizure.  


This chapter does not authorize the seizure of, or other interference with, (1) any property which is expressly exempt by law from levy and sale by virtue of an execution, attachment, or garnishment; or (2) any money, thing in action or other property held in trust for a judgment debtor where the trust has been created by, or the fund so held in trust has proceeded from, a person other than the judgment debtor; or (3) the earnings of the judgment debtor for personal services to the extent they would be exempt against garnishment of the employer under RCW 6.27.150. For purposes of this section, a person shall not be treated as having made a disposition in trust for the use of that person by reason of a lapse of a power of withdrawal over the income or corpus of a trust created by another person. For this purpose, notification to the trustee of the trust of an intent not to exercise the power of withdrawal shall not be treated as a release of the power of withdrawal, but shall be treated as a lapse of the power.


[2006 c 360 § 13; 1987 c 442 § 1115; 1893 c 133 § 25; RRS § 637.]

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  • 4 weeks later...

These bastards did the same thing to me, luckily I wasn't living at the address they filled the summons, it was my Mom's house.  So I wrote them a letter saying to vacate the judgement because I was served improperly. Along with that you must also state that the debt you owe isn't valid (it's not enough to say you weren't served properly you must also dispute the claim).  I await their response, if they refuse to drop it I will file a motion with Snohomish Superior Court.

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  • 2 weeks later...

                I beat Suttell and Hammer and this is how I did it. I am posting this in hopes that this will help anybody currently fighting these a-holes.

                A little history, economy crashed, lost my job couldn’t pay the bills. On or around Sept 15 2011 I was served a summons from Suttell and Hammer, the usual summons they send out to everyone. The bank card they claim I owed money to was a bank called FIA financial (I had never heard of them and the account numbers listed on the summons were not any account numbers I had ever had and there was no case number.

                I went online to the counties website (this was Pierce county Washington State) and looked my name up to see if any lawsuits had been filed against me. I found nothing so I wrote it off as being a scam. I continued to check the county records once or twice a week for the next 6 weeks to see if anything had been filed and nothing. And then on Friday October 28, 2011 while on the counties website I saw that a lawsuit had been filed against me in the superior court of Pierce County by Suttell and Hammer with a date to appear on February 15, 2012. I contacted Suttell and Hammer to inquire what this was about and found out FIA financial was really Bank of America and when the account was a scam.)

                Bank of America had originally offered me a pay-off of $2,400 before they charged the account off (I owed about $9,000). I was unemployed at the time and simply had no money. I the next 3 months after my last contact with BOA I received letters from 2 other collection companies claiming they owned the debt. 1 wanted $3,500 to settle, 1 wanted $4,500 and another wanted $7,000. All refused to provide documentation when requested so I wrote them of as scams. (Another reason I thought Suttell and Hammer was a scam.)

                In my phone conversation with Suttell and Hammer on October 28, 2011 I offered them a settlement of $2,400 to settle and they said the least they were authorized to accept was $5,400 and they would have to have it within 2 days. I offered to pay them the $5,400 ½ now and ½ in 60 days. They said no they would have to have it in 2 days or no deal. (I was working again by this time.) So I hung up the phone and decide to wait for the court date on February 15, 2012. The reason they wanted it in 2 days would become clear in the next 30 days.

                I stopped checking the county records as I say no reason to continue and was simply waiting for the date to appear before the judge. 30 days later November 28, 2011 I received a letter in the mail. A copy of a default judgment entered against me asking me what reasonable efforts I was going to make to pay it. It turns out Suttell and Hammer went to court on November 2, 2011 4 days after I talked to them and got a default judgment because I wasn’t there because I was never informed. That’s why they wanted the money in 2 days because they knew they were taking me to court in 4 days and they also knew I did not know about the court date and they would win an easy default judgment.

                Now they got the judgment on November 2nd and waited until November 28th to inform me so that way it would be late for me to file any motions or dispute. You cannot get a judgment against someone and then wait to inform them until it is too late for them to file any motions.

                I paid a lawyer $100 to write a letter for a motion to vacate stating the reasons that I wrote about above. A motion to vacate has to be written in just the right way to get the right get the judge’s attention so it was worth it to pay an attorney to write it. I also wrote a letter of an offer of a settlement in the amount $2,400. I sent copies to Suttell and Hammer, Bank of America and the judge in the case. I had a court date scheduled for 2 first week of January 2012 on my motion to vacate and Suttell and Hammer had a court date for me scheduled the next day on a subpoena for all my records. (Although I was never served with this subpoena I found out about it on the internet again.)  I wanted to have Suttell and Hammer explain to the judge why they waited 28 days to inform me of a default judgment and when they planned to notify me of the subpoena for the next day. Sure it’s easy to win if you make sure the defendant doesn’t show up.

                2 weeks after filing the motion to vacate and sending out my settlement offer I received a call from Suttell and Hammer and they said that Bank of America has decided to accept my offer of $2,400 as a settlement. I said great, PUT IT IN WRITING. They did and I sent the money (check made out to Bank of America), case closed.

                It is important to note that Suttell and Hammer are debt collectors and not debt buyers. They actually work as collectors for the bank. If you talk to the bank sometimes you can get the bank to take the debt back. Which is what happened when the bank found out Suttell and Hammer turned down my first offer of $5,400.

                I hope this helps someone who is fighting these guys.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi - I had the exact same scenario with S&H and Citi. This is helpful. I had a default judgment on June 18th so I hope I have time to vacate. However; I can't find an attorney to get involved and write a letter for 110 dollars. How did you find someone for that price?

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This is also for anyone who stumbles upon these posts.


What happened to eagl933 is called pocket service.  The lawsuit has not been filed with the court but you still have only have 20 days to send in your answer.  If you don't answer then they file the case with the court and you will get a default judgment against you.


Depending the on the judge you may get the judgment set aside but it much easier to just file your answer.

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  • 5 weeks later...
Guest annalmoren

wow - this thread is both reassuring and discouraging.  The original summons I received from Suttell & Hammer appeared to be a scam to me, too, which I now realize was wrong.  I also know they send their certified mail around the holidays, so that the banks and post office are closed for a number of days following (first bank garnishment took place on New Year's day and again on July 5 - both times after the banks had closed early and Post Office was closed so I couldn't pick up the certified letters informing me what was going on till long after my account had been drained).


In regards to the original post by Tylir, they did garnish my bank account, and it's often drained over a holiday or weekend, since that appears to be one of their tactics.  Which also makes calling your bank's legal department challenging, since they are generally open business hours M-F.  (I see this original post is from May, so hopefully this hasn't happened to you).  


I appreciate the advice of eagl933 regarding contacting the original creditor (Bank of America in my case) to offer a settlement.  I'm unemployed due to the medical care needed by my daughter, and without income.  They've turned down my lesser amount offers, but I will try reaching out to B of A.




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