MatSE

Asset Acceptance trying to serve summons

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I have a credit card debt that was last paid 9/2009 and was closed 4/2010.  Asset Acceptance bought the account 6/2012 and last updated 8/2013.  I just happened to be searching on the county's circuit clerk site today and noticed that Asset filed a small claims case with a first appearance in 4/2013.  It appears there was another apperance by Asset 7/2013 with the following wording "Proof/representation the service of the summons was not found. Alias summons to issue."  Finally, it appears there is another first appearance date set for 10/22/2013, but nothing written.  The case includes my old address.  I'm taking it they are having troubles finding me since they have not found me since April. Anyhow, the debt is no where close to the statue of limitations.  I do not want to be sued.  What should I do?  Should I attempt to contact Asset and try to settle before they get any further in court or is that useless and I should wait until I receive a summons?

 

Thank you for any advice!

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It's pretty much too late not to get sued as they have filed suit. Without seeing their complaint and evidence, it's hard to give advice. You can certainly settle with Asset at any time.That said, they are a bottom feeding junk debt buyer who may or may not actually own that debt.

 

You could just wait for the summons to get to you. The one danger though is that they could falsify service and get a default judgement against you. 

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Thanks for the response Spikey!  As I have read, Asset appears to be far from stellar.  I'm almost certain that they do own the debt, but I do not have proof.  I could request a debt validation from them to verify that they own the debt, but I have read in other threads on here that it is probably too late to do this.  Or is that only once you receive a summons?

 

If I were to call and try to settle with them, would the legal actions stop?  I honestly do not want to go to court if I don't have to and I certainly don't want a judgement without a chance to fight.  So, waiting for a summons seems to be a bad course of action.

 

Thanks again!

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How do you know they own the debt and have standing to sue you.

Junk debt buyers cannot be trusted.

Post up the complaint you will need to answer it denying all the allegations in the numbered paragraphs. 

Don't talk to the creditors nothing good will happen from it.

You should answer the complaint and see what they have against you before you throw in the towel.

I would not wait for the summons to come to me I would go get it at the sheriff's office.

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Its too late to DV. Well you can DV whenever you want but it only matters and they only have to respond in the first 30 days. You can try to settle if you want and if you do settle the legal actions would stop. However, this is the worst time to try and settle since they are assuming they can get you for the full amount. Usually, if you plan  to settle at least fight them a little in court. Going to court for something like this isn't all that bad. I understand why you are worried but its not bas bad as it seems.

Thanks for the response Spikey!  As I have read, Asset appears to be far from stellar.  I'm almost certain that they do own the debt, but I do not have proof.  I could request a debt validation from them to verify that they own the debt, but I have read in other threads on here that it is probably too late to do this.  Or is that only once you receive a summons?

 

If I were to call and try to settle with them, would the legal actions stop?  I honestly do not want to go to court if I don't have to and I certainly don't want a judgement without a chance to fight.  So, waiting for a summons seems to be a bad course of action.

 

Thanks again!

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Agree with racecar. Don't assume that you owe these people anything, even if the original debt was yours. I would also recommend going out and picking up the summons so that you can answer it. Post the details here and we can help; you'll want to answer the questions from this thread when you do: http://www.creditinfocenter.com/community/topic/242744-qs-to-answer-when-posting-in-this-forum-please-read/

 

Spend some time on the site, do searches for keywords, you can also search for people from your state who post here. You may find some threads with similar circumstances.

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Thanks for all of the advice!

 

Racecar - I have been awaiting action on this debt for some time now.  I have kept a close eye on my credit report and Asset is the first collection agent to receive the account after it was closed.  That is why I am assuming that they do in fact own the debt now.  However, I will keep close guard when dealing with them since they can't be trusted.  I found out they are suing me today when I just happened to go on our county's circuit clerk site and saw that the suit had been filled in April.

 

So, I will take everyone's advice and go get the summons.  Hopefully, I can get this tomorrow and can then provide all the information that it contains.  My tendency to shy away from court is due to not being able to afford a lawyer at this stage in my life.  I just graduated engineering school 5/2012 and have a load of student loans to pay off as well as take care of my wife and 3 children.  I'm sure I have the ability to learn some law, but I don't want to be humiliated in court by attempting to represent myself.

 

I'll keep you all posted and thanks again to everyone for taking the time to advise.

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If this is your first time being sued, we understand that initial feeling. I think most of us have been there. You'll be alright. There are consumer lawyers that will represent you in a case like this free of charge - they bill the collector should you prevail. See if there are any NACA/FDCPA lawyers in your area and give them a call. If not, many here have represented themselves and come out on top - one of the keys is to know and understand the code of civil procedures for your state and local rules of your court, you have time to learn those.

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Searching NACA/FDCPA lawyers right now.  I'll also start searching "code of civil procedures" and "local court rules."  Hopefully, Google will be as much of a friend in this venture as it was in Engineering school....haha!

 

I'm so glad I found this site.  Getting more courageous with every post made and read!!!

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That Jenner & Block guide that @racecar linked is very good. This guide by Daniel Edleman is good as well: http://www.edcombs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/collection-defense-debt-buyer.pdf

 

How to attack the complaint is based on if this is small claims or mandatory arbitration case. And that's dependent on if the claim is more or less than $10,000. Small claims is for suits less than $10,000, mandatory arbitration is for cases over $10,000 to 50,000. Illinois has well established case law for debt collection, which is to your benefit as Asset never bothers to attach any relevant evidence to their complaints. 

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Thanks Spikey!  I'm going to dive into all the readings this evening.   I had to take sick leave today, so I will have to delay picking up the summons until Monday.  I'll post what it says along with answering the usual questions that everyone posts on this site when a summons is received.  As for Asset not attaching relevant evidence, that is what I am hoping for.  I read thru someone's thread who is dealing with Portfolio Recovery.  I think I get the basic idea.  Deny, deny, deny.  Make them have to prove that the debt is mine.  Make them have to work.  Stay on top of mailings and do not procrastinate since most deadlines are 14-30 days.

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At this point in time I would go to court on that date. The reason I say this is they will continue to use that address where you do not live. They will at the next appearance say they cannot find you and they want substituted service then they can say they served you in what ever manner they want to claim. They will get a default judgement.

 

I would show up and say this to the court " your honor i am here today propria persona(make sure you use this this or pro per do not say pro se) in a special appearance as opposed to a general appearance for jurisdiction challenges. Your honor I discovered the Plaintiff was trying to serve me own my own due dilligence by looking at your court website. The Plaintiff is trying to serve me at an address where I do not reside, and if the Plaintiff had performed due diligence they would have discovered my correct address, if they do not already have it. We all know debt collector employ really good skip tracing to find those whom they wish to serve. But sometimes when they discover the defendant has recently moved they continue to use the old address to commit fraud and railroad the defendant and the court into an easy default judgment. I am here today to make sure they do not obtain that easy default judgment. I would also ask the court if it will address the Plaintiff and ask them why they have not performed due diligence in locating the defendant and serving him correctly. I would also ask the court to investigate as to whether the plaintiff was attempting to fraud the court. If the Plaintiff cannot provide a reasonable answer I would ask the court for an immediate dismissal for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted and I would like to submit my bill for having to defend myself against a fraudulent suit where the Plaintiff, from the outset of the suit has attempted to commit fraud. If the court in its discretion feels that the plaintiff has not performed due diligence and that if even any remoteness of fraud could have been in the making the court can effect sanctions against the Plaintiff for lack of candor before a tribunal.  Also I  would like to remind the court that I showed up today of my own free will and have not received any summons.

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That Jenner & Block guide that @racecar linked is very good. This guide by Daniel Edleman is good as well: http://www.edcombs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/collection-defense-debt-buyer.pdf

 

How to attack the complaint is based on if this is small claims or mandatory arbitration case. And that's dependent on if the claim is more or less than $10,000. Small claims is for suits less than $10,000, mandatory arbitration is for cases over $10,000 to 50,000. Illinois has well established case law for debt collection, which is to your benefit as Asset never bothers to attach any relevant evidence to their complaints. 

screw arbitration you loose what ever rights you may have to defend yourself when you go into arb.

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@MatSE   I fully agree with Racecar.   Go get summons and respond to it.    Asset folded like a cheap suit when I challenged them with the two suits they filed against me.   A lot of good people on here that will help you deal with these scum sucking bottom feeders.

 

Don't let them get away with alias summons to old address and obtain default judgement that way.    They tried to do that to me, but I caught on to them by chance in querying the court's website in the county I use to live in.  They do no due diligence and only work to ride the path of least resistance to obtain a fraudulent  default judgement.   As I mentioned, once I stood up to them, they folded and my cases went cold and they did nothing in response to my answers filed in response to their summons.



How do you know they own the debt and have standing to sue you.

Junk debt buyers cannot be trusted.

Post up the complaint you will need to answer it denying all the allegations in the numbered paragraphs. 

Don't talk to the creditors nothing good will happen from it.

You should answer the complaint and see what they have against you before you throw in the towel.

I would not wait for the summons to come to me I would go get it at the sheriff's office.

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screw arbitration you loose what ever rights you may have to defend yourself when you go into arb.

 

It's not the same arbitration you're thinking of. All civil cases in Illinois over $10,000 are forced in to mandatory arbitration.

 

 

The Mandatory Arbitration Program was approved by the Illinois Supreme Court in January 1990 as a joint effort of the judiciary, attorneys and public to help resolve disputes in a more efficient way. 

 

@MatSE case is small claims though.

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At this point in time I would go to court on that date. The reason I say this is they will continue to use that address where you do not live. They will at the next appearance say they cannot find you and they want substituted service then they can say they served you in what ever manner they want to claim. They will get a default judgement.

 

I would show up and say this to the court " your honor i am here today propria persona(make sure you use this this or pro per do not say pro se) in a special appearance as opposed to a general appearance for jurisdiction challenges. Your honor I discovered the Plaintiff was trying to serve me own my own due dilligence by looking at your court website. The Plaintiff is trying to serve me at an address where I do not reside, and if the Plaintiff had performed due diligence they would have discovered my correct address, if they do not already have it. We all know debt collector employ really good skip tracing to find those whom they wish to serve. But sometimes when they discover the defendant has recently moved they continue to use the old address to commit fraud and railroad the defendant and the court into an easy default judgment. I am here today to make sure they do not obtain that easy default judgment. I would also ask the court if it will address the Plaintiff and ask them why they have not performed due diligence in locating the defendant and serving him correctly. I would also ask the court to investigate as to whether the plaintiff was attempting to fraud the court. If the Plaintiff cannot provide a reasonable answer I would ask the court for an immediate dismissal for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted and I would like to submit my bill for having to defend myself against a fraudulent suit where the Plaintiff, from the outset of the suit has attempted to commit fraud. If the court in its discretion feels that the plaintiff has not performed due diligence and that if even any remoteness of fraud could have been in the making the court can effect sanctions against the Plaintiff for lack of candor before a tribunal.  Also I  would like to remind the court that I showed up today of my own free will and have not received any summons.

 

It probably won't even get to the judge until he agrees to waive service.

 

Speaking of which, @MatSE you can ask for up to 60 days to respond when you waive service.

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All,

 

The following is a cut/paste of the Docket Information provided on the Circuit Clerks site:

 

 

   04-11-13                 Contract Money Damages of $2,500.01 and above
                            Small claims petition for contract with money damages of less than
                            $10,000 on file by petitioner, attorney Bradley Sayad.

   04-17-13                 Created and properly labeled court case file.

   04-29-13                 First appearance

   07-26-13           Plaintiff appears by counsel, ****************.  No appearance by the
                            Defendant.  Proof/representation the service of the summons was not
                            found.  Alias summons to issue.

   10-22-13                 First appearance

 

 

So, there is no court date yet, unless I missed it on 10/22/13.  Nothing has happened since the 22nd.  The Circuit Clerk is good about updating Dockets online.  They always have updates within 2 business days.

 

 

 

@Spikey, Do I waive service once I go and retrieve the summons?

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@MatSE You may want to call first. At least in my case waiving service and setting an answer date required the judge to sign the order.

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I'd call the court house, if that 10/22 was indeed an appearance date they may have gotten a default judgement on you. Often times debt collectors will be shady and less than honest when it comes to whether or not a person was actually served.

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My brother went through a similar situation in Illinois with Crap One as the OC. It went through some CA near Chicago and he lives a couple of hundred mile from there. This went on for 2 years. Crap one would set a court date, typically around 30 days out. Then they attempted service. It was also small claims. When they were unable to serve, they had to continue and the whole process was repeated, Like I said this went on for 2 years. My brother would keep and eye on the courts website and when he saw they had set a court date, he knew they would be trying to serve him and he made himself disappear. I think they have to get you served before 1 week from the court date.

 

Finally after 2 years, Crap One sold the debt to a JDB. They did not try substitute service in his case. It might be particular to the CA and perhaps the CA in his case did not want to bother. I think a total of 8 court dates were set over the 2 year period.  He's waiting to see if the JDB pursues.

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Good to know @Bob Fletcher.  Thank you for sharing your brothers experience.  However, I don't want to take a chance of a default judgement and not have had a chance to fight.  Plus, I can't really, just disappear.  I have no where to be except for my primary residence and job.  So, I'm just going to take the initiative and go get the summons.

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I believe service is only required 3 business days prior to the hearing date in Illinois. In my County, cattle call days are on Tuesday, so I'd typically get served the Thursday before. That doesn't give you much time to prepare.

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