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Hello all, and I first want to apologize if this is being posted in the wrong place. If it is, please let me know so I can post elsewhere on the forum. Getting to the point, I believe Discover has just filed suit against me for a little under $3,000 dollars. I have attempted to contact them to no avail, and I'm rather confused as to what I should do at this point. Obviously I will contact a debt attorney, and see what if anything can be done. My question is if anyone else has been through this, and if so, did you let it lay and not respond, or take action? I've been reading that they will receive a default judgement if I just ignore the order, which can enable them to garnish wages, and seize assets. I am a colleg student working full time, and honestly I cannot afford a lawyer. Any info would be greatly appreciated, and taken into consideration.

 

thanks in advance 

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13 hours ago, boeing256 said:

I have attempted to contact them to no avail, and I'm rather confused as to what I should do at this point.

Have you actually been served with the papers from the court or are you just receiving letters from bankruptcy attorney indicating a suit was filed?

13 hours ago, boeing256 said:

My question is if anyone else has been through this, and if so, did you let it lay and not respond, or take action? I've been reading that they will receive a default judgement if I just ignore the order, which can enable them to garnish wages, and seize assets.

Yes, if you do nothing they will get a default judgment and can do all of those things in FL.  You at least answer the suit once you are served.

2 hours ago, boeing256 said:

Update - I called the attorney, they're pretty unwilling to work a payment plan out with me unless i pay around $616 up front. 

Any ideas? 

Once you default unfortunately that is not an uncommon answer before they will agree to payments again.  If you were to set up a payment plan you need to know that they will require you sign what is known as a consent judgment.  This means that if you default on the payments again they do not have to sue you to collect.  They can go straight to the court with that judgment you signed and file it and start garnishing wages etc.

13 hours ago, boeing256 said:

I am a colleg student working full time, and honestly I cannot afford a lawyer.

Legal Aid will probably sit down for low or no fee and at least discuss your options.  Check and see if your college has a law school or if a nearby one does.  Often they have free legal clinics for people in  your situation.

If all else fails and they do get a judgment FL is one of the few states that allows you to file for an exemption of garnishment as head of household when your income is too low.  As a broke college student you would likely meet this criteria which would keep them from garnishing your wages.  It would not stop them from levying a bank account however.

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@boeing256

When did you make the last payment on the account?  

I believe the governing law in Discover cardmember agreements is Delaware which has a 3-year SOL.  Florida has a "borrowing statute" that says if a cause of action is barred in the state in which the debt arose, it's barred in FL.  (FL statute  § 95.10).

Calling @LawKitty

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  • 2 weeks later...

Florida has a 'head of family' exemption against garnishment of wages if you provide 51% support of someone in your household.  Just because you are a college student and are poor and not making much money will not exempt you from garnishment necessarily.  They will not be able to garnish more than 25% of your wages, but if you're making low wages, 25% can really hurt.  A judgment will stick around for a while too, so if you end up getting a good job by chance then they can come after you several years later.  They can clean out your bank accounts without warning or even take your vehicle if it's paid for and there's enough equity to make it worth their while.  I have a client who CACH took their paid for vehicle for a judgment, so it does happen.

Chances are you will not get a good settlement with them directly as you would if you hired an attorney.  I don't agree with that because I think they should be just as willing to settle directly with a debtor instead of through an attorney, but it doesn't seem to be the case.

I would try compelling arbitration through JAMS with them if possible.  The amount is low enough that they may not follow you into arbitration.  They are an original creditor so fighting them in court will be an uphill battle.  They will have the documents to prove you owe the debt.  Of course you can choose to fight in court to delay things as much as possible in order to come up with some lump sum money to settle, if that's a possibility, but once they have a judgment they will be less likely to settle for anything less than the full amount.  Be aware if you want to do arbitration that you need to file a motion to compel arbitration right away once you are served or you could lose the right to arbitrate.

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