STMich5798

My poor old mom and The Moore Law Group

Recommended Posts

Good day all,

New here and have been researching the board extensively enough to know that this is the right place. I will try to make this as short as I possibly can...

My mother is 71 years old and went through some rather harsh times beginning in 2015 (kept it from me for most of it) and finally decided to tell me a few months ago that she could no longer pay her bills (she gets a measly $700 from social security) and was having trouble paying her food, welfare and dwelling. I have since had to help her with rent and signed her up with some of the low income programs our state has to offer. 

She calls me rather frantically yesterday and says that a man came to her home banging on the door, upon answering he demanded she answer his question (are you so and so) she confirmed and he threw some paperwork at her and left. He provided her with a summons from the Los Angeles Superior Court by way of The Moore Law Group on behalf of Capital One for $7,240.80 from a 2 year old debt that she stopped paying on when times got tough. 

I have not contacted anybody just yet, the actual case was filed on April 5th, 2017  but it looks like my mother has 30 days from the date it was given to her to respond. I have never had to deal with something like this and can tell you that I have been researching bankruptcy for my mother for about 4 months now and this kind of threw me for a loop, i have spent the better part of the day just consoling my mom who was quite terrified by the whole thing. Just trying to figure out what our first steps should be, for reference my mom of course doesn't have a penny to offer anybody and frankly neither do I. She is on food stamps, medicaid and is even getting help with her utilities from the county so i'm not really sure what they can get from her if anything. Being that she is in the situation she is in what angle should I take with this? 

Apologies for divulging so much information, figured the more the better. I am about as freaked out by this as she is and to be honest I feel a little guilty about it because I really should have stepped up my efforts to aid in her filing for bankruptcy but being that I have two jobs and am a full time student it has been hard to keep up with, not to mention I don't have any money for a BK lawyer... May need to look into an emergency loan or perhaps take from my student loans in order to help her start the BK process, but I feel it might be a little late for this particular case. 

Any and all help or guidance or just good old steering in the right direction is greatly appreciated. Glad to finally be a part of the community.

Thank you guys!

- Mich

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, do NOT take a loan to pay on any other debts.  That is the worst thing you can do right now.

The other thing... stop the panic.  Even if they get a judgement against your mom, they can't touch her social security or food stamps.  Her income is safe. 

Does she have anything in the bank that amounts to more than a month or two of SS payments?

Does she have any property? Car, House, etc?  Does she have other large debts from credit cards, loans or medical bills that are owed?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, STMich5798 said:

Being that she is in the situation she is in what angle should I take with this? 

She is being sued by an original creditor (an aggressive one at that) and the defense is different than what you typically read on forums like this.  The good news is there are plenty of California members including a lawyer that can assist you.

8 hours ago, STMich5798 said:

Any and all help or guidance or just good old steering in the right direction is greatly appreciated.

DO NOT pull the bankruptcy pin (or go into debt to do it) just yet.  The good news for your mother is she is on SSI.  The law prevents creditors from garnishing SSI benefits for civil debts so even if Cap1 gets a judgment they cannot garnish the benefits or levy her bank account as long as the ONLY money in the account is  from SSI or other exempt funds AND she doesn't keep more than 2 months worth of benefits in the account.  

The other good news is while she does have 30 days to answer the suit, the LA courts are so backed up the trial date is likely 2-3 years out so you have PLENTY of time to deal with this while you wait after answering.

I would pull her credit reports and find out exactly how much debt she has and what other suits might end up coming in so you know whether considering BK is a good idea or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They can't garnish SS wages anyway, so if she doesn't own property or have money in the bank, there's not much they can do .

Research the General Denial form. That is what you will need to file for an answer in about 30 days (make sure the complaint or attachment doesn't say that it is "verified" before answering with the general denial.

Research a demand for bill of particulars (BOP) it's a simple one page form. You can send that to the lawyer now before answering the complaint.

Capital One has dismissed more cases here then I can remember. I'm not sure why they are always called "aggressive" in these post. Regardless, the bottom line is that they can't garnish SS wages so there's nothing for them to pursue here.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, fisthardcheese said:

First off, do NOT take a loan to pay on any other debts.  That is the worst thing you can do right now.

The other thing... stop the panic.  Even if they get a judgement against your mom, they can't touch her social security or food stamps.  Her income is safe. 

Does she have anything in the bank that amounts to more than a month or two of SS payments?

Does she have any property? Car, House, etc?  Does she have other large debts from credit cards, loans or medical bills that are owed?

I know, it was just a thought that ran through my mind during a time of desperation to be honest, gonna set aside her BK for now and focus on the advice in this thread. She never really has more than a couple dollars in her checking account after her rent clears. She gets about $700 then I transfer the remaining $400 to cover her rent every month so it all gets eaten up once her rent clears. I take care of her utilities with my own accounts. 

Currently the only thing of value that she actually owns would be her car (an old 2004 Camry) which she has the pink slip for. I currently have possession of the pink slip and was thinking I should probably transfer it to my name but wasn't sure. The pink slip for the car actually reads My father's name up top and then "or" her name on the bottom, so not really sure if they share the car or if it's an either or situation, my dad could give a you know what either way as he is not really a part of our lives. Would they actually be able to take her old clunker from her? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

She is being sued by an original creditor (an aggressive one at that) and the defense is different than what you typically read on forums like this.  The good news is there are plenty of California members including a lawyer that can assist you.

DO NOT pull the bankruptcy pin (or go into debt to do it) just yet.  The good news for your mother is she is on SSI.  The law prevents creditors from garnishing SSI benefits for civil debts so even if Cap1 gets a judgment they cannot garnish the benefits or levy her bank account as long as the ONLY money in the account is  from SSI or other exempt funds AND she doesn't keep more than 2 months worth of benefits in the account.  

The other good news is while she does have 30 days to answer the suit, the LA courts are so backed up the trial date is likely 2-3 years out so you have PLENTY of time to deal with this while you wait after answering.

I would pull her credit reports and find out exactly how much debt she has and what other suits might end up coming in so you know whether considering BK is a good idea or not.

This is so comforting to hear Clydesmom, can't thank you enough for this... I am in the process of getting all of her bills together and coming up with the grand total, will post here as soon as I get that spreadsheet done. I literally ransacked her apartment yesterday in search of every past due bill she's had, really need to get this situation fixed once and for all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Anon Amos said:

They can't garnish SS wages anyway, so if she doesn't own property or have money in the bank, there's not much they can do .

Research the General Denial form. That is what you will need to file for an answer in about 30 days (make sure the complaint or attachment doesn't say that it is "verified" before answering with the general denial.

Research a demand for bill of particulars (BOP) it's a simple one page form. You can send that to the lawyer now before answering the complaint.

Capital One has dismissed more cases here then I can remember. I'm not sure why they are always called "aggressive" in these post. Regardless, the bottom line is that they can't garnish SS wages so there's nothing for them to pursue here.

This is such a relief, you have no idea how valuable this information is to me right now, planning on talking to my mom tonight and somehow get all of this through to her, unfortunately english is her third language so it can get a bit confusing at times, hoping she understands all of this, I know she is still shaken up about the whole thing. I will get on the general denial form and the BOP right away and report back to you. Thank you so much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Her car is most likely safe from a judgement and most definitely would be exempt in a BK.  I would not spend time and money transferring title.  Besides, if they really wanted to, they could likely still get at the car if it looks like the last minute transfer was to hide the asset.  But in this case, it's not worth anything to them.

This is what I would do in this situation:  I would file an answer with the court.  The answer would just deny all allegations listed in their complaint.  This will buy time and prevent a quick judgement.  They will set a court date which will likely be several months away.   This will give you time to see if BK is an option or what else you may want to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys!

Apologies for going MIA for a sec, unfortunately among other things my mother was hiding from me she was also hiding her poor health and landed up in the hospital twice in a week, so have had to deal with that as well. I have put some feelers out there with some low income law groups to see about her possibilities with a BK as I have gathered roughly around $54k worth of debt, but like many of you mentioned here not sure if it's even worth it. Also, thank you so much @sadinca for the Chowdhury info, they have taken my mom's info and are currently reviewing, hoping they get back to me next week, VERY nice office. 

So I am in the process of filing the general denial form, however i have a few questions, and please pardon my stupidity... I have tried to research the answers as best as i could but have been struggling with a couple thing...

1. Where exactly does it state on the summons whether or not the lawsuit is "verified"? Want to make sure I don't file the wrong type of denial. 

2. As for the actual wording of the denial itself, the area where it states "the DEFENDANT states the following facts..." is there a general or formal description I should input? I have been looking at hundreds of examples and templates and they are all very different. Want to make sure I am leaning the right way. 

3. Some of the research I have been doing on this forum has lead me to something called a "proof of service" that needs to be attached to the actual denial, is that an official document I obtain on the web? does it need to be notarized in any way? 

4. @sadinca had kindly mentioned a fee waiver, been digging around and can't find a form of any kind... Does this mean she will have to pay up front and get reimbursed? Because unfortunately we have zero money for that at the moment. Does she file this waiver along with her paperwork? 

5. Last question... When filing all of this paperwork through the court does my mother actually have to go in person to do so? I am only asking because english is technically her 3rd language and this would require some rather extensive instructions on my end. I also read that there is something I need to send the actual attorneys office suing me via certified mail? What exactly should I be requesting from them, if anything at all?

@Anon Amos   @fisthardcheese   @Clydesmom   @sadinca  Cannot thank you all enough for all of your help during this tough time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  1. Where exactly does it state on the summons whether or not the lawsuit is "verified"? Want to make sure I don't file the wrong type of denial. 

     

    It will usually say so on the caption itself, i.e. “Verified” complaint for damages.  What makes it a verified complaint however, is a declaration from someone saying that they have reviewed the complaint and believe the allegations are true.  That is usually a one page document that comes at the end of the complaint.

     

  2. As for the actual wording of the denial itself, the area where it states "the DEFENDANT states the following facts..." is there a general or formal description I should input? I have been looking at hundreds of examples and templates and they are all very different. Want to make sure I am leaning the right way. 

     

    General denial is a form.  It is easy to fill out:  http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/pld050.pdf

    Here are some instructions in case you have questions:  http://www.courts.ca.gov/xbcr/partners/civ-contractaction.pdf

     

 

  1. Some of the research I have been doing on this forum has lead me to something called a "proof of service" that needs to be attached to the actual denial, is that an official document I obtain on the web? does it need to be notarized in any way? 

Yes.  The link above tells you how to fill out the proof too.  It is not notarized.

 

  1. @sadinca had kindly mentioned a fee waiver, been digging around and can't find a form of any kind... Does this mean she will have to pay up front and get reimbursed? Because unfortunately we have zero money for that at the moment. Does she file this waiver along with her paperwork? 

There is a form for that too:  http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fw001.pdf

 

 

  1. Last question... When filing all of this paperwork through the court does my mother actually have to go in person to do so? I am only asking because english is technically her 3rd language and this would require some rather extensive instructions on my end. I also read that there is something I need to send the actual attorneys office suing me via certified mail? What exactly should I be requesting from them, if anything at all?

     

    Anyone can file the papers at the court on her behalf.  When we get to appearing in court, however, she will have to do that herself.  But that is an issue for another day.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All,

Apologies for the very random out of nowhere post on my end, it took me quite a bit of time to find the message board and this thread as my previous computer was from a job that I ultimately lost so I wasn’t able to save the link.

I wanted to provide an update and seek further guidance on my mother’s case with the Moore Law Group, being that we went through the entire process using the invaluable advice from this thread and all of you helpful members I figured I would circle back around to you all.

So my mother and I were able to submit all of the documents in the hopes of potentially avoiding an actual court date (of course the moved forward and set one up) and my mother went to court on 5/22/18. I was unable to attend the court date due to being in between temp jobs and having to adhere to attendance policies for temp employees so my mother went alone, without speaking any English and provided all of her Cal Fresh paperwork proving that she receives assistance for food, all of her prescriptions, and also her social security info as that is her only for of actual income, which goes directly to a percentage of her rent (I pay the rest).

While in court my mother was asked by the judge if she acknowledged the debt, which she did, and the judge essentially said this is a non-issue and her and the attorneys at the Moore Law Group need to work it out by themselves. My mother was then directed to a corner of the courtroom to have a discussion with the lawyer, in which she again showed all of her assistance documents and ssn, he then advised her to file for bankruptcy, he also asked that she call him and speak with his Spanish rep the next day. My mother has attempting calling them now for over a week to no avail.

My mother received a notice of entry of judgement against her in favor of Capital One and of course my mother (and myself a little bit) are freaking out. I am hoping I can get a little bit of resources, outside of the tireless researching on nolo and other sites on what her next steps should be and if we should start cutting off her direct deposit of her social security, transfer her car (a beat up camry) to my name, and of course file for BK, which is hard at the moment given our financial crisis.

As usual I am grateful for any and all advice on this issue, really can’t thank all of you enough for the previous advice given.

 - Mich

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, STMich5798 said:

My mother received a notice of entry of judgement against her in favor of Capital One and of course my mother (and myself a little bit) are freaking out.

Absolutely no reason to freak out.  So they have a judgment.  It is a worthless piece of paper.  Your mother is on SSI and public assistance.  NONE of which they can seize to pay it off.  She is collection proof.  I would certainly take her to a few free consults with reputable bankruptcy attorneys and my guess is after discussing ALL her debts with them and her assets they will put her at ease that she should not worry about this because they cannot legally take anything she has.  

DO NOT deposit any of your student loan money or any other money in her accounts.  DO NOT have her name on any of your accounts.  When you pay her rent withdraw her portion and then add your contribution and pay it by money order.  Beyond that she really should not worry.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@STMich5798 Google "senior legal aid services" in your mother's area to see what agencies offer assistance. Below is a good place to start and a good resource for aging and elder issues going forward in the future. 

"The California Department of Aging funds Legal Services Projects for older persons through the network of local Area Agencies on Aging."

https://www.aging.ca.gov/ProgramsProviders/Legal/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

Absolutely no reason to freak out.  So they have a judgment.  It is a worthless piece of paper.  Your mother is on SSI and public assistance.  NONE of which they can seize to pay it off.  She is collection proof.  I would certainly take her to a few free consults with reputable bankruptcy attorneys and my guess is after discussing ALL her debts with them and her assets they will put her at ease that she should not worry about this because they cannot legally take anything she has.   

DO NOT deposit any of your student loan money or any other money in her accounts.  DO NOT have her name on any of your accounts.  When you pay her rent withdraw her portion and then add your contribution and pay it by money order.  Beyond that she really should not worry.   

I completely agree with Clydesmom.  Don't commingle any of your funds into your mother's accounts.  The only deposits should be from SSI and public assistance.  Any other deposits will be placed under scrutiny.  It's also important for you to make certain her name isn't on any of your accounts.

Right now the most important thing is your mom's health.  Try to reassure her everything will be OK.  Hopefully you'll find a bankruptcy attorney who will take the time to explain things in a way that makes her feel as though she has nothing to worry about.  The last thing she needs is to feel as though someone is going to take whatever money and possessions she has.  This would be a burden on anyone's health.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.