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Hi all- I got served today. I had been on this site before and followed Linda7 advice- sent a letter: 

"I dispute this alleged account.

As per the FDCPA, I have the right to request proper validation of the alleged debt.

I elect private contractual arbitration via JAMS to resolve any disputes between us.

All phone calls are inconvenient, so all communications need to be by mail."

I did get a letter from their fraud department a bout a month later asking why I disputed. I didn't respond to that.I also got a package with some statements , cancelled checks stuff liek that, which I just set aside for later.  I've been pretty out of it from an injury and trying to deal with recovery and the legal proceedings of that as well.   Today I was served at my home- it was a legal serving. 

I'm in Washington State. They claim I owe over 16k.  (I dont think its that much) Firm is Sutter, White Hammer  I Checked and they do not have a "collection agency " license which I think WA state requires (my eyes are bleeding from all the reading but I read if a law firm practices majority of collecting debt for their clients then they are considered a "collection agency" and require special licensure- which Sutter, Hammer and White don't seem to have under WA business lic search.  I don't know if that's my loophole?  

I wanted to go for arbitration just to buy time, but am afraid that will end up costing me a bunch more for the fees.  I was injured and lost my ability to earn virtually overnight. Its been 2 years. I paid my debts for one year then I just havent been able to keep it going for the last one.  I had surgery a few weeks ago  and all the sob story later- I believed I just need to buy time and maybe pay them off with the settlement from my lawsuit (injury) But that is taking longer than I thought.  All the advice i get is to hire an attorney- If I could afford an attorney, ID just pay the debt. I have no money at this time to negotiate with. Id file Bankruptcy but I cant because of the lawsuit. Any advice.. Everyone seems so knowledgeable. I love the way you guys help. I hope one of you will see this and help me. 

I want to respond to the summons it says to do so in writing within 20 days. I thought I would say I had requested arbitration... and was waiting for a response to that. ?

Can anyone offer any guidance what do I do next?

 

 

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I responded to your answer from  my thread... but im not too familiar with how messaging works on this site so I'm responding here too. I left a link on my thread for the question that you can answer in order for any one to help you. 

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Are you dealing with an Original Creditor or a junk debt buyer?  Suttell is acting as their attorney.

You need to go to washingtonlawhelp dot org and read how to answer a debt lawsuit.  But, if I were you, I would not answer yet.  You've got a very interesting situation, and I'll bet dollars to donuts that Suttell wasn't informed about the previous arb election.  I would go to National Association of Consumer Attorneys and call or email a few of the NACA lawyers and concisely explain your situation to see if you could get representation on a contingency basis.  Even if you don't have a federal case, you may have a state law case to be made.  There's a lawyer in Spokane area you may want to check out, but I can't think of his name off the top of my head.  (Don't worry if you're in a different area of the state--it's all done by phone, email, fax and mail anyway.)

I'd get on it while I have time.  Don't get discouraged if you get some rejection--most consumer lawyers have way more potential clients than they could possibly handle.  Systematically check them all--and don't forget to tell your injury attorney and ask if they might refer you to someone.

I'd also do as much reading as I could to get ready to go it alone if I had to.

Good luck.

 

 

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if you go to JAMS, the most it will cost you out of pocket is 250.00. That being said, if it is Discover that is suing you, they will go, and you will probably lose. you can try to negotiate a lesser amount, but they will have the goods.

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Thanks to those who replied- I cannot figure out how to respond to you on this forum. Mr. Loon, would you beable to private message me the lawyer in SPokane name? I looked it up and it seems there are several. I do want to call them out for ignoring my JAMS election- but I dont know where or how to do it. Would I file it as a separate document- say one called " motion to Dismiss"? based on they breached their own contract by ignoring my election and slapping me with a law suit?

(just thinkin)

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