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deeree54

Sued by Velocity Investments- bit of a weird situation

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So my husband was sued by Velocity Investments LLC for a debt owed to Synchrony Bank in the amount of approx $1200. The kicker is about a year ago he fell 18 feet and suffered a TBI from it and now lives in a care facility. I did not know this debt existed but have since found the paperwork. I came home to find the certified letter slip in the mailbox and looked it up online. 

 

I am am not denying the debt is owed, but what would be my best course of action here- do I call Velocity and try to settle with them outside of court for a payment plan I could finish up within a couple of months or file an answer with the court asking for a payment plan? I don’t want them to go after bank accounts and empty them out or anything. Thanks for any help! 

 

Edited to add- I live in Ohio, this was filed in a local muni court. 

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There is a lot more to it.  

In some situations in some states his assets may be untouchable if he is disabled in this way.  I am not a lawyer and I don’t live in Ohio, so I can’t tell you.  

All I know is Ohio is not a community property state, so any assets in only your name would be untouchable. 

There are some companies that will withdraw a lawsuit in cases of hardship.  

It may be that $1200 is a sum you can deal with, even in his current condition. Or it may be burdensome.  

As a first step, which you may have already done, see how this would effect the finances needed for his recovery.  

As a second step, find out what can and cannot be touched in Ohio.  

Then, sooner rather than later, contact the attorney suing him.  Explain the situation and come to some sort of agreement.  This way you are talking in a situation where you can make an informed agreement.  

In many cases they will be willing to settle for less than the total.  In some cases they might be willing to settle for zero, if your situation is bad enough.  

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I can handle the $1200, just not all at once. The bank accounts we do have are in both of our names still but we have small children so I don’t want them to completely empty me out. 

 

I will give Velocity a call  and see what kind of settlement they might be able to agree to and if that doesn’t work I’ll file an answer with the court asking for a payment plan. I wasn’t sure exactly where to start but you’ve given me an idea. Thank you! 

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Filing an answer asking for a payment plan may not be your best second option.  

Does this debt have an arbitration clause?

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8 hours ago, deeree54 said:

The bank accounts we do have are in both of our names still but we have small children so I don’t want them to completely empty me out. 

Take his name off the bank accounts.  If you need one to deposit a disability check for him set it up apart from yours.  His disability cannot be levied legally.  If he is not on your accounts then they cannot empty out your money.

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Normally, arbitration would be the best way to handle this, as Synchrony has has an excellent arb clause.

However, this is an unusual situation, as it sounds like your husband may not be physically able or competent  to appear in court, which would likely be necessary even using the arb strategy.  You can't represent him.  Only an attorney can, and an attorney would probably cost more than the debt. 

You might contact your local Legal Aid office, to see if they can help.

Otherwise, I agree with @Clydesmom.  Take his name off any bank accounts.  Just take the judgment, as they can't collect anything from him anyway.

Is he collecting any federal benefits, such as SSDI?  If so, you can get a Direct Express account, which is a debit Mastercard, and you can use it to withdraw cash.  

The only other concern I would have about taking a judgment is, in Ohio, a judgment becomes a lien on real property.  And judgments earn interest.  This would be a concern if you own a home, and plan to sell or refinance.

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We don’t own our house- but I’d like to avoid just taking the judgment as id like for us to be able to own one in the future once the mess his fall put us in is straightened out. He won’t  be in care forever.. this is mostly just learning life skills after the fall. Occupational therapy type things... walking, dressing, bathing etc. His brain is healing, just works slower than it did before he fell. 

I have contacted the attorney for Velocity via email asking to settle out of court on his behalf  for $400 that could be sent out immediately (pretty much the best I can do right now.) If that doesn’t work, I think my next course of action will be to file an answer with the court and have him sign it asking for a payment plan and then I’ll just pay it off. He could probably appear in court but most of his issue lies in memory and retention so he wouldn’t remember anything that happened while he was there. 

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If he is capable of appearing in court, singing papers, etc., then maybe arbitration is the way to go.

If he needs your help in court, you could probably ask the court if you could do so, but you can't speak for him.  If he needs any technological assistance, like being able to type out his responses instead of speaking, if he has a speech impediment, that could probably be provided as well.   You should certainly be allowed to sit in the courtroom and take notes.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, government agencies have to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.  

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