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Sued By Capital One-Court Date Tomorrow

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Hello! I know this is super last minute, but I just found this board. I have been reading the forums all day, but do have a couple questions for you all.

We are being sued by Capital One (Nathan & Nathan) in Tennessee for $3000 plus court costs. We were served by a police officer 11/22/2019, court date is tomorrow 1/9/2020. As soon as we received the summons, I contacted Nathan & Nathan to try to settle or set up a payment plan to stop the court date. I was told by Nathan & Nathan that even if we did settle with them, they would not cancel the court date and we would be required to go to court and at that time their attorney would tell the judge that we settled.

They gave me some options for settling or doing monthly payments and I told them I would call them back (I needed to see what I could come up with). I called Nathan & Nathan back multiple times at which I was told every time I needed to speak with my specific account representative and must leave a message for her. I left multiple messages on her voicemail. Yesterday I called again and her voice mailbox was "full" so I called back and complained to someone else. They again told me she was on the phone and they would leave a message on her desk so she would call me back as soon as she was done. Again, no return call. Today (the day before our court date) I finally got through to her. I offered an initial downpayment of $500 with monthly payments until the balance is settled. She told me that she would inform their legal team of the arrangement so they were aware when we went to court tomorrow. She also stated that if a judge issues a judgement against us, our wages would not be garnished unless we fail to keep up with the payment arrangement that we agreed upon.

So here are my questions:

1. Has anyone ever heard of an attorney's office that will not cancel a court date even if the account is settled in advance?

2. Do I have any standing asking the judge not to make us responsible for the court costs since I tried to come up with an arrangement with the company in advance?

3. Do I need to bring anything with me to court tomorrow such as evidence proving why we fell behind on payments, financial statements, monthly bills, etc?


Thank you for all your help.

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To answer your questions:

1. Since you have no agreement in writing, the attorney does not have to stop the court process. What I would do tomorrow is talk to the attorney and re-offer the same deal. Odds are, they are not telling the attorney (or this might even be what we call a rental attorney, an attorney hired for that case). You must show up however or they will get a default. Also, they might request something called a stipulated judgement. This means that if you fail to honor the deal, they do not have to go back to court, they can simply start garnishments and levies.

2. The court fees are paid when the case is filed, not when it is heard so I doubt the judge will let them go. That should have been part of the deal.

3. Since the plaintiff did not ask for it, don't bring it. The court will not care about why you got behind and you will be simply giving the attorney's office all the information they need to do a garnishment and/or levy. If they ask in court, just say you don't have it with you and odds are, they will drop the request because that will mean another court date. Just bring your person, your ID, and leave everything else at home.

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