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I'm at the end of my rope with this, so I apologize if I'm not following the proper format or putting this in the right place.  I looked all over this site for a similar situation and while I found some posts that were very close in nature, I couldn't find anything that fully connected with what I have going on.  I'm going to try to answer all the necessary questions as fully as I can without making this post into a novel.

First off, I defaulted on a Lending Club loan back in 2017, so the debt in question is actually mine, however, when Velocity Investments picked it up and put it on my credit report (I believe) at the beginning of 2019, the amount owed was largely exaggerated and the dates of payment/nonpayment were incorrect.  I tried to get in contact with Velocity Investments, but no one seemed to be in charge of my debt and my call kept getting transferred.  Being a single mom in therapy for anxiety and panic issues, as well as agoraphobia and depression, I gave up on that for the time being, figuring that since it had just appeared on my credit report, I had time to deal with it later.

Fast forward to mid-December 2019...at this point I was in my second week of a medical leave of absence through my employer, Amazon, after working in the warehouse for several months had exacerbated a previous leukemia-induced shoulder injury/joint replacement.  I received a letter in the mail from Amazon stating they'd been court-ordered to garnish a specific amount of my income starting 12/2/2019.  This was the first I'd heard anything about any of this and after a brief meltdown, I called the contact number listed at the bottom of the letter.  The number belonged to Javitch, Block, and Rathbone, a law firm working to collect a debt, according to the recording before I was even connected to a person.  I'm assuming this law firm has its own call center just based on the noise in the background and the general rhetoric that sounded like it was coming from a script.  They were less than helpful, telling me only that I had to pay the debt in full in order to avoid wage garnishment.  They wouldn't tell me why the amount owed was even more inflated than it had been, what the "specified amount" of the wage garnishment was, or anything other than, "pay the amount in full."  

After a few hours of panic attacks, online research, phone calls back to the law firm, and finally the clerk of courts (as suggested by a Javitch Block call center supervisor, along with my case number since nothing was coming up on the county website records search under my name), I found out I had been sued back in August of 2019.  The law firm did send out two certified letters, one that came back unsigned and the other that came back with an illegible signature, according to the court docket notes.  I also found out that the second letter that was signed, had been sent to the address a month after I had moved from there, so it had been signed by someone other than myself.  If the law firm had been in contact with me prior to this, I could have given them my new address, but having no idea anything was going on, how was it my responsibility to update this info with them?  From what I read in the court docket notes, it's blatantly obvious I hadn't received any sort of notice from them as I hadn't responded back to anything, however, the hearing was allowed to be held in my absence.  

Obviously, Javitch, Block, and Rathbone won since I wasn't in attendance to be heard by the judge, and the inflated amount of the debt was not only entered as what I owed, but they were also allowed to add 5% interest to the remaining balance at the end of every month, plus whatever extras the judge awarded them (at this point, my anxiety was over the top and I couldn't handle any more bad/unfair news on this front).   There is nothing in the court docket notes stating they even tried to get me a copy of the final court documents, nor did they do anything to try to contact me by phone.  So basically from August to December (when my employer contacted me) they collected "free" interest on an account they weren't even trying to collect on.  When I called the law firm the day I received the letter from Amazon, the CSR (while she was in my account) asked if I still lived in Cleveland.  I've never lived in Cleveland, nor have I even visited the city that it over 2 hours from my actual residence.  How they got that is beyond me, but that demonstrates to me that they weren't interested at all in trying to get my actual address or call me via phone (which was still the same as it had been before I moved).

So now they are garnishing my wages, taking 25% of my LOA paychecks, which are already at about 50% of what I'm used to making when I'm not on medical LOA.  Previously, I'd tried to keep a month's worth of bills and Uber charges (I don't have a car, so I have to Uber everywhere I need to be, including to and from work when not on LOA) ahead in my checking account and at this point, I've gone through that, thanks in part to their cut of the pie.  I did contact a lawyer who stated that he could probably do something considering they served the second notice  (the one that was illegibly signed) a month after I'd moved from the address listed on the record, but he wants $500 before he can file anything with the court.

With all that said, do I have any recourse other than paying this lawyer $500 to maybe be able to do something that I don't quite understand?  All I knew for sure when I was speaking with him was that still doesn't seem fair considering Javitch Block has a history of not informing defendants of an upcoming lawsuit, thus winning their judgments by default.  I never had any intention of not paying this loan, but I wasn't going to agree to pay such an inflated amount as Velocity Investments was claiming I owed and I needed to get myself in a better financial situation before I could set aside anything to pay on this loan.  I could conceivably pay it off with my tax return this year, again putting off saving for a car and eliminating Uber charges from my list of monthly bills (which would ultimately free up more money that I could use to pay off this loan), but am I going to be stuck paying this doubly inflated amount all because Javitch Block neglected to do their due diligence in allowing the judge to hear my side?

I appreciate any advice you can give me or any direction you can point me in.  Working at Amazon (in the warehouse) is literally killing me, thus the need for a medical LOA at this point, but it's necessary so I can make enough money to support my daughter (for whom I get no other financial help), attempt to get a car and eliminate the Uber charges, as well as go back to school to add to my Associate of Science degree and be able to get a job making just as much money without the physical implications I have at Amazon.  I really am trying to connect all the dots here, but I don't believe this is in any way fair or just and if I can get a valid legal point-of-view on what I should do, I'd gladly follow that and put an end to this anxiety and panic Javitch Block is currently causing me.

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You will have to check your court rules, but anything the lawyer could do to vacate the judgement, based on improper service, you could do yourself. Once the judgement is vacated, you can look at defending this - I think others have talked about Lending Club having an arbitration clause.

How much was the original defaulted debt, and how much was it when Velocity started reporting it?

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