Received notice of intent to file suit (Hunt & Henriques)

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I received a notice of intent to file suit today from law firm Hunt & Henriques. This is the first correspondence I have received from them, though I get a call weekly from them. I have yet to speak with them. This is for a debt that I owe to Citibank that is within SOL in California. I am unemployed and my financial situation is bad. Due to the pandemic, I’m having a hard time finding work. I don’t own a house, nor a car, and have no assets, or any way to pay right now. It sounds like they will be suing soon and I’m worried and not sure what to do next. The letter was dated 9 days ago and I received it today. I’m wondering if it would help at all to call them and explain my situation in the hopes it can stop any potential lawsuit. My intent is to settle or come up with a payment plan when I’m able to. I would appreciate and advice. Unfortunately I cannot afford an attorney. 

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You won’t be able to settle this now. 

Here are the cold, hard facts.  There is good news and bad news.  

First, the bad news.  They have zero incentive to settle right now.  Their only incentive to settle would be if you had some way to pay the settlement.  You don’t.  
Their best bet is to get a judgment against you, let the interest charges rack up against you until you are back on your feet, then garnish wages that will really hurt until paid off.  
And the garnishments will happen when you need money the most to get back on your feet. 

The good news: there may be ways to fight this.  Things may be easier for you in California. 

We don’t have enough information to tell you your best strategy.  Your best strategy may be arbitration. The problem is, Citi has a small claims exclusion for arbitration.  The way around that is to file in arbitration before they sue if the amount is small enough for small claims.  If not, wait until sued is usually the best bet. 
If you are broke, you can arbitrate for free in California   

In addition, there may or may not be other ways to fight this. There are techniques specific to Cali I really don’t know much about.  

Your first step is to do some homework.  You can buy a little time by sending a DV letter to the attorney.  They can’t collect until they answer the letter.  

In the meantime,  look up the arbitration thread mostly by @fisthardcheese

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I appreciate you taking the time to answer my post. Here is a bit more information. The debt is just over $6000 which I believe does not qualify for small claims court. The last payment made to Citibank was in February of this year. I’ve also searched my name in the court for my county and came up with no search results. Does that mean they have not sued me yet? I will do my research on arbitration now. Thank you again. 

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23 minutes ago, Sunshine2020 said:

I’ve also searched my name in the court for my county and came up with no search results. Does that mean they have not sued me yet?

It means a lawsuit has not yet been filed.  That is why you were sent an “intent” to sue.  

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