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  • need advice on summons response Washington

    Hello all and thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.

    I currently reside in Washington state and recently my wife was served a summons by a law firm for outstanding credit card debt. We had previously received a letter from the same law firm and had sent them a request for validation of the debt but have not received a response as of yet.

    The summons we received stated that a lawsuit had been started against her in the superior court in our county in Washington. It has not been filed yet, I checked the court's website.

    If we do not want a default judgment entered against us, we are required to respond to the attorneys within 20 days.

    My wife and I are in the process of putting together enough money to try to settle for 50-60% of the debt.

    My question is, what would be the best way to draft a response to the law firm so that a default judgment is not made. We would like to settle, but do not believe we will have access to the funds prior to the end of the 20 days. I've seen recommendations to respond in a certain way ( I can't think of it off the top of my head) and request validation.

    Should we simply seek legal advice (costly and we would like to put that money towards settlement) or is it actually feasible to respond to something like this?

    Thanks again.

  • #2
    Originally posted by K1Sarge View Post
    Hello all and thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.

    I currently reside in Washington state and recently my wife was served a summons by a law firm for outstanding credit card debt. We had previously received a letter from the same law firm and had sent them a request for validation of the debt but have not received a response as of yet.

    The summons we received stated that a lawsuit had been started against her in the superior court in our county in Washington. It has not been filed yet, I checked the court's website.

    If we do not want a default judgment entered against us, we are required to respond to the attorneys within 20 days.

    My wife and I are in the process of putting together enough money to try to settle for 50-60% of the debt.

    My question is, what would be the best way to draft a response to the law firm so that a default judgment is not made. We would like to settle, but do not believe we will have access to the funds prior to the end of the 20 days. I've seen recommendations to respond in a certain way ( I can't think of it off the top of my head) and request validation.

    Should we simply seek legal advice (costly and we would like to put that money towards settlement) or is it actually feasible to respond to something like this?

    Thanks again.
    Before you decide to settle for anything... since you have already requested via letter, that the attorney "validate" the debt, I have a question for you. Have they responded within the 30 day time frame I assume you have told them they have to respond by? Is this also the Original Creditor's attorney or just a collection agency's attorney? Please read this very very very helpful article that was written in another posting on here from someone. It offers up some very valuable advice.

    http://www.laborlawtalk.com/showthre...&highlight=NCO

    If you can't click on the link, then I will tell you that it's in the Debt Collectors forum. Just look for a posting on the NCO collection agency. While I know this is probably not the agency you are dealing with, the OP cites a few very valuable websites for you to go to and read up on your rights here. I wouldn't waste any more time on this one if I were you. If you can't find the link, feel free to PM me and I can point you in the right direction.
    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Anything written by me should not be construed as; or substituted for legal advice by an actual attorney. Any opinions by me are merely my own opinions. Anything pointing to fact, law etc, should be verified by the reader to ensure the most current and up-to-date information as possible.

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    • #3
      Thank you for the response.

      My wife had used a validation letter she found online and I do not believe that she included a 30 day time limit.

      We sent the letter a little over 2 weeks ago and have not received a response.

      The letter appears to be from the collection agencies attorney and states that the plaintiff's attorneys are debt collectors and "This is an attempt to collect a debt, and any information obtained will be used for that purpose."

      In that article you linked, it has a link to the naca but when my wife and I used a lawyer through them, they charged us $500. We would prefer not to have to spend this type of money unless absolutely necessary.

      We would definitely like to have them validate the debt, but I am more worried about a default judgment at the moment.

      Comment


      • #4
        Also, I thought I would mention that the collection company is midland funding, which seems to be a company that a few people have had problems with.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by K1Sarge View Post
          Also, I thought I would mention that the collection company is midland funding, which seems to be a company that a few people have had problems with.
          When is the court date set for? Does your wife have any statements showing when the last activity was on the account, meaning when the last time she made a payment on the account? The reason I'm asking is because if the SOL (statue of limitations) has run out on the debt, the original creditor has sold the debt to a collection agency, you have the paperwork to prove when the last payment occurred, and your wife never made any written agreements or sent any money to the collection agency, then she might be able to go to the hearing with this proof and cite that the SOL has run out and that the collection agency can not collect on the debt. If I remember correctly from that post I sent you to, it's not your wife's burden of proving she doesn't owe the debt, it's the collection agency's burden of proof to show that she does. Since they aren't the original creditors, that's going to be extremely hard for them to do. Most collection agencies are betting on the fact that you won't show up for the court date and if you don't, then the judge will issue the judgment in the collection agency's favor.

          Additionally, if the court date is set beyond the 30 days after your wife sent the letter, you can always send another letter, registered and certified again, asking for validation of the debt. If the court date is after the initial 30 days request and your wife sent the letter certified and has the return receipt showing the date the letter was signed for, then she can also take this to court to show the judge that the attorney/collection agency failed to respond to her request for validation that she owes them (not the original creditor) any money, within a reasonable time frame.

          In her original letter, did she ask for proof of any contract or documents that she signed agreeing to pay the collection agency? I'm sure you looked at the other link that offered some very helpful information regarding the legalities of these sorts of collection agencies and their practices. There was one site mentioned that even had sample letters to send to places such as the one you're dealing with. I'm pretty sure that if the letter she sent provides no results (proof that the debt is owed to the collection agency), then when your wife goes to court, the judgment will get thrown out. Again, I would do a bit more research into this to see if you have a viable argument to make here, but I think you do, if the SOL has run out on this particular debt. Good luck and keep us posted!
          Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Anything written by me should not be construed as; or substituted for legal advice by an actual attorney. Any opinions by me are merely my own opinions. Anything pointing to fact, law etc, should be verified by the reader to ensure the most current and up-to-date information as possible.

          Comment


          • #6
            Here's the direct link for the form letters I was referring to.

            http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forms/

            This particular site also has some information which might be useful to you:

            http://www.creditinfocenter.com/rebu...itations.shtml

            Since you mention it was a credit card, it's considered an "open-ended" account. The SOL for your state on these types of accounts is 3 years.

            I got this quote directly from www.creditinfocenter.com:

            "Why should you care about the Statute of Limitations (SOL)?

            Every day, consumers pay off collection accounts and charge-offs which they do not have to pay off because the Statute of Limitations has already expired for the open account. Consumers pay off these accounts because the accounts still appear on their credit reports.

            This information can be a powerful weapon in unburdening yourself of old debts, as creditors have a limited time in which to sue you. Remember: the Statute of Limitations begins to run from the day the debt - or payment on an open-ended account - was due. Also, this has nothing to do with how long an negative credit item can remain on your credit report. To view these credit reporting rules, click here.

            Consumers also pay off these accounts when they are not on their credit reports. Even though an account was removed from their credit file, a collector watched their credit report for any activity (actually the computer was watching any credit activity). When the collector spotted the activity, he called the consumer for payment. All the consumer needed to say to the collector was, "I have an absolute defense--the Statute of Limitations has expired."

            The Statute of Limitations does not cause your debt to go away after it expires. If the creditor files suit, the consumer has an absolute defense. The consumer must offer the new evidence to avoid a judgement. The evidence will consist of papers the consumer files to support his claim. If the creditor sues you, and you do not prove to the court that the Statute of Limitations expired, you will have a lost lawsuit and a judgment against you.

            When does the Statute of Limitations start?

            You might be asking yourself, "It has been such a long time since my "open account" has had any activity. When does my Statute of Limitations started ticking." The statute of limitations (SOL) is calculated by:

            1. Take the date you last made a payment and add 6 months to this date.
            2. Add the number of years of the statute of limitations in your state.

            Example:
            You last stopped paying on a credit card on Jan 15, 2001. The statute of limitations for credit cards (usually regarded as open accounts) in your state is 6 years.

            The date at which you are "safe" from having a creditor sue you over this debt is:

            Jan 15, 2001 + 6 months = July 15, 2001.
            6 Years + July 15, 2001 = July 15, 2007

            Therefore, a creditor cannot sue you for this debt after July 15, 2007.

            Depending on what state you live in, if you make a partial payment, you could be postponing the Statute of Limitations' taking effect on your collection account or charge-off. A collector might call you one day and say you waived your rights when you made a deal with the collection agency. Do not take anything a collector tells you for granted. Make them prove it to you, in or out of court. For about half the population, the Statute of Limitations started ticking the day they made the last payment for their account."
            Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Anything written by me should not be construed as; or substituted for legal advice by an actual attorney. Any opinions by me are merely my own opinions. Anything pointing to fact, law etc, should be verified by the reader to ensure the most current and up-to-date information as possible.

            Comment

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