just got served

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Credits: 263.7

I'm not sure where to start. A sherrif just came to the door this morning and served me a civil suit from Discover by way of a Collection agency law firm Smith Debnam Narron Drake Saintsling & Meyers. What do I do? I have not VD the debt yet. It's about 18 months old. There wasn't a validation noticed attached, just a lot of legal paper, the summons on the front with a file no xx CVDxxxx on the upper right corner. We live in NC and moved 7 months ago from the county that is stated. Do we have to go to Union county to go to court- 4 hours away? Do they have legal right to sue me in this state? They are out of Raleigh. The bottom of each page says the usual 'this communication is from a debt collector. The purpose of this communication is to collect a debt'. Is this legitimate or just to scare us. It is the same letter head that we receive every few months trying to collect the debt. The next 'Exhibit A' is copied papers from Discover credit card aggrement - it's rules and agreement to pay. It is standard form on your credit card bills. Lastly a affidavit from an account manager for the law firm from the State of Ohio saying she has looked up the details and we are not in the military and that we have an aggrement with Discover to pay the said amount.
It says we have 30 days to go in person or send them something by mail. It would be the collection agency/law firm.
Now we have some money to pay this off, but we also have other credit cards that have gone to collections so this may happen again soon. I was just getting my ducks in a row to start sending them VD letters and then make a settlement offer. THen the summons came . I know the debts are mine, but at the time we didn't have the money to pay. Now that I can try to pay and they have all gone to collections I'm not sure where to start.
I just wished I knew more about his before it got so bad....I just didn't know that I should have delt with the OC before it went to collections. Once the interest rates went sky high it was almost impossible to make the payments. There should be a class on this so everyone knows what can happen. Most of us are decent people that had an unfortunate situation happen. I really want to pay these off and move on, but there really aren't any hard and fast rules with CAs.
Any help you could provide would be much appreciated.


Sub: #1 If you call them when you get the pre-litigation letter they wil
Wed, 04/07/2010 - 15:14

If you call them when you get the pre-litigation letter they will work with you, in my experience. I got my letter this past Friday on a debt of $4395.49, called them yesterday and asked them if they had authorization to negotiate a settlement and in fifteen minutes it was done. I overnighted them a cashier's check for $2640.00 and they faxed me the settlement letter. These guys are tough but I feel that I was treated very fairly. I would NOT wait until a summons came to try to work out a settlement, a timely response is key, imho.


Sub: #2 Summons and Complaint
Thu, 02/04/2010 - 07:01

First off, just to make you aware, Smith Debnam is most definitely not a "basement firm". It is one of the largest collection firms in North Carolina. The firm can sue in the county you live or where the transaction took place. if you received the credit card at the address and county that they used originally for the venue then you are wasting time filing a motion to dismiss, and when that motion is heard, not only will it be denied but a judgment may be entered against you at that time.

You can call and make payment arrangements and consent to a judgment. Once the judgment is entered your rate drops from the contractual rate of interest to 8%. In most cases your payments to the collection firm will be much more manageable then the ones that Discover required before the suit.

If you own RP joint with your spouse and you are both on the credit card the judgment will become a lien on your house. You need to learn about the exemption laws in NC and what can be levied against. The laws just changed in December. Go to the court and ask for a Motion to Claim Exemption form and read it.


Sub: #3 Discover Card/Smith Debnam...l
Mon, 06/22/2009 - 16:56

I've read this with interest because I just received the same package regrding my Discover Card account from Smith Debnam, et al yesterday. At first I wrote a long letter with a different tone then I found your first letter here on this website and I'm planning to send them the DV letter instead. It sounds as though this has not been very successful for you, however, since you say you are headed for court.


Sub: #4 APPEAR IN COURT, they are trying to get a default judgement agai
Fri, 02/13/2009 - 00:56

APPEAR IN COURT, they are trying to get a default judgement against you!


Sub: #5 court case
Thu, 02/12/2009 - 17:59

I need help - please. We were served a summons to court in mid January. About a week later the collection agency P. Scott Lowery called and asked us to set up a payment plan. I agreed to send them $100 on January 31st 2009, $500 on February 13th and then $77 per month after that. On January 23rd we received a Stipulation for Judgement with Order outlining the payment agreement dates, amounts, etc. We had to sign it and send it in. I sent the first payment of $100 in with that letter; they made me overnight the $100 payment. I sent it certified and someone had to sign for it. That cost me an additional $13.99. Lowery office called me on February 3rd stating that they never received the package. I ran the tracking number and it was delivered at 11:51 am January 31st and it was signed by a M. Pugh Jr. I gave Lowery the tracking number so they could see for themselves. They called back a day or two later stating that they still could not find the stipulation letter that we signed and/or the money order; they asked me to fax them a copy of the money order receipt and I did. Our court date was schedule for February 10th and because we had set up these payment arrangements, we didn't go to court. Well yesterday on February 11th we received another letter in the mail telling us that the court date has been changed to March 9th and this letter is for Notice to take Default Judgement. I called and asked them what this letter was for and they said they had to reschedule the court date because they still can't find the money order or the stipulation letter we signed. She asked me to fax her another copy of the stipulation letter as soon as possible. Oh and she also told me that we do not need to go to court on the 9th.

My husband says do not send them another copy of the stipulation letter and do not send any more money. We think we should fill out an answer and go to court on the 9th. In the meantime find out what the SOL is on this debt. We were never told that the court date would still continue even after a payment arrangement had been made. We had the understanding that once a payment arrangement is made, all court proceedings stop.

Please, any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!


Sub: #6 can I settle before I have to go to court?
Thu, 02/12/2009 - 14:44

After I answer the complaint is there a way to write the lawyers and tell them I would rather settle out of court.
Just wondering.


Sub: #7 Please tell me what happens when we go to court. Will the judge
Thu, 02/12/2009 - 07:52

Please tell me what happens when we go to court. Will the judge ask to pay the entire $16k plus interest and attorney's fees. Is that usually what happens? Does the court case usually come up soon after being served? Thanks for all the answers to my questions. There are not too many people who I can ask these questions.

Debt Samaritan
Posts: 512
Credits: 2791.45

Sub: #8 If they say you need an attorney to dismiss for improper venue t
Thu, 02/12/2009 - 05:19

If they say you need an attorney to dismiss for improper venue then there is really not much we can help you with, I wish there was. If you do not know of an attorney you can go to this site and see if one will take on the case. We are always here to answer questions for you so feel free to come back.

http://members.naca.net/f indanattorney/


Sub: #9 Good question. I don't think a sheriff from Union County NC wou
Wed, 02/11/2009 - 18:30

Good question. I don't think a sheriff from Union County NC would drive 4 hours to serve me in Pender County NC (near Wilmington, NC). This law firm sent me a communication regarding a debt with AExp. and they had our correct address on that one. I am not sure how they track you down to issue a summons.

Posts: 88
Credits: 1393.45

Sub: #10 I'm confused about something here. The OP says that they were s
Wed, 02/11/2009 - 18:06

I'm confused about something here. The OP says that they were served by a sheriff at the new address but they are being sued in a county of their old address. If you were served at your new house presumably by the sheriff in the same new town, wouldn't the lawsuit be in the same new town? Seems odd to me that a sheriff from another county would serve you in your new city.

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