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Hi. This is my first post, i'm hoping i can get some helpful information.

I got a fake summons on october 21st from MEL Harris & associates for an account that i do not recall. I'm not saying that i don't owe the money, i just honestly don't know what it's from because i don't remember having a card with this debt in 2006. They even stamped the fake summons with the name of the court in my county.

So, thanks to this website i sent a very detailed letter requesting validation, this was received by them on october 25th. Two weeks later they sent me another fake summons (it was dated september 2nd?) and offered a settlement (they didn't do this the first time). I still have yet to receive a validation letter. No phone call, no regular mail, nothing. The first thing i recived from them was this summons.

So today i got a letter from a bankruptcy attorney here in my city saying that he just noticed (via public records) that a summons was filed against me and that he is here to help.

Could mel & harris have filed a lawsuit against me without sending any validation letter? Also, are summons public records? I'm guessing they are or this bankruptcy lawyer wouldn't have gotten my name and address.

I'm not sure where to go from here. Thanks for reading and any help!

How do you know it is a fake? Did you check with the court? A summons would be a public record since it would be filed with the court.

Sub: #1 posted on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 05:45

(Posts: 1950 | Credits: 200.54)

yes i checked with the court. it also had a date of months earlier on it, no court date, wasn't signed, etc. But yes, the court said it was fake.

Sub: #2 posted on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 08:07


then you get something from the courts verifying that it's fake.find a consumer attorney in your area.preferably one that works on a contingency basis and sue this bottomfeeder for a boatload.that ia major no-no in collecting.not only failing to validate,but continued collection i think passing a phony court document is a serious no-no.take these clowns down.

Sub: #3 posted on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 08:14

paulmergel paulmergel
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(Posts: 15506 | Credits: 1356.56)

Thanks so much, i'm going to do that.

Sub: #4 posted on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 21:50


here's something else--if youre getting calls from a third party--meaning the bankruptcy attorney that called you--then the chances are pretty good that there is an actual suit filed against you. Those lawyers routinely check the dockets to see what has been filed against whom, and then they contact you looking for business.

You need to make 100% sure that they have not filed a suit against you at all. Its possible that they sent you the first fake summons to lull you into not responding--if you checked it out and found it to be fake, then they would hope that you would ignore the second one because they sent the fake one first. Its very illegal of course, but that has never stopped CA's before. Also, if they did file an actual case against you now, it does not in any way change the fact that they have acted illegally--in fact, it means that they have broken the law even more. When you got the first summons, you sent DV, and they have broken the law if they filed suit for real since they got your DV letter because they didnt DV the account for you.

Sounds to me like, if all of this is correct, they really screwed up big time and you need to nail them to the wall in a big way for it. Is there any attorney's name listed as representing the CA on anything you have gotten? If so, you need to go after them too--to send a message that the law means something. But first, I would make completely certain that there is no case against you. Take a copy of each summons that they sent you and bring them to the court clerks office in your county, and verify that each one is fake or real. they should be able to let you know without much difficulty.

Sub: #5 posted on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 00:51

skydivr7673 skydivr7673
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(Posts: 2037 | Credits: 579.66)


Thanks for the reply! So i talked to the county clerk and she said nope, i'm not in the system and there are no summons against me. I have no clue how the bankruptcy lawyer got my info then. Weird!

The attorney listed was Mel harris. I looked up some info on him and it looks like he does this often.

Sub: #6 posted on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 05:54


Have you checked with the state bar to see if Mel Harris is a licensed attorney for your state?

If so I would contact the bar and file a complaint against him. The bar can hold a hearing and punish him in addition to any legal action that the courts would do.

Also see if you can get the clerk to give you some proof that the suit is bogus.
Also the BK laywer may be part of the scam where he "negotiates' a settlement for a fee so they double dip at your expense.

Sub: #7 posted on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 10:12


I am an ex-collector. I was one of the ones that followed the laws and actually had a heart. I can give you the name of an attorney that can help you out if you would like. I will also tell you that it is against the fdcpa to send out a letter pretending to be a legal summons. You can sue the agency and possibly the collector for this type of stuff. They attorney that called you could possibly be another person in the agency trying to gather information about you. Be careful! Good luck to you and I hope you kick butt with an atorney....

P.S. most attornies will deal with collections agencies on a constingency basis. Then they get paid when you win and if you don't then they get nothing!

Sub: #8 posted on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 07:05


Some law firms that are not making good in the field are into collection business these days. I believe that the sound from a law firm is intimidating. Nobody wants to be sued and had to encounter all the legal hassles. For a law firm to write a fake court summon to a desperate debtor is bad,bad, bad. I hope our lawmakers will pass a law punishing these abusive law firms/collection agencies in our midst.

Sub: #9 posted on Tue, 04/06/2010 - 04:04


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