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I have a CC debt (charge off) that was first reported on my credit report in March of 2003. It was for $4200. The total is now up to $8400 and Ive recieved letters from CAs (non certified) off and on over this period of time.
About 6 mos ago, I recieved a letter from Capitol One (the original creditor) and then it went back to another CA by the name of northland group in Medina, MN. Theyve been sending me settlement offer letters about once a month.
I go to my PO BOX about once every two weeks, and there were two notices that I had recieved stating that my signature was needed for a certified letter. One notice stated that the letter came in on a certain date, and the second notice stated if I didnt sign for it it would be returned to sender after 10 days. I had checked my mail after it was returned.
I dont know if it was a summons from, but if it was, would I have to sign for it to be valid or can they still get a default judgement from me saying that I ignored it? Or does a process server have to show up to my house in order for the summons to be valid? Would Northland Group have the power to do that or are they merely a collection agency and not an attorney?
After doing some reading here it looks like since the debt was first reported to the Credit Bureaus over 4 yrs ago would the SOL be a valid defense?
Thanks in advance for your help.

If your state allows service by mail and you ignored it,they could move for judgement after completing an alias summons.Check your local rules of civil procedure for this.You would need to determine if you have a judgement against you first.As a rule even if it is bad news one should not ignore certified or registered mail.

Sub: #1 posted on Fri, 07/13/2007 - 07:41

cajunbulldog cajunbulldog
(Posts: 4859 | Credits: 424.99)

Thx Cajun. How do I determine what the local rules of civil procedure are? The letter was sent to a PO BOX in Orlando, FL (Orange County)

Sub: #2 posted on Fri, 07/13/2007 - 07:44


Also, I did a search on here for northland group and it states they are a collection agency, not an attorney's office. Do they have attorneys on retainer or would one generally recieve a few letters from an attorneys' office before receiving a summons?
I recieved approximately 3 letters from Northland, then the certified letter, then one more after that from Northland about two weeks later.

Sub: #3 posted on Fri, 07/13/2007 - 07:47


Here is link to florida bar association

http://www.f A0DC5248D1785256B2F006CCCEE?OpenDocument
Now to determine if you have a judgement against you,go to and search for your name on judgements.

Sub: #4 posted on Fri, 07/13/2007 - 07:48

cajunbulldog cajunbulldog
(Posts: 4859 | Credits: 424.99)

Why not call the CA and ask them to resend whatever it was because you were unable to access your mailbox in the given timeframe?

Sub: #5 posted on Fri, 07/13/2007 - 07:50

Rach Rach

(Posts: 206 | Credits: 36.47)

Thank you Cajun for the link. I did a search and nothing came up. The letter was delivered about a month ago, so I've bookmarked that site and will check it regularly.

Rach, since this is all new to me, Im on the fence about whether I should let sleeping dogs lie, or send a validation letter and use the SOL as a defense in case they push the issue and I end up going to court.

This is my first post here and I read up on everything I could before I posted as I know a lot of the knowledgable veterans on here dont want to answer the same questions over and over, and rightfully so.

I also googled up Floridas civil procedure after reading Cajuns' first response, and heres what I came up with.


Chapter 48

View Entire Chapter

48.031 Service of process generally; service of witness subpoenas.--

(1)(a) Service of original process is made by delivering a copy of it to the person to be served with a copy of the complaint, petition, or other initial pleading or paper or by leaving the copies at his or her usual place of abode with any person residing therein who is 15 years of age or older and informing the person of their contents. Minors who are or have been married shall be served as provided in this section.

I thought I was off the hook until I read this....

(6) If the only address for a person to be served, which is discoverable through public records, is a private mailbox, substitute service may be made by leaving a copy of the process with the person in charge of the private mailbox, but only if the process server determines that the person to be served maintains a mailbox at that location.

My interpretation of this, is, that they can serve me thru my PO BOX and if the letter isn't signed for that Im ignoring the summons. Would this be correct?
If so, I'll follow Rachs' advice. Should I contact the Credit Bureaus first, delete all previous addresses, then send a validation letter?
Thanks in advance for your help.

Sub: #6 posted on Fri, 07/13/2007 - 08:08


U call the courthouse and see if a suit has been filed on u first??
That would be telling.....
Good Luck,

Sub: #7 posted on Fri, 07/13/2007 - 08:19

Ang Ang

(Posts: 2316 | Credits: 215.73)

I'll do that tomorrow, Ang.
Would contacting the credit bureaus to remove all previous addresses and sending a DV letter to the CA be the next step?

Sub: #8 posted on Fri, 07/13/2007 - 08:40


I don't know much about this but I read what you posted and to me it sounds like they can serve you at your home. But if there is just a po box then they leave it with the person in charge at the place where you have the po box. They wouldn't have put a cert. letter attached to that then (that is an extra fee to send something that way)

But I would call the courthouse and find out if there is something pending for you. Then if not I would contact the creditor and ask them to resend the letter. Then send out the DV letter.

I am not sure if you can have old address removed from your credit record. You would have to dispute that you didn't live there. I had to do that with one of them because I was an auth. user on one of my dads credit cards and they listed his addy as mine along with the one I live at now. So with disputing it, then they took it off.

Sub: #9 posted on Fri, 07/13/2007 - 08:50

puddlejmpr puddlejmpr
(Posts: 1634 | Credits: 74.81)

Ok the way it reads personal service is required with exception noted. If the plaintiff cannot locate the person with public records,they would be required to serve the manager who holds your post office box to be delivered to you.So a certified letter is not proper service according to that statute in my opinion.

Sub: #10 posted on Fri, 07/13/2007 - 19:33

cajunbulldog cajunbulldog
(Posts: 4859 | Credits: 424.99)

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