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i decided to call to negotiate with the creditors attorney and they do not want to negotiate anything less than a few hundred dollars the original amount is like 1700. I wish i could pay it off but i have no job since 6months now and i even had to drop out of school, since i cant afford school fees.. I called a law firm called dargon law firm in NH(their wdbsite is dargonlaw .com), and they say they would take over my case for a fee of $ 375 and what they do is basically negotiate with this creditor.I mean i can barely afford that but if this law firm can help me this way then i will like to take care of things this way. I just dont know if its right or wrong. The creditors sent me a summons that i need to respond in less than 3 weeks and i know i have to file a response, but dont even know whta type of response. After speaking to this law firm they said if they take over the case, i wouldnt worry about having to go to court anymore, since they would be able to negotiate the debt. They basically negotiate per every hundred dollar i owe. Thats what the lawyer said. Has any of you heard about them before.??
Sorry this is long but i am so confused and would appreciate any help i can get. I was about to sign some docs and fax my summons over to this debt settlement company\law firm but i wanted to ask your opinions first. I also consulted some other lawyers and they kept telling me to ignore th summons , some told me to respond, but if i hand over my case o this company i dont need to respond right??
thanks for all the responses, i really appreciate your help.

6 Thoughts on Debt settlement company and Debt Summons. I received a debt summons 4 days a go for a debt i owe.?
  1. Reply
    November 3, 2011 at 8:11 am

    You don’t need to spend nearly $ 400 on a company to negotiate settling a debt of $ 1,700

    Here’s a template for dealing with being sued by a credit card company:

    If you have the money, try to settle before the matter goes to court. Be advised that attempting a settlement prior to court with the other side’s attorney is a VERY tricky thing to do, so be careful. Your best chance of settling is when you have a lump sum to pay the settlement all at once. Be sure to get a written settlement agreement from the PRIOR to making any payments. NEVER accept settlement terms over the phone without a written agreement.

    IMPORTANT: Don’t make the mistake of cutting a “good faith” payment to their attorneys without any sort of written agreement that they’ll cease legal action…If you do this they’ll simply take your money and sue you anyway.

    If you can only pay them a settlement in installments per month then it gets more complicated. The problem is that they will invariably want you to sign away your legal rights for any settlement agreement by signing a document that authorizes an instant judgement. DO NOT sign such an agreement or any agreement that waives your legal rights. NEVER, EVER trust any “advise” they give you, regardless of how “nice” they might seem on the phone. Remember, the are 100% against you best interests. Accepting advise from them on what to do is like Tweety Bird accepting advise from Sylvester the Cat. Also, do not fill out any questionnaires or paperwork requesting personal information for you to sign and mail back to them…They will use these documents against you if you do. Do not admit to owing the debt in writing…even if you do owe it.

    If you cannot reach a settlement prior to court, then do this:

    Send this debt collector and the court a letter via Certified Mail with Return Receipt (NOT regular mail) stating:

    Notice of Intent to Defend

    I cannot officially respond to your claim until validation is made for the alleged debt. I am officially requesting validation of your claim, to include (this info will be requested at the court hearing):

    – A copy of the original application with my signature for this alleged debt
    – How much was this debt purchased for?
    – Provide a fully itemized statement for the amount you are asking which clearly details how this amount over the amount that was paid for this debt was calculated, including the interest rate being charged. Confirm that this rate falls within state usury limits

    This letter has been mailed via Certified Mail with Return Receipt. Receipt of this letter is being officially time stamped.
    Fill out the response to the court the best that you can. If you are asked if you Affirm or Deny the claim, mark “Deny” and mail that along with the above letter stating that you cannot affirm or deny the claim until the claim has been validated. Also mail this via Certified Mail with Return Receipt
    On the court date: DO NOT be a no-show under any circumstances whatsoever. Not showing up is the worst thing you can possibly do. Even if you are frightened….or you’re sick with a 102 degree fever…or if you think that you’d loose, show up anyway! If you don’t, the other side will get a default judgement and they will get this on THEIR terms. They will tack on all sorts of add-on fees and the amount of the judgment could end up being two or three times the actual amount of the debt.

    IMPORTANT: bring complete documentation of your income and living expenses: Pay stubs and copies of bills. Even if you loose, you can use this to negotiate much more favorable repayment terms. Request the following info from the other side on the court date:

    – a copy of the original application with your signature
    – a fully itemized statement for the amount they are asking which clearly details how this amount was calculated, including the interest rate being charged – How much was this debt purchased for?
    Lastly….if they take you to court and win a judgement, this will authorize them to freeze your checking accounts….To be safe, this might be a good time to start pulling out any money you have in check/savings accounts and putting the cash in a safe deposit box to keep them from getting your money.

  2. Reply
    Lauren F
    November 3, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Don’t hire the law firm. They want $ 375, with no guarantee that they will accomplish anything for you? ! Outrageous. It is almost a quarter of what you owe.

    Instead, take the $ 375 you were going to give them and call the creditor and offer it as a good faith downpayment on your debt and work out a payment plan.

    You do want to answer the summons. If you think the amount of the debt is wrong, just write that. If it is right, but you can’t afford to pay it right now, write that, and write what you can offer for a payment plan.

  3. Reply
    November 3, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Before you make a decision contact a non-profit credit counseling agency like Talk to a counselor for free and find out what all your options are. There are ways to settle (pay 50% of the balance owed) without having to pay attorney fees. It is important to answer court summons, just explain to the judge what is going on and he may suggest filing for bankruptcy. Either ways you are required to be counseled by a non-profit organization. So take advantage of the resources available to you.

  4. Reply
    Sgt Big Red
    November 3, 2011 at 10:35 am

    First of all is this debt “time barred” meaning beyond your states statute of limitations to seek legal action?
    Use this web site to find out if it is

    Is the “summons” legitimate. It should have been served properly and is should indicate the court, address and docket number. If it does, call the court to verify the authenticity. Many collection agencies often send phony looking documents to scare people. (which is illegal under the FDCPA)

    If it is time barred, then you simply use that as your defense and as your answer on the summons. This is what your lawyer would do. This is only good as long as you have NOT made any payments since it went into collections. Making a payment resets the SOL.

    Second, if you are unemployed and have no assets (home, paid off auto, savings accounts or other tangible assets) then you would be considered “judgment proof” meaning that even if they won a judgment they can not collect for now. They would have to wait till you become employed and then you can negotiate a payment.
    If you are receiving unemployment benefits, they are not garnish able!! either.

    Also, if you do pay in settlement, you must be advised by your law firm that any amount that has been charged off must be reported to the IRS. You will have to file a 1099C on your income tax return as income. (see the source I have referenced)

    NOTE: This communication is not intended as or should be interpreted as legal advice. It is intended solely as a general discussion of legal principles or definitions of the FDCPA and FCRA. Always consult an attorney if needed.

  5. Reply
    double t
    November 3, 2011 at 11:03 am

    relax this is not that serious. this is a case for small claims court. i am surprised that a lawyer would even get involved with an amount this small. basically either you owe or you do not. if you do then tell them you will give them something even if it is ten bucks a week this will show that you are paying and that there is not much else they can do

  6. Reply
    November 3, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Never leave a summons unanswered. If a court date is set and you do not show up, a default judgment will be rendered against you. The least you should do at the moment is answer the summons and show up and negotiate in person. You will get a much better deal in person in front of a judge.

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