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OK, I had some financial trouble about 4 or 5 years back. I have since cleaned up my credit with the help of an attorney and I am back on track. I thought that a particular debt was written off, then today I was served at home for a notice in small claims court! Capital One Bank is suing for $ 2,200. I was previously advised that it would not help my credit if I had paid that debt, which is now almost totally fees and not an actual amount I charged, and I certainly did not dream that I would be sued in small claims court. Yes, I realize I screwed up financially, that is obvious and I have fixed that. Now I am wondering what to do about this. This company is essentially suing me for fees that they just tacked on. Anyway, I don’t know if they expect me 1)not to show up and a judgment will be automatically put in against me or 2)get scared, call them (they put their number in the papers so I could “work it out”) and pay their requested amount. Advice?
I hardly think I am one of the people causing the economy to go down the drain. I am a graduate student in addition to working, so I have paid my share of money to taxes, schools, etc. My credit troubles are NOT more recent than 4-5 years ago, which is why I was very surprised to see this.

4 Thoughts on Credit card co. suing in small claims court–help?
  1. Reply
    December 24, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Just pay the leeches off.

  2. Reply
    December 24, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Contact an attorney that deals with business law a lot of them have free consultations, this is a better way out than other stupid one that I read. As long as you have an attorney to fight back you will be ok. Good luck

  3. Reply
    December 24, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Alright, this is the reason I’m here.

    Obviously Ben J didn’t read the part where you said you had financial trouble. Maybe some day he’ll have some trouble and will understand what it likes.

    Now as far as your question goes, you did not mention what state you lived in, but it’s possible this debt is past the SoL meaning you do not have a legal obligation to repay this debt. You can check the link below to determine the SoL in your state. If the SoL is expired you simply enter an “affirmative defense” stating as such and the case is dismissed.

    If the SoL has not expired, your next step should be to send this collection agency a demand to validate letter. By law they must provide you with proof you have a legal obligation to pay this debt by showing receipts, bills and signed contracts PLUS all the accounting to show exactly how they determined this amount. When you do this, I’d postpone the court date at least 30 days so you have time to wait for the validation. If they cannot provide it, you can get the case dismissed. With a debt this old you have a fairly decent chance that the debt validation letter will put a stop to this.

    In most states, those interest and fees are either capped at a certain amount or outlawed entirely, and they will usually back down on them or at least reduce them drastically if you challenge them on it.

    Also, you are correct that they are hoping you do not show up so they can collect a default judgement. Whatever you do, do not acknowledge this debt as legitimate, do not make any “good faith” payments or sign anything as it could reset the SoL.

    If they can validate the debt and it’s not past the SoL, you might be best trying to settle out of court to keep a judgement off your credit report. A judgement is a bad mark, but it’s not the end of the world either.

    Worst case scenario is they win the lawsuit. If you are in a tight financial situation you can ask the judge to order a payment plan to fit your needs, as most states allow this.

    Check out the links below, there is alot of good information there. Two of the links are message boards where you can ask this question and get help from lots of people who are very well versed with credit laws.

    Here is some information to read.

    Message boards

    Be advised I am NOT affiliated with these sites, just passing along some good resources.

  4. Reply
    December 24, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    You only have a few options.

    You can call them and work out a payment plan or you can go to court and lose.

    The other thing to check into is if the debt is past the statute of limitations in your State.

    Credit cards are considered open accounts, I have posted a link in the source box so you can look your State. If the debt is past the S.O.L., you can go to court and point this out and the case will be dismissed.

    If it’s not past the S.O.L. you can also try and reach a settlement with them, since this is mostly fee’s you can most likely offer them 50% on the dollar.

    Good luck.

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