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Howard Lee Schiff send me summons. What should I do?

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I was sent a collection notice by law office of Howard Lee Schiff, PC. I responded with a letter requesting validation. No response. Several months later they mailed me a summons for small claims court. I guess I was under the impression that they have to respond to validate as the request was sent within 30-days. Should I respond denying allegations as they did not validate? Or just attempt to settle. I don’t want to risk a judgment, but it seems extremely unfair that they can just ignore my request for validation and still proceed with a suit.

Any guidance would be appreciated.

Thank you,

No matter what you do, respond. If you don't they will get a default judgment. Go to court showing the validation letter you sent to law office of Howard Lee Schiff and the return receipt for it. Ask for supporting documents that proves their claim.

I have yet to goto court so I don't know exactly how it works, but if I was in your situation, that is what I would do.

Sub: #1 posted on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 18:12

goldenbast goldenbast
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(Posts: 2885 | Credits: )

Definitely respond. Even if you go to court, you have them on a $1,000 fdcpa violation - Section 809(b).

b) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.

Them filing a lawsuit against is considered collection activity, and as such is prohibited as mentioned above.

Sub: #2 posted on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 18:20


That is true! You could counter sue.

Sub: #3 posted on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 18:35

goldenbast goldenbast
Moderators Cum Industry Expert
(Posts: 2885 | Credits: )

Unfortunately I do not have a receipt. So I guess it would be my word against theirs. I have to settle this account anyway, and it is not that big, yet it still bothers me that they just ignored my request when we all know they received it. I've got another month to respond so we'll see how it goes, I guess, when I call to settle. Thank you for responding.

Sub: #4 posted on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 13:13

hazeleyes61878 hazeleyes61878

(Posts: 38 | Credits: )

Send a second letter. In it, mention that you sent a letter previously and no response was received. Include a copy of the initial letter, and send it CMRRR.

This way, you'll have proof that you sent a letter that they didn't respond to, or at the very least, you'll have proof that they received the second validation letter. So, even if it goes to court and they claim they never got the letter the first time, they can't say they didn't get the second letter which had the first letter attached, because they signed for it.

Sub: #5 posted on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 14:45


That's a good idea. Being that it is not in the specified 30-days from the original contact isn't it a mute point? They don't have to respond. I feel my options are:

1. Do as you recommended and see where it answer is due by Jan 3 2008;

2. Answer the complaint as a counter claim for $1000 per a violation of the fdcpa;

3. Contact there rodents and attempt to settle

I will have to do 3 eventually. And 1 and 2 make me nervous because I do not want a judgement by these clowns.

Ugh! I hate being in this position. It's hopeless.

Sub: #6 posted on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 14:59

hazeleyes61878 hazeleyes61878

(Posts: 38 | Credits: )

hazel-I feel for you here...hang in there!

Definitely answer the summons. As far as your counter-suit, it would be tough as your have no evidence (other than a copy of a letter) of when it was mailed and recieved by the law office.

Sub: #7 posted on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 15:19

volleyballmom volleyballmom

(Posts: 4143 | Credits: )

Nope because your initial letter was within the 30 days. Your second letter can be viewed as a kind guesture to follow up to the first - not just an attempt to get a signature, even though that's what it is.

If you manage to send the letter by the end of this month, you'll have enough time for their 30-day response time, and to file an answer in time.

Here's a little something that might give you hope: I once had an account on my report for at least a year. I know what it's for, but I never received any communication. I ignored it for all of last year, and most of this year. In May I sent a DV to the CA listed, they didn't respond, so I sent another. Again, they didn't respond so I got the BBB involved and let them know they were violating Federal and State laws(they're based on TX). After a 5 or so month battle, they deleted their TL off my CR. I waited a whole year and a half before I sent the first DV, and still got what I wanted.

Questions though: Is the debt really yours, and how much are they saying you owe?

Sub: #8 posted on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 15:27


A consumer should always send demands for verification of a consumer debt by Cert/RRR. Period. It is well worth the few bucks.

A consumer who exercises his or her verification rights within 30 days from the receipt of the first letter enjoys a break from ALL collection activity including lawsuits and credit reporting until the DC provides the verification of the debt. To do otherwise violates the fdcpa.

A consumer should ALWAYS respond to a consumer debt lawsuit or arbitration claim by filing an Answer or Response. Contact an attorney for help.

Sub: #9 posted on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 15:32


(Posts: 15 | Credits: )

Nope because your initial letter was within the 30 days.

Guest-what proof is there of that? I dont doubt the poster sent the letter, but in the courtroom and attempting to prove that the collection agency was violatin the DV period, how can he/she prove they actually were placed on notice? The date on the letter can be changed anytime.

Sub: #10 posted on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 15:51

volleyballmom volleyballmom

(Posts: 4143 | Credits: )

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