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Hi, I'm new to the forum and I've got a TIME-SENSITIVE situation for which any help would be MUCH appreciated!
Briefly, I was served a summons last Friday evening by a Chicago police officer (I do live in Chicago) stating that I'm being sued for an old debt originally with PROVIDIAN BANK. The court date is THIS THURSDAY, July 12. The debt was obtained for collection by CACH, LLC and the law firm handling it is ARTHUR B ADLER & ASSOCIATES.
I have no experience in handling anything like this. My wife wisely researched the process and some of the legal aspects; I, however, had called the law firm earlier in the day (yesterday) and made monthly payment arrangements to avoid court and pay off the debt.
I thought it was taken care of and that I would not be responsible for showing up in court or paying further legal fees (except for the $194 in fees the law firm had already tacked on - the debt itself is $1696.21). I was relieved since the summons stated I would be responsible for a $143 court-appearance fee and $350 in court costs incurred by Adler & Associates. But my wife is convinced that I still need to go to court because the law firm knows that if I don't show that I would be in default, even though the person I spoke with told me I didn't need to be there and that they (Adler) would show up for the purpose of dropping the case against me. Now I'm kicking myself for calling them and making payment arrangements, thus admitting to the debt verbally, though I haven't signed anything.
What should I do?
Should I still go to court? If so, what do I say?
Do I necessarily need an attorney, especially since I can't afford one?
Is the law firm deliberately trying to steer me in the wrong direction by saying I don't need to be there?
Is my wife right? (Just kidding, I know the answer to that ;) )
Thanks.




Welcome! I would call the Law Firm back and ask for this agreement to be put in writing stating the terms of the payment arrangement and what you have agreed to pay. This way you would not be liable for anything that they try and tack on at the last minute. If they have agreed to a payment arrangement, it's very strange that they are still going ahead with court. I wouldn't think they would need to.

Sub: #1 posted on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 12:13

kscornell kscornell
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CaCh/Collect America plays very dirty.Make darn sure you show up or they will go for default whether you are paying them or not.If you do not have a written payment contract you had best get one immediately for your own protection.

Sub: #2 posted on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 12:30

cajunbulldog cajunbulldog
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(Posts: 4859 | Credits: 423.37)

Thank you both for your replies.

ks, they say they're snail-mailing me copies of the agreement, all but one of which I would sign and return. However, they would not arrive in time for this Thursday... Am I within my right to ask them to bring a copy of the agreement to court?

cajun, I don't remember if the guy I spoke with actually said they would attend the hearing for the purpose of dropping the case, or if they would contact somebody (at the courthouse?) in order to do it. Either way, the implication was that I wouldn't need to be there, though I'm starting to get the feeling it would be wise to show up after all.

Any thoughts on what I should bring or say?

rick

Sub: #3 posted on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 12:53

raheath629 raheath629

(Posts: 8 | Credits: 5.51)

Yes GO to court!! CACH does play VERY dirty!! They also told me they wud NOT file suit on me if i paid them a lump sum. Being naive I didnt' realize that a citaton was indeed a suit! They will say whatever needs to be said to get a default! Did u recieve a letter with numbered questions??
Also, i guess you could always say u agreed to payments under duress. Not sure on this one but the possibility of going to court scared u into admitting to a payment plan??
Good Luck and plz let us know how it turns out,
Ang

Sub: #4 posted on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 12:57

Ang Ang

(Posts: 2316 | Credits: 215.74)

Ang, thank you also for your input.

Yes, the guy I spoke with mentioned something about a questionnaire being sent along with the copies of the payment agreement. He said just to fill it out and send it back with the other signed copies. Do you know what it is or what purpose it serves?

And how do these collection/law firms legally get away with their underhanded tactics, i.e. indicating that I don't need to show up to court when, in fact, I do? (Possibly just venting here)

rick

Sub: #5 posted on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 13:06

raheath629 raheath629

(Posts: 8 | Credits: 5.51)

The purpose of the questionaire is for court purposes!! I saw somewhere on here how to answer a summons, i'll try to find it again for u. Follow those direction exactly and make sure u have this questionaire, sent to the courthouse (filed) and also to them! When u send this to the atty's off u can also send a debt validation and cease and desist letter return reciept requested. (if u don't they will say they never got it)
Not sure how they can lie, but all i know is they do! Do u remember what the questionaire is?? Let me go find how to file an answer... brb with that and Good Luck,
Ang
P.S. Wow Cajun & Fed, CACH sure seems to be getting around these days huh???

Sub: #6 posted on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 13:17

Ang Ang

(Posts: 2316 | Credits: 215.74)

Ok this is what i found:





Quote:

It is a written answer to the plaintiff's complaint, basically saying whether the plaintiff's statements are true or not.

Their complaint is usually numbered, and will list every argument they have for suing you. For Example:
Quote:
1. Plaintiff XYZ Credit Card is an Illinois Limited Liability Corporation with its principal place of business at 1234 Main St., Some City, IL, 54321.
2. Defendant is an individual who resides in Chicago, IL.
3. On or about 1/1/2002 defendant filled out a credit application with the plaintiff for a credit card. Plaintiff subsequently granted and extended a $1500 line of credit to the defendant.
4. Defendant defaulted on the account on 12/1/2003 when s/he failed to make timely payment as outlined in the agreement. Defendant has never cured the default.
5. Defendant is in arrears the amount of $6873.00.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff requests that the Court enter judgment in favor of Plaintiff XYZ Credit Card and against Defendant John Smith for:
(1) Actual damages in the amount of $6873.00;
(3) Reasonable attorney fees and costs of suit;
(4) Such other and further relief as the Court deems appropriate.




Your answer would repsond to each numbered statement, saying weather you agree to their allegation or not. You would basically cut and paste their complaint, and then respond. If you don't know, you can formally say that:
Quote:
Defendant's Answer to Complaint
1. 1. Plaintiff XYZ Credit Card is an Illinois Limited Liability Corporation with its principal place of business at 1234 Main St., Some City, IL, 54321.
ANSWER: Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the legal status or principal address of the Plaintiff.

2. Defendant is an individual who resides in Chicago, IL.
ANSWER: Defendant admits the statement in Paragraph 2.

3. On or about 1/1/2002 defendant filled out a credit application with the plaintiff for a credit card. Plaintiff subsequently granted and extended a $1500 line of credit to the defendant.
ANSWER: Defendant admits the statement in Paragraph 3.

4. Defendant defaulted on the account on 12/1/2003 when s/he failed to make timely payment as outlined in the agreement. Defendant has never cured the default. ANSWER: Defendant denies each and every allegation contained in Paragraph 4.

5. Defendant is in arrears the amount of $6873.00.
ANSWER: Defendant denies the statement made in Paragraph 5.



If you have any affirmative defenses (like you never opened an account, it was paid off, or included in a bankruptcy) then you would list those at the end under a heading "Affirmative Defenses".

The reason for you filing an answer, is to determine what you and the plaintiff disagree on. Anything you disagree on will need to be taken to trial for the Plaintiff to prove. If you really don't disagree to any of the material facts, then the Plaintiff can motion for a summary judgment without having to go through a whole trial.

Sub: #7 posted on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 13:21

Ang Ang

(Posts: 2316 | Credits: 215.74)

Ang, again, thanks for taking the time.

The list of complaints is actually part of my Summons packet. It's pretty much the same as you described:

[center:b9ec4007d1]VERIFIED COMPLAINT AT LAW

NOW COMES the Plaintiff CACH,LLC, by and through its attorneys, ADLER & ASSOCIATES,LTD., and for its complaint against the Defendant(s), [Me], alleges and states as follows:

1. That Plaintiff acquired by purchase assignment from the original credit issuer...
2. That upon information and belief from the representations of the assignor...[/center:b9ec4007d1]
You get the picture.

The only one I disagree with is the one that states I have to pay "reasonable" attorney's fees in the sum of $350, since, per the payment agreement, the only amount on top of my balance was $194 in fees. Will this stand up once the court gets a copy of the payment agreement that states my grand total?

I'm also concerned because I won't get my copy of the agreement, which was supposed to be mailed today, before the court date. Can I compel them to bring a copy of the agreement per our conversation?

You also mentioned a debt validation and cease and desist letter - how would I get these?

Finally, is the questionnaire the law firm is supposedly sending me the same as the one I already have in my summons? And do you think it's a tactic of theirs to mail the documents to me in too short a time for me to have them for my court date?

rick

Sub: #8 posted on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 13:55

raheath629 raheath629

(Posts: 8 | Credits: 5.51)

Yes i think they're playing with u! Answer this summons u have and make sure it's filed in a timely manner!! Once they get a default, they will tack on loads of fees!!
To get these form letters look in the do it yourself section of this forum but re-write them to meet ur needs!
Also, do not agree to all of there questionaire since u did NOT initally have this debt thru them!! Make them prove they legally own this! Maybe re-read the sample i sent up above and see what u can deny. THe burden of proof is on them now, since they're the ones suing u!!
Now of course, plz know this ONLY my personal opinion and i am in NO way an atty! IF at all possible try to look up a consumer atty in ur area who may be willing to take this on..... i think it's www.naca.org
Good Luck,
Ang

Sub: #9 posted on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 14:05

Ang Ang

(Posts: 2316 | Credits: 215.74)

How do I file it? Could I bring it with me to court and give it to them, or is it a separate procedure?

rick

Sub: #10 posted on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 14:21

raheath629 raheath629

(Posts: 8 | Credits: 5.51)

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