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Suttell and Associates: How to deal with them?

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Around the first of the year my girlfriend received a letter from Suttell & Associates indicating that they were collecting ~$1000 relating a Capital One credit card. We were unaware of any debt.

- Within 30 days she sent Suttell & Associates a debt validation letter requesting validation of the debt.

- In response they sent her 2 credit card statements indicating a balance due of ~$600 and behind 5 and 6 payments. I did notice on the 2 past due statements that they were being sent to an old apartment number in the same apartment complex (I suspect my girlfriend forgot to update her apartment number when she changed apartments so never received the notices). The past due statements were approx 1 year old. This balance, along with interest led to the ~$1000 owed. This is all the validation they sent. They failed to provide other key information requested, specifically they did not document or show that the statute of limitations had not expired and they did not provide any documentation indicating that she agreed to pay what they say she owed and was obligated to pay the debt. I have no idea what they are required to send but presumably this would the credit card application (at a minimum) an preferably a statement showing the charges that led to the balance and some proof she authorized the charges (she only had a $500 limit on the card). I don't believe it is sufficient for them to just send a past due statement.

- A week later she was "served" with papers indicating a lawsuit would be filed if she did not respond with a "defense" within 20 days.

- We sent Suttell & Associates another letter pointing out they had neglected to provide adequate debt validation, we highlighted the missing items, and again requested adequate validation of the debt. We told them we could not reply with a "defense" in anything but hypothetical terms until they properly validated the debt. We told them we had tried to contact Capital One, but that Capital One told us we needed to contact the collection agency and that the collection agency was required to provide us with all documentation.

- A month later we recieved some documents in the mail from Suttell & Associates indicating a lawsuit had been filed and included a court date, etc.

- Yesterday we recieved another set of documents confirming the court date. Also, what we found interesting was they provided additional documents in the court documents (no mention that this was in response to our request for debt validation) showing an application for a credit card. HOWEVER, this was someone else's application, not my girlfriend's application. I assume they sent this by mistake. It also included this other person's credit card balance and final statement. Also, in the court documents they indicate we had not responsed to their summons. This is a flat out lie as we have a return receipt for both letters that we sent Suttell & Associates requesting validation of the debt so we know they received the letters.

- We called Suttell & Associates and asked why they had not sent us the debt validation we had requested. They forwarded us to the voice mail of someone in their "legal department". We left a message but they have not responded.

What concerns me about this process is that Suttell & Associates appears to be ignoring all of our requests so that they can pad their fees. We are finding this very frustrating as we simply want validation of the debt. We have no idea how a credit card with a $500 limit has ballooned to a balance of $1000+ and growing. If we legally owe it we will pay, but it seems very unreasonable for a debt collector not to sent us any real information to validate the debt. We tried to call capital one to find out what charges led to the $600 past due (that would really help us know if there were fraudulent charges that led to the balance as we thought it was paid off) and they refused to provide any information, telling us that we had to get the information from the collection agency.

A side note, my cousin (my father's sister's son) is actually the CEO of capital one. He is a very busy guy and I have only spoken to him a few times but I am tempted to contact him about this and let him know how ridiculous this process has been and how much time we have wasted trying to figure out what is going on relating to a card with a tiny $500 limit that has ballooned into a balance of $1750 now that Suttell & Associates is padding the bill with all these unreasonable fees now that they have filed suit.

Do you all have any suggestions? I am wondering if we should contact the Washington State Attorney General as Suttell & Associates seems to be in violation of fdcpa.




I am also a WA attorney. I am intimately familiar with S&A and their practices. If you anwswer the complaint, they will move for summary judgment. If you respond to their motion, they will fumble around a bit. Send them discovery requests. Specifically, send them requests for admissions. If they neglect to answer them, they are deemed admitted. Also, be a pain when dealing with them. They are not there to help you. They are trying to get as much money as they can from you. If they already have a default judgment, MOVE TO VACATE. You are almost guaranteed to win such a motion. Do not make this easy for them. They are hoping you will ignore this problem. Then they get a quick default and garnish your wages or bank. Not a good thing.

Sub: #31 posted on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 11:18

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Guest who is a WA attorney,
Can you tell me if it would be worth my while to file an answer if in fact, it is a legitimate debt? I've talked to the firm that is representing my creditor (not S&A), and they'll do a payment plan if I sign a stipulation to judgement. I'm thinking this isn't such a great idea. They won't send a copy of the stipulation for me to review until after I make an initial payment. Not sure how to proceed. I am in Washington.
Sorry for hijacking this thread on S&J.

Sub: #32 posted on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 11:25

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WHEN THEY SERVED ME INITIALLY, I SENT AN "ANSWER"
NOW THAT I HAVE A COURT DATE, I NEED TO SEND ANOTHER ANSWER TO THE COURT? AND, CAN IT BE THE SAME ANSWER?

Sub: #33 posted on Mon, 06/15/2009 - 16:30

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I NEED TO KNOW WHAT TO SAY. WHAT IS A REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS. HOW DO I RESPOND TO THEIR MOTION?

Sub: #34 posted on Mon, 06/15/2009 - 16:39

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For the court process see:
"http://www.nedap.org/hotl ine/court.html"
Keep in mind that it is for New York and may differ in some aspects from your state.

As far as a response to their motion, that would be legal advice and for that you need an attorney.

Sub: #35 posted on Mon, 06/15/2009 - 22:50

Chrys Henderson Chrys Henderson

(Posts: 2532 | Credits: 173.74)

Several years ago I was in financial distress due to a serious illness that left me unable to work. I was unable to make payments to my Capital One credit card. I received a letter from Suttell & Associates informing me that I had thirty days to contact them about setting up a payment schedule or I would be sued. Fortunately, I had just qualified for a VA disability award. I called Suttell and implemented a payment schedule of 150 dollars a month, to be payed by an automatic withdrawal from my checking account. That was fifteen months ago, which comes to a total of 2,250 dollars, on a balance of what was approximately 2,000 dollars when I began paying. During this time, Suttell & Associates have not sent me any statements no have I received any sort of communication from them. According to my records, my obligation to them has been fulfilled. Yet they are continuing to withdraw money from my account. They are impossible to deal with by phone. No one seems to be willing to give out information. What should I do?

Sub: #36 posted on Wed, 07/22/2009 - 07:40

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Write them a letter, tell them you have already paid them "x" amount of dollars, and you want a paid in full letter.

Withdraw permission for the withdrawal through your bank (go in, don't call).

Sub: #37 posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 20:41

Chrys Henderson Chrys Henderson

(Posts: 2532 | Credits: 173.74)

Suttell and Ass is sueing me on Capital Ones behalf. I sent a written request to them for a debt validation. It had several things on it that I was requesting. The only thing they sent was the affidavit and a billing statement. I already had those things from them in the original paperwork. They state that this is enough to prove the debt. Is that correct? Or does it matter that I requested other info and they didnt send it?

Sub: #38 posted on Mon, 08/03/2009 - 00:41

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Unfortunately, the validation law is so vague as to be virtually useless. If they are taking you to court, file a Motion for Discovery, which is where they actually have to *prove* it's your debt.

See the website I mentioned above for more info. Google search your local county civil court for any needed forms and for a referral to Legal Aid, should you not be able to afford an attorney.

Sub: #39 posted on Mon, 08/03/2009 - 03:52

Chrys Henderson Chrys Henderson

(Posts: 2532 | Credits: 173.74)

Suttell & Associates took over my Cap1 debt as well. I made 3 monthly payments of $200 on the debt but I was not recieving any record of the payment (reciept/statement). I was paying directly to them and should have been paying to the courts. None the less I wrote them 3 letters and called their office and asked if I could recieve some sort of reciept for my past and future payments....no response. I wrote a 4th letter saying I was ceasing my payments until I could get a reciept or statement. They filed their court goodies and with all the fee's they are now collecting $4000, up from $2300 and there is no record anywhere of the $600 I have paid let alone any information that I have ever tried to contact them. Is there any way to talk to the judge or the courts and explain that I had been making payments and I was getting no response/cooperation from Suttell & Associates? I am in the process for filing for bankruptcy but it still upsets me that they pretty much claim that Ive made no effort to pay the debt and contact them.

Sub: #40 posted on Thu, 08/13/2009 - 20:04

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