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Discover Sued Me. I’m Freaking Out. – Kimberly

“Dear Steve,

I was served a summons from Legal Recovery Law Offices, Inc. which is representing Discover. I spoke with Discover and they still own the debt. They turned my account over to collections with NCO. NCO is having LRLO, Inc. act as the lawyer for Discover. The last time I paid them was September 09 according to my bank statement (the summons states that the last payment was on May 22, 2009). According to my credit report, I last owed them $4500.00 and now I am being sued for $9937.52. I do have to answer the summons and I will deny as to the lack of evidence on the summons.

I was just laid off from my job in September 2010. I have my name on the title of my boyfriends house but not on the loan. I have two old cars in my name. I really don’t have any money to speak of except for the $1700.00 in my checking account and the unemployment checks that I receive.

I am freaking out. I have until the 29th of October to answer the summons (30 days from time served) Please help. Thank you in advance.

Should I contact the law firm, Legal Recovery Services? I tried to talk to Discover and they explained that they are not able to talk to me because I am being sued.

What should I say to the law firm? I don’t want to say too much as I am afraid that if they aren’t willing to settle they will use anything I say in court.

Do I have the right to request the accounting information that gave them the amount that I am being sued for? Do they have to provide a witness to say that they are indeed the keeper of the books?

Is an attourney allowed to testify in court as it states on the attached summons on the Affidavit of Venue page?

Kimberly”

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The Answer

Dear Kimberly,

It sounds like you don’t deny that you owe a debt to Discover but what is in question is how they came up with that total due and what’s included in that amount. It seems reasonable that with additional interest, penalties, attorney fees, etc. that it could really climb.

While the nuisances of the claim are tasty, the underlying problem is you can’t afford any repayment plan or settlement right now. You need to keep your hands on that $1,700 to live on. Nobody ever got rich off unemployment alone.

Now one option here might be to do nothing. I know, that sounds silly but bear with me for a minute.

Right now you are not employed and you really don’t have a reasonable situation from which to enter into repayment arrangements with the creditor. Unemployment is not enough to live on reasonably and it won’t last long enough for you to get out of debt.

This seems like a better time for a wait and see position. You should consider not doing anything on the suit and you’ll lose that. If the creditor then goes to garnish wages your unemployment benefits are protected from garnishment. The key to emerging from this situation is going to be finding new employment so all your energy and time is going to have to go into that. Once you find a new job then consider bankruptcy to end the suit, kill the judgment and eliminate the debt.

If this sounds like a logical approach and the game plan is to follow up this situation with a bankruptcy once you get employed then you don’t need to do anything on the suit and they will win by default. We’ll clean it up later.

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.

Big Hug!

Discover Sued Me. Im Freaking Out.   Kimberly
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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