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I’m Disabled and Being Threatened for Debts I Can’t Pay

By on December 11, 2017

Question:

Dear Steve,

I got a call from a law firm and the person on the phone said they are going to take me to court and sue me for a past due credit card bill in the amount of $678.34. I told him the reason I wasn’t able to pay for it is because I became very ill and had to quit my job and go on disability and by law they couldn’t garnish me because I am judgment proof.

He stated that he could seize my assets which included taking my car. He told me I was going to receive a certified letter along with a summons to appear in court. I hung up and called back the next day and recorded the conversation which is legal in the state of Mississippi.

I asked him to send me validation of the original account and he stated that they had already mailed that out and I should be receiving it soon. That was on November 13, 2017 and as of today, I haven’t received the summons or the validation of the debt.

Is it illegal to have lied about sending out these documents and do you think that I should contact an attorney? This has caused a tremendous amount of stress because I’m afraid of loosing my car. I am chronically ill and this is my only means of transportation. Thank you for answering my questions.

Jabro

Answer:

Dear Jabro,

These are difficult questions because the threats are either entirely accurate or totally false. This might have been a real attorney who was doing this but it could have easily been a fake debt collector trying to scare you into paying on a debt you don’t owe.

Pushing your emotional buttons is the easiest way for a collector or scammer to get you to pay, even for a debt you may not owe.

Keep in mind that being judgment proof does not mean you can’t be sued over a legitimate debt. It just means they may not be able to collect on a judgment if they win the suit. In most cases the collector does win by default because the debtor just does not appear in court.

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You have several options here.

1. You could contact your local county courthouse and see if any case has been filed against you. I would be surprised if it had been.

2. The least expensive place for folks in similar situations as yourself to get help would be from the HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm. They charge a very small fee to represent you and keep collectors off your back.

You asked if it is illegal to lie about sending such documents; not that I know of.

If you have other debts you could always decide to close the door on all your debts under the law. You could always find a good local bankruptcy attorney and have a free discussion about what bankruptcy would mean for you. Bankruptcy is the fastest way to get a fresh start for the least amount of money.

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About 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.

2 Comments

  1. Barbara Repko

    December 13, 2017 at 11:33 am

    It sounds like a typical lawsuit scam. A real law firm doesn’t call to tell you about an alleged lawsuit and they’re supposed to send validation in writing 5 days after a call. They also can’t threaten to seize your assets without a court judgment, and they can’t call or get anything if this debt is past your state’s statute of limitations.
    Call a consumer lawyer, as I’ve done in the past. Don’t answer numbers you don’t recognize. If they keep calling, you may be able to sue them for collection law violations. I’ve worked in law firms and am familiar with collection laws.

  2. Jabro

    December 11, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Question asked about debt collection threat.

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