Get Out of Debt Guy - Steve Rhode

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

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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.

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.


Big Hug!
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