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Debt Buyers Keep Selling My Debt And I’m Being Sued

Written by Steve Rhode

“Dear Steve,

I recently attended at Case Conference Meeting at my local courthouse for an old credit card debt and judgement. Prior to the conference I contacted the attorney (listed on court docket) representing the debt buyer and was informed the attorney no longer represented the firm and it now with a new debt buyer.

At the meeting an attorney from the listed debt buyer attended. He was very ill prepared. I informed the judge of my calling the listed attorney and the response. He therefore, decided to send the case to arbitration and told me in the meanwhile to recontact the listed attorney on the court docket to try to make payment arrangements!?

Could this possible be thrown out at arbitration? Should I try to hire an attorney. Both my husband and myself are unemployed which is how we got to this point. I am trying to handle this on my own due to finances.

Can I represent myself during the arbitration hearing? The judge told me if the listed attorney does not show up the case will be thrown out. I live in Pennsylvania.

Thank you for any advice.

Donna”

Dear Donna,

I am not a lawyer and you would need to speak to a lawyer licensed in your state for legal advice.

As much as your case has been passed around at this point I think there is a real concern if the current debt buyer can even provide sufficient proof you actually owe the debt.

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You can see in Debt Validation Finally Defined and The Power of Debt Validation why asking for proof is so critically important. A creditor should be able to present clear evidence they actually own the debt to make sure they have the authority to collect the debt and/or sue you.

Considering the fact your case is already in court and you want to attempt to successfully address the issue, it would make logical sense to hire a local attorney to pursue this debt validation approach for you. It could take as little as a letter from the attorney to the current debt buyer to make this all go away.

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If this situation is just representative of a larger financial mess with other debts then it might make more sense, considering your current employment situation, to either do nothing right now till you think you might find work and deal with the situation then, or think about filing bankruptcy to wipe the slate clean and get a legal fresh start. After all, that’s what bankruptcy is designed to do by law. You can typically talk to a local bankruptcy attorney for free to better understand what bankruptcy would mean for you.

If you did nothing now or lost the suit and the creditor went on to get a judgment, the debt and judgment would be cleared with a future bankruptcy. I am under the impression in Pennsylvania that a creditor as you describe would not be able to garnish your wages over the judgment. Again, check that with a local attorney.

At the very least, my primary worry about your situation right now is I have no confidence the current debt owner even has sufficient proof to pursue you for this passed around debt. But debt buyers sue people all the time without the necessary proof because typically people don’t try to defend themselves and so they lose by default.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About the author

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

  • Here’s a riddle for you. My federal student loan sharks/servicers claim they have bought my federal student loan debt but I never received a letter for this. They’ve kept tacking on more interest like no other and refuse to speak with me unless I miss my payment. Then it’s phone call after harassing phone call EVERY HOUR – even at night. They’re called Aspire Resources, Inc. Discover also called claiming they “bought” two of my loans from a bank I had to get private student loans from because I’m poor and stupid but because I have good credit by allowing myself to be bled dry – I keep paying because I’m used to being hungry all the time now. In fact I was forced to move home and will never be able to leave at this rate. I can no longer mail in my payments – I’m forced to pay online. I lost over $600 by paying from my meager savings and telling them I had just started a new job. It didn’t matter and they took the money – but never applied it to the account!

    I’m still poor and am ready to stop paying altogether because I have no life at all. I never knew about debt confirmation and can’t keep making these outrageous payments. I never received a notice letter and one representative even told me from Discover: “Oh people mistaken them, if they’re sent, for credit card offers all the time”. What the — ?!

    Aspire Resources claims that they can increase the payment because they see most of the rest of my income as “discretionary income”. This is a sick joke at $35,000 a year before taxes and I barely made $14,000 a year before that. In fact I was so POOR I qualified to be exempt for the fine for not having health insurance via the UN-Affordable Care Act. The problem is now critical. I spend hundreds of dollars a month on gas alone to get to work, nevermind maintenance because where I live rent is unaffordable, food is unaffordable, and utilities went sky high. My student loans are over $120,000 because I’ve never been able to make more than bare minimum payments at all. I can’t move to find a better job because flying into an interview is unaffordable! I really have no life and it’s insane. I’m expected to ignore retirement, lose my car because I can’t afford to fix it (and my job) just to pay back parasites who were bailed out? I have no idea how to get the debt validated or if I can get them to forgive some of the loans. I don’t see the point of that either since I can’t afford to pay taxes if by some crazy chance I can get my debt reduced or discharged. I’ve been forced to pay since graduating in the Recession so I’m sure they’ll use it against me in court. I can’t afford to keep paying, can’t afford to sue, and can’t afford to continue making payments like this!

  • from 2006-2007 i acquired about $5k in credit card debt while i was out of state going to college across 4 different cards (HSBC, Huntington bank, best buy, first national bank). when i finally got my act together i put them all together under a consolidation loan through my local credit union. I paid this loan of about $5k off in 4-4.5 years but then about a year later i was served papers for one of the debts in the amount of $1700. After reviewing the documents they served me I realized the last 4 digits of the account number looked familiar so i dug up my old notes on the consolidation loan and they matched the card number for the Huntington bank credit card that i had PAID OFF. The issue I then had was the papers i was served showed it was a Bank of America card (which i’ve never had). I went to the initial meeting with the lawyer and the judge and it felt like the two were buddy buddy. a little too buddy buddy feeling for being a legal matter. they didn’t seem to be taking me seriously so i hired a local lawyer. I paid a lawyer $800 (half off because of a friends/family discount) and the debt company wanted to settle for about $800 but i was not going to pay them a dime. the weeks went by and my lawyer told me that even with all the documents/evidence i had i could lose this case and be stuck with a bill from him and the debt. the DAY before i was set to appear in my final court hearing the debt buying legal office filled to dismiss with (or without prejudice) *whatever way they can’t come after me again*. So i won this one but from some letters i’ve been receiving it seems that some of the other debts are still lingering out there as i get collection letters from time to time. so you’re not the only one that has had to deal with a situation like this! i just don’t know how to handle the other collection companies. at this point i’ve just been kind of ignoring them since i’m debt snowballing (dave ramsey) my way through $150k in student loans.

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