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Lee Co, MS summons Discover Card debt

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  • Lee Co, MS summons Discover Card debt

    21 July I received a summons from Discover Card for a debt of $1206. I was correctly served by the constable and signed the paper. Yes, I owe them money, and I'm not trying to hide, no sense in running from the summons. I would like to know what needs to be done to answer this correctly. I have thirty days from the date of service to file a response with the attorney for Discover, and to file with the county court.

    Page one is the summons, plaintiff is Discover Bank, Issuer of Discover Card.

    Page two is the Complaint from Discover Bank, Lester Smith, attorney, Ridgeland, MS

    Page three is a notarized document--Stephen Ball, Legal Placement Account Manager for DB Servicing Corp, servicing affiliate of Discover Bank which in a nutshell is in support of the Plaintiff's case against the defendant (me) and that he has all access to records, etc.

    Page four is a Discover Card statement from April showing my account balance and payment due, etc. It is the exact statement I used to get in the mail.

    I am assuming this is actually Discover and not a third party collector. I have received no notices by mail of any collections attempts until I received the summons yesterday.

    I am a homemaker, have not worked outside the home since April of 1999. I have no property or assets in my name other than the joint bank account I share with my fiancee.

    Card fell behind when Discover, for no apparent reason, raised my interest from 8.9% to 29.9% with no notice. They also lowered the limit from $2500 to 900--balance on the card at the time was $860. We had never missed a payment, and always paid at least three times the minimum payment, some months paying it off completely. I immediately called Discover asking why the limit was lowered and interest raised, the reason given by two different people was: We have to protect ourselves from high risk creditors. I then asked if I could close and payoff the account by sending them a lump sum payment of $800 and was told NO. I said thank you and hung up the phone. Asked fiancee what we should do about it, and he said "they want high risk, we'll give them high risk." That was in October 2010 and no payments have been made since. I have had the card since April of 2008. The card is in MY name, he was NOT an authorized user, but he DID pay the monthly bill. much as I would like to just ignore this and wish it away, I know that's not possible. How should I answer this? Affirm? Deny? Neither affirm or deny? I guess I my first step should be to go to the court clerk and ask about any specific paperwork, etc, that needs to be filed. I am just trying to figure out the best way to do this and I don't want to fill out something improperly and lose by default. I may lose, but at least I'll have done it properly. I would also like to add that I am dreading all this greatly, I am highly nervous and I know I'm going to fold up like a cheap kleenex in front of the judge and attorney.

    Thanks in advance for your answers, and sorry for the length of this post.

  • #2
    That stinks. Does you summons have the number of days you have to respond on it? Mine was 20 days, I filed BK before the due date. You can answer whatever you want, I would just say I cannot confirm or deny and do it last minute. Bottom line, they are going to get the judgement. However, they may be willing to settle for about half if they realize you are going to respond and they are not just going to get the judgement easy.

    There are a few folks here who have answered summons, hopefully they will chime in with some more input.
    Filed CH 7 4/15/11
    341 5/23/11


    • #3
      Thank you, sunshine!

      I just want to correctly answer so I can at least have the chance to be heard. I'm happy with settling for the original offer I placed with Discover card, $800 on an $860 balance. I feel I shouldn't have to pay another $800 in interest, late fees, and now attorney fees since I did offer twice to essentially pay off this account in the first place.

      I don't know how it all works, but I do know if I get a judgment, there is nothing for the creditor to get. I haven't worked in 12 years, and in Mississippi we are allowed a car (which I don't own), homestead up to $75000 (which I don't own--all in fiancee's name), and 10k exemption for household items and such. (no way our combined possessions would even come close to that since the vast majority were bought secondhand to begin with.) I'm hoping the judge will see that and either a: dismiss the case because there is no way they can collect, or b: allow me to pay the original offer that was made in the first place.

      I'm angry and just want to be heard. I offered to pay all but $60 of the balance to close the account and was flat out denied. It's like they did this just to personally hurt me somehow. I don't give a toot about credit scores, house is almost paid for, all cars are paid for and we are all cash anyway. I got the card to begin with because my fiancee thought it would be a good idea for me to have some sort of credit history in case anything happened to him (Btw, Im 47, he's 62, we have a 12 year old daughter at home) since I've never had credit, other than a house I used to own with my ex-husband, but that was 25 years ago, long since gone from my credit history.

      I can tell you right now I will NEVER use another credit card again, those people are thieves! Cash only works well for us, and even on a $30k a year income, we do well for three people.

      Thanks for listening!


      • #4
        Truly, if there is nothing for them to get, don't worry about it. I certainly would let the judge know that you offered to pay and they were unwilling to discuss it. I still suspect once you respond, their attorney will offer to settle. If that happens, be sure NOT to make your original offer, let them make you the offer and then bargain!!!

        Keep us posted and good luck!!!
        Filed CH 7 4/15/11
        341 5/23/11
        DISCHARGED & CLOSED ON 7/27/11


        • #5
          Discover Card seems to be the b*stards of the cards we have too. That's the one that hired an agency around here that's trying to sue us to take cars and whatever else. BofA, Chase, Citi, and whomever else I can't think of in the pile have all charged us off and just have CAs periodically call and leave messages and leave it at that. The Discover was paid on the longest, is one of the smaller debts, and they are turning into the biggest b*tches to deal with.

          All I can say is good luck with it all. Hopefully you'll get a sympathetic judge.


          • #6
            hmmm, now I'm beginning to wonder if this is actually Discover, or a third party. I FINALLY found a letter I received from the law firm that was sent to me back in May. (No, I did not do a debt validation, I intended to but with one thing after another the thirty days went past, so I didn't bother.)

            It states:
            Re: Name of Creditor to whom debt is owed:
            Discover Bank, issuer of Discover Card
            Amount of Debt: $1,206

            This is to inform you that Discover Bank has retained this firm to collect its claim against you for the balance owing on your Discover Card Account.

            This communication is from a debt collector. We are attempting to collect a debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose.

            Sooooo......IS this really Discover? Or some third party collection attempt? I would call Discover and ask, but honestly I would not believe anything that they told me at this point. Is there a way to make them prove that they are actually representing Discover? As stated in my first post, there was a credit card STATEMENT from April and some sort of affidavit from someone claiming to have access to all my Discover records, etc accompanying the summons. Also, on my credit report, Discover is represented as a chargeoff, and there are no other companies listed there. I checked this week.

            Geez, now I'm confused lol


            • #7
              Been doing some research online, still can't seem to find anything about the lawyer supposedly representing Discover. I can't tell if it's a third party collector or not. ugh, I have no idea how to answer this thing now. Lord have mercy, why couldn't those fools just taken my original offer??


              • #8
                It is Discover. They are suing you. This is not a big surprise. They sue just about everybody. Having your say in court is just going to result in judgment for the plaintiff. If you have nothing in your name that they can seize, you may be able to negotiate that judgment down to what you originally owed. But to them it's strictly business. You should treat it that way too.
                filed chapter 13..confirmed...converted to chapter 7...DISCHARGED!


                • #9
                  I agree with catleg. In addition, I have heard from friends who have been sued by Discover's army of attorneys that Discover keeps pretty good records. In my not-so-humble opinion, you could very well lose any fight against Discover. On the other hand, answering a summons might buy some time. Then again, things may happen very fast.


                  • #10
                    I'm not a lawyer but let me tell you how I handled all the summons I received before I filed.

                    I ran on down to my local courthouse. I looked up similar cases with this same plaintiff until I found one they didn't win by default judgment. I printed out a copy of the answer written by some high priced lawyer. Changed the pertinent information to mine and filed my answer. Basically my answer simply stated that I did admit that the first, second and third allegations were correct. Those were my name, address and that I lived in the jurisdiction. However all the rest of the allegations, I denied. No explanation as to why. I simply denied them. Filed the answer at the courthouse, added a certificate of service and mailed it to the plaintiff's address. *Note* I filed said answer on the very last day that the time given to respond gave me.

                    I was able to delay one case from November of 2007 and another from February 2008 until I filed in December 2008. After the answer will come interrogatories and other fun stuff. I sent them wonderful interrogatories as well. They skillfully avoided answering most of my interrogatories and I managed to avoid answering all their interrogatories with some good legalese.


                    • #11
                      Yes, since this is not something we do everyday, or even as a hobby, it take tens to hundreds of hours of research to figure out the right steps to take. It isn't fun. There are other boards devoted to litigation.
                      filed chapter 13..confirmed...converted to chapter 7...DISCHARGED!


                      • #12
                        Well, I'm bumping this up after six months. I timely filed my answer to summons at the courthouse and sent a copy to the Plaintiff's attorney via crr mail, which he received and signed for two days after I mailed it. Basically I stated that yes, my name and address are correct, that I could not answer the question about having a Discover card account number xxxxxxxx without further information, and that I wished to question this Stephen Ball person since he claims to have personal knowledge of said account. My answer was accepted and filed at the courthouse, and as I received my copy I asked the clerk if there was anything else I needed to do. She stated no, to just wait for a letter from the court with the date of trial.

                        To date I have heard nothing. No phone call from the plaintiff's lawyer, no papers from the courthouse, nothing. No legal filings that I can find with my name. I am wondering what is going on. I really expected the plaintiff's attorney to call me (yes, I put my name, address, and phone on the copy of the papers that I mailed him) to maybe work out a settlement--that's what I was hoping. But he didn't. Should I call him? Keep waiting for court papers? Could the case have been dropped and I not been notified? What would be the best thing to do?


                        • #13
                          Messedup: I had this same thing happen in Oct, It's a little different in Washington state, they can sue you without filing it first. So, I sent them a cert. letter telling them that I am collection proof and have not heard from them since. Now the debt has been sold to another Junk debt buyer.


                          • #14
                            What happened is that once you challenged the so-called "affidavit", suddenly it became unprofitable for the Junk Debt Buyer or collection attorney to have the affiant come to the courthouse and testify. So they moved on to easier targets.

                            In fact, the advice which I was given with regard to a potential creditor lawsuit--especially one filed on behalf of a JDB--is to attack their chain of custody and any affidavits from persons claiming to have knowledge of the account. Most of these collection attorneys are looking for a default judgement anyways, and are not going to spend a lot of money doing research and/or paying for employees of the OC to come to court and testify.


                            • #15
                              Time for a Motion for a Dismissal for Lack of Prosecution. Search through some civil cases and find one to copy for your case.


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