Well, I dont know about your particular credit card and who they use to collect but I can share a personal experience with you. 5years ago I had someone come out to work on my house. I signed a year contract to pay by the month for services. When the year was up I was billed for the next month. I called them and said the contract was for only one year but they insisted I had to pay the next month and then I would be done with it. I refused out of principal in my opinion. Well, eventually it was sent to collections. I avoided it for a long time and finally got some nasty letter in the mail about taking me to court and so on. Someone told me if you send $1 a month they can not do anything. As long as you send them something. So I sent them $1 a month for 2 years, My guess it was just a pain to them as I finally stopped paying one month to see what they would do with the balance. It has been years and I have never heard from them. Try it, you got nothing to lose
Dear Rehab Nurse,
I actually had a friend that was in a similar situation. Legal aid is certainly there for you and is an excellent advocate, so make sure you contact them as soon as possible. One thing my friend did was get a letter from each of her doctors which briefly outlined her diagnosis and prognosis. She had each of the doctors clearly document her ability to work and their opinion of her earning potential. Next, she compiled all of the letters and then composed a cover letter recapping her health situation, but also her family situation and responsibilities. She sent the packet of letters to each of her creditor’s along with a family picture of her and her children. I was surprised, but several of her creditor’s dropped their outstanding balances or dramatically reduced them based on what they claimed were compassionate circumstances. I am not sure what your specific situation might be, but it is just a suggestion.
Dx: Rare progressive neurodegenerative disease called Multiple System Atrophy (brain rot, autonomic system failure, neuropathic pain and a whole lot more). Added improvements: Intrathecal pump and a spinal cord stimulator and a new brand new power wheelchair with shiney horn,.
Medications: Sinemet, Requip, Klonopin, Baclofen, Provigil, Lyrica, Fentanyl patches, Lidoderm patches, Dilaudid, Fentora and Zofran
Post Edited (quahog) : 9/18/2007 9:07:23 PM (GMT-6)
The whole 7 years has to do with how long they (creditor) can report on it to the credit bureaus. There are some cases where it can be 10 years such as with paid judgments and bankruptcies.
Now to bring legal action against you most states say it has to be between 4-5 years after that they can still report it to the credit bureaus for the remainder but they aren't supposed to be able to sue. Every state has a different law on this. Some only go to 3 years and other go to the full 7.
It all depends upon the state you live in. It also doesn't matter if you opened the account in a different state and then moved to another one. The state you live in currently is what everything is based on. It seems this a a popular tatic. In my lawsuit the account was opened in New Hampshire. Years later after I stopped using the credit card I moved to Maine. I never even used the card here but it didn't matter as they served me papers. In NH the SOL was 3 years but in maine it was 7. So because of this fact I could not use the SOL against them. If I had still been living in NH they would have never tried to sue me.
I was also wondering if you received my email?
Post Edited (quahog) : 9/20/2007 3:03:45 AM (GMT-6)
Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 9/23/2007 5:11:07 AM (GMT-6)
Sorry to disagree. You can't just hang up on these people and hope they'll go away. Same with court papers.
First, with the collection idiots, pick up the phone and tell them to "cease and desist" harrassing you for payment. Period. End of story. "Cease and desist" are the magic legal words that every collection agency - by law - must obey, and in addition to saying them over the phone, you MUST put them in writing to each agency doing the harrassing. They've heard every story ever told, and bemoaning health issues won't make a dam bit of difference. It's their job to collect money, and they'll do anything to scare you into paying. Why should they believe you when the bulk of their accounts are from people who never intended to pay in the first place? I don't mean to be harsh; it's just the fact of the matter. And what you need to do now is deal with the facts.
If you can't get free legal advice, you still cannot ignore a court summons. There should be a notification requirement in your papers, i.e, a deadline to respond, and whether it can be made in writing or done in person. You MUST respond whether you have a lawyer or not. If you don't respond, it will result in a default judgment against you. At the very least, type out a written response and stick to the facts. Respond only to what is charged in the papers you received. Dig out any paperwork you still have from years ago to back up your response. If you have ignored communications from the creditor for years, you honestly may not have a leg to stand on. Sick or not, the debt exists, and that's all the court is concerned with.
This very situation is why I preach so loudly about not ignoring debt - medical or otherwise. As soon as you have a problem paying, you HAVE to contact the creditor and work out something. And yes, even big bad old Master Card has helped me sort out a workable solution in the past. Playing the ostrich will only make things worse. Forget using Ma Bell in these situations. You have to put it all in writing and keep copies to cover your rear end.
Rehab, have you contacted any law schools, even paralegal schools, in your area to check on low or no-cost legal assistance? Maybe even one of those "credit help" hotlines could direct you to someone who might help you navigate your way through the courts?
Post Edited (quahog) : 10/3/2007 9:30:47 AM (GMT-6)