Preventing being summoned before filing
01-07-2013 07:31 PM
I just received a call from a CA threatening to have my husband summoned for a 3 year-old debt. It's the first contact we've had with them. I asked to get an agreement in writing about the terms of repayment but he said that I first had to give him a credit card number (prepaid was fine) before they could give me an agreement. I replied I didn't think that sounded legal, but in MN we have prejudgment garnishment laws so of course they can move very quickly should the feel like it. We're planning on filing for bankruptcy as quickly as we can, but our finances are tight and fees quoted from an attorney was 1800. I'm tempted to do it ourselves (we did ten years ago with the help of We The People and it worked out fine), but reading that a simple missed document could result in having our case dismissed with no chance of refiling, I'm a bit worried.
So I have a few questions. First, our main goal is to keep creditors away until filing day and I'm wondering if I should simply forget about getting a written agreement with them and just give them a prepaid credit card number. They seem willing to at least negotiate the monthly payment amounts (too much and there's less to save for filing fees). There seems to be little time for haggling and we only have one account, having it frozen would mean no food, and no gas to get to work until it's resolved.
I've never used prepaid cards before, is there anything they could do beyond just getting the money I put in on it? Is it basically just as safe as sending a money order?
Second, will telling the creditor that I'm filing make them rush to get their hands on our account?
And about a DIY filing, is it as hard as some say? We have a pretty straight forward case. Our income is well under the median and no assets beyond a junk car. There are about 15 accounts or so, no medical bills. Will self help books be sufficient for getting all the proper paperwork done correctly? I'd love to use an attorney this time around, but time and money are somewhat lacking.