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Preventing being summoned before filing

New Member

Preventing being summoned before filing

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. 

Message 1 of 7
New Member

Re: Preventing being summoned before filing

I checked out the fdcpa violations and since I received no letter about the debt mentioned above and was thus not given the customary 30 days to validate the debt, does this appear to be a violation? We have had three other CAs contact us, and it was all by mail with proper information. Can I simply call them and tell them they're violating the fdcpa and expect them to comply with my request? They're hired by Cap 1, who apparently bought our debt from Chase. I hear some bad stuff about cap 1. 

Message 2 of 7
Valued Contributor

Re: Preventing being summoned before filing

For prejudgment garnishment they are first required to notify you in writing of their intent to garnish your bank accountand then wait 10 days before serving your bank. That should be enough time to move your money and stop any direct deposit of paychecks. $1800 is high, I think you should shop around for an attorney first.

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Message 3 of 7
New Member

Re: Preventing being summoned before filing

Yes, I think I need to shop around a little. I'd like to go with this office because of a recommendation. It's 1800 including the filing fee, but I think there are probably cheaper options still.


About being notified first, I have seen people on this board who were not notified. Just had their accounts frozen, in order to prevent having the debtor remove funds prior. Curious to know what the norm is. 


I'm going to try buy some time by calling to request they send me a verification letter. By law they have to wait at least 30 days before attempting to collect the debt. Just don't know if they care to follow those regulations.  

Message 4 of 7
Frequent Contributor

Re: Preventing being summoned before filing

first of all - get your money out of any and all bacnk accounts RIGHT NOW!!  I had my accounts garnished - sitting there with $0 all of a sudden sucks!


shop around for an attorney.  I believe mine was about $1250 with fees.  However, even at $1800 - if they're that good and get it all done right (which they all should) it's a small price to pay for the relief you feel once done!  I think I think I lost 20 pounds just from the stress relief.


If you want to hide from them - don't answer any phone calls from them - move to a PO Box - ignore anyone looking to serve you papers direct.  If someone comes to your house say that you don't live there and that you're a renter of the property.


They can always garnish wages - but that's a process in itself......


You should be able to buy enough time to get the monies in order to file.

Message 5 of 7
New Member

Re: Preventing being summoned before filing



The problem is that we receive weekly paychecks plus a couple biweekly ones. His main employer even requires direct deposit, so I don't know how removing money would help anySmiley Sad


I did find a cheaper attorney, but it seems he gave me the wrong info about residency and I feel like he was a little pushy. I did find one who althogh at a higher fee, he will file right away with just the filing fee paid. The rest can be paid in full within a year. That fee was 2000. Would be 1500 if paid up front. I'd love to save money on this, but really, my main concern right now is to get them off our backs and have money to pay rent and buy food. 

Message 6 of 7
New Member

Re: Preventing being summoned before filing

Oh, and because the debt is under 2500, I believe they do not need to send a person to summon, but only send a letter. Our laws here state that if it's not answered within 20 days, you've validated and they can move forward. 

Message 7 of 7