This is quite a legal conundrum. If I were you, I would file a motion to set aside the judgment as soon as possible. In that motion, I would advise the court that even after paying this judgment, you would be exposed to the debt from the student loan people. I would then ask the court to issue a summons to make the student loan people a party to the litigation. I would not waste any time, if I were you, getting this motion filed.
Most identity theft occurs with family members. When it happens, here is what you need to do:
1. File a police report. Without a police report, you can do very little to fix the problem;
2. Call the banks and credit card companies and close the accounts immediately;
3. Send a fraud alert to any one of the credit reporting agencies. Notifying one requires it to notify the others.
4. Pull your credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies. Look for new/bogus trade lines...
Banks that fund credit cards are notorious for failing to distinguish between "debtor" and "authorized users." A debtor is someone that is liable on a credit cards. An authorized user is merely authorized by the debtor to use the credit card, but is not liable on it. In this case, Chase's debt collectors are not being candid with you. While its true that the estate may be responsible for the credit card debt, the fact remains that if there is no money in the estate after final expenses such...
You can go either way, it appears, without material consequence. If you do nothing, a default judgment will be entered against you. If your fortunes reverse and you come into assets, you can be garnished and your assets can be seized. On the other hand, you could defend this case yourself and why shouldn't you? You are unemployed and have nothing better to do. This will certainly give you a break from all the television that you are probably watching, right?
Under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), a third party debt collector who is collecting on a debt that was incurred for personal, family or household use, may not communicate with anyone other than the debtor about the debt except for the debtor's lawyer, spouse or anyone else that is expressly authorized by the debtor to receive such communication. The short answer is yes, the debt collector can speak with your spouse about the debt.
Absolutely NOT. Pension and retirement accounts that are governed by ERISA are protected from state actions such as garnishments. Federal law prohibits such garnishments. Rest easy as your Military Retirement account is protected.
Under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, they MUST send you a validation notice in which they identify the debt and your right to dispute it within a 30 days period. Furthermore, they cannot harass you in connection with the collection of that debt. Not only would I not make any payments to them, I would sue them under the FDCPA as they now owe you money.
Forget the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. That does not answer your question. The real question is how long is the statute of limitations on the debt for which collection agencies are pursuing you. Each state has a different statute of limitations For example, in MIchigan, we have a 6 year statute of limitations on a breach of contract claim and a 3 year S/L for a bad check. I dont know the S/L for these claims in Illinois, but it should be easy enough for you to find out.
Check out Greenpath Financial. Its a large non profit organization that helps people work out debts with credit card companies. It ends up being a good deal for both the consumer and the credit card company because the creditor gets money that it might otherwise not get.
In the mean time, go get an attorney. I know you say that you cannot afford one, but I am here to tell you that can not afford to default on this lawsuit. In fact, I would hire a bankruptcy attorney to handle this matter...