About 6 weeks ago someone tried to deliver a summons to one of my house guests
they refused... today, taped to my front door a "summons" from CACH, LLC for a debt that has been paid. I (in my hand) have confirmation and verification via my bank records, this has been paid in full.
The case number doesn't jibe with any case numbers in the court system here. The prefixes are wrong. There is no court date, time, only to respond within 30 days, but no address or contact info to respond to.
No stamps, signatures or anything from the circuit court here.
The Mandarich law group name address and info are on the bottom of all pages like a footer. I called this law group and explained I was served a summons for a debt I didn't owe and why were they trying to collect this? The "non-attorney debt collector" had explained to me the debt had not been assigned to an attorney and they use a third party to deliver "summons" and a lawsuit had not been filed. It 'must have been a mistake and they would contact their supervisor immediately' . Obviously I'm going to call the courthouse tomorrow for verification, from a human, whether there is a suit or not. But this just can't be legal? Right?
It does sound like things are not adding up. I strongly recommend you consult directly with an attorney to review what you received and look deeper into the matter. The courthouse may have limited information, and I would not take whomever you spoke to at their word.
This may be an error regarding someone with a similar name. CACH and Mandarich deal with thousands of accounts, so there may be some basic error here, or perhaps a scam. Either way, an attorney can review the summons and complaint, the purported debt and dig deeper. Also, an attorney can assess for any violations of debt collections practices or consumer protections laws.
You need to be VERY careful here and be sure that you understand exactly what is going on. Just because you have already paid the alleged debt does not necessarily mean you won't be sued upon it - it just means that you should win and perhaps have claims back at the collection agency for unlawful debt collection practices. IF it is really a filed lawsuit in an Oregon Circuit Court, you MUST file an appearance within 30 days of being served (and no, taping it to a door is not likely to be lawful service but you still should not just ignore it, particularly when you appear to be able to easily win) in that Circuit Court or risk having a Judgment taken against you by default. The Summons should have a case number and contain the name of the court. If it does not, it most likely is not a valid Summons - and may in itself be an unlawful debt collection practice. Is this a legitimate attorney in Oregon? Is the collection agency licensed in Oregon? If no to either, potential further violations. All in all, you may wish to have an attorney review the entire situation and perhaps bring suit on your behalf against this outfit and/or attorney. If you do, and win, you may be entitled to no only monetary damages but also to collect your court costs and attorneys fees, as well as potentially have grounds to report both the collection agency and/or the law office to the appropriate regulatory agencies overseeing them. Save everything, including any envelopes that things come in - you may not end up needing them but if you do, they are evidence and hard to get back. Good luck.
Nothing contained herein should be considered as legal advice for any specific situation and nothing herein is intended to create a lawyer-client relationship. Every case is very "fact-specific" and persons wishing legal advice on a specific matter should contact me or another attorney for an appointment to review their particular circumstances and to create a lawyer-client relationship.
Yes. You describe defenses to the lawsuit.
Do not ignore the summons. Risk of default judgment.
Do investigate. Best practice is to review the court file.
You need to consult an attorney. You may have an FDCPA violation claim. If you do, you could receive damages as well as attorney's fees from the debt collector. Best of luck.
No attorney/client relationship exists unless and until a fee agreement is signed.
I also highly recommend you consult with an attorney to help you to review the complaint and determine what, if any, consumer protection or fair debt collection practices may have been violated. You should not ignore this. All consumer attorneys in the Portland area that I know will offer a free consultation to help you determine your rights. How long ago did you receive the papers?
Michelle Freed is licensed in Oregon, Washington and Idaho only. Responses to questions posted in this forum do not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
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