How old is the debt? It might be outside the statute of limitations. Additionally, in my jurisdiction creditors must attach exhibits which establish their right to a judgment. A list of charges and proof of purchases is not sufficient to establish a breach of contract claim (which is essentially what this is). Creditors need to prove that you assented to the original account at issue.
Where a creditor fails to attach a copy of the original credit agreement, the courts have uniformly dismissed similar efforts to collect upon alleged credit card debt. See, e.g., Asset Acceptance, LLC v. Madden, Docket No. 2912 (Pa. Com. Pl. Fayette Co. 2009); Belmont Financial Services Group, Inc. v. Hawkins, Docket No. AR07-010035 (Pa. Com. Pl. Allegheny Co. 2008); Capital One Bank (USA), NA v. Clevenstine, Docket No. 4139 (Pa. Com. Pl. Centre Co. 2008).
Hope this helps. Good luck.
The most important part is to show up and respond to everything. If you need help, hire an attorney. You need to make them prove that the debt is owed, that the amount is owed, that you owe it, that they have the right to collect on it, that any additional charges are allowed by contract or law, that the statute of limitations hasn't run. Do not assume that you owe them just because you recognize the debt.
Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Mitchell Goldstein or the Goldstein Law Group does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.
Naturally, the best methods of defense are highly fact specific. An attorney can help you to make the most of the specific facts in your case.
General things to keep in mind:
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act - There are several excellent guides to this Act on Avvo that outline what the collector may and may not do when collecting a debt. Violations can make them liable for damages.
They have the burden of proof to show that 1) you owe the debt and that 2) they are legally able to collect on it. Don't admit to anything and demand that they prove it.
There are detailed requirements for the affidavit, contract and timing as well; retain an attorney to help you make use of their mistakes on these.
For a consultation, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment. This answer is provided based on limited facts and does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor should it be relied on as legal advice. It is only a generalized, cursory examination and is not a substitute for retaining a licensed attorney.