I received a summons to appear regarding a breach of contract between myself and HSN which was then assigned to an attorney.. i do not work, on disability and can’t pay bill or afford an attorney.. I was on medical leave with good intentions of returning to my career when I purchased items from HSN.. Thr last two years I worked, I had breast cancer, treatment and my health proceeded to deteriorate from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, spinal arthritis and herniated disks.. I found it impossible to return to my career or a lesser job field.. now, I’ve ended up with this debt, being sued for it and can’t pay.. what am I supposed to do?? I’m so stressed out by this, worry all the time and don’t know what to do other than appear and try to defend myself. I did receive a settlement from SS; however, my husband’s past employer was falsely sued and this money was to retain an attorney as did the other two men named.. so, my husband had to pay the attorney and also, you will see, my husband and I owe tens upon tens of thousands of dollars in federal income tax ... any advise would be appreciated..
If your only defense is that you can't afford to pay the bill, then appearing will be a waste of money. The creditor has a right to get a judgment against you for money that you owe. The court isn't going to do anything based on you discussing your financial hardships.
What you can do is find out whether there is any risk of the creditor being able to collect the Judgment. If you were working the creditor could garnish your wages but that doesn't seem to be a problem since you say you aren't working. If you have social security disability or SSI as your only income, neither of these sources of income can be garnished. You further have to see if you own any property in your name that isn't exempt. Property in your husband's name only can't be attacked by your creditors or judgments that are only linked to your name. Property in your name or joint property could be vulnerable to the extent you have an ownership interest and the property is not exempt under Oregon Law.
Please read the free articles on the Oregon State Bar website to get an overview of your rights as a debtor and related topics such as bankruptcy: http://www.osbar.org/public/legalinfo.html#bankruptcydebt Then call an attorney that specializes in Bankruptcy law. Most attorneys practicing in this area will do a free screening to determine if you really have anything to worry about. It may turn out that while the Judgment will come into existence, there won't be any risk to you, your current income, or your property. But you will need to talk to an attorney to review this. One consultation may be free, but it probably won't cost that much if it isn't free.
As for your statement that you didn't sign a credit card agreement, I don't know what that is all about. If you got merchandise from the HSN that you didn't pay for, and you agreed to pay for it, you probably owe the money. But if you think you have a defense, by all means post some additional details.
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Dear Barbara: You start off your question stating that you did not sign a credit card agreement with HSN. If you did not SIGN for credit with HSN and the card actually belongs to your husband, then you would not be liable for payment of a debt on a card that you did not apply for. Later in your description, you make it sound like the HSN card IS your card and that you simply can't pay it. You cannot "breach a contract" for a credit card if you did not sign the contract (i.e. the credit card application. IF you signed for this card then you obviously cannot pay on it. You would waste your time to try to defend yourself if you owe on the card and simply can't pay it. HOWEVER, with all of the other debt you seem to have from your medical issues, you are very likely a good candidate for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Many bankruptcy attorneys will provide a 1/2 hour of free consultation to you to determine your status. A bankruptcy attorney would need to know every single bill you have that is outstanding, including all of your IRS debt. If your IRS debt is older than four years, then you may be able to discharge some of that, including penalties and interest. Do not feel bad that your medical issues caused you to have financial problems. Divorce and medical issues are the primary reason that many people find themselves in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a tool that can help you leave all of your former debt behind you and get a fresh start. Depending on your total financial situation, you may be able to file a Chapter 13, and discharge most of your unsecured debt, but will need to pay bankruptcy payments to cover your IRS debt in the last four years. A Chapter 13 may allow to pay a payment you can handle every month towards the IRS debt. A bankruptcy attorney is exactly what you need. Get in your phone book and start calling and find yourself one that does free 1/2 hour consultations. It is likely that both you and your husband would file this bankruptcy together in both of your names. So, one way to deal with the current complaint filed against you by HSN, is to just head to a bankruptcy attorney. Once your bankruptcy is filed with the court, HSN cannot come after you in any way because bankruptcy provides an automatic stay against any of your creditors trying to collect. Good luck to you.
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