I couldn't make payments on my credit card and they sold it to a debit collector. I reside in California. What do I do. I got a summons to appear in court. I have no job, I am married and share a joint account with husband who get his social security check deposited in our account
You can file an answer to the law suit, but it will likely only delay the inevitable. If you ignore the law suit, the creditor will get a default judgment against you. If you have no job and assets, the creditor will get nothing. Your husband's social security income is not subject to levy. In addition, I can't help but wonder whether you have been getting harassed by debt collectors and creditors. There are powerful federal laws that govern the conduct of debt collectors and creditors, and you could be entitled to money if collectors are violating your rights. Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"), if creditors or debt collectors are calling your cell phone using an automated system (robocalls), and the calls are made without your consent, each call could be worth $500. In addition, creditors and debt collectors are bound to comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), and they are prohibited from harassing you with excessive calls or aggressive tactics. If debt collectors are violating the FDCPA when attempting to collect your debts, you might be entitled to up to $1,000. If you believe any collectors violated your rights, you might want to consider speaking to an experienced consumer protection attorney for advice. Most consumer protection attorneys do not charge for their services.
Please note my answer does not constitute legal advice, and you should not rely on it in your decision making. Each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. My answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, and you are advised to contact an attorney to obtain legal advice before taking or refraining from taking any action with respect to the above.
The account cannot be levied AS LONG AS IT CONTAINS NO MORE THAN TWO MONTHS (dollar value) of SS funds. Frankly, the debt buyer might take far less to go away, but i'd have an attorney negotiate.
All of Ms. Straus’ responses are intended as useful information, based solely upon the facts stated in the question, and are not to be relied upon as a full or complete legal opinion. They may not be what you wished to hear, they do not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Straus has been licensed to practice law in California for 33 years. Ms. Straus regrets that she does not provide follow up free advice via email. She also regrets that blunt responses may be taken as "rude" by those who wished a different opinion. Good luck.
Contact a debt collection defense attorney who practices in your area. Discuss with that person whether it makes sense to file an answer, litigate the case, and try to settle it. The answer would depend on the amount of the debt, your family income, and the property you and your husband own. You do not need to worry about the bank accounts UNLESS you do nothing and allow the creditor to get a default judgment. Take action now and do not allow that to happen. Cases filed by debt buyers can often be settled for quite a bit less than the full amount of the debt.
This answer is for general information purposes only and is not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is intended or formed by the posting of this answer. Law Office of Lisa J. Espada * San Francisco, CA *
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