I was served a complaint yesterday, I never received a 30 day letter, anything stating what the debt was, an amount, or who to contact about resolving the debt. Now the paralegal handling the case won't allow me to speak to the attorney and states that I have to pay court costs along with the debt and interests which are over one quarter of the total balance. I am a debt collector and I know that they haven't gone about this the legal way. Please help.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Since a complaint has been filed, you need to properly file an Answer within the time specified in the summons. It is unlikely that you will get past the paralegal - that is just how large volume debt collection firms practice. Lawyers sometimes have difficulty getting through to the other lawyer at these firms! Ask the paralegal to send you copies of all the notices sent of the debt. They usually have these and may or may not send them without a formal discovery request. You may file a counterclaim with your answer for violations of the fair debt collection practices act (FDCPA).
Your choices are to do nothing and allow a default judgment to be entered against you - usually a very bad idea! Try to represent yourself or hire a lawyer. If you have a strong case for violations of the FDCPA you may be able to get a lawyer to take the case on contingency as the FDCPA allows for attorney fees to be paid for violations. Another resource is the local legal aid society. Depending upon the services they are able to offer and your financial situation, they may be able to provide some assistance.