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How Can I Avoid Being Served With Papers, a Debt Collection Agency Want to Sue Me?

I do not live at the address they have on file, can they sue me if they can't find me to serve me?
The explaination for why I have not paid the debt is very long...but to summerize the situation. I disputed the debt, the original amount owed was 00. They are now requesting 00. I have tried to negotiate with them, they would no accpet payments. I just graduated college, and with my student loan payments, I can not afford to pay off the debt. Like I said previously....they are not willing to work with me.
It has been with a collection agency for over a year. I just bought a new car and I got a great interest rate. I have been able to acquire new credit, so I'm not really worried about that aspect of it. I used to work for a debt management company, so I know quite a bit. But I have heard there are ways to avoid being sued. I know if they can not serve you, they can not sue you.
00 grows to almost 00 when a credit card company increases your interest rate from 10% to 27% without notifing you. I had made no late payments, the credit card company claimed they sent out a notice for me to accept or decline the new rate. Yeah....and who in their right mind would accpet such a rate. I closed the account after speaking with multiple reps about the problem. I began setting up a payment plan with them, I was then informed that they would not set up the plan because I used my card within the last 3 months. Of course I had, since I was making payments on-time and everything was fine until the drastic interest rate increase. From that point the problem spiraled downhill, when I did try to make arragements, they wanted me to pay off the whole debt, which I could no do. They harassed me about borrowing money from family members I do not have. And when they sold the debt to the agency, they sold it for over 00, with that 27% interest still acruing, the debt
debt is nearing 00, let us not forget about the credit card company adding over limit fees, late fees, and misc charges after i cancelled my account and telling me I could not make payments with their payment plan.

As far as going to court and proving my case...based on what I have seen happen to other people, the effort is rather futile.

My current plan is to let them eventually find me. No they have not yet even tried to serve me. Still threatening to take me to take legal action....none has been filed.

I intend to lay low for as long as possible, and when they do find me I will try to negotiate with them. That usually stops the legal action for a while. If they give me a good deal, and I have the means to pay it off I will. Otherwise, I will notify them I plan to file bankruptcy. This also usually quiets them for a while, because they dont want to waste money on legal fees if they thing the person will file.

Thats the case...its not that I just won't pay!!!

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11 Responses to “How Can I Avoid Being Served With Papers, a Debt Collection Agency Want to Sue Me?”

  1. blue
    July 2, 2006 at 9:03 am #

    It doesn't matter where you live as long as they have your name and identifying information correct.

    If you owe a debt, they will find you and they will collect. Why don't you pay up and get a good night's sleep without worrying and looking over your shoulder.

    Would you like them to serve the papers at your place of employment? That's embarrassing as all he&&.

  2. crazyhumans
    July 2, 2006 at 9:05 am #

    They will find you one way or the other. Sooner or later you will have to use your SSN or they will find you at your workplace.

  3. CleverCaT
    July 2, 2006 at 9:06 am #

    If you truly owe the debt, best to pay it off or make arrangements. Contact them and simply say, "I've moved, and perhaps you did not have record of my new address, how can I work with you to make arrangement to pay this back?" If you take the initative, the sherriff, or 3rd party agency whomever they decide to work with to deliver these documents to you, won't embarass you when the do find you. If you have any sort of reference related to your SSN# THEY WILL FIND YOU! Best to work it out, that kind of stuff will stay on your credit report for a loooong time, and when you do decide to buy a home, car or some cases now, find a job, they will run credit checks on you and find that you have the ugly mark of collections on your report. That is another way the find you, your three different credit bureau reports shows your address(es) if you had mail forwarded, the Post Office knows your trail. Best to just take care of the issue. If its all false, best to proove you are not the person they are looking for.

  4. David H
    July 2, 2006 at 9:06 am #

    Send them a variation of this letter:

    Name of collection agency

    To whom it may concern.

    After consulting with the Attorney General’s office and a private attorney, I have been advised to put you on notice.

    In regards to CASE NUMBER: *******:

    I contacted your office to resolve this matter and was treated to abusive language. As a direct result of my contact with your office, I was sent a letter by your office threatening legal action. I have also received numerous phone calls with intent to harass.

    Under state collection agency laws (RCW 19.16) and The Fair Debt Collections Act (15 USC 1692) your office is in violation.

    I do not wish any further contact from your office.

    Sincerely,

    Your name
    Address

  5. Billy
    July 2, 2006 at 9:07 am #

    Why not just honor your debts?

    Most lenders will work with you if you're making a good faith effort to honor your debts, but if you hide from them, they don't show a lot of mercy.

    If they've turned it over to a collections agency, though, I probably means they're through playing with you.

  6. aJ
    July 2, 2006 at 9:21 am #

    They do not need to summons you, they will, but even if you do not show up,most will just attach a judgement against you, which means a garnishment if they locate your employer or in some cases will go after your personal property, ie car, boat etc. If there is other or a lot of debt, bankruptcy will protect your future income but on your credit report for 10 years. Your amount of debt is small my friend, many lenders may accept a % to settle the matter, remember if you signed loan papers you must pay all their legal fees, and attorneys, which that 7k may not include.

  7. lana_sands
    July 2, 2006 at 9:22 am #

    French Foriegn Legion if it get really bad. Yes, they are real and do take anybody and change your ID with no questions. Catch? 5 year of service, learn French, training is as hard as the USMC.

    Otherwise, just be like Bin Ladden. give them false addresses and # to call. if phone rings, give it 4. it's most likely a machine call. If you pick it up and hear nothing, it's a machine! They click on as soon as you say "hello". If they do call, say your a cousin or office person and that you will pass the message on. Most just leave a 800 number and say "Bill" called. No company or what they really want.

    It Just so happens the wolves are at my door too!!! Been laid off 4 weeks. So I feel your pain and empty wallets........

  8. Studly
    July 2, 2006 at 10:09 am #

    I'm sure you already know what will happen in the event they do find you and serve you, so I won't waste the space telling you all of that.

    What you want is advice on how to dodge the process server.

    First step is to find out exactly what the laws in your state are regarding service. Go to the link below and read up.

    With a few exceptions, it goes like this (Depending on the state).

    To the person who said they don't have to serve you in order to sue, you are wrong. No court will even begin to listen to a case unless there has been a "deligent" search to locate the party.

    They can have either a court officer, or any "uninterested" adult serve you personally. To dodge them, just be carefull answering the door. But a good process server will eventually locate you on the street or at your place of employment. You don't need to be actually handed the summons. If they are within reach of you they can simply drop it at your feet and that constitutes a legal service.

    Failing a personal service, they can (in many states) send it by certified mail/return receipt. That's easy to dodge, just don't pick up or sign for any certified mail.

    Next step is called "alternate" service. The judge will allow the plaitiff to simply post the summons on the door of your home or in some location where you are known to be at (office). Once it's attached to the door it's considered a proper service, even if you never actually receive it. Saying that it's your last known address is also not good enough. Some sort of proof must be shown that you either live there, or have a very good chance of receiving your mail there. I served a truck driver who didn't really have a home. But his drivers license had an address, and his PO Box listed the same address. The Judge said that's good enough, so we posted it there. Turned out to be his ex-wife's address and they doesn't have anything to do with him. But due to all the addressed that pointed there, the Judge allowed the service.

    To fight this type of service you will have to show the judge that you don't live at that address or prove that you would not normally have been able to receive the summons. If they taped it at your old address, that's not good enough for a proper service.

    But any good process server knows how to "skip trace" your new address. Either from your credit records, drivers license records, or other state records. You can't hide behind a US Post Office box either, as those home addresses are accessable to process servers.

    Next step is a public notice. The judge allows the plaitiff to post in a newspaper, post notices on several public places in your area, or a simple notice in the courthouse. This is very rarely done because it does not fullfill the requirement of a "diligent attempt", and this form of service is easily fought.

    OK, all this said let me give you some advice. A good process server will locate you. From your message you have already shown there are lots of clues where they can locate your new address. I really don't believe that you will be able to hide from them. And all of the work that the process server is doing will be billed and added to your lawsuit.

    You would be better served to look for ways to fight the lawsuit. You claim you are disputing the original $2000 bill....find the evidence and fight them with it.

    Send the creditor a demand to validate the debt. This is similar to a disclosure demand, where the creditor must show you contracts, bills, receipts, and everything they used to calculate what they claim you owe.

    If after examining this information you still think you have a case, then let them sue you and fight it in court. Otherwise, you better seek out ways to settle.

    I'm a part-time process server (amoung other things) and I know how to locate hard to find people.

  9. PI Joe
    July 2, 2006 at 12:12 pm #

    They can still sue you. If they cannot find you, they will serve the papers on you by way of publication. You can find these serves published in your local newspaper in the classified section.

    They will then move forward without you, get a default judgement, and you will now have to repay the debt without getting your day in court.

    My point is, if what you are saying is actually the truth, then I think you WANT to take this to court and have them explain to the judge why a $2K debt has grown into a $7K debt. Without an opportunity to give your side, you'll end up paying the $7K somewhere down the line.

    People don't seem to understand that the service of process is to protect THEIR RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS. This guarantees you the right to defend yourself in court. If you waive that right, either by avoiding service or not showing up in court, then any court will grant a full default judgement to the creditor.

    Your choice. Like the guy above me stated, a good process server will get you served in the eyes of the court. This doesn't just "go away."

  10. udslstudent
    July 2, 2006 at 3:56 pm #

    In most states, a defendant can be served by certified mail. If nobody signs for the mail, then the clerk's office will resend the summons to the same address via regular mail and that will be deemed good service. So you will not be able to avoid service, most likely.

    You need to look into bankruptcy, especially if your income is low enough to file a chapter 7 case.

  11. jannie
    July 3, 2006 at 7:23 pm #

    pay yo bills man

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