What should I do after being contacted by a collections attorney? 9 Answers as of February 08, 2011

A collection attorney has contacted me via mail about a charged off card in 2010. I have not worked in the last 11 years due to the fact I have an Autistic child. My husband works, but my name is solely on the Discover account, he is not on it at all. What can they legally do, being I don't have a job?

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William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
You can file bankruptcy. Collections attorney may not be able to do anything to you. But will search for an asset in your name and take it if they can.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 2/8/2011
Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
They can sue you and then collect against you on that judgment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/7/2011
Law Office of Harry L Styron
Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
First, in California, both spouses are obligated on any debt incurred during marriage, regardless of whose name is on the account. So Discover can take any legal action to collect the debt. If it is possible for you to offer them some settlement that you can afford you ought to try to do that before you do anything else.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/7/2011
Law Office of David P. Farrell
Law Office of David P. Farrell | David Farrell
The creditor can sue you and obtain a money judgment against you, and then seek to enforce the judgment in a variety of ways. Perhaps you can strike a deal with the creditor or come to some kind of repayment plan. Unsecured credit card debt is generally dischargeable in bankruptcy, but filing bankruptcy is a serious matter and shouldn't be taken lightly. You should consult with an attorney about your particular situation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/7/2011
DiManna Law Office, LLC.
DiManna Law Office, LLC. | Dawn DiManna
They can pursue a judgment lien that can be placed against your home if you have one. They can also pursue periodic payments in court. You should consult with an attorney to get your specific options.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 2/7/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    They can sue and attempt to execute a judgment against you. Filing BK can stop this permanently.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/7/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    The credit card company can sue you and get a judgment that is initially good for 10 years and renewable practically forever. They can drag you to court to answer questions under oath about your income and property and if you have any real property they can file an Abstract of Judgment that will be a lien on the property. If you have any personal property of substantial value the property could be seized and sold. Also, your bank account can be levied for the debt so long as your name is on the account although you might not own the funds. Community property is subject to collection for the debt. Most likely the company will wait years to collect until your financial situation changes and may never be able to collect on the judgment.

    You will probably continue to receive calls and letters attempting to collect the debt for a long time. The judgment, if obtained by the credit card company or its collection company, will grow by 10% per year and the court will likely award interest to the date of the judgment, costs of suit and attorneys' fees. The judgment will be put on your credit report that will affect your ability to obtain credit in the future. A charge off of the account only means that the bank deems the account uncollectible and has removed it from its books by transferring it to another company. It does not mean you no longer owe it. After four years the credit card company cannot force you to pay the debt assuming they do not obtain a judgment before the four years. If you are sued after four years you will have to answer the lawsuit and claim that the debt is uncollectible because of the statute of limitations. If you do not anwers the lawsuit you will have waived the defense of the statute of limitations if the debt is over four years old.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/7/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    They can go after any asset that has your name such as bank accounts, cars, home, or any other asset that you are listed on the title.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/7/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Probably not much except make you miserable with phone calls. I suggest that you send them a letter (certified mail, return receipt and keep a copy for you records) telling them to not call you anymore. If they call after you send the letter, you can sue them. Eventually, they may sue you and try to attach assets. Without knowing what you own, I can't say if that would would be possible. In most instances it is not possible for them to do that. You should consult lawyer, especially if they sue you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/7/2011
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