Ashley Furniture Account Through Capital One is Suing Me
I haven't been able to pay on a Capital One credit card since 2010. It was through Ashley furniture and I bought $2300.00 in furniture. I made several payment then my husband lost his job and I couldn't make payments any more. They slammed me with late fees and so much interest that even when I tried to pay I couldn't get anywhere. It grew to a $5200.00 balance. A third party collection agency has just sued me and I have a court date on November 27. The law firm representing the collection agency sent me an agreement for 48 monthly payment to pay the $5200 off. I don't want to go to court but I don't feel I should have to pay the inflated amount either.
Should I contact the attorneys and try to negotiate the amount down or should I go to the Magistrate's court date and ask for proof of the debt and try to negotiate there?
The Ashley Furniture balance (serviced by Capital One) grew due to the late fees and default interest that can usually be reflected in your contract with the credit grantor. Arguing the balance inflation in court may/may not fall on deaf ears.
If you show up in court without following procedures to force the creditor (through the attorney they hired), to prove the balance is what the contract allowed for, the judge may not be sympathetic. If you file an answer to the complaint and follow that up with a strategy of basically “prove it” with the creditor and their attorney, judges will generally require the other side to show how they arrived at the amount they claim is owed. Otherwise, anyone could just sue and claim you any amount.
How prepared are you to make a go of following court procedures to get a fair payoff amount on this Ashley Furniture debt?
Most people are not prepared to file an answer to the complaint. Taking the defense of the lawsuit further and effectively making the attorney for Capital One prove their case is less likely.
There are consumer attorneys who have tremendous success defending against lawsuits such as this. Unlike collection violation cases that many of these attorneys take on without charging you a fee, creditor and collection lawsuit defense has a cost. The cost will be different from one situation to the next.
It would be worth the time to at least talk your situation over with an experienced collection defense attorney. The initial consult is generally available at no cost. You will learn a good deal and be better prepared to make a decision about what to do next. If you are being sued by an investor who bought the Ashley Furniture debt, defending the suit should definitely be considered.
If you had the ability to come up with a lump sum all at once, you would have a decent shot at settling this for less than the 5200.00 they are after. Do you have the ability to raise money to offer a reasonable settlement? Let me know in a comment reply below. Also, if you would like to connect with an experienced attorney about filing an answer and defending the lawsuit, comment below with the name of the nearest city of size and I will send you some contact info for attorneys with the experience you need.