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29

Jul 2010

Before bankruptcy: beating a warrant in debt

Posted by / in Before Bankruptcy, warrant in debt / 64 comments

Bill, not his real name, is filing bankruptcy with me in October.  (He needs a couple more months to finish everything to get his bankruptcy approved.)

Virginia Bankruptcy Lawyer Robert Weed

Virginia Bankruptcy Lawyer Robert Weed

In the meantime, he received a warrant in debt.  Midland Credit Management, a big debt buyer, was suing him on a old Chase card.  He didn’t want to get a judgment and a garnishment while we were waiting for the right time to file the bankruptcy.

Bill knew, from my warrant in debt website, that he had to go to court on his return date, and tell the judge he wanted a trial.  He had an easy basis for saying he wanted a trial.  “I never heard of Midland Credit Management.  I don’t know who they are or what this is about.”

He asked for a bill of particulars, and Midland’s lawyer asked for grounds of defense.

When Midland submitted their bill of particulars, they wrote they had bought the debt from Chase, and Bill owed Chase $4822.

For Bill’s grounds of defense, he wrote to the court and Midland’s lawyer that there were no documents showing that Midland really bought the debt from Chase; and that Midland had no evidence of how much he owed Chase–they would need a witness from Chase to prove that.

Bill was nervous on his warrant in debt trial date, but it was easy.  When they called his name, the lawyer for Midland said, “Your Honor, this is our first dismissal of the day.”  The Judge then turned to Bill and scolded him slightly to be financially responsible.  Then he  said, you won today,  you are free to go.

Bill handled this on his own, but I had given him some tips.  One thing I said, if this is still America, you’ll win.  Nice to know this still is America.

Under Virginia law, Midland would be able to bring the same warrant in debt a second time.  But they won’t be able to move fast enough to beat our October bankruptcy filing.  (And they probably couldn’t prove it then, either.)

When we get to October, his bankruptcy will go fine.

PS  Here’s an update on March 30, 2011.  The Attorney General of Minnesota announced he is going after Midland, and their parent company, Encore.  He says they used robo-signed affidavits to sue people on in Minnesota.  In other words, Midland claimed they reviewed their records and had proof so-and-so owed them money–but nobody actually looked to see whether they really had that proof.  This press release would be something to bring to the attention of the Judge, if you go to court and fight Midland on one of these.

PPS.  Washington Post had a good article on beating Midland in May 2014.

In Northern Virginia, Encore’s Midland unit has filed 16,878 lawsuits from 2003 to March of this year in the district courts of five counties. The company won nearly two-thirds of those cases through judgments against consumers who either failed to appear in court or simply agreed to pay the amount.

Almost 20 percent of those people wound up having their wages garnished, according to a review conducted by The Washington Post. Debts range from as little as $53 to as much as $23,786.

The Post article includes a comment from a guy who calls himself “rogerramjetz.”  He says he used to work as a collection lawyer on exactly those cases.

A guy gets a credit card with an Account Agreement that charges him $137 to open the account the first time he uses the card, and the card has a $250 credit limit. He then buys a $35 iron and a $45 coat at Walmart with the card. He now owes $217 the next month, and when he doesn’t pay the bill, he accrues an interest charge of $5 at 29% interest. When he doesn’t pay the next month, the card accrues a late charge of $35, $5 in interest, and an overdraft fee of $35 a month, totaling $297. The following month, interest is $6, and the late fee is $35 and the overdraft fee is again $35. A year and a half after the initial $80 purchase, the account shows a $1600 balance to Providian Bank. Totally legal.

Providian then sells the debt to Midland for $0.17 on the dollar, or around $200, and gives the last statement the guy received for $1600 as evidence of the debt. Glasser & Glasser in Norfolk is promptly retained to sue the guy for $1600, with interest at 29%, and accrued interest since the default a year before totaling $500, while the Account Agreement is invoked for a “33.3% reasonable attorney’s fee, totaling $533” and court costs of $63.00. An affidavit from Midland and Providian is generated, and a sheriff delivers the Warrant in Debt to the guy.

Total sued for? $2,693, but we will gladly settle for a lump sum of eighty cents on the dollar, or $2,154. For an iron and a coat at Walmart. Or we will take a judgment and garnish 25% of your wages until paid, and in three years the balance will double again at 29% interest.

How do I know this? I worked for Glasser as local counsel.

“Roger’s” example may be extreme but it shows how small debts can lead to fairly big garnishments, with late fees, over limit fees, later over limit fees, legal fees and the rest are added in–the just 29% interest alone doing it’s magic.

What’s the lesson:  Many credit cards in bankruptcy have already been money makers for the credit card companies.   And if you are getting sued by people you never heard of, it’s time to talk to a lawyer.

 

 

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Robert Weed has helped twelve thousand people file bankruptcy in Northern Virginia. Robert Weed is a frequent panelist and speaker at the meetings of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. He is one of Northern Virginia’s most experienced personal bankruptcy lawyers. As an expert on changing consumer bankruptcy laws, Robert Weed has been interviewed on local and national TV and quoted in newspapers across the country.

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64 comments
  • Pernin Luckenbach

    August 14, 2010, pm31 8:06 PM
    01

    Dear Mr Weeds
    I wish I had picked you for my bankruptcy filling,but instead I went with Mr Thomas Murphy-a fine Southern Gentleman like yourself.Dear Sir,I very much enjoy reading your email.Besides relevant information that would help me,it is so much fun to read.I have a friend who will need your help and I will send him your way.His name is Bryan, and this is my way of saying thank you.
    Respectfully yours
    Pernin Luckenbach

  • Robert Weed

    August 15, 2010, am31 6:49 AM
    02

    Thanks. Tom Murphy is a fine lawyer, and I often recommend him to people when a case is something he’d do better than I would.

  • Mark Muir

    September 20, 2010, pm30 1:04 PM
    03

    My wife and I also benefited from Robert Weed’s article on explaining about the warrant-in-debt process. Prior to my wife’s warrant-in-debt Return Date hearing, our paralegal, Valerie, reminded us to “just ask the judge for the trial date and bill of particulars” and “not to discuss whether the debt is owed or not”. At the Return Date hearing, the judge first asked my wife, “Do you agree that you owe this debt?” It took a few seconds but my wife remembered the message that I passed to her from Valerie, and my wife simply stated, “we request a trial and bill of particulars” without talking about the debt. That gave us time to properly file for bankruptcy.

    * Mark

  • Robert Weed

    November 23, 2010, pm30 4:38 PM
    04

    Midland–the people in this article–have been accused of robo-signing. That’s the same thing as in the foreclosure scandals. Having an employee claim that they have looked at the records and they know the amount of the debt–when in fact they haven’t looked at anything except where to sign their name. Here’s the article, which ran in a collection industry newsletter than I sometimes see. http://www.collectionsrecon.com/collection_news/credit-firm-accused-of-robo-signing/
    That’s why, if you go to court, you have a chance of beating them.

  • helene bahn

    June 28, 2011, pm30 12:57 PM
    05

    i have personal private wid. I knew nothing about asking for this bill of particulars or proceedings.I received it on my door. I asked in the court house what i needed to do to show it is without merit.They schueled a transferred it from small claims to regular court house.It states it a trial now that i revewied it on the form.Noone told me i needed to ask for these things..So now i am confused. When i get into the hearing at reg court room.I do have the right to ask for bill of particulars ? Also. I live in Williamsburg va. I read a lot of your clients reviews. I really need to file bankrucpy due to old debt of monetly Hospital bills that are really old and dont seem to be dropping off my credit report.Can i use you even if i live in williamsburg va?Must it be in my immediate area?Thanks for your time

    • Robert Weed

      June 28, 2011, pm30 1:35 PM
      06

      I can recommend Linda Coppinger, in Hampton.
      2 Eaton Street
      Hampton, VA
      Phone:757-825-5577

  • Emma

    August 2, 2011, pm31 2:17 PM
    07

    Hello,
    I received a Warrant In Debt in the mail from a 2nd or 3rd collection agency on a charged off Chase credit card from a little more than 3 years ago. It is my understanding that the Statute of Limitations in VA is 3 years and that in fact in October of 2010 new legislation was passed clearly defining that credit cards fall under the “open account” and 3 year SOL. I have been trying to find an attorney to help me but the two that I spoke to want to charge me $2K minimum to help. I also called the court and the Debt Collection agency hasn’t filed the warrant in court so it’s not on their docket yet and there’s no case number but the Warrant states that the court date is 9/26/2011 Do you have a reccomendation for an attorney in the Richmond area and do you know definitively if the SOL is 3 years? Should I just send a letter to the company stating that the SOL has passed in hopes that they won’t move forward with the court date? Thank you so much for your help in advance!
    Emma

    • Robert Weed

      August 2, 2011, pm31 2:53 PM
      08

      The law firm I’d recommend is Krumbein Consumer Legal Services. http://www.krumbeinlaw.com/. Besides your statute of limitations defense, they also probably cannot prove they actually own the debt. I do not think you should try to negotiate with them before the court date. Show up on the court date and ask for a trial. Take them by surprise. Then you can try to negotiate in the hallway afterwards, when they know you are not going to be pushed around.

  • Robert Weed

    August 8, 2011, am31 10:05 AM
    09

    Here’s an article about Midland’s activities in Kansas. http://www.collectionsrecon.com/collection_news/collection-companys-practices-under-fire/

  • Robert Weed

    September 18, 2011, pm30 12:32 PM
    10

    The Maryland Court of Appeals published new court rules for debt collectors. In Maryland now, they cannot sue without some two documents. One document showing the original debt–like a credit card bill with your name on it, from the original creditor (Citi or Chase or Bank of America, for example.) Second, a statement from the original creditor that they actually transferred the account to the debt collector.

    Michelle Singletary has a good article about this in today’s Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/maryland-makes-it-tougher-for-debt-collectors-to-sue-consumers/2011/09/15/gIQANRCMaK_story.html

    In Virginia they would also have to come up with those thing–but ONLY if you show up in court on the return date and ask for a “bill or particulars.” Otherwise they can sue you and win based just on their own say-so.

    If you want to fight them, the time to talk to a lawyer is when you first get court papers. If the court date is past and you lost, bankruptcy can sill help you (almost always), but nothing else much can.

  • Scott L.

    October 10, 2011, pm31 6:06 PM
    11

    Hi,
    First, I want to thank you for your wonderful and informative web site. The information contained therein is invaluable and a great service to folks like me.
    Here’s my situation: I had a credit card with Juniper with a credit limit of $250. Juniper was acquired by Barclays in 2004. With interest and fees the account now stands at $1507.00 and I have been sued by Barclays. At the initial hearing I requested a trial. I just received the Bill of Particulars from Barclays which included a few self-serving comments and 1 exhibit (2 pages of the 4 page last statement they claim to have sent me).
    I do have a few questions I hope you can help me with:
    1- They state in their Bill of Particulars that they reserve the right to amend the Bill of Particulars at any time up to the trial. Can they do this? My concern is that they purposefully did not provide full documentation or did not have it. Should I contact them and request additional documentation (proof of purchases, proof of Barclays purchasing the debt from Juniper) or should I do nothing?
    2- I am confused as to the starting date of the 3 year statute of limitations in Virginia. I actually moved here from Florida in May 2010, so I’m not sure when the clock began to run and if Virginia is the state that applies.
    3- 90% of the debt alleged is late fees and interest even though the account closed Juniper/Barclays years ago. Are the fees/interest charged after the account closed allowed by the court?
    4- Finally, when I file my grounds for defense, should I do what “Bill” did- state that they provided no proof of the debt and no proof that they bought the debt from Juniper?
    Thank you and God bless.
    1-

    • Robert Weed

      October 10, 2011, pm31 6:19 PM
      12

      Your grounds of defense needs to include statute of limitations. Then they need to prove the date of your last payment. In Virginia its three years on an open account–five years on a contract. Did they come up with anything that was signed by you–if not, then the three years should apply. But it sounds like they may not be able to prove a payment even in the last five years.

  • Sean

    October 10, 2011, pm31 7:02 PM
    13

    Do you have a recommendation for an attorney in the Chesterfield area? (specifically to dispute debt/FDCPA defense.)

    • Robert Weed

      October 11, 2011, am31 5:55 AM
      14

      Jason Krumbein. Richmond.

  • Jahmie

    October 28, 2011, am31 3:51 AM
    15

    Hi,
    I have been reading your information after my previous landlord called me stating she had a debt of warrant posted on her new tenants door for me. I no longer live in this county and haven’t for 6 months. I was reading your information on Capital one and this is who I am battling. I am young and have never checked my credit until getting this phone call. I never got the debt of warrant so I looked up the information and requested a change to my current county. Nonetheless, having never checked my credit – I didn’t check it for this very reason : I have no credit cards! My mother applied for cards in my name along with the cable and electric bill. She passed two years ago and this account has been unpaid since. She did pay on the account from OUR bank account when she was living.

    I’m not sure where to go with this… or how to prove my case. I’m a full time student and barely make enough to get by even working 50 hours a week. I really can’t afford a lawyer… yet I am pretty clueless about what to do.

    Please help!
    Thanks!

    • Robert Weed

      October 28, 2011, am31 7:26 AM
      16

      Well you need to go to court; you need to ask for a trail, you need to file your written grounds of defense, and at the trial date you need to tell the judge why you are right and the landlord is long.

      The stuff with your mom is called identity theft: most identity theft if someone in the family “borrowing” the credit of someone. You can research that on the internet and then do disputes with the credit bureaus.

      Finally, you need to start getting credit. Go to bankrate.com for credit cards and look for credit cards for bad credit. Get one and start charging your gasoline and paying it in full every month so you start to develop a credit history.

  • Liz

    November 1, 2011, am30 8:51 AM
    17

    My husband and I recently received a warrant in debt in VA for the amount of 15k that we owe Beneficial. We have no idea what to do except show up for court. Here are some info in regards to our situation: We signed the contract for the loan in Hickory, North Carolina. We moved backed to North Carolina from Virginia 6 months ago. Will any of this affect the court date and the venue?
    I read up on some info about going to trial in VA only if you are a resident. Need more info please. We are completely nervous about this situation but understand that we owe this debt.

    • Robert Weed

      November 1, 2011, am30 10:28 AM
      18

      If you signed the contract in North Carolina and now (again) live in North Carolina, then they can only sue you in North Carolina. What address did they send it to? If they used a lawyer on the warrant-in-debt (in Virginia they don’t have to), the lawyer is a Debt Collector under the FDCPA and he in vulnerable to a $1000 sanction for suing you in the wrong county. You might want to talk to a lawyer in North Carolina, or two lawyers. One on the FDCPA violation; and one about bankruptcy. (Unless Beneficial is your only debt problem and you can pay it pretty quickly.) Judges in North Carolina are generally more favorable, and laws too, than in Virginia, on things like the FDCPA so you should really see what can be done about that.

  • Reina

    December 10, 2011, am31 7:57 AM
    19

    I went to my 1st court date and I received a trial date. I don’t have the money to pay. I thought I would be able to get a bankruptcy lawyer before the grounds of defense is due, but it doesn’t look like it. What should I do? Do I still send something in? Will they start garnishing my pay?

    • Robert Weed

      December 10, 2011, am31 9:56 AM
      20

      You should send in your grounds of defence. And you need to see a bankruptcy lawyer.

  • Jimmy

    December 10, 2011, pm31 1:52 PM
    21

    Robert, this information is very useful for my purposes. Thank you for taking the time to let us know about all of the terminology. In my situation, I am dealing with this Midland Agency, who has supposedly purchased the debt from a bank in Deleware. My initial court date is coming up in 2012. I really need to get some further advice on how to handle this. They show my last payment date being in August of 2008. The papers weren’t filed until November of 2011. Statute of Limitations in the state of Virginia, as mentioned before, is 3 years from the date of the last payment, or last purchase if there was no payment. So, I guess I could use that as a defense. However, this debt was secured debt that required a security deposit that has been drawing interest this whole time. My credit limit was like $300 but they are saying I owe over $800! With this being a secured debt, what will be the best way to go about defending against this in your opinion? Do I use all of this information, plus the reports out of Minnesota and Kansas about the “robo-signing”? In my line of work, it is going to be difficult for me to go to a court date that I do not have to attend. I am trying to support a family of four on less than $25,000 per year. We are having a very hard time making it as it is.I do not need the stress this causing. Also, I have been trying for four years to get some of the stuff off of my credit report that i do not recognize. As a victim of “identity theft,” 90% of what is on the report is not mine. I have been pretty unsuccessful to this point. When I disputed this account was when the letetrs started arriving. Please give me whatever kind of advice that you can. Thank you in advance.

    • Robert Weed

      December 11, 2011, pm31 12:00 PM
      22

      It’s a lot cheaper for you to go to court than to hire a lawyer to go or to get garnished. So you need to go. You have obviously read my post and that pretty much tells you everything I know about how your should handle yourself in court. In addition to robo-signing and who are these guys anyway, I’d also mention you had identity theft and a lot of the debts on your credit report are not yours.

      In terms of your credit report, if you’ve been disputing and had no luck, its time to talk to a lawyer that does that kind of thing. I like Jason Krumbein in Richmond. http://www.krumbeinlaw.com/. Or Len Bennett in Newport News. http://www.consumerlawusa.com/.

  • Reina

    December 11, 2011, am31 3:22 AM
    23

    Thanks for your quick response. That’s the thing though, I have no idea what to put as my defense. I do owe the money, but I don’t have it to pay.

  • R. Ford

    December 27, 2011, pm31 9:37 PM
    24

    What can I use in my grounds for defense when I signed the contract in the city where I’m being sued but lived in another county now and at the time that the contract was signed? Is that still a violation of the FDCPA for being sued in the wrong county? My car was repossessed after missing only one payment that was less than 30 days past due. Prior to that, my payment history was perfect and I had not missed a payment. I called the company prior to the due date to ask for an extension on the payment due on May 2009 so that I could use the money to have the car repaired. I was granted the extension by a Credit Acceptance Corporation customer service representative.

    • Robert Weed

      December 28, 2011, pm31 4:21 PM
      25

      You need to talk to a lawyer–your chances of beating Credit Acceptance on your own are not good, but it sounds like you have a story to tell that might win if a lawyer helps you with it.

  • R. Ford

    December 29, 2011, pm31 6:32 PM
    26

    Thanks, I will call Jason Krumbien.

  • c blackwell

    January 9, 2012, pm31 1:55 PM
    27

    Have you had any dealings with Dominion Law Associates? They sent me a Warrant in Debt for a credit card account from Capital one for $1700. If i plead guilty and try to make payment arrangements will they try to garnish my paycheck just because they can? I want to fight them. My court date is next month in Va beach. If i do need a lawyer -do you recommend anyone?

    • Robert Weed

      January 9, 2012, pm31 2:24 PM
      28

      You need to ASK FOR a TRIAL and then try to make payment arrangements. That way you still have a little leverage. Do not PLEAD GUILTY and ask for payment arrangements. At that point they have no reason to work with you.

  • heather

    January 26, 2012, am31 6:42 AM
    29

    Hello, my husband and I both have financial problems as a younger couple who do not make much. Should we both file chap 7 separately, or can you do it together? I have never filed but my husband did in 2005 and unfortunately is in the same position again. I believe he would have to wait until next year to file chap 7 again correct? I will probably end up filing this year if possible. Each of our debts were mostly done before we were married and are mostly credit cards and doctor bills, but some were after we married. Also, my husband has a warrant in debt that he is going to trial for. It is from Dominion Law associates and the last payment made on this Barclays/Juniper credit card was 11/2009. He received letters from several different collection agencies for this card, but then finally ended with DLA and the lawsuit. It doesn’t say anywhere on the bill of particulars that DLA bought the debt, but on the warrant in debt it states barclays as the plaintiff, but then under the plaintiffs and defendant on the warrant in debt, it says “to defendant, you are not required to appear… DLA IS A DEBT COLLECTOR.” I am confused on who is suing, is it Dominion who bought the debt and is the debt collector, or is it Barclays who hired Dominion to sue?? Should we handle the grounds of defense as you have stated?? If not, how would this best be handled since he cannot file 7 again yet? Both of us do not make much and unfortunately aren’t great with money either, so we are trying to avoid garnishments. Sorry for all the questions, but would appreciate any help. thanks a bunch

    • Robert Weed

      January 26, 2012, am31 6:50 AM
      30

      It’s a lot tougher to fight if Barclays/Juniper is suing rather than a debt buyer. (DLA is a “debt collector” because they are the lawyers helping Barclays collect the debt.) You are right that your husband is not eligible for a Chapter 7 again until eight years after his first one–some time in 2013.

      Sometimes in situations like this I put people into a Chapter 13 and try to get the court to approve a payment of $100 per month. You probably can’t afford $100 per month–but you sure can’t afford for your husband to get garnished for 25% of his pay. (Now some of these Juniper cards are for really small amounts. You didn’t tell me how much they are after. Maybe if he goes to court and asks for a trial he can work out a payment plan.)

      You definitely should go talk to a lawyer in whatever part of Virginia you are in.

  • heather

    January 26, 2012, pm31 2:59 PM
    31

    Thanks for the response, so if it says barclays as the plaintiff it is not the debt buyer DLA?, so that means DLA is a debt buyer and works for the actual credit card companies as well? I noticed when looking at their bill of particulars that they say the current balance is 2000+, but then the statements show about 5000, and the warrant in debt is for about 5k. Is there anything that could come out of this discrepancy in the balance they claim? Chapter 13 can be filed prior to 8 years for the hubby?

  • Ann

    February 23, 2012, pm29 12:52 PM
    32

    Thank you for a very informative website and blog. I went to court earlier this month (DLA representing Midland), and asked for a trial and Bill of Particulars. The BoP was due yesterday 2/22. I have not received anything, so just called the court and the BoP was not filed. The woman said it could still arrive, that Monday was a holiday and maybe the mail was delayed. Is that even relevant, if it arrives after the order date?

    My question: Do I submit my grounds for defense today, asking for non-suit since the BoP was not received timely; or should I wait and formulate a Grounds for Defense based on whatever they submit (if they even do) even though it will be after the return date?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Robert Weed

      February 23, 2012, pm29 1:14 PM
      33

      Different judges might have a different attitude about letting them be a day or two late. So I’d take the guess of the court clerk, rather than my guess, since I don’t know your judge.

  • Matt

    February 27, 2012, am29 8:26 AM
    34

    My Court Date’s on May 11th and my last payment was May 29th, 2009. Is there anyway I can extend my court date to June so it falls with in the 3 year statute of limitations?

    My credit card was with Chase and purchased by Global Acceptance and then sold to a local credit card company in Norfolk, VA. Do you think I can beat this?

    • Robert Weed

      February 27, 2012, am29 9:36 AM
      35

      It’s the filing date, not the trial date, that controls the statute of limitations. So they probably are ok on that. But you can still try to challenge them to prove they own the debt and see if they can do it. Good luck.

  • RW

    March 15, 2012, pm31 8:46 PM
    36

    My fiancé just received today a warrant in debt from a credit card collector that is being represented by a law firm via the USPS mail. I personally watched the USPS mail courier put it in our mailbox this evening. It was post marked from a law firm in the Norfolk area. I have read all of your helpful information on your website and I plan to communicate this to my fiancé on how he should proceed with going to court and asking for a trial and a BOP, but I do still have a question related to the service of process. I read a document on the state of virginia court’s website about small claims court procedures, and it stated that the deputy sheriff or a private process server should serve the warrant at our home and if no one was at home to leave it “posted” on our door. My question is whether or not he will have an advantage in having the case dismissed in court since the service of process was not properly followed? Appreciate in advance any additional help you can offer!

    • Robert Weed

      March 15, 2012, pm31 8:57 PM
      37

      The letter delivered by the mailman is only a “courtesy copy.” You are right that the sheriff or process server will need to bring one to your door. That usually happens a couple weeks later. I think you can expect that it will.

  • Donna

    March 21, 2012, pm31 7:30 PM
    38

    My Grounds of Defense is due soon, but I have no defense. I know that I have to send something in, but what? I’m so lost. I don’t know why I didn’t contact a lawyer sooner about filing bankruptcy. I didn’t receive the BoP. Could I use that as defense? What should I do?

    • Robert Weed

      March 21, 2012, pm31 7:36 PM
      39

      Donna:

      Yes, not receiving the bill of particulars can be your grounds of defense. I think it should win–although you never know when you get in front of a judge what the answer will be. It also seems like now would be a good time to talk to a lawyer about bankruptcy.

  • Donna

    March 21, 2012, pm31 8:21 PM
    40

    Thanks so much for your quick response. One more question, when determining if I’m eligible to file or not, will overtime be considered for the means test or does it go strictly off of your base pay?

  • AN

    March 23, 2012, am31 12:28 AM
    41

    Hello, I have a question. I have a Warrant of Debt from Dominion Law Associates for a court date in May. My question is, if I have the money now and try to go face to face with them to pay or settle and then pay will that stop me from going to court or should I wait to pay them anything until the court date? Or does it seem better to go back to the place where the debt incurred and try to pay them their money instead of the collections agency? Thank You.

    • Robert Weed

      March 23, 2012, pm31 5:10 PM
      42

      AN:

      Once you get sued by Dominion Law, I doubt you will be able to settle with the original outfit. Dominion certainly has an agreement with those original guys blocking a settlement behind their back.

      You should try to settle now–if they don’t offer you something you like, make sure you GO TO COURT, ask for a trail, and then see if they come down some, knowing that you are not going to just roll over. Good luck.

  • Johnny

    April 10, 2012, am30 2:37 AM
    43

    Hi Robert,
    I would like to first say thank you for the wealth of information on your site and commitment of staying on top of your comments and advice section.

    My question has two parts I guess: 1: I received a warrant in debt in the mail today from Glasser & Glasser plc out of Norfolk. It appears they are handling a credit card account I had with Bank of America. My concern is that it is not filed in the county that I live in. I live in Henry county, VA and the warrant is filed in Martinsville. Martinsville is a small independent city within Henry county. My physical address is not within the city. They each have their own independent circuit and general district court systems. Is this legal or have they made an error that can favor me? and how should I proceed.

    2: This debt was a credit card that i had open for years and had no problem paying. I lost my job in mortgage when my bank went out of business. At this time my credit remained perfect… i did however have to utilize some of my credit due to not having an income. Bank of America arbitrarily raised my rate from 6.0% to their default rate of 24.99 or something around that and the only reason they gave was review of credit history…my credit with all creditors was immaculate at that time… i read an article a while back how they did that to roughly a million or so of there customers with no reason. With the rate going from 6 to 25% it became unfeasible to pay with no income. I quit sending in payments and paid the other creditors that i felt were doing proper business practices. I ended up receiving payment arrangement offers and such later and decided to talk to them… after multiple calls and talks they said they were able to get me approved for a rate/payment reduction offer. They took a 150 dollar payment to “set this in motion” well long story short my statements came the following month and the rate was not changed. I ended up reaching a high up supervisor that I worked with on several calls and she ended up apologizing for everything that had happened and went as far as to give me her direct number to get everything back inline with my payment rate reduction that I was agreed to. She came back a few days later and said it came back approved again and said that I was not being jerked around and seemed sincere… she read the terms of the payment and rate at 6.75 and asked me if i agreed..this was recorded I believe…She said I had to pay an additional 150 dollars to get this program submitted and it was approved. She said she understood my concern of the validity of it due to my past experience but insured this was not the case that it was a glitch in the system and she was personally handling it. I paid the amount from my BOA checking account. Happy about the rate reduction I then went on to make an additional 100 dollar payment thinking her telling me it was done and my rate was reduced. I made these payments ranging throughout July totaling around 400-500 dollars mostly to “enter” this rate reduction program. After I made the payment I did not receive any new statements as i was told i would and when i logged in to BOA my credit account didn’t show. On July 26th I received a letter congratulating me on being accepted into the special repayment program, it stated what my payment would be (110.00 and rate at 6.75) and just said please be sure to make the minimum payment on my statement. All in al at that point I had just paid roughly 400 or so dollars. I received a notice from IC systems saying the debt had been sent to collections on Aug 5th only days later..The lady I was dealing with in managment at BOA would not answer from then on out nor return my voicemails… i called numerous times. Anyone else I spoke with said my account was in legal status and could not talk to me. I had the acceptance letter in hand and had followed all the terms…I felt mislead and defrauded. I stopped receiving statements and all at that point. I received a letter from Glasser & Glasser on Nov 4th and havn’t heard anything until yesterday where I recieved the warrant in debt from glasser and glasser. Do I have any case at all…I have detailed records of the cals and such? Any advice would be great and do you offer services in this area of VA? thanks!

    • Robert Weed

      April 10, 2012, am30 7:36 AM
      44

      Johnny:

      1. They have to sue you in the same DISTRICT where you live. Up in Northern Virginia where I am, most of the counties are there own district. In Southside, most districts have four or five cities and counties. If you google Virginia Judicial Districts, you can look it up. But I’d bet Martinsville City and Henry County are in the same district.

      2. I’ve seen other people with that problem. When you negotiate a payment plan with the lender, “good faith” payments you make before you are accepted don’t count, according to the bank, as payments made under the plan. So you think you’ve already made the first couple payment under the plan, and they say you haven’t. This seems really unfair.

      SO, you can argue that and see what the judge says. BUT, have you kept making the payments under the plan? Assuming the answer to that is no … well, what do you want the judge to say? You owe the money, right? You are behind, even the way you tell the story, right? Doesn’t look good to me.

      You didn’t say how much money this is. Or whether you have other big credit cards out there. Is bankruptcy really what you need.

      I suggest you talk to David Cox over in Lynchburg. (434) 845-2600.

  • Johnny

    April 10, 2012, pm30 2:34 PM
    45

    Robert,

    Thanks for your reply…

    You were correct about the districts, they are in the same district yet have separate courts.
    The debt was for 5300 and what is sad is it started out much lower amount but after they raised the rate on me when I had never had a late payment on any credit account ever it shot up to around 5000 quickly.
    As far as making the other payments all of my payments were made via the BOA website simply transferring it from my BOA checking account to my credit card account however since I made that last payment and was “entered” into the plan they removed it from my online site and quit sending statements to where I could not mail the payment. I made the payments in late July upon agreement and received a confirmation letter a couple days later, at the first of August before my first payment was even set to be made my access to online site was taken away, they refused to talk to me when i called trying to make my payment and said it was sent to legal dept. and refused to talk to me.

    In regards to debt this account was for 5300 roughly and I have another credit card sent to collection/co for around 2800. And a citi credit card that has around 10k on it i am not really able to pay… they are asking for too high of payments in the agreements, I have been able to however money is running tight. Now that’s the bad…. I have a car loan through a credit union for around 18k that runs current to a month late. And a line of credit through the same credit union for around 4000 that has remained current. And 2 other small credit accounts that are current one with a 81.00 balance and the other 1200.00. The problem I am seeing is as a displaced mortgage banker I find myself in an area with one of if not the highest unemployment in the state and in trying to get back to work EVERYWHERE seems to pull your credit and I feel I am unable to obtain a job due to the negative credit info… I have even job searched outside of the banking world and its the same story…it seems to work anywhere they pull your credit. I would really love to see some legislation put into place addressing this to help people with the job market the way it is. Hope this helps address your questions regarding debt and how much and my situation of whether BK is right for me.

    thank you for your time and I enjoy reading your website! J

  • Johnny

    April 10, 2012, pm30 2:37 PM
    46

    Oh and forgot to mention as far as the judgement and assets I am judgement proof, no bank accounts to seize as well. Sad but true

  • Mariah Washington

    May 2, 2012, pm31 7:35 PM
    47

    I just received a Warrant in Debt from Glasser and Glasser out of Norfolk VA. I changed my address when I just moved so they forward it to me from the old address. Therefore when the Sheriff or Processor deliver the Warrant in Debt it will go to the wrong address. This debt is not mine as I had already tried to tell Glasser and Glasser. My name was Mariah Cash Hampton not Mariah Cash-Hampton and the signature on the paper they sent as evidence is not mine either. What should i do so I dont get a judgement?

    • Robert Weed

      May 3, 2012, am31 6:51 AM
      48

      Mariah:

      You need to show up in court and dispute it. You also see a lawyer who does that kind of thing. I know you don’t want to spend the money, but you really should. The good news is you may have an FDCPA violation–so you have a chance of getting Glasser or their client to pay for your lawyer.

  • What to Do About a Virginia Warrant In Debt — Warrant in Debt

    May 23, 2012, pm31 5:32 PM
    49

    […] a link to a short blog about a guy who did this and beat the warrant in debt from […]

  • JC

    June 21, 2012, pm30 7:50 PM
    50

    I am currently working to clean up my credit report and only have 1 company left to get resolution with. Midland Credit Management, Midland Funding LLC ( I asked for validation and they deleted the MCM report from my credit reports and re-reported as new with the name of Midland Funding LLC. They are refusing to talk to me on the phone. What can I do? They are holding me hostage from getting my loan for a new home.

    • Robert Weed

      June 22, 2012, pm30 4:25 PM
      51

      JC:

      I need to know more….did they sue you? Is that why you are posting this under warrant-in-debt? Or is this just a collection…what do they claim they are collecting? Why do you say they can’t collect???

  • Katrhyn

    July 5, 2012, am31 9:29 AM
    52

    My husband recived a warrat in debt from matthew linkie by mail for an august 8th trail date but nothing ever was tape to the door or served. he is being sued on behalf of arrowood indemnity for a citibank student loan that they claim default in march of 2008. what is the statue of limitations? also there were no clerk signatures on the documents he received by mail, but ir does appear on the court system docket. how should i proceed.

    • Robert Weed

      July 5, 2012, am31 10:28 AM
      53

      Kathryn:

      August 8 is still pretty far away, so I expect the sheriff will get to your door in time. With a copy of the clerk’s signature on that one.

      I don’t know what the statute of limitations would be on the student loans–the agreement you signed probably said what law applies–I don’t have it and you probably don’t either. But if they have a copy of your husband’s signature it is probably at least five years and maybe longer.

  • Katrhyn

    July 5, 2012, am31 11:14 AM
    54

    The company listed on the suit is the first time i have ever heard of it and my husband has never received any kind of paperwork from this company and i have made payments to a collections company after the original date listed on the account as delinquint. I dont see those included on any documents either. Should i send a letter to the lawyer for the company requesting documents proving their legal right to colelct this debt or wait until a the first hearing, then request a bill of preference and present them at a trial?

  • Sean A.

    September 28, 2012, pm30 10:33 PM
    55

    Hi Robert,
    Do you have any recommendations on a lawyer in the VA Beach area? I am surprisingly being sued by a debt buyer for $1400. I suppose it’s worth the effort for them since most people do not show up and contest. However, I am wondering if it might be cheaper for ME to see what they offer as settlement before trial instead of hiring a lawyer. Once I ask for a trial, I’m sure they will be thinking the same thing – weighing their cost versus settling or dropping the suit. My guess is that I might break even either way. One thing i Do NOT want to risk though, is to have this settlement agreement still result in a judgement, I have heard horror stories about that. So my second question is whether there a way to word the settlement acceptance so that this does not happen?

    • Robert Weed

      September 29, 2012, am30 7:25 AM
      56

      Sean:

      Sorry, I don’t know any lawyers in Virginia Beach area that do that kind of work.

      You for sure want to show up at the warrant in debt return date and ask for a trial. If you SETTLE between the warrant in debt and the trial date, you could certainly still show up for the trial, so they don’t ACCIDENTALLY put in a judgment.

      You want the agreement to say they will dismiss the case and you want to show up on the trial date and make sure they do… I’d guess they would then want payment before the trial date, or they might not agree.

  • Sean A.

    September 29, 2012, pm30 12:55 PM
    57

    Thanks, I planned on showing up. I understand that judges tend to grill you and get you to admit the debt so that it doesn’t go to trial, I suppose because they prefer to keep the trials to a minimum when they suspect that most debtors really do owe. Any tips for communicating with the judge without sounding confrontational or rude? I suppose I would be red-faced if he/she were to ask me if I never heard of the original creditor before. I could say yes I have, but I not know who the debt buyer is and request a trial, or is that saying too much?

  • marie

    December 28, 2012, pm31 7:22 PM
    58

    I am being sued for 3100 for an old Home depot account. Can they garnish my checking account with my husband and I on account?

    • Robert Weed

      December 28, 2012, pm31 7:26 PM
      59

      Marie:

      Yes, if they get a judgment on the warrant in debt, then they can garnish your checking account with your husband.

  • Sesan W

    December 2, 2013, pm31 4:46 PM
    60

    Hello – Midland Funding tried to deliver the BP to my home via FedEx, but I was out of town so it was returned to them. The VA General District court website (Virginia beach is where the court is) shows that they did deliver the copy to the courts successfully and on time. What are my options? Should I / How do I get a copy of the BP now? Will contacting Midland and asking for it be used against me somehow? Can I get it from the court? Not sure what to do from here. I can’t prepare a grounds of defense with no BP to work from. Thanks for your assistance.

    • Robert Weed

      Robert Weed

      December 2, 2013, pm31 10:42 PM
      61

      Sesan:

      I have no idea. I don’t think Fed Ex counts as delivery if you don’t get it. but I have NO IDEA what you should do. Sorry.

  • Malikah McNeal

    January 14, 2014, am31 4:23 AM
    62

    Alternative Finance Company, LLC dba Redial
    https://virginianocreditcheckloans.com
    4876 Princess Anne Rd.
    Suite #108
    Virginia Beach, VA. 23462
    757-523-7368

    Complaints:
    The payment amounts fluctuate. I initially authorized the lender that they could send me text messages as a reminder for when the payments are due and also tell me the amount that is due.
    On December 12th, I received a text message from 510-629-1086 (Mr. Price) stating that $87.00 would be due on December 12th, 2013. At that time, I explained that my employment information had changed and that I was no longer paid every other Friday, but instead on the 16th and last day of every month. At that time, Mr. Price stated that he understood about the payday changes. On the 16th the amount due changed from $87.00 to $97.00 but when I called in with the payment he indicated that $102.00 was due at that time. I asked why is it that amount and he did not provide me with a clear answer. I was not able to pay the 102.00 dollars that he was requesting because I had explained that I was having some financial difficulty and had just moved, however, I had a partial payment of $50.00. At first, he would not accept the partial payment and kept insisting that he was only permitted to take the full payment amount. Eventually, he accepted the payment and at that time I told him that my next pay day was on the 31st and I could try to pay the remainder of the payment due then. However, on the 24th of December, I decided to sign up for debt consolidation because it seemed like the best option for my current situation. I also received a text message on the 24th stating that he would call me on the 30th to take the payment . I received another text on December 28th , indicating that they close at 3:00 pm on the 31st, so I needed to call in before that time. Well at that time I sent a text message back stating the following “ Please contact assurance consumer services LLC at 1-800-455-0941 with all matters regarding payments and my account. Please discontinue all contact with me including text messages” . Despite my request for me not to receive any more communication from them, I received a voice message on Monday, December 30th stating that the assistant manager told him to tell me that they do not deal with consolidation companies and that I had until the next day December 31st at 2:00 pm to call in with a payment or it will turn into a legal matter. He stated if I did not call in the next notice I will be getting will be to go to court. The agreement on page 2 of the document states that “If your minimum monthly payment is not received by use within 10 days after it is due, we will impose a late fee in the amount of 5% of the amount past due.” On January 13, 2013, I received a Warrant in Debt (Civil Claim for Money) and a notice to appear in court on February 7th, 2014. He is indicating that I owe a debt of $1,733.26 net of any credits, with interest at 6.00% from date of Sept 7, 2013 until paid $ 44.00 costs and $0.00 attorney fees with the basis of this claim being an open account. How could I owe this outrageous amount when the original sum that I borrowed was only for $400.00 and as of today on their website when I check my account balance it says the following:
    Loan Amount: $400.00
    Current Interest Due: $115.75
    Payoff Amount: $494.23

    Is it even legal to sue an almost additional $1200 for something that I didn’t borrow? I took this loan out on September 7th and have been making payments prior to this incident.

  • RENEE

    November 30, 2015, pm30 5:44 PM
    63

    Dear Mr. Weed,
    My father received a warrant in debt for a breach of a (private) student loan that was extended to me. As co-signer, he now has carries this burden after I defaulted on the loan and could not pay. The loan is now owed by the National Collegiate Student Loan Trust, at least that is what the summons shows but I’m not sure if they do have true ownership, or whether or not the balance due is accurate. The only document we received with the summons was the promissory note and an affidavit and verification of account notice from another party. Confusing. Anyway, does your advice in asking for a trial, etc also apply in our case? I will most likely hire an attorney and fight in his defense. Thank you kindly.

    • Robert Weed

      December 2, 2015, am31 11:20 AM
      64

      Renee:

      I’m seeing a lot of that–lawsuits on defaulted private student loans. Somebody has obviously decided to get on those. You absolutely need to ask for a trial and line up a lawyer to fight it. Some of these I’m seeing have a statute of limitations defense. If they leave you alone for too long, six years, maybe less, they are too late. Definitely line up a lawyer.

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