What to do about a civil action hearing notice in another state?

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What to do about a civil action hearing notice in another state?

Today my husband received a civil action hearing notice in the mail for a credit card he had 3 years ago. The balance was for under $1000 and they want to take him to court for the balance plus the fees. We have moved several times and now live out of state. To my knowledge I have never received anything from the debt company about this card and now they want to sue him. I have personally have several credit cards in the past and have never been taken to court for them. Any help would be great. My husband is in the military and doesn’t have time to go to this hearing 1000 miles away!

Asked on September 27, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You have a whole lot on your side here but you need to act quickly in this matter.  First,I would contact the court in which the hearing is scheduled.  Ask to speak with a law clerk or a law secretary in the court that the hearing is to be held.  There is generally a Part or a Courtroom listed and sometimes a Judge.  If it is a specially set up part that has rotating judges then ask to speak with the law secretary of the judge sitting on the date you are to appear.  When you get through explain that you received this notice and that you are 1000 miles away and that your husband is in the military.  Explain that you have never been served with any paperwork or any notices of a debt owed.  Get a fax number for the court.  Next, contact the attorneys listed on the paperwork and get a name and fax number.  Write the attorneys a letter putting in all above and then fax it to them and to the court.  Put a contact number for you. Also put in that you wish to have them "validate" the debt, meaning that you want a copy of the original contract, a history of charges and payments on the account and their right of assignment of the debt.  Really your husband has to do this as the card is in his name.  If he is on active duty then write that and put in that you have been authorized by him to make inquiry.  This should be enough to get you though to settlement or some other resolution.  Good luck. 


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