Where do I begin?
In June 2006, we received a letter from Sessoms & Rogers lawyers representing Unifund in collection of a Universal Bank credit card we had never heard of. We ran credit reports and there was no Universal Bank listed, so we filed a letter of dispute with the lawyers.
Starting in July 2006, Unifund starting reporting negatively against our credit as a collection account.
We received no response from the lawyers, but on 6 August we were served with a court filing for almost $10,000, plus $1,600 in lawyer fees. We again replied in dispute, and also asked that Unifund stop reporting against our credit. The lawsuit was dropped.
Meanwhile, Unifund continued to report the account as a collection account.
In February of 2007, Unifund and their lawyers filed again at our previous address, in a different county, 130 miles away. Our previous address was my wife's hometown. This time, they filed by certified mail instead of having the sheriff come out. A postman recognized the addressee (it's a small town) and forwarded the certified letter to my wife's mother. She signed for it (not knowing who it was from or what it was about). It got tossed aside and was not sent to us for a while.
In the meantime, a default judgment was issued - which is a neat trick since we don't live in that county. When we found out what was going on, we again disputed the action, but they pressed forward anyway and had the sheriff serve the judgment - ON MY MOTHER-IN-LAW! Turns out they had my wife's name and somehow had my mother-in-law's social security number.
So now we have gotten a lawyer involved - turns out there was an old open account, but Sessoms & Rogers has been unwilling or unable to provide many details - but we are certain the SOL has passed. When we pressed for dismissal of the action based on the wrong defendant, they refused and tried to insist that my mother-in-law is actually my wife. But they did offer a settlement offer of $2000 - quite a comedown from $10K.
So it looks like we are going to court, as apparently they intend to press through with this. I don't see how they can file an action against my wife in a jurisdiction in which she does not live. Their argument is that, since we filed a response, then we must have recieved the original filing (even though my wife never signed for it - you know, there is a box on the certified mail form to check and ONLY that person can sign for it). On the other hand, if we did not respond, they get a default judgment.
By the way, they never replied to my original dispute requesting verification...
Wow, hard to believe this goes on in America - my attorney fees are now approaching $1000.
Albemarle, North Carolina