My husband & I was refinancing our home in 3/05. Unfortunately, my husband had a debt listed on his credit report to Cavalry Portfolios for close to $5k (which was for a furniture account to Helig & Meyers back in 9/00-the company went bankrupt). Though we disagreed with the amount as we didnt buy anywhere near that much in furniture, we were told by the lender we had to pay off the debt in order to refi. So we did.
About 3-4 months later, my husband received a letter from the Law Offices of Winn & Simms stating he owed this debt (which showed less in the letter than what we paid by about $600) & he had 30 days to dispute the debt. I immediately sent Winn & Simms a certified letter/return receipt disputing the amount of the debt & the validity of the debt. We also requested copies of all the records they had on this debt & how they came to the amount owed. I had saved a copy of the check from the Title Company before mailing it to Cavalary when the debt was paid & got a copy of the cancelled check from the Title company showing Cavalary had cashed it.
This proof was mailed to Winn & Simms along with the certified letter. Someone from that office contacted my husband about 3 months later stating they were willing to settle the debt. My husband stated he was not paying the debt twice & they never sent us the requested information. My husband advised the individual that they had proof the debt was paid via the front & back copy of the cancelled check from the Title company. The person advised my husband that proof was not good enough. Winn & Simms continued to call our home more than 10 times over the next couple of months trying to get him to pay the debt. My husband advised the person the Title instructed us that is the only proof they could give.
Next thing we knew he got served with lawsuit papers about 3 months later. My husband filed an answer to the lawsuit (however the paralegal failed to tell him that he needed other papers filed too) so failed to file a Notice of Opposition or answer the Interrogatory questions (refusing to listen to my advise but the court clerk instead). The judge would not make a decision without both parties appearing for 6/5/06-I think. I deal with child support attorneys daily so it was nothing for me to approach the bench with my husband & go at it with the attorney for Winns & Simms (especially since I am the one that handles all of the bills & transactions with the lenders).
The attorney wanted the judge to issue a judgment since my husband failed to file a Notice of Opposition & wanted sanctions as my husband didnt answer the interrogatory questions. They judge agreed with me as we had no knowledge of the process for responding to this type of motion & allowed my husband to file the needed documents by 6/23/06 & continued the court date to 7/7/06. Well, my husband finally took my advice & contacted an attorney instead of letting the paralegal type the papers & had the right documents typed up by an attorney. Oddly enough after the attorney sent Winn & Simms a copy of the filed papers, my husband received a Notice to Vacate from them 4 days ago as they wish to not pursue the case. We have spent over $2k in legal/filing fees for this lawsuit which caused a huge hardship for our family.
Please help us, there must be a way we can get this money back from them after they practically made us pay this debt again by fighting them as well as receiving punitive damages for malicious prosecution. Now they just want to drop it, almost like a slap in the face. I called a few consumer attorneys & the only advice given was to file a small claims suit against them. To me that is not enough to make up for all the stress they have put our family through. Does anyone know of any attorney that will help us without requesting money up front? This case has tapped us out.