My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Alabama
I had a credit card with Capital One when I was 18. I have since paid it off (two years ago) and closed the account. I was served with a summons for small claims court last week about a $900 debt with Capital One. I found a statement from my old account that is now closed, and the account number didn't match the account # listed on the summons. So, I went to the atty's office that's suing me and I showed them the statement from my true account. They told me that Capital One stated that I actually had two accounts with them (but I only knew of one). The acct I'm being sued for was opened when I was only 17. The atty's office gave me a copy of the application which was hand written and a copy of the last 4 or 5 statements, all of which had no activity or info other than "past due" and "please pay now". I can not say for sure if it is my writing or not (It's been 5 years). The application did have my correct address and everything on it was my true info except my birthday which the year had been changed. I can not say that I never got a bill for this account, because I did have a real acct with them, so when I would see a Cap One statement, I would usually shread it before even opening it, as I monitored and paid my bill online.
I went to the atty's office the one time and gave them a copy of the statement from my closed account and showed them the #s didn't match. Also, the acct they're suing me for was in my middle name. Every card/account/titles I have ever had was under my full name, first middle and last. When I met with them, the guy said there had never been a payment made on the account, and he pretty much told me it would have had to have been someone in my household that opened it and unless I "wanted to have my mother or sister put in jail, I should just pay the money". I know this was scare tactics and I understand they're trying to get money any way they can, but I am worried that if I do pay the debt, even though it is not mine, it will still be on my credit report.
So, my question is:
1.) Can I ask that they validate the account?
-The handwritten application they gave me could have very well been the one I truely filled out for the card I did have. At 17-18 years old, I'm sure I filled out a ton of them, I was young and dumb. But I truly did not know this account existed until I was served with summons (I haven't purchased a car or ran my credit in over 3 years).
2.) Should I go to court or just pay it?
-It looks bad. The card was supposedly sent to my real address, and everything was correct on the application.