Hello, I'm sorry to bother you all with a query you've likely heard a million times, but I was hoping to seek advice on my specific situation.
My boyfriend accumulated some credit card debt from 1999-2001. He lost his job from downsizing in 2001, and while he attempted to work with the creditors who were willing, others were not, leading to some deliquent credit card debt.
Today, he received a summons today regarding a ~ $1500 balance. It appears that the debt was bought by an agency "Elite Recovery Systems" who is now being represented by a law firm in KY.
I have been reading a bit on the subject, but I have no background in law and am a bit confused as to how to proceed. He cannot afford an attorney to represent him because he only works part-time and is in graduate school.
1) Should we request a letter of validation? After reading that this is part of his rights under the FDCPA, I told him to ask the law firm for validation when he called them. The creditor whom he spoke with seemed to be a bit flustered by this, he told me, and she stated that they only have one piece of paperwork (if it is the same that was sent to is it is only a letter from Elite giving his name and the amount of debt - isn't more information than that required?). He asked that it be sent to him. Should he send a letter to that effect, requesting the same information?
2) If they are unable to provide sufficient validation, is the case dropped?
My main questions are:
Is it better to settle now for the $980 they are willing to take as settlement (they won't negotiate further) or go to court and allow the judge to decide, after seeing my boyfriend's poor financial situation? Do you think that going to court can result in a good outcome, i.e., can the "settlement" be reduced further according to means to pay (or even dropped completely)?
Thank you in advance for any insight you can offer me.