I recieved a summons and complaint tonight regarding a credit card debt for (1514.55) owed to hsbc. I live in michigan and the card was opened march 4 of 04'. I do not dispute having used the card, but the limit was only $500.00. I never went over that limit.
For a while I was making my payments on time, but began to fall behind. I was regularly calling for a period of months asking what my minimum payment was ($45.00). I was making that payment by automatic check monthly. I noticed after a time in my statement that my balance owed was going up. I started making the 45 dollar payments with a balance of around $550.00 (because of late fees) and noticed after some months it went up to and above $800.00.
I called hsbc and asked why that happened and they said i was making minimum payments but not paying some of the other fees (overlimit fees etc.) I expressed frustration that I was trying to make payments to stay in good standing, and in asking what i needed to pay each month they did not tell me about the cost of the other fees, and I did not appreciate my balance inflating the way it had when i was trying to do the right thing. I asked if they would take some fees off, they said no. Now to fix it they wanted me to pay over 100 dollars per month which i could not afford. I ended payments after that point, that was around summer of 2006. I got a few letters from various collection services but i ignored them.
Now my question, I know i need to respond in a timely manner and will do so. What do i say? Im not opposed to a payment arrangement, who do i contact about that? HSBC or the Lawyers? If they do agree to a payment arrangement do i put it in the response letter or should i send the response first?
I thank anyone who takes the time to read this and can offer any help. This is the first time I have had to deal with something like this and i am concerned because i cannot afford an attorney. Thanks in advance!