Re: Discover Card Threatening Legal Action
Yes, they might very well still sue you (even for the small amt. of your balance) & get a judgment against you. They can then seize all non-exempt assets in your state. Even if you have no assets at this time, in West Virginia a judgment is good for a total of 20 years - so even if you haven't anything to seize at this time, you might in the future.
West Virginia Post-Judgment Asset Exemptions
Homestead: Real or personal property, including co-op, used as residence, up to $15,000.
Pensions and Retirement Benefits: ERISA-qualified plans. Funds exempt for public employees. IRA exemptions for conventional, Roth, SEP and SIMPLE plans. IRAs limited to amounts that are necessary for the support of the debtor and his dependents. Warning: No protection for IRAs that are established by an "insider" of the debtor. This provision could eliminate the protection otherwise offered to small business owners by SEP and SIMPLE plans.
Insurance: Life insurance payments from policy of person who supported debtor, needed for support. Unmatured life insurance if debtor owns policy and insured is debtor or person who supports debtor. Group life insurance policy or proceeds. Health or disability benefits. Fraternal society benefits.
Personal Property: Animals, crops, clothing, appliances, books, furnishings, musical instruments up to $400 per item, $8,000 total. Burial plot to $7,500, in lieu homestead. Payment for lost earnings. Motor vehicle up to $2,400. Jewelry up to $1,000. Personal injury recoveries up to $7,500 (excluding pain and suffering). Wrongful death recoveries needed for support.
Tools of Trade: Tools and implements up to $1,500.
Miscellaneous: Business partnership property. Alimony. Child support.
Wages: Greater of 80% of wages or 30 times federal minimum hourly wage.
Public Benefits: Unemployment compensation. Workers' compensation. Social Security. Veteran's benefits. Aid to blind, aged and disabled. AFDC. General assistance. Crime victim's compensation.
Wild Card: $800 of any property. Unused portion of homestead or burial exemption for any property.
Re your question about maybe needing a lawyer but you don't have the money for one, you might try a local law school, or local bar association & see what they might be able to do for you for no fee or a small fee.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.