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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Lawsuit Against a Mentally Ill Debtor

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Illinois and Texas

    Mentally ill alcoholic wife applies to Target for a credit in Texas (her resident state) while we are seperated and amazingly they give her one (while unemployed!). She charges up $6000 of merchandise and can't pay. She then floats around several states during a one year period, in drug and alcohol treatment. The entire time she's being called on her cell phone by collectors attempting to collect. While in Illinois in yet another treatment center, an Illnois law firm/collector hired by Target catches up with her and finds out where her local treatment center is there and files suit against her in Rock Island County and attempts to serve her. They are unsuccessul at service. She moves back to Texas, and then she floats around to various halfway houses, etc., never putting in a change of address. During this time, she verbally agrees to a payment plan she can't afford so they wont "push" the lawsuit.

    I told her to get law firm to send a written agreement or hold off agreement to confirm the agreement/plan before she pays them anything and they don't do this (they say they just dont do that, no reasons given). Nonetheless she makes 3-4 payments and then quits. Lawsuit is still on file but no activity since a year ago (I can see it on internet). She never "answered" but there is no judgement, it just shows the last action as court issued approval for an "alias summons". I don't think she's been properly "served" yet in accordance with law. She has called the law firm and again asked for written agreement, and if I understand it right, the law firm is saying that they can't communicate with her for some reason because she's now in Texas, but they aren't telling her why? I'm trying to figure out why? Is this a jusridictional issue or Fair Credit Debt Collection problem, which may be why they haven't pushed things?

    Why haven't they or the court dismissed this year old suit? I was thinking she may ought to file a motion to dismiss this case for want of prosecution, but maybe its better to leave a sleeping dog lie? Here in Texas they do a good job of moving inactive cases off the docket.

    I'm very upset that Target would give a credit card to a long term mentally ill person. They must have done NO background check on her. Moreover, I'm very concerened how this could come back to bite me as we are unbeliveably still married (though still seperated). Why doesn't Target re-file this suit in Texas if there is a juridictional problem?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Lawsuit Against a Mentally Ill Debtor

    If somebody is saying "We can't talk to you because you're in Texas", she's probably talking to a collection agency that's not licensed to collect bills in Texas, not a law firm handling a lawsuit against her.

    We can't tell you why the case has not been prosecuted or dismissed, although the court won't let it sit forever. I'm not sure how you believe a motion would help - also, filing a motion could resolve any service and jurisdictional issues in favor of the creditor.

    How is Target supposed to know that a store card user is mentally ill, or that her mental illness is of a type that would allow them to lawfully deny her credit? What sort of background check do you imagine a creditor could do to find a history of mental illness - it's not going to be on a credit report, and medical records are confidential.

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