My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: West Virginia.
I'm a graduate student in West Virginia. I'm unemployed, and have been for two years now. I live off of a small scholarship that my University awarded me, and the excess monies from student loans.
When I lost my job two years ago, it became impossible to continue to make payments on my Discover Card. For nearly a year now, I have been continuously receiving bills from Discover, and though I have repeatedly informed them that I have no income, they have continued to send bills unabated.
Yesterday, I received a notice via priority mail that my account would be sent to an attorney who would proceed to file a lawsuit if I did not immediately pay the balance of $1800 and change.
Anyway, what I would like to know is whether or not this is simple bluster on account of Discover. I have never heard of an account with such a low balance being subject to a lawsuit.
Also, as I have no income, hiring an attorney is out of the question. Are there any free legal services of which I may be able to avail myself, should the need arise?
Finally, in the worst-case scenario that Discover proceeds with legal action against me, which personal property is exempt from collection?
I don't own a vehicle, I rent, and aside from two very old computers, an ancient window unit air conditioner, and one equally old television, I have no salable assets.
Would I be able to keep my clothing, and the books that I need to continue my education? For that matter, the books (novels, etc.) in my personal collection? My pots and pans?
What is a creditor allowed to seize in my state of West Virginia?
I would greatly appreciate any help or advice that anybody has to offer.