Hello everyone. My question pertains to a civil suit in Georgia, and I am in a bind and need advice immediately. I received a notice from a credit agency named Georgia Receivables, INC. Assignee of First USA Bank NA Partners around mid June (the date on the notice was June 13th), although I wasn't sure what it was until I found the letter yesterday on September 3rd. I was scheduled to move from Georgia to Connecticut the week that this notice arrived, and did not open it. Upon finding it after the move (yes it has been a couple of months and I forgot what mail was received shortly before moving day), I called the agency to question the account. My letter stated that I owe $9,053.20, but upon talking to the clerk, I was informed that I was already being taken to court for $10,147.67. I informed the clerk that I had not heard of the client they were representing and inquired if it were possible it was for another company. There was silence for a long time, upon which they said that it went back to a Wachovia card from 2003.
I did have a Wachovia account a long time ago that went bad after I was evicted from my home for losing a job and my marraige ended in 2001. I do not remember the exact date of the last payment, although to the best of my recollection it was in 2001, and no later than early 2002. I believe that the 2003 date was made up to deceive me into believing that my debt would still be in the newly instituted 6 year statute of limitations for Georgia, and I was advised that the only way for them to stop the lawsuit would be to send them 50% of the current balance. I did not make a payment and told them that they would just have to proceed with the lawsuit.
After speaking to the attorney's office, I contacted the clerk of the Superior Court of Decatur County, Georgia, and found that in fact, a lawsuit had been filed, and a summons had been attempted to be served on me on August 12th. Of course I had already moved, and on the 18th, I "Dilligent Search" note was placed in my file by the deputy that was attempting to serve me in person. I am assuming since they were not sucessfully able to serve me in person by the 18th, that the original serve date of August 12th applies, which means I have until September 11th to file an answer with the court and the plaintiff's lawyer. This includes mail time from Connecticut, so basically, I have only a couple of days to prepare my answer or any other documentation and get it in the mail!
I realize I have a couple of ways I can go about pursuing this case, but I really am just frustrated by now not knowing where to go on this. If I do need to retain a lawyer, I want to wait until the case goes forward, not to file an answer for me. I just can't afford one. So, do I file to dismiss based on the fact that I don't live in Georgia anymore, file an intent to defend (is that separate from an answer?), write an answer stating that I don't have enough information to confirm or deny the debt claimed (I have never had it validated by them and do not know who their client is for sure), or file using the SOL defense of 6 years in Georgia and attempt to get the case dropped that way?
Just a little extra info: On the lawsuit, the client name has been changed on the summons from the last correspondence from George Receivables, INC. Assignee of First USA Bank NA to Georgia Receivables, INC, Assignee of Chase Bank USA NA (don't know if that makes any difference), I have pulled my Experian credit report and can find no records of of either agency on them, or any other credit cards for that matter that are not in good standing, and I have attempted to have my bank records back home pulled from 2001, 2002, and 2003 to see when my last payment to my credit cards were made should they be able to link me to another debt I recognize. I am having to send a written request to them because I can't remember my password, and would have to send them payment for these records after they are pulled before they can be sent to me, and then they would have to mail them to me for me to see them. That would take about three weeks and I don't have that kind of time right now. Also, of the $10,147.67 they are requesting, $5,840.64 is the principal, and $3,266.33 is interest. While I don't think there are caps for interest rates on credit cards, which is probably the case with this, I have never heard of a compounded 56% interest rate! So what do I file to avoid a default judgment?
I realize this is a lot of information, and I appreciate any help I can get. I have been doing my homework for two days and need to get my documentation completed and sent out ASAP. Thank you so very much, and God Bless.