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I am so distraught that I have shingles. I am a woman age 53 on SSI disability and living in HUD apts.  I have bad credit BUT I do not recall owing a 2006 Citibank USA, NA credit card that Midland Funding bought and is having an ALabama atty to sue me;I have been served;I did respond, court is mid February AND crazy as it sounds, I have panic disorder and other physical pains that make me a nervous wreck and I just plain cannot face the thought of court, judge,;no matter why I amn there. I always avoid court-BUT the suit is 5.5 yrs old and I may owe it but I just don't know.  I have NEVER heard a word from Midland Funding about this debt.  When I pulled just one credit rept I seen that one PLUS 2 more Midland bought from T mobile back in 2010 and a TRIBUTE Mastercard from 2009 that I do not recognize(I do the Tmobile) bothe on the rept have discrepancies on dates and amounts vs what Midland says.  I hear Alabama statutes on cred card is 3 years-can u verify that-I dunno if websites are accurate and that is my source. WORST thing is my 96 yr old Mom lives at what was her house till last year when she deeded me part and my 3 kids the other part-so there are 4 people on the deed but mom lives there and reserved herself a life estate when she deeded me her 25% last year...could MF have found that out and that is why they seems determined to go to court? Mama is crying, she is old, it is her house and she is declining mentally and physically and just going down fast and this has set her back a country mile afraid she will lose her home over this with a judgment or lien or whatever. Can u check and see if this is possible since 4 of us are on the deed not just me.  And can I give my part away to one of my sons;I was going to anyway--then they cant bother mamas house which aint even worth $40,000...this is so pitiful.  ANd what do I do about the 2 other charge offs they bought that they may hurl at me next?/ I asked about Ch 7 bkruptcy and was told I cant cause I part own a paid for house, humble as it is. Anything on my credit is past 5 yrs old except that Tmo and I am so nervous over my Mom that I cannot think right.  I cannot afford to pay the suit ($1050.80) to Midland for CITIBANK USA. PLEASE offer me advice. I can say the 3 Midland Fundings on my report are the lawsuit onbe and TMO that has bloomed to $950.00 and that TRIBUTE Mastercard at $800.00. I have no extra $ BUT maybe God will send me a helper IF u think a offer to settle will save the house from Midland and keeo me from having to go in court in mid Feb.. THANK YOU

Answer
First, calm down - you are in a much stronger position than you can imagine.

First, they cannot take mom's house away for two reasons: First, mom's Life Estate. Second, you are not the sole owner.

Second, you are basically uncollectable. They are suing over an Out of Statute debt. YES, the Alabama Statute of Limitations on credit card debt is 3 years. That's not internet hearsay, that's from Alabama Statutes Section 6.2.37  When you go to Court you will tell the Judge that the claim is time-barred by Alabama law and cite that reference. While you are at it you will inform the Judge that you are filing a counterclaim against the attorney for $1,000 Statutory Damages for the attorney's violating the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 USC 1692e where it has been ruled that filing suit on an Out of Statute debt is a violation of the "false and misleading statements" prohibition.

Third,  even if you lose in Court, which I believe is highly unlikely because of the Statute of Limitations defense, you are Judgment Proof. They cannot take or garnish your SSI. That is also Federal law - 42 USC 407(a). (USC stands for United States Code - Federal laws)

You say you filed an Answer to the lawsuit. I would file an Amended Answer and include the SOL defense and the FDCPA Counterclaim. Several years ago I set up a web site - www.debtorboards.com - to show people how to do all this. I suggest you pay a visit there. It is totally free and you will get lots of help.

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Steve Katz

Expertise

Debt Collection, Credit Reporting, FCRA, FDCPA, TCPA issues

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Founder of Debtorboards, co-author of Debtsmanship, former Collector, Credit Counselor

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MBA

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