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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 102584
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Ive been summoned to appear in washington superior court in

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I've been summoned to appear in washington superior court in the matter of outstanding credit card debt. The plaintiff is a debt collector. The debt was incurred by my S Corp, of which I am an officer. When I signed the card agreement, I did not sign to be personally responsible. I contacted Amex and got a copy of my agreement and see nowhere confirmation of my personal liability.

While I am not aware of any change in my card agreement status, I'm not clear on whether I should respond in any way to the debt collector regarding the summons... attached is a flyer suggesting I contact them regarding a settlement.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me:

1) Is the S-Corp still active?
2) Are they suing both the S-Corp and you, or just you?
3) Looking through the complaint, are you seeking any verbiage like "corporate shell" or "pierce the veil?"

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No language such as you've mentioned. They are not suing the company. The S Corp is still active.

Thank you, Ian. Apologies in advance for the momentary wait while I am typing out the answer...
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I understand that sometimes Amex changes the agreements without expressed written consent, but am unaware of such a change having taken place.

Amex, has not addressed any written communication to me personally, though they have attempted to contact my home.


If this turns out to be the case (I am now responsible) should I attempt to deal directly with Amex... or the debt collector from whom the summons letter came from?

What has occurred here was that you were using "agency" on behalf of a corporation, or rather, you were acting as the agent.

A corporation is a separate legal entity. When acting on behalf of it, one is acting as an agent to create binding agreements on it behalf. See First Church v. Dunton Realty, 574 P. 2d 1211 - Wash: Court of Appeals, 3rd Div. 1978 (general discussion of agency). The agent themselves is typically not liable for the agreement made unless there is fraud or malicious intent.

Ergo, the company should have sued the CORPORATION, but, they have sued you, either by accident (not understanding the original agreement), or, on purpose (hoping that you would either default or otherwise simply settle the matter).

Someone in your situation may wish to (1) file an ANSWER stating that the suit against you is improper, and (2) file a MOTION TO DISMISS on said grounds.

Not filing anything may have them file for default judgment, and the matter would be over even before it begins.

Any negotiation should be with the company that has filed the suit, so if it is the collection agency, then it should be them, or rather, the counsel behind the suit.

May I recommend the Washington Bar referral program by county - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

Also, let me know if you need a template answer, that I may have. Best of luck.

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