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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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i just received a summons yesterday 10/31 from a cook county

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i just received a summons yesterday 10/31 from a cook county sheriff in illinois. the case is from a third party collections company (the original account was from chase card). in the summons it is stating that i have to file a "written appearance by yourself of your attorney and pay the required fee". i don't have a lot of money and i can't afford a lawyer. what to i do? i've read in websites not to call the plaintiff's attorney and that if i fight this i will most likely win because third party collections do not have the proper paper work. i don't even know how much i orginally owe. the only exhibits they have is that they bought 630 accounts from chase totalling over 2 mil dollars. any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Tina replied 6 years ago.

I am an attorney and will strive to provide you with legal information to assist you but cannot give you legal advice, represent you, or enter into an attorney-client relationship through this open forum. Do you accept these provisions as well as's disclaimer?

Please respond with a Yes or No to continue. Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Expert:  Tina replied 6 years ago.
Thank you.

Do you know how many years have lapsed since there was any activity on the account (payments or charges)?

Do you think it was a credit card debt?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

i believe it's only been 2 or 3 years. and it's from a chase credit card company. they're suing for about 5k. again, i don't remember the last balance from that account.

Expert:  Tina replied 6 years ago.
I see.

If there is any chance that it has been 5 years or more, then you should raise the statute of limitations as a defense.

You will need to file a response/answer to the petition to avoid allowing the company to obtain a default judgment against you, but the filing fee should have been paid by the plaintiff, not you. They can seek court costs in the petition, in addition to the account balance.

It is best to retain at least an experienced paralegal to assist you in drafting and filing the appropriate documents. That is a much less expensive alternative than an attorney, but they are not permitted to represent you.

Your answer will either admit or deny each allegation set forth in the petition and include any affirmative defenses such as the statute of limitations at the bottom of your answer.

As long as you file timely, it will ultimately require the company to prove the amount you owe through documentation. If they fail to carry their burden of proof, then you would typically move to dismiss the case.

Best regards,



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i just spoke to a lawyer on the phone who pretty much told me the same thing. but one question i have for you is where do i get a paralegal? can i find one the day i go to court?
Expert:  Tina replied 6 years ago.
It's best to hire a paralegal now, to help you prepare the answer that needs to be filed. The yellow pages is typically a good source for locating one. They can't represent you in court, but should be able to help you prepare for the hearing.

Don't wait until the day you go to court. It's highly unlikely you can find someone on that short of notice.

Take care!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

the lawyer advised us to go there before the court date and to file a motion to dismiss. he said i can get the forms from the court building that day we go, which we're planning on going next monday. is the form for motion to dismiss pretty straight forward where we can do it on our own?

Expert:  Tina replied 6 years ago.
You might be able to complete it on your own, but I get a lot of questions from people who have had their pleadings rejected by courts because of errors or some court rule they were not aware of. So, I typically recommend at least a paralegal. It is ultimately up to you whether to try it yourself or not.

All the best!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i just called a paralegal service company and they stated they do not work with the public and that i need to hire a lawyer.
Expert:  Tina replied 6 years ago.
Contact others then. There are usually paralegals who work as sole proprietors that could assist you.

If you cannot find a paralegal or paralegal firm in your area, then you will need to retain an attorney or try to file the documents yourself unfortunately unless there is a law school with a legal aid clinic that can assist you.
Expert:  Tina replied 6 years ago.
A law school student may be able to assist you through the school's legal clinic if you cannot locate a paralegal and cannot afford an attorney.

Take care.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

thanks so much tina!!!

Expert:  Tina replied 6 years ago.
You are very welcome!

Please don't forget to press the accept button so I am paid for my time by JA.

Thanks a lot and good luck to you!
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