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Sued by Department Stores National Bank — What to Do

Chloe Meltzer | January 10, 2024

Legal Expert
Chloe Meltzer, MA

Chloe Meltzer is an experienced content writer specializing in legal content creation. She holds a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, complemented by a Master’s in Marketing from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: Got Department Stores National Bank after you for a past due balance? Worried they'll take everything you've got? Learn how to stand up to them and win in court.

Department Stores National Bank is a bank created to handle the credit cards that consumers can apply for. For example, at check out, often Macy's or Bloomingdale's, or even Nordstrom, will offer you the opportunity to sign up for their “card” to receive a percentage off your check. This “card” is actually a credit card that you will need to be approved for. This method of coercion is used all over the United States and most consumers do not even realize what they are getting themselves into. This is not a “real bank” and you will need to call the customer service number on the back of your card to contact someone about it.

In many cases, you might find yourself being sued by Department Stores National Bank. This will come as a letter from a law office threatening a lawsuit for payment on one of your bills. It is not rare, and many consumers receive these letters. This can occur if you forget about the card, simply do not pay a bill, or go overdue for a long period. You must respond to this lawsuit because if you do not, then you may have a default judgment placed against you. This can go even further and get much worse, as it can lead to wage garnishment or money being taken directly from your bank account.

Use SoloSuit to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in 15 minutes.

Being sued for debt

When you forget to pay your credit card, commonly, you will be sent to collections, and following that, a lawsuit will be placed against you. This is extremely common with millions of people suffering the same fate. The way you approach the lawsuit will have everything to do with the results.

Debt collection lawsuits begin when a creditor files a complaint with a state civil court. This will place you as the defendant, along with any other person that is on the credit card. You will be sent the complaint (along with the summons) and it should state why you are being sued, and what they want from you. Often this will be how much you owe with interest tacked on, and maybe even court costs and lawyer fees.

You will officially be “served” with the debt notice which is a delivery of the complaint and summons to your home. This is required to contain information regarding how to file in court and the date of your hearing.

What debt collectors don't want you to know

Debt collectors typically assume that you will throw the summon away and will not attend the hearing. This is actually extremely common and is something you need to avoid. This allows the creditor to automatically win the case, and be given a default judgment. With this, the creditor can then place liens against your property, garnish your wages, and even freeze your assets. This is why you must respond.

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How to respond to a debt lawsuit

Gather information on the debt and debt collector

In many cases, the creditor suing you is not your original creditor, but if you are being sued by Department Stores National Bank, then they most likely are. In many cases, though the debt may be sold or given to a debt collector to collect the debt. In this case, they may not have the proper information or records to collect on the debt. Although this is rare in cases of Department Stores National Bank, it never hurts to try.

Be sure to review your records and any information that was given to you from the debt case. You should have received a validation letter, and this can determine the following:

  • Who the creditor is
  • If the amount is correct
  • If you owe the debt justly
  • If the debt is past the statute of limitations: This is a law that time-bars the debt. It means that after this period is up, you can no longer be sued for the debt. This makes the lawsuit illegal and it will be dropped. Despite this, you will still owe the debt so it is important to eventually pay it off.

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Respond to the lawsuit

When responding to a debt lawsuit you need to do so within the amount of time listed on your summons. You typically have 20 to 30 days from when you get served to file a response to the lawsuit. If you do not respond you put your bank account, wages, or property at risk. You may then also lose the ability to fight the lawsuit at all.

This can be complicated, but it is essential you do it. You will need to pay a fee to the court clerk, and they can help guide the process.

Know what to present at the hearing

Going to your hearing is another essential step. In this case, you will need to decide what you want to pay or can pay, and it is also time to make your defense or work out a deal. If you owe the debt you can attempt to settle the debt for less than you owe. This is called a settlement. Another option is to set up a payment plan to make paying off the debt easier.

If you do not think that you should be required to pay then you will need to make your case. In the case of a Department Store credit card, the only reasons you should not be required to pay would be if you return the items, you signed the original credit agreement based on falsehoods, or the items were delivered to you defectively when ordered by mail. Most often these will not cut it, and you will need to explore other avenues.

Other avenues might include asking the company to sue you to prove the debt, and the other avenue would be to look to the statute of limitations. If it has expired then the debt lawsuit will be lifted, and you can figure out another way to pay off the debt, or ignore it and allow it to negatively affect your credit.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James

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>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance

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