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credit card co. suit/summons served late

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Missouri

A credit card company (Capital One) has sued a friend’s mother and got judgment in its favor because court appearance papers were not served until after the court date. As a result her paycheck is now being garnished for the maximum of 25% in the state of Missouri.

In June 2002 she had a balance of $800 with a credit card company. She missed one payment and as a result was charged over $150 in late and over limit fees, higher interest, etc.. Because she has limited income she called to work out something with the creditor but they refused saying she needed to pay the $150 plus the minimum balance due. After arguing for several weeks she told them she would start paying them when they decide to work with her (obviously not a good move). After several months of calls from the creditor all calls stopped.

Fast-forward to May 19, 2006. She is served papers by a private process server to appear in court however after he left she finds out the court date was May 9, ten days earlier. The credit card company won by default and was awarded a $3500 judgment including $1570 principal and $1045 interest plus fees, attorney and other. Not knowing what to do and not having money for a lawyer she did nothing. On June 29, 2006 the creditor started garnishment against her wages.

She is a single mother taking care of her recently divorced daughter (my friend) who has three children. She has a limited income and as a result of the garnishment her daughter is now working overtime to help her mother make ends meet. Neither one can afford an attorney. She was more than willing to pay them the original balance plus fees but now the judgment is four times what is was.

What options does she have? Recommendations? Is there anything she can do herself?. Is there any liability towards the private process server for late delivery and if so how do you prove it without any documentation? Nothing she has states when the papers were delivered. There would have been no reason they couldn’t have found her as she is home during the day because she works at night. Is there anything that can be filed to stop garnishment until she has a chance to do something about the whole situation? I eagerly await your response. Thank you.


Senior Member
First of all, her mother needs to get a copy of the judgment case file from the courthouse. In it will be a proof of service and it will say when, where, how and to whom the summons was served. IF the proof of service shows a date different from the actual date she was served, and if she has proof that she WAS served AFTER the court date, then she needs to appeal the judgment. That kind of tactic, if it was a tactic, is just wrong.

The process is that you are served and given 20-30 days to answer the Complaint. You are supposed to be afforded due process and if the lawyer pulled a fast one, the she was denied her rights and needs to appeal.

If she cannot afford a lawyer, then she should seek a pro bono attorney or perhaps legal aide. Her mother CAN appeal the garnishment and may succeed in getting it stopped if she can prove hardship.


Junior Member
RE: credit card suit/summons served late

I managed to help her file a reduction of garnishment holding percentage but she is still wanting to have her right to a court date. Anyone know of a pro-bono attornet or legal aide in Kansas City, MO? I'm clueless. Let me know. Thanks!

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