A client of mine was sued in the Mobile County Small Claims Court by a Asset Acceptance, LLC. The lawsuit asked for a judgment of $2,399.63 including court costs and interest. The debt was based on an account with Dell Financial Services, and was filed under an “Account stated” theory. An account stated lawsuit is basically where you think someone owes you money, but you may not be able to prove a contract existed between the parties. To win on an account stated, you have to show that money was borrowed, that the lender drew up a statement of account showing just what was owed, and the borrower agreed to or somehow accepted that statement of account.
In some places, an account stated has a shorter statute of limitations than a contract, but in Alabama, both are six years. The suit was brought within 4 years of the last alleged payment.
Because it was small claims court, I made a settlement offer to the Plaintiff: $400 plus court costs. That is a deep discount – more than 75% off the original debt, and the credit card lawyer complained about it like they always do, but they know the risk of going to court and losing, so they accepted the deal.
Potential Liability: $2399.63
Total Savings: $1960.74
And the South Alabama stimulus package rolls on…