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  1. Depending on the particular court, mediation appears to be required. It used to irritate my lawyer that my particular court insisted on it, while others would let it slide. If mediation happens before your MTC is ruled on, just attend and explain the situation, and suggest to the opposing lawyer that he dismiss the case in order save everyone time. The mediators are typically third year law students who probably will know less about this than you. It may be a nice opportunity to educate the meditator about this aspect of law. Anyway, AZ law, regarding arbitration is quite clear and I don't believe anyone has failed, even in the rare case where a bad ruling has to be appealed.
    3 points
  2. It does. Magistrate Court in GA is small claims and CITI I believe has a carve out for debt cases filed in small claims court prohibiting arbitration of the cases. You need to read the entire clause on arbitration in the card agreement they provided to be certain. Now for the good news: Gwinnett County is one of the largest in GA and the Magistrates that serve there are actual lawyers and judges experienced in the law. They typically are not part of the GA good ole boys network and will require evidence to rule in their favor. They also use GA pre-printed answer forms. You do not need to file a formal answer. You can go to the clerk's office and pull one off the wall. Hand fill out the details and hand it to the clerk. They will stamp it and give you a copy back. Do this about 4 days prior to the expiration of the date to answer. The reason is Magistrate Court is VERY efficient in Gwinnett and within a couple of weeks you will have a trial date within 30-60 days. Now the bad news: Magistrate Court does not allow discovery so do not stress yourself trying to come up with it. They cannot send it to you and you cannot send it to them. Due to the relaxed GA business records laws you need to watch for a letter from them giving you the opportunity to come to their offices to review the evidence they intend to use. If you fail to do this you cannot object to it. It is also trial by ambush. Meaning the date they give you that is IT. The first thing that will happen is the attorney will approach you and try to get you to settle. IF that doesn't happen the Magistrate usually gives a speech about how clear the law is and that job loss, divorce, health etc. are not legal defenses to default. If you do not have a legal defense the law is clear and he must rule for the party suing you. Then you are given time to discuss settlement options. The law firm suing you is a major debt suit factory. The good news on that is they likely will hire a local yokel who doesn't know what they are doing and is banking on you not showing and a default judgment. If you lose you can appeal which is a trial de novo meaning it starts all over. The bad news is GA often requires an appeal bond in the amount of the verdict to do that and it must be filed within 30 days of losing. Settlement discussions are inadmissible in court. You can settle any time prior to the verdict. Here is my thoughts. Read the arbitration agreement. Even if the carve out is there you can type up 3 copies of a MTC with your specific facts. To do this even with the clause present you need to be confident in your ability to argue your right to it. The argument I would take is ignorance is bliss. I don't agree with it but you have nothing to lose but them denying the motion and going to trial anyway. That is Magistrate Court is not small claims. Again, you have to be confident to argue this. My guess and it is a guess, is that lokel yokel attorney won't know what to do with that motion and could actually agree. Odds are good they ask for a continuance to talk to their client. Then they may dismiss. They might just dismiss right then seeing you showed up and you refuse to settle. If you can study up on good solid arguments on why they don't have enough evidence you could actually win in Gwinnett because the Magistrates are smart and do require evidence. If you do not feel you have the confidence or the time to put the work in to have a solid plan then keep working on settlement options. You can send a certified letter offering settlement to the attorney listed and then they will likely call you. One more thing to do: Call the law firm Skaar and Feagle. CALL do not email. They will do a first consult for free. They may take your case on a flat fee that is way cheaper than $7k and better than settlement. Often in GA JDBs fold when the defendant hires counsel. Skaar and Feagle also know who most of these lokel yokels are and how to make them go away.
    2 points
  3. Just an FYI, the mediator is going to hear the plaintiff's story and ask you how much you can pay today. They are not there to settle the case on the merits, or figure out all of the little nuances of debt collection violations. Plaintiff's lawyer, and quite possibly the mediator, will also tell you how expensive and time consuming arbitration is going to be for you. They will probably tell you mediation is the same as arbitration. While in theory, it may be, in practice it's anything but. They will try to scare you into settling, which is exactly what they get paid to do. Politely decline and insist on the arbitration "from your card agreement". I haven't really followed any court cases for a long time, but there was a spell where some courts were denying our MTCs. It was successfully appealed at least once(<----- click that link to read the appeal ruling), so worst case, as Goody said, you may have to appeal to get your MTC granted. It's better to have a court order (i.e. granted MTC) when you start arbitration. AAA/JAMS have been known to refuse to take debt collection cases with certain JDBs without a court order.
    2 points
  4. Where to begin? There is a case to be made for trying to trap another party into FDCPA violations. This rarely works, and is very dangerous. This is a double edged sword and can come back to bite you. What the heck is the point of offering to pay $1 for a dismissal without prejudice? Sorry, but that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. If they accept the offer, they can turn around and file suit again. Usually they don’t, but they could. I have had several law firms run away before suit is filed when I mentioned arbitration. The case just went to another law firm. One case wound up with the second lawyer at the fourth law firm before getting a lawyer who would actually push the case. So I took the case deep into arbitration and they accepted my settlement offer — $0 and dismissal with prejudice — just before the hearing. The suggestion of @Goody_Ouchless to offer $0 for a dismissal WITH prejudice actually makes sense. If they accept, case closed. If not, take them to arbitration and they will probably run away. Case closed. As I have pointed out before in answer to a certain poster, it is almost always better to see what someone else has done to win and follow their lead. Arizona debtors have been winning with the strategy of sticking to one’s guns in mediation and going to arbitration. Why abandon a winning strategy?
    2 points
  5. I think I'm going to attempt to get a pay for delete. If they don't accept that, I think I'll just let it sit and hope in 4 years it doesn't have too much of a hit on the score. Thanks guys.
    1 point
  6. Please check the dates of the threads to which you are responding. You’re responding to old threads.
    1 point
  7. I am in Virginia got call from Discover (not a law firm they said they were going to send to law firm if I did not settle ) 3 months after my charge off. They offered settlement of 50% on a $8500 debt. I don't have cash so we settled on 10 monthly payments of $420.00. this was in March 2020. Just to give you a data point on settling.
    1 point
  8. Bankruptcy is the only guaranteed way. If you lose the MTC arbitration and/or the case the answer to that is no. GA is very creditor friendly when it comes to wage garnishment. There are ways to make yourself collection proof but wages are the most difficult to protect from seizing via garnishment. The first thing to know and accept is what they paid for the debt isn't the point. Under contract law they get the rights to the full amount you owed at the time they bought the account. If you lose the court case they will be awarded that plus the attorney fees, court costs, and post judgment interest. Magistrate Court does not allow discovery. DO NOT get worked up worrying about that. If you choose to go the arbitration route type up the MTC using the facts specific to your case. Leave emotion out of it. This needs to read like a legal document. Make 2 copies and have the original and the copies with you on the day of trial. Magistrate Court is trial by ambush. That means once you file your answer (use the pre-printed forms provided by the court) they will stamp it and within 30-60 days you will be notified of the trial date. Watch for a letter offering you the opportunity to come to the lawyers office to examine any evidence they intend to use. IF you do not do this you cannot object to anything they use under the GA relaxed business records laws. You need to do this in case the MTC is denied. That is because if it is they go right to trial right then. On the day of trial their lawyer will either approach you to discuss settlement first or the Magistrate will send all parties out to discuss settling to try and clear as much of the docket as possible. If you are choosing arbitration that is what you tell the lawyer it will take. You wish to arbitrate according to the terms of the card agreement. If they agree then you will both tell the Magistrate that and a stay will be issued pending arbitration. You then file in JAMS. If they oppose then you both go back in to court and make your case to the Magistrate for/against arbitration. Then he/she rules. If you lose the trial is immediate. That is why you need to be prepared for both. If you win then you file and wait for it to get so expensive for them they dismiss. One step at a time though. Answer the suit using the court form. Get your MTC ready then study up on representing yourself in court. If the MTC is approved then come back to this thread and the arbitration veterans will guide you from that point.
    1 point
  9. Arbitration is the best way to beat a JDB, especially when the OC is Synchrony (free JAMS, unless they changed their terms). Best info on arb is here: @Clydesmom and @fisthardcheese know about Georgia.
    1 point
  10. Yes simply put, Small claims courts were abolished in Texas in 2013 so it is therefore impossible for any case to be filed in a small claims court in Texas since they no longer exist. You can find where I explained how to defend it last month here- https://www.creditinfocenter.com/community/topic/329436-arbitration-overview-and-strategy-2018-most-up-to-date-info/page/10/#comments (scroll way down; my comments are closer to the bottom of the page)
    1 point
  11. That is not true. Settlement negotiations are not admissible in court. The mediator simply informs the court if a settlement is reached, not reached, or that a party acted in bad faith. A $1 offer may just fit the bill as bad faith. Stop offering your opinions. Either read the applicable rules for a particular state or stay out of it.
    1 point
  12. Both suits settled. Although this was very stressful, it was a great learning experience. I have one more collection remaining and it is Midland. They haven't filed suit yet, but I am fully expecting it. Thanks!
    1 point
  13. I am not familiar with Arizona courts. So I don't know how they generally handle MTCs. I don't know if the MTC would be handled before or after the mediation. That being said, there is a general rule of thumb to follow for mediation. In most states, you have to go through with the mediation. If this is different for AZ, I hope one of our Arizona posters will chime in. The point of mediation is the mediator is trying to get you and the other party to agree to a settlement. What happens if the only thing you agree to is arbitration? What if you sit there and say the only settlements you will agree to would be dismissal of the case or else arbitration? They can't force you to accept a settlement.
    1 point
  14. I have been on this and other forums for over a decade. By this time I have seen what works and what doesn’t work. The single biggest asset is having someone who knows the situation in a particular state. I was fortunate when I first posted in CIC that there was someone from Wisconsin who had wiped out hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. I followed his lead and wiped out over $100k in debt. Another fellow wiped out six figures as well. In the aggregate, special advice given to folks in states like Wisconsin, Texas, California and Florida has wiped out probably millions of dollars in debt. What doesn’t work: Random stuff seen on the internet. For example, over a decade ago we used to load our answers with all sorts of random affirmative defenses we found on the internet. They rarely worked. A certain poster on this thread has given seriously terrible advice on several threads. He claims those of us who have helped wipe out millions in debt are wrong, and he is right because he says so. A rational approach is to listen to those who have been there before and helped others wipe out millions. When in Texas, listen to @texasrocker
    1 point
  15. It most certainly is relevant when you are giving incorrect information for courts about which you know nothing. I suggest you allow the seasoned member who does understand TX rules and law regarding debt cases to advise TX consumers. Please refrain from continuing to post in this thread. I will not warn you again.
    1 point
  16. I asked for a judge trial, I went yesterday and won. THe judge here in alabma stated himself that Midland Funding is abusing the Judicial system. We as consumers have to stand up to them. I went and represented myself after extensive research online.
    1 point
  17. Offer them a $1. This is known as the '$1 settlement deal'. How it goes is like this: You type up a settlement offer. I mean a legit offer. I am half joking about offering $1. (That woudl be legendary) On your offer you name your terms. Something along the lines of , In acceptance of my $1 offer, you agree to dismiss without prejudice, leave me the f* alone. You provide a place for yourself, them, and the mediator (witness) to sign. Now say the meeting comes and then you meet Big Bad Bank renta-lawyer. He will no doubt mock you for this ridiculous offer and tell the mediator its impossible to deal with this. I ask for help to be 'more reasonable'. If the mediator starts to 'pressure' you, well straight up thats a conflict of interest. But just refer back to your offer in writing. Be stubborn about it cause this is YOUR LIFE and money they are trying to influence And remember something very important: The mediator is a witness to your case. The old 'anything you say can be used against you in a court of law' applies here. In other words, everything you say, behave, and submit in writing (like your offer) is witnessed by the mediator. So take care what you say (admit/deny) and your approach. Your opponent can solicit them as a witness (as can you) and so it can be framed to use against you. In short, when in court defending yourself, your walking in minefields! As your offer and their 'more reasonable' counter is talked about it, you SHORTCIRCUIT the discussion by refering back to your MTC. You simply say, as we cant reach agreement today in this venue, I am confident we will do much better in arbitration. Then you reiterate the legal points that you submitted to you. Neither one has bother to study your last paper, so you are in control again. In fact id probably give them a copy of it. And always redirect the topic to THAT paper. Always control the meeting with paper, and more paper. Its what this kabuki theater is all about. Then you close the whole thing with telling them you look forward to hearing about the judge has to say at xyz date in the future. I think thats all you need to do really. Appear reasonable, but stand strong and firm in your rights. And also get angry with these clowns have wasted SO MUCH TIME AND EMOTIONAL ENERGY. I know first hand the life sucking power of this trail. And they expect to get paid for it?? They should be paying me! So, STAND UP FOR YOURSELF, FACE THE MEANIES, AND GET BACK TO THE PARTY!
    0 points