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  1. I attached a few of the case files (redacted). Uploaded is the most recent "Interrogatories" Request from Pressler, their alleged "debt validation" documents (sent to me recently) and the original case file from the 2012 judgement which includes the initial complaint, and all the original case documents. @BV80, sorry for the delay, I changed offices and did not have a scanner until today. I have been in contact with an attorney from Flitter Milz, but I am not sure if they are interested in taking the case or not. I had contact Philip Stern way back when and never received a response. But I might try him again, thank you for the suggestion @debtzapper. I am not trying to get rich here, I just want them to leave me alone and take the black cloud off the top of my head! I might even consider a settlement just to make them shut up - and I still don't recognize this debt lol! In any case, I will try to check in over the weekend but most likely will not be able to offer any meaningful responses until Monday. Have a great weekend everyone and thank you for your continued support. Redacted Original Complaint and Court Files.pdf Interrogotories Redacted Version.pdf Debt Validation Redacted.pdf
  2. @CCRP626 I pulled my credit report once I found out about the case and saw the judgement on there. I haven't used credit cards in years so I have had no reason to look at it until recently. @BV80 I will scan and post docs tomorrow morning @Clydesmom I love your thinking. In fact, I am quite excited for this joker from Pressler to call me back again so that I can tell him that.
  3. I called the courthouse this afternoon and they informed me that I do not have to file an answer since I included one with the motion to vacate. So now I will be focusing on compelling discovery. The court clerk said I do not have to file anything with them for that, I just have to communicate directly with Pressler for that. The original case file definitely was filed with affadavits. Everything I have so far is on either Midland or Pressler letterhead and I did mention that in my answer. Would attaching the answer help at all? Or the original complaint? I don't know that the language violates the consent order but perhaps you all will see something different. In the meantime, Pressler called me and asked if I would consider settling. I told the rep that if they would send me proof of debt I would review and take it into consideration. They also said that they would be applying for a transfer of venue, since the case was filed in the wrong county from the start. However, I might object to that -- I feel I have a sympathetic judge and he is already well-versed on my case. The Pressler rep asked if I would be willing to sign something approving the change of venue and I told him no - not until they proved that the debt was mine. Funny how the tone of the conversation took a turn for the worse once I asked for proof of debt. @kraftykrab; @BV80; @CCRP626; @Clydesmom I have made a few calls to some Consumer Attorneys in the area to inquire about FDCPA Violations counterclaims. I have the consent order in hand and am using the requirements stated to prepare my discovery letter. Useful As always, thanks for the continued help.
  4. UPDATE: After 2 months of nail biting stress I have finally received a response on a motion to vacate. The clerk from the court called me to tell me that the judge granted my motion to vacate! Whoohoo! I realize my fight is not over though, the clerk told me that the judge reinstated the complaint and they set a trial date for October. So I guess the SOL rule is not effective at this time since there has been no dismissal yet. @kraftykrab you touched on this briefly back when I filed the motion to vacate in May. I am waiting for the formal ppwk from the court but I am happy for some good news. So I am not sure what to do next, please help with an action plan. I believe I should request discovery, but I am not sure how to go about doing that. Is there a document I need to file with the court or will a written request do? Beyond that, I am stalled on what to do next. Thanks!
  5. @CCRP626 thank you so much for the feedback. I will get started on gathering all of this info and update once I have a better picture of how we got to this point.
  6. As of today I still have not received anything from the court. I called there and they said the judge was still reviewing the motion. Is this a good sign or are they possibly that backed up? What is the standard time you can expect to hear back after filing a motion to vacate? The motion was officially filed on 5/31/16, so its been exactly 3 weeks.
  7. As a quick follow up, I believe the service agreement states that PA law will govern if that helps.
  8. I am interested to know if there are any laws (federal or state) protecting small businesses with respect to Commercial Debt Collection in NJ? My company has been contacted by an investigator with Kearns, Brinen & Monaghan regarding a breach of contract. As I understand it, we had a service contract with a communications service provider called Line Systems. We were also provided with phones from the company, which I am not sure if we rented or received free with service contract or what. In any case, when it was time to renew the contract we chose not to and went with a new service provider. For us, Line System's service was spotty, reception was crackly and cut in and out, and we were just unhappy with the overall product and the service provided. There was also downtime. Sometimes we were a few hours without phone service - it happened often enough that we decided to move on rather than continue to lose business. We have since discovered the contract had an automatic renewal clause. The person that negotiated the contract is no longer with our company and nobody else realized the clause existed. We did not notify Line Systems in time for whatever the cutoff date was and they rolled the contract and are coming to us for $17,000 for breach of contract. But we contend that the downtime and service problems resulted in loss of business for us and if anything they owe us money for lost business. I realize that commercial collectors are a lot less restricted than consumer collectors. They can act despicably without repercussion. The only real regulation I have found is collector bonding required by particular states. The collector is threatening a law suit, liens, etc. I have requested a copy of the contract from my team for more details. Can I request proof of debt from them or does that only apply in consumer collection? Not sure which steps to take --- Anyone familiar with this field?
  9. @Clydesmom gives great advice. Bankruptcy would't help you in this case since half of your debt is student loans (which are not bankrupt-able). And stay away from the Debt Consolidation schemes! Congratulations on getting and staying sober. I'm sure it wasn't easy and I know that old debt is just a nagging reminder of your old habits. It totally sounds like you are on the right track, even though you are eager to start fresh. Just keep plugging away living below your means and negotiating settlements where you can. Keep current on any bills/debt ahead of anything in default. Make sure your rent and utility bills are paid on time or a little early if possible. Keep up with filing your taxes. You can try to defer your student loan payments because of hardship, that might buy you some time. But the government is going to get your money one way or another so do not ignore that monster student loan. Your creditors might not be able to garnish your wages but I'm pretty sure if your student loans are federally insured then the government can go after your income. Correct me if I am wrong, I'm not a lawyer and am unfamiliar with garnishment exceptions in Texas. Keep in mind that a high credit score is not the key to happiness. It just means that you borrow money and it pay it back....a lot. Debt and the almighty Credit Score have not been a friend to you so far, right? You're working your butt off to pay for stuff you bought years ago. That cheeseburger from 2011 has cost you a fortune lol! Debt rarely buys peace of mind or stability. One bad month and it can become a nightmare. As far as needing a high credit score to get an apartment, a fair amount of landlords will consider letters of recommendation from your former landlords and statements from your utility companies if you explain your situation. Just ask them to write something stating that stated how long you lived there and that you paid your rent on time (or early) consistently. You can show them your auto loan and insurance payments and since you also have direct deposit, you can establish a pattern that shows your monthly income. It's not 100% foolproof but a reasonable landlord will consider your current payment record over mistakes you made in the past. Be prepared to offer a larger deposit as well. If the landlord has a few months rent in advance they are more likely to take you seriously. To buy a home (easily) you either need a Good Credit Score or a Zero Credit Score. So decide which way you want to go and head in that direction. A zero credit score requires all credit cards and lines of credit to be closed out. There can be no interaction with debt, even minimal, or it will result in a low score. A high credit score requires borrowing and paying back debt over and over. But this is risky (as you know) and one small mistake can tank your score quicker than you can say "I hate credit cards" Keep at it and I wish you the best of luck. Please keep us posted on your progress! Slow and steady, you're doing the right things, in my humble opinion.
  10. @RescueToaster Good luck with the fight! I have learned so much from this forum and I am grateful to have found it. I am in a battle with Midland as well so I feel your pain. Lucky for you, you are still at the point where you can settle and make this go away, especially if the debt is legit and you truly owe the money. My input is not legal in nature, only my real world experience and advice. @WhoCares1000 is right on. You can try some of these arguments and back Midland into a corner and force them to take action. They might sue, they might go away. If they do sue they will be paying more to file than they paid for the debt, with no guarantee that they will win the case. The recent CFPB consent order puts them in a position to follow certain rules and requires them to have account level documentation in order to proceed with collection cases. If (and thats a big IF) they are following the rules now they wouldn't be pursuing a collection if they cannot verify the debt and provide chain of ownership. If they have everything they are supposed to they will not hesitate to sue. But if it does get to that point push them to provide every shred of documentation you can think of. Don't wait until its too late to talk settlement. I know that's not easy but it is a better alternative then losing a judgement and having your wages garnished or bank account levied for the full amount plus court costs and lawyer fees. That is a nightmare! Try to scrape up as much as you can while you are fighting on the other end. $300-$500 is likely the magic number as @WhoCares1000 has stated. But don't be afraid to offer less and try to save more because you really never know. Just keep these few things in mind: If they accept your settlement offer do not send any money until they send you something in writing stating the agreed upon amount will be accepted as "Payment in Full". Pay the settlement offer as one lump sum, not in payments. Don't agree to a settlement before you have saved (or borrowed) the money. You can get a cashier's check, money order or prepaid debit card to pay them (send it certified mail, return receipt receipt requested - and keep a copy of the check or money order). Don't give them any access whatsoever to your checking account, bank account, debit card etc. Don't believe promises or agreements that they don't document on paper or digitally. They are never, never, never acting in your best interest.
  11. I've been in your shoes, scared and unsure of my options. Make sure your food, water, light and clothing needs are met (reasonably) before trying to tackle any other debts. Do you mind giving a few more specifics about your situation? A few questions: Do you and your wife have a joint bank account? Is she listed as a joint card holder with Discover? Does your wife work outside the home? Is this credit card currently in default? What are your plans to increase your income in the near future? It sounds like you are suffocating and a few hundred dollars a month extra can change this whole situation and fast. I would not waste money on Bankruptcy, and here is why: Student Loans are not bankrupt-able. You are judgment proof. IF the debt is solely in your name and IF SSI is your only source of income, a consumer debt collector cannot touch that. If your wife does work outside the home then her income is only at risk if she is listed on the credit card and/or if you have a joint bank account. With regards to the Student Loan, the government can garnish your SSI ONLY if you signed for the note or if you guaranteed the debt. Otherwise, only your wife and co-signers (her parents) are on the hook there. I am not entirely sure of the specifics of NY State law but it is probably safer to keep your finances separate and not list each other as joint account holders for the time being. And as others have mentioned, keep your bank account balance on the low side. Your wife is obligated to pay the Student Loan if she signed for it. I understand that you want to step up to help and not burden your in-laws, and that is very admirable. While I don't advocate not paying your debt, it doesn't sound like paying towards the credit card is an option for you right now. The creditors won't like it, but if given the choice between feeding your family and paying your credit card, your family should win every time. If you stop paying the card they may or may not sue you and get a judgement against you. Because your SSI income cannot be garnished, a better option might be to pay or settle at a time when you are able. I ask some of these questions because my answers would change depending on the specifics of the situation.
  12. What is the car worth as it sits? What is it worth if you fix and sell it? (Kelly Blue Book Private Sale).
  13. Interesting. That is the type of information that I don't know as a layperson. I did not realize that vacating the judgment did not necessarily mean the case would have to be refiled. Can I move to dismiss right there at the hearing if the judge grants my motion to vacate? OR Do I have to file the motion to dismiss separately? They served me at an old address. I had moved nearly two years before. The certified letter was returned as "Unclaimed" and "Unable to Forward". The regular mail was not returned, but I am not aware of what the occupant at the time did with the letter. So according to the court, service was good, but I have proof that had been living elsewhere. I definitely plan on working that consent order angle too.
  14. Clydesmom do you mean to say that there are potential FDCPA violations now? Or that Midland would be violating FDCPA if they try to restart the case after the judgement is vacated? I am attaching a copy of the motion to vacate. Towards the end is when I mention FDCPA violations and the CFPB Consent Order. I don't really know how to word that properly for court, but I definitely feel that it is relevant. Midland might be violating the FDCPA or the CFPB Consent Order, but we cannot prove that unless we are granted discovery. However, in order to permit discovery, the motion must be void. Since the debt would be time-barred, Midland cannot legally refile this lawsuit. Therefore, I don't really have to prove that they violated the Consent Order or that they are in violation of the FDCPA. Is that correct or can the judge permit discovery without throwing out this judgement? Thanks you are a big help! Motion to vacate forum.docx
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