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RelayerPA's Achievements

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  1. I was able to verify that the settlement letters (both of them) are from the same law firm that represented the CA that got the judgement against me. There were two letters that state "Balance due as of...", each with the current account balance representing the exact amount of each judgement settled in the single court case. So that tells me that the law firm must be referencing the judgement amounts. Those specific amounts were what the judge determined and noted in the judgement. As a side note, the two entries in my credit report from the CA were lowered from the original requested amount to the settled judgement amount shortly after the court case was over. The letters, however, do not explicitly state that the amounts are a "judgement" amount. It only states that the amounts are a "balance due." The offer is written as, "...we are happy to offer you a 55% settlement on your account." The offer states that a single payment of (55% off the current account balance) will be accepted.
  2. About two years ago, I had two judgments ordered against me in a single collections case involving two separate accounts. Since that time, I have not paid the judgment amounts, nor has the CA attempted to collect on the judgement. Recently, I receive two separate letters from the law firm representing the CA in the lawsuit. Each letter indicates a balance due that is identical to the judgement amounts... but offer a deeply discounted settlement amount for each account. At first glance, this sounds like a great opportunity to finally settle the judgement amount, which was also deeply discounted by the judge from the original claim amount. But it almost feels too good to be true... almost like it could be a trap. I just need some guidance on this. My first thought is to contact the law firm directly and ask them that if I pay the agreed settlement amount that the "balance due" will be considered paid in full. I would approach this by NOT bringing up that I believe the original balance due was a judgement amount. I also have a notion of filing copies of these settlement offers with original court, to be added to the case paperwork and summary. That way it's on record that the law firm made this offer and can't back out of it. I also worry that this is is not based on the actual judgement, even though the totals are identical to the judgement amount, and is otherwise a side attempt to cheat some money out of me, allowing them to still call on the full judgement amount. If I do decide to pay these settlement amounts, is there a recommended way of doing so? They offer payment online options, but that's sort of a "trusting" method. I'm also hesitant to send a check with my banking info on it. Either way, I "trust" I will receive an acknowledgement from them that it is settled, and I'm not comfortable with that.
  3. I finally had a chance to see the docket details online now that the case is closed and updated. Apparently, it IS a judgement for the amount I suggested. The paper I signed for PRA is an agreement to pay the judgement over a two year period. So technically, I guess appeals are still an option for either side. One thought occurred to me today, though. The lawyer told the judge that PRA acquired the account in early May of this year. Now whenever I receive any important letter, including things like dunning letters, I always scan and archive them for my records. I could not find any copy of a dunning letter for this particular account. Nor did I ever receive a certified letter notice for any reason during this calendar year. I found copies of letters for other accounts that PRA took me to court for, which I may have mistaken for the account in this case, but after searching I have no copy related this one.
  4. I guess, technically, I did settle, but the judge said it would be so ordered in the docket. I don't believe it's an actual judgment. I did sign to the terms of payment. I had no problem with doing that and following through. As I said, it's a better deal than they initially offered, and less than what the judge would have ordered as a judgment.. Was it the best deal I could get for myself? I guess I'll never know.
  5. I never experienced arbitration, so I can't be sure that I would get a settlement any better than I got. My understanding is that for claims of $5k or more, JDBs are more inclined to follow into arbitration. However, I too still have the option to appeal the decision and carry the MTC, de novo, into a common pleas court. If I had a little more proof that I would fare better in arbitration, especially since the JDB had ample evidence regarding ownership of the account, I could consider appealing the decision. Is PRA a JDB that will never follow into arbitration?
  6. Results of the case... I went in with a lot of documentation (and notes) to be able call them on any mistake due to lack of proper documentation, in order to break their case, along with an MTC arbitration. First, the lawyer for the plaintiff requested a conference before seeing the judge. I guess this is normal activity in these cases. They were authorized to settle for 80%. I rejected the offer because they also pulled out a copy of a generic account agreement they were going to provide in court. I told them that due to the contract terms (which I verified on their copy), I was going to move for arbitration. Conference over... pin dropping dead silence between both parties in the waiting area while waiting for the judge to call us into the courtroom. I kept completely quiet during the plaintiff's pleading. It took them about 15-20 minutes in which they produced quite a number of documents proving ownership of the account through proper transfers from the OC. They apparently fell quite short of the amount they claim was the charge-off principle amount. The judge only wanted to see any record of actual charges. The plaintiff could only prove a smaller percentage of charges in actual value. The judge totaled those amounts, and added a fixed interest amount that was deemed proper due to the time between last payment on the account and charge-off. In the end, the judge determined an amount that's 50% of the original claim, including court costs. Then, the judge asked me if I had anything to say in my defense... While I asked a few questions for items that I didn't understand during the plaintiff's pleadings (not really relevant to the outcome), at one point the judge asked what amount I may want to settle on. I didn't know what to say... was the judge hinting that I could ask for a lesser judgment? Understanding that even a 50% settlement is pretty good (there are no guarantees as to what could happen in arbitration), I threw out a round figure that's 40% of the claimed amount, costs included, payable in monthly installments over two years. The plaintiff lawyer accepted it, sort of on the encouragement of the judge. And frankly, I feel fine with that settlement amount. Still, this was only a third party representative lawyer on behalf of PRA, so PRA still has the option to appeal the decision.
  7. I am the defendant in another case for which I started a thread on months ago. That one is not a PRA case. This is a another case of which I never posted about publicly.
  8. This case is in a Pennsylvania Magistrate Court. I'm headed into court tomorrow morning, 10/1/2019, to defend in a case against me for an amount of $5000. PRA is the plaintiff. All that I have received from the court about the complaint so far, even after going into the magistrate's office personally beforehand and asking for copies of anything else that was filed, was a single sheet complaint that the account was Synchrony Bank/PayPal, account stated. No account numbers were listed. Now, following the common practice that arbitration is preferred, I wrote up an MTC based on the arbitration tactics promoted in these forums. In order to support the motion, I had to "guess" which account agreement was needed, so I used the PayPal agreement found at the consumer website, also promoted on these forums, which I attached to the MTC. I sent PRA a copy of the MTC (certified/RRR). When I tried to hand deliver it to the magistrate office, they refused to accept it and told me to bring it in at the hearing. While hoping the magistrate honors the motion, there's still a chance the hearing will go on with the plaintiff being able to argue the case. It has happened before. I want to be fully prepared to do so, that if my motion is not accepted, then I can at least try to fight back against PRA with some scorched earth tactics to get a dismissal. There would be nothing left to lose... and being Pennsylvania, an unwanted outcome can be appealed de novo to a common pleas court. Any suggestions I could use to argue a case against PRA? Right now, you know about as much as I do on what they may have as evidence, or to argue against "account stated." Thanks!
  9. Long delayed update... The law firm on the Plaintiff side has requested a continuance toward the end of October, so the case has been delayed. Since then, I have typed up appropriate MTCs based on guidance on this thread (thanks to all who helped). I have notarized an affidavit attesting to the card agreements. Since one of the accounts is Synchrony, but was GE Money Bank when the card was first opened, I even added SEC excerpts linking the name change, so they can't argue that the banks aren't the same and get the card agreement dismissed. Then again, maybe I shouldn't do that and use that as an argument against their case. But they did bring up "account stated" as legal grounds, so that might not make a difference. I know my immediate goal is to get arbitration, but I'm still preparing a "scorched earth" tactic if that doesn't happen, knowing a de novo appeal is a final option (for both parties, though) if needed. However, when I went to the court office to drop off copies for the case file, they told me not to do so, but to bring the paperwork to the trial. What does that mean for the notarization I did? Would the affidavit have more legal weight compared to actually bringing the agreements into court on an in-court oath instead? I still have to mail the actual request to the law firm, directly requesting arbitration, just to see if they drop the case. I created two different letters, one for each account, each letter asking for a different arbitrator. So, we'll see how that goes. Thanks!
  10. This is the wording I'll probably use on my affidavit to be notarized. I don't know if it's worded a little too "legalese", or if it needs to be, but I'm under the impression that this is the same as a sworn testimony, and using legal vernacular won't hurt anything. I also don't know if I should reference both accounts in a single affidavit or create a single affidavit for each item. The latter will be easy to fix. I also reference only Exhibit A and C because those are the exhibit numbers I used for each cardholder agreement in the MTC. The Affiant is the Defendant in case number XXXX-XX-XXXX-XXXX in Pennsylvania Municipal Court XXX-XX-XXX. The Plaintiff in the case states a claim for two separate credit card accounts, yet has not provided material proof needed to assert ownership and terms for either account. Therefore, the Defendant felt obligated to find the proof on his own in hopes to prepare a proper defense. The accounts are individually referenced as belonging to Synchrony Bank and Citibank, N.A. and are referenced in the complaint as "FAN 1" and "FAN 2" respectively. The Defendant utilized the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (https://www.consumerfinance.gov/credit-cards/agreements/), an official website of the United States Government, which archives cardholder agreements for credit card accounts provided by credit card companies. Attached to this Affidavit are the following: Exhibit A: Cardholder Agreement for FAN 1 Exhibit C: Cardholder Agreement for FAN 2 The Defendant attests that the attached Cardholder Agreements are true and correct copies to the best of his knowledge.
  11. I have attached an abridged copy of the MTC I plan on filing. It does not contain the header and footer information. Only the meat of the MTC is included to verify I have worded it soundly as per your suggestion. I also attached the two cardholder agreements I am basing the MTC on in case they may be enlightening. Thanks! creditcardagreement_3696.pdfcreditcardagreement_3696.pdfcreditcardagreement_3696.pdf Sample MTC for JDB.pdf creditcardagreement_5023.pdf
  12. OK. I have no problems revealing the accounts in the plaintiff's claim now. One is for Lowes, the other is for Home Depot. I found both cardholder agreements. Even though there is a "small claims exemption" in the cardholder agreement, I believe that only pertains to the OC. I found this particular clause in the arbitration portion of the agreement for Home Depot which specifically addresses debt collections: "What about debt collections? We and anyone to whom we assign your debt will not initiate an arbitration proceeding to collect a debt from you unless you assert a Claim against us or our assignee. We and any assignee may seek arbitration on an individual basis of any Claim asserted by you, whether in arbitration or any proceeding, including in a proceeding to collect a debt. You may seek arbitration on an individual basis of any Claim asserted against you, including in a proceeding to collect a debt." That final phrase, "including in a proceeding to collect a debt", sounds like a ticket to compel arbitration against a JDB in this case. The Lowes card agreement contains the phrase, "However, we will not require you to arbitrate... any individual case in small claims court.", which I believe still allows me to request arbitration.
  13. I've been trying to find case law for collections. I realize that PA Municipal Court has the loosest requirements for evidence in cases, however, shouldn't they be bound by case law somehow if case law is presented. My question is, what case law is valid for a PA Municipal Court? If I remembered anything from civics class, I'll assume that any and all case law from other PA Municipal Courts (including the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh local courts), case law from any PA Common Pleas court, case law from PA Supreme Court, case law from any U.S. District Court 3, and finally, SCOTUS, are suitable sources for case law. Also, as for Rules of Civil Procedure, my county lists their rules a by number of the same that are at the state level. I'm assuming the few that are addressed locally are those in which the county modified for themselves, and any state level rule which the county has not annexed for their own purpose still binds PA Municipal Courts in their entirety. That being said... I have attached a copy of a court brief that cites case law from a Common Pleas court in PA for documents supporting a collector's claim, showing an unbroken chain of title, along with case law from another Common Pleas court that the plaintiff must provide notice of what they plan to use as proof for their claim so the Defendant can properly prepare a defense. In light of that, in my case, I was only provided with a page of account numbers and total dollar amount sought. There were no other details provided by the plaintiff. The court brief attached is from a court case that was found in favor of the Plaintiff in Municipal Court, then filed by the Defendant with this court brief as a Preliminary Objection for the appeal. The original plaintiff, Midland Funding did not respond to the appeal, and thus after two years the case was dismissed with prejudice. Collections Case Appeal.pdf
  14. Citi lists both JAMS and AAA. As for "individual claim" interpretation, I read somewhere that ambiguity in an arbitration clause would actually favor toward allowing for arbitration because the agreement contains an arbitration clause.
  15. It took me a while to figure out what you meant by that, but I understand that I should use whichever agreement does not have the "small claims exception", am I right? Assuming yes to that, I found this text in the agreement for one of the accounts: "Claims filed in a small claims court are not subject to arbitration, so long as the matter remains in such court and advances only an individual (non-class, non-representative) Claim." This appears to be a small claims exemption. However, I'm wondering what "advances only an individual claim" means. Does it mean that the claim in any form is against an individual defendant, or does it mean that the claim must be by itself, and not tied with other claims in a suit? If the latter, then it seems the small claims exception does not apply with this particular case. I'm guessing I'm screwed for arbitration on this one, but this particular account is one where I can find no record of having based on the account number they provided and that I cannot find any evidence on any of my three credit reports that even have a matching account number fragment. I may end up having to simply dispute this in its entirety in court. Now, the agreement for the other account in the same lawsuit states this: "However, we will not require you to arbitrate: (1) any individual case in small claims court or your state’s equivalent court, so long as it remains an individual case in that court; or (2) any claim by us that only involves our effort to collect money you owe us. However, if you respond to a collection lawsuit by claiming that we engaged in any wrongdoing, we may require you to arbitrate." While it may look like a small claims exception, the phrase "we will not require you to arbitrate any individual case in small claims court", appears to give me an option to do so. They simply won't "require" it, but it doesn't seem to strip me of any rights to request arbitration. Again, the definition of "individual claim" remains in question. As I see it, I will probably put the JDB on notice by sending them a notarized copy of the agreement for the latter account "which I believe to be true and correct" and tell them I elect arbitration per the terms of the agreement. I did this before with the same JDB and they withdrew their case, having yet to bring it up again. In this case, they'll either be forced to: prove arbitration does not apply to that account amend the case to remove the arbitrable account withdraw the case completely or, ignore the arbitration request and continue to fight it in court, making the entire case ripe for appeal if the magistrate does not honor the arbitration terms of the agreement.
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