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SkyStillSunny last won the day on July 8

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  1. Great update! I lucked out. The attorney that showed up for Unifund was completely clueless. The judge forced us to mediate, so I told him I had a signed court order to arbitrate, and I also had a letter from AAA indicating that because I had a signed order, they could not pursue in small claims and it said that they had to pay $3250 immediately or the case would be closed. It specifically said that the claimant had fulfilled their obligations and was waiting on the respondent. The attorney looked it over for 10 minutes. He reviewed his paperwork, and then looked at his phone, then finally made a phone call, and then asked me that I could sign a consent agreement and go ahead and settle because he was planning on trying to get the court order vacated because of that one sentence in the citibank agreement about "small claims court". I told him that it was too late, that I had a signed court order and that we can go to trial. Well the judge then forced us to go through mediation with a mediator. I explained my situation, and the attorney said the same thing he said earlier. Then I was asked to leave so the mediator could talk to the attorney. When she called for me to come back and speak privately, she tried to tell me to settle!!! That they would be willing to settle for $700 and I could pay $50/month, and that it would clear my credit and that she was just giving her advice on what she would do. But I said that I had a court order!! And she told me she said the judge could decide to vacate because of that stupid citibank small claims section of the agreement. I told her I'd take my chances and wanted to go to trial. WELL I gave the judge my order and a copy of the letter from AAA, and she asked the plaintiff why they had not started arbitration! She said that if they didn't start it, then they would be held in contempt for violating a court order, and she said that she definitely would NOT vacate the order because the last time we were in court the Plaintiff agreed and signed off on it! We go back in 30 days, and if the plaintiff does not either 1) dismiss or 2) fulfill arbitration duties and begin proceedings, then they will be in contempt. She told me that if I had any motions to file, then I should do that prior to the next court date. But I'm not really sure what she meant by that for me? I don't have any motions to file, I think? So yes, finally I had a judge kind of see my side for once. THANKS for ALL THE HELP everyone! I hope to get a dismissal in the mail soon!!
  2. Ok got it. I've followed up with AAA waiting for the case closed letter, so I will prepare the motion now and send it once I receive confirmation that the case is closed. Thank you!
  3. Sorry to revive this topic, but I wanted to ask what I should do now. This is where I am. AAA received my court order compelling Unifund (represented by L&J) to arbitrate. They re-opened the case. They sent both parties, me the claimant, and Unifund the respondent. In their first letter they informed the respondent that they had to submit its current consumer arbitration clause for inclusion in the Registry which is a $500 fee. They were also requested to submit filing fees of $500, an expedited consumer clause review fee, and arbitrator compensation... all totally to $3250. Well 2 weeks go by and AAA sends another letter stating that the respondent has yet to remit payment, and they had until April 23, 2019 to remit otherwise it would close the case, and that AAA would remove their business from administering any more consumer disputes and then this: "Should the AAA decline to administer an arbitration, either party may choose to submit its dispute to the appropriate court for resolution" I think they want the case closed so that that can bring it back to court. Can they do that? Can I send a letter to the court requesting this case be dismissed because Unifund refuses to pay their fees to commence arbitration? The weird thing is that I have yet to receive any letters that this case is closed by AAA. I sent them an email to see if I can get some correspondence that way to find out.
  4. UPDATE: Well, the attorney met me in court yet again and the judge wanted to know what was going on with this case and mentioned that this is the longest case he had ever had regarding a debt collection. The attorney blabs on about how I agreed to pay the full amount of the filing fees and also said that it didn't seem fair that they had to pay $1250 and I only had to pay $250. Haha. That made me laugh a little. He obviously ignored every piece of mail that I sent that had the JAMS rules and fees. The judge took some time to read the letter the attorney sent and my response. Then he asked how much was in question, which was ~ $950. Then he asked for the credit card agreement, which I gladly gave him. I had a notarized affidavit, and he told me that didn't matter, that I'm not allowed to certify anything. Don't really know what that meant. Then the attorney stated that I got that agreement off some bogus website, and who knows where I got that. The judge asked PRA if he had an agreement, and the attorney said no. Then finally, the judge told the PRA attorney, "I hate to say this, but the language in this agreement says that if the dispute is under $75,000, then the consumer pays their portion of the filing fees, which in this case is $250. No where does it say that the consumer has to pay 100%, and I don't recall the defendant saying that either. So you can decide to proceed with arbitration and pay the filing fees and hope to recoup some of that money back, but I'm not sure if that's what you want to do when the dispute in question is $950. Or you can dismiss this case. You have 60 days to pay the filing fee or this case will be dismissed." Although the way he worded it made it sound like he was apologetic to the PRA attorney because it was out of his hands. This is the judge that does not like me, and questions every piece of document I submit. Anyway, YAY!!! Thank you all for helping me through this case until the very end. I'll still need to wait 60 days to see what this PRA attorney does, but crossing fingers he won't pay, then I can request a dismissal after that period is over. I've been fighting this guy for over a year. I appreciate all the advice here, and the confidence you've given me! I think I've had 6 cases go to court, two I had to settle until I found this board, and now, this is my 4th that I've been able to get dismissed thanks to everyone's help. However, each time I get one dismissed, I seem to get another letter in the mail. My backstory is basically a family medical emergency which cost us our whole life's savings, and in order to stay in our home and have food, we had to stop paying on CCs. Trying to slowly climb back to where we used to be, so I really am grateful to the people that help with their experiences and strategies and advice. It has made such a huge difference!
  5. Thank you for your responses. I did respond to the letter with the suggestions made. I do believe the attorney works directly for PRA because his email address is a PRA address. He is the same attorney that I've had for the last year on the numerous hearings we've had on this. If I file a bar association complaint, are there instructions on how to do this?
  6. The attorney sent a letter to the judge on this case and I received a CC letter. He said that "I agreed to pay ALL the filing fees, and that JAMS is about to close the case because the filing fees have not been paid." Firstly, I've already paid my $250 filing fee. I never agreed to pay ALL the filing fees, and there was nothing in writing stating such, and no court order on that either. The judge did tell us that arbitration was costly, and asked if I still wanted to pursue that option (trying to get me to settle I assume). I said yes, that I wanted arbitration and that I was aware of the fees. I never mentioned anything else. JAMS sent a letter and said that if the respondent didn't pay this week, then they'd close the case, so I asked them to extend it until after we had our hearing, and they put the case on hold for me until that date. This attorney is a nutjob and has been stalling at every turn. I've done everything the court has requested, and I am about to see the judge again. Should I write a response letter to his letter? Or wait until court?
  7. Great info to keep in my back pocket if this ever occurs again with that "small claims" verbiage! Thank you @fisthardcheese And got it, will try to keep everything in 1 post. Some of my cases have dragged on for a year, so I thought maybe if I just specifically asked for 1 thing someone might be able to respond for that specific request, but I get it now. Thanks for linking!
  8. I was planning on making arguments like these that I got off this board from similar posts (thanks to @fisthardcheese) Per the Supreme Court, the Conception SCOTUS case does not make any type of exception. That if arbitration is listed in a contract, the SCOTUS says it is an absolute right and that a court may ONLY decide whether the clause is valid or not. An undisputed card agreement should be deemed valid, and therefore, any argument over "small claims", should be heard by an arbitrator only. The court should only determine if a valid arbitration clause merely exists and both parties agree that a valid clause exists because L&J actually sent me the credit card agreement when I sent in a DV. Any ambiguous statements within the arb clause are to be interpreted and determined by the Arbitrator and not the court. Also the "small claims exception" is a twisted interpretation of the JAMS and AAA rules, which state that the consumer must be allowed the OPTION of small claims in order for a consumer clause to list their firms as the arbiters of disputes. The small claims statement is ambiguous and can be interpreted in many different ways because “small claims” is not defined within the arbitration clause. The credit card agreement does not define small claims. Because it’s not clearly defined, the court should only determine a valid arbitration clause exists and any statements within the arb clause should be defined and determined by the arbitrator. But luckily, I didn't even have to argue because the attorney was a fill-in, and they agreed w/ the arbitration and the judge signed the order with no one objecting! I was just trying to plan ahead with a bunch of arguments and case law in case it came to such. If I got denied, I was going to appeal, in which case then it would no longer be in small claims. That was going to be my strategy, but I ended up not having to do any of that. However, I still think this could be useful for any people going through the same thing.
  9. Great! We'll see what happens after all is said and done, and then I'll hopefully update with a final dismissal and let everyone know my final steps. 👍 Everything I got from this forum has been instrumental in helping me. Hoping someone else finds my experience useful as well. Thank you so much!
  10. The order states this: "Order to compel private/contractual arbitration and to stay the case pending arbitration" The MTC states this: "Defendant requests the court to sign the proposed order granting motion to arbitrate and requests to stay this case until arbitration has concluded." And (uses the template from here), but also says this "WHEREFORE, Defendant moves this Honorable Court to compel private contractual arbitration pursuant to the Card Agreement and to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint due to Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction or, in the alternative, to stay proceedings pending contractual arbitration." Is that the correct verbiage?
  11. The judge just signed the order, and did not set a new hearing date. I did notice that, but decided not to mention anything about a new hearing date bc I wasn't sure if it would be better if I did or didn't so just kept my mouth shut. I figure I'll go through the process, and just file through the court for my dismissal when L&J doesn't pay their filing fee. Not sure if they have 30 or 60 days for this, but I'll look it up and see, and hopefully the court will find in my favor and dismiss this case in a few months.
  12. UPDATE: So L&J was not in attendance at my court hearing, and they sent a representative for Unifund in their place. I did sit for mediation, and told them that I was going to file a MTC arbitration, but that I would be willing to sign a consent order to settle for $200 (same as the filing fee for AAA). The rep made a phone call, and they said to go ahead and arbitrate. I gave my MTC and order to the judge, which she signed because all parties agreed, and then walked out of there in 10 minutes. I find it so bizarre that they just quickly agreed to this after they sent me all this paperwork about pursing in small claims (bc of the Citibank small claims verbiage), and send it to me CMRR mail, but then when we get to court I was all prepared to argue for arbitration, and they just agree to it and have no mention of small claims exception at all. They didn't even have the letter from AAA giving them an option of small claims (that I was worried about). AAA closed my case, but I will be sending them the order from the court to reopen, then I will send it my filing fee and give L&J time to pay their filing fee, which they probably won't. Then I'll wait to request a dismissal hopefully. Thanks everyone for all your help! I am getting less and less nervous going to court now!
  13. Does anyone know of any case laws that I can use for my MTC arbitration in GA? I got served by L&J representing Unifund CCR, LLC on a citi card w/ an arbitration clause. However there is some verbiage in that clause that says it can be handled in small claims, and I believe magistrate court in my county is small claims. I did file for arbitration immediately (upon recommendation here, thank you!), but AAA came back and said that if any party wanted to pursue in small claims they could if they sent in a written response. Well L&J did submit a response and said they wanted to pursue in small claims. My arbitration clause was started before I was served with the suit, but now AAA is closing the case because L&J requested small claims. However, AAA said that the Business has to pay the $200 fee. Because of this: Unifund has not paid the $200 yet. I go to court soon, and I just wanted to prepare bc L&J will probably say something to the effect of the arbitration clause doesn't apply here because there is an exception that says it can be pursued in small claims, and AAA also sent a letter pretty much saying the same thing. I was just looking to prepare my MTC with additional GA case law that would help me say that the arbitration clause is indeed valid and I have a right to that option.
  14. Ok. I will update again in 60 days, hopefully with a final resolution in case anyone else in GA gets this type of PRA attorney!
  15. Yes, I did file the JAMS case without mentioning the debt, but JAMS still sent me an invoice. I will send my check in for $250 and retain all the documentation. Should I send PRA a CMRR that I sent in the filing fee? I emailed the case manager and the attorney that I would be willing to pay my portion of the $250, and asked the PRA attorney to please pay their portion of the filing fee according to the JAMS rules so that we may proceed with the arbitration. The attorney emailed back, and this is what he said. So he's going to try to argue that I need to pay their $1250 portion of the filing fee! I never said that in court. I said that I would pay my filing fee once he sent his written communication to JAMS that we can arbitrate. That's all.