pulpfiction0

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  1. Is this offer in writing? If it isn't, it never happened. I'm not necessarily saying the attorney will reneg. Collection attorneys work such a high volume practice that their primary objective is disposing of the case as quickly as possible. This isn't always the case, but a good number of them only pursue the low-hanging fruit. As such, I doubt the attorney would waste time making an offer they weren't intending to follow through with. That said, I'd file your motion immediately and then drop the attorney an email along the lines of 'Per our conversation of xx/xx/xxxx, you agreed to dismiss the above captioned case with prejudice, following the execution of a mutual release. As the case has not yet been dismissed and a filing deadline is approaching, I am left with no choice but to file the attached motion. Our agreement still stands, so I await your filing of the appropriate dismissal paperwork.' If they dismiss shortly thereafter, great. If not, you've still covered your bases and will be prepared for the next step.
  2. Unfortunately, some here can be quite harsh. Don't take it personally. While some of your posts had a sarcastic tone, everyone (even those with 'moderator' next to their name) needs to remember they were once likely in OP's shoes. I'm all for the 'tough love' approach, but some of you take it too far IMHO. That said, you really do need to either settle or pursue BK. There's really no other alternative. If CH7 isn't an option, Amex will consider hardships. That angle will be much more productive than continuing to try to fight their attorneys. Don't buy the BS of some who claim that declaring BK is essentially stealing from your creditors. The banks make calculated risks when lending money. The cash they rake in on interest, late fees, penalty fees, etc. more than compensates for losses due to defaults. They certainly don't lose any sleep over it; neither should you.
  3. The only way to get leverage on Amex is via arbitration. As you're in FL, that's no longer an option for you. The time to seek out help should have been immediately upon being served, not right before facing judgment. As others have said, your only realistic option is settlement (70-80% is likely your best outcome at this point) or BK. Had you sought out advice when served, you could have settled for 50% over a long-term payment plan without a stipulated judgment (I speak from experience here), or perhaps lower if you have a documented hardship. If you can afford to settle, I'd immediately email the attorney (I assume it's Zwicker) handling the case. Attempting to defeat their MSJ is an exercise in futility. Amex doesn't make mistakes, and their attorneys don't screw up nearly as often as most of the rest do.
  4. There likely has to be a certain amount in controversy for a case to be removed to the regular docket. Either way, moving from SC to the regular docket will likely cost a consumer $300+. Combine those costs with the $250 consumer portion, and it becomes pretty expensive just to get to Arb. For a high balance this may be worth it, but likely not on a typical $2k lawsuit.
  5. What, exactly, constitutes "prohibited activity'? I have not violated any NDA's, if that is what you a referring to. I simply laid my cards on the table, and Midland chose to fold. And yes, I damn well will brag about it. Midland is scum that pays pennies on the dollar and then sues pretty much everyone, in addition to messing with their cr's. I show absolutely no mercy to such vultures. To the other points in this thread...yes, I agree wholeheartedly that one must understand the potential for sanctions, awards of attorneys, etc when planning your attack. If one is suing just for the hell of it, that's generally not a good idea, and I don't advocate such. But by being knowledge about one's right and showing JDB's, collection attorneys, and other such vermin that you are more than willing to enforce them, that usually results in a positive outcome. Really, it applies with just about any company. They all sneak Arb clauses in to their contracts, so any dispute whatsoever and I immediately fire off an Arb claim. A few weeks later, their attorney typically contacts me and gives me what I want. Perhaps not high up there on the ethical scale, but we all know just to what degree these companies are really concerned with doing what's right, anyway.
  6. Should I have just rolled over and paid? Or, better yet, have been forced into a Ch13 plan that would have eaten up every last cent of disposable income I'd have? In the end, it's a business decision. Midland backed down because they knew I'd cost them far more than the pennies on the dollar they spent on my accounts. Just like it was a business decision to default on my cards. Call me a vexatious litigant...that's fine. At least I'm doing something about my credit issues instead of just rolling over to the JDB's and (nearly as evil) BK attorneys. Yes, one must exercise a degree of caution before actually filing suit, and I always do. I've never faced any sort of sanctions motion, nor have I ever had attorneys fees awarded against me. The bottom line is that getting oneself out if a credit mess involves being aggressive. Period. I got myself out of the infamous NAF/MBNA/Wolpoff & Abramson mess years ago by being relentlessly aggressive. I got myself out of a potentially huge Amex judgment by being aggressive. Didn't get a win there, but very decent monthly payments I can manage. Otherwise my wages would have been garnished and there would be a lien on my property. One can 'play nice' and get stomped on. I choose to fight. Between about a dozen credit-related lawsuits and arbitrations, in addition to misc. other companies like my cell phone provider, cable, Samsung (tv warranty dispute), I've yet to have one less than positive outcome. No, I haven't always won, but the end result has been significantly better than had I done nothing. Bottom line is that being aggressive pays (not to mention, it's an adrenaline rush). The Arb card alone is a huge part of that.
  7. My 'angle' was simple: to show that I am an aggressive advocate of my rights and will cost them far more than anything they would ever recover against me. Had they sued, they would have immediately been faced with a MTC and would have also received a summons for FDCPA violations (again, I know that the theory of filing suit after receiving a letter electing arbitration hasn't YET been shown to be a violation, but frankly I don't care). When sending letters like this, I always invite the opposition to check out my name on PACER and my state court's website, as well. The dozen or so cases I've filed against various creditors tends to send a signal. Is this a guarantee of success? Of course it isn't. However, it damn well beats rolling over and filing a Chapter 13BK. I'm fighting $60k+ in charge-offs, and after two years have beaten every creditor except for one, and that was settled quite favorably. Not to mention that I just settled with a CA for various violations, which will be worth about 1/3 of the debt that I wound up settling. In the end, it (usually) isn't about being right. It's about refusing to back down.
  8. It wasn't about whether or not they were in compliance. It was about sending a message--that, if they chose to sue me, they would be in for a battle that would cost them many times the alleged debts. Emailing executives/compliance personnel has been very successful for me--both for getting CRA deletions and getting paid for FDCPA violations. Hell, it's even worked wonders in dealing with issues regarding cell phone service, cable, etc. It's all about being aggressive. Searching for the names of compliance/executive personnel on LinkedIn or other similar sites has worked wonders.
  9. No. Don't pay them a dime. Don't even spend the $5 on certified mail. Midland is lightweight. I beat Midland (also Synchrony accounts) by doing nothing more than sending an email. Sent it to their corporate executives/compliance officer, disputing the debt and demanding arbitration. Also simultaneously disputed with the CRA's. Within a week, had a deletion on all three CRA's and letters from Midland stating they were closing the accounts. PM me if you'd like their contact info.
  10. Do you really have to bash nearly everyone you encounter on here? Try toning it down and avoiding the attacks; we're all in the same boat here, after all. Stop acting like you're THE authority on this board. Given that it's pretty much the only credit board left, it's in everyone's interest to be as helpful as they can, minus the personal attacks/all-knowing attitude. Mods: I apologize if I'm overstepping my boundaries here, but this person's posts are all too often out of line.
  11. The problem is that these law firms will go above and beyond to avoid creating new precedent. The case cited above may have very well established that precedent. Not sure of the outcome, but odds are that the firm offered a generous settlement agreement with an NDA in order to avoid precedent that would be highly beneficial to consumers.
  12. Depending on your state's rules of civil procedure, filing an Answer could waive your right to arbitration. I'd look into your rules first prior to doing anything. In my state, I filed a MTC in lieu of an Answer. Either way, the JDB should fold quickly once the MTC is granted.
  13. This is incorrect. Once the MTC is filed, Amex will file a brief agreeing to arb, but insisting that you initiate with JAMS within 60 days and pay the consumer's portion of the fees ($250). They then counterclaim for the debt (to the tune of a $2500 bill) once you've initiated. Contrary to what some on this board say, Amex would much rather be in court than in arb. I've seen settlements from cases that went to court, and my settlement with them (about a month after initiating arb) was MUCH lower, and paid over the span of a few years at decent monthly payments. Some on this board act as if Amex will gladly spend $100k to chase down a debt of less than 10% that amount...while it is true they will take an Arb all the way to the appeal stage if necessary, they are willing to settle for a reasonable amount, at least early in the arb process.
  14. Interesting. They just deleted from all 3 CRA's upon re-disputing (within a couple of days, actually). Part of me hopes they're smart enough for this to be a walk-away. Another part of me hopes they're stupid enough to sue.
  15. Why would you pay 40% when you could pay 0%? Assuming there's an arb clause, use it. The only reason to EVER pay a JDB is if they're suing on an account without an arb clause. Sure if paying 40% allows you to sleep better at night, it may be worth it. I enjoy battles with collection attorneys and such; others may not.