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Everything posted by BackFromTheDebt

  1. It means you won The chances of then re filing are very smalll
  2. Well, they changed the card over the years. They didn't have an arbitration agreement when I had their card. I guess they do now. You should have put in improper venue because of arbitration for as an affirmative defense. If you can amend it, do so. Otherwise, just file the MTC ASAP. Here is the thing. MOST of the time the OCs will go through arbitration, especially for that large an amount. The point of arbitration is NOT to win the case, but to give yourself some leverage to try to negotiate a better settlement. At this point, you can still negotiate. Arbitration may give you the chance for a better settlement. Your two best windows for negotiating a settlement are: 1. Between the time you file in arbitration and when they pay the fees. 2. Much later in the case, just before the hearing. This especially works if the COVID restrictions are lifted, and there is an in-person hearing. Those can be expensive, so that puts some pressure on them. It is possible, but not likely, that they will walk away from this debt in arbitration. As I said, not likely, It is possible, and somewhat more likely, that you will be able to use arbitration as leverage for a settlement you can live with. Arbitration is not a magic bullet. It is a useful tool.
  3. I hate to be the bringer of bad news, although not all is bad. FNBO generally doesn't lose. Ever. I don't know anyone on this forum who has beaten them. FNBO doesn't have an arbitration clause, so you can't use arbitration (unless they put an arbitration clause in since I dealt with them). They keep very good records. They don't sell to JDBs. They usually use the best debt litigation law firms, although I have little knowledge of the firm in this particular case. I settled with them. I would suggest making a low ball settlement offer, and see what their reaction is. I settled for less than I expected, although that was a long time ago, and before the account was written off. For an amount this high, it would be very difficult to pay if off all at once. You will probably have to agree to a stipulated judgment. That is, you agree to a monthly payment plan, and if you miss your payments, they won't have to go to court. They will already have a judgment. So make sure you agree to a payment plan you can actually afford. If you can't get a payment plan you can afford, consider bankruptcy. The only good thing is -- in Texas it is more difficult for them to collect on a judgment. There have been some situations where Texans have simply let a judgment be placed against them, which the creditor could not collect. That is a dangerous strategy, and should only be used if you really know what you are doing, and they really CAN'T collect against you. There are some Texans on this forum, @texasrocker being the most active. He is knowledgeable about specific Texas laws, procedures and strategies. If anything he says contradicts anything I say, listen to him.
  4. We see the complaint about the expense of arbitration many times. Your approach was correct. The OC put arbitration in the contract. Coming in later and saying it’s not fair means they want to throw out their own contract, violating a Supreme Court ruling.
  5. BK is an interesting thing. For some, BK is a godsend. For others, BK is terrible, and to be avoided except as a very last resort. I, personally, was in a situation in which I was heavily in debt but BK would not have been very good. Fortunately I was able to use a number of strategies, including arbitration, to fight off my debts and get back on my feet. For others, BK is great. If you are out of work and have lots of unsecured debt, BK may be a great option. Or not. See how this plays out. If this is your only large debt, and if you can get rid of it, you don't need BK. If you have other large debts, and you have some large medical debts, BK might be the way to go.
  6. Back in the mid 1980s I was in a situation where I had to quickly get medicine for a sick loved one. I drove an unregistered, unlicensed car, and got in an accident. I was extremely lucky. 1. The cops decided to be nice and not mention the accident on the ticket, which made the change much less serious 2. I was in NYC. That was a civil, rather than criminal, charge. 3. There was no proof that the accident was my fault, although in retrospect I was distracted and it probably was my fault. So I avoided a law suit from the other car. 4. Nobody was injured. Otherwise I would have gone to jail. 5. No kids in either car. 6. The judge was nice and gave me the lowest penalty. I still lost my license for a year, and had to pay a big amount to get it back a year later. 7. I was in a place where losing my car and license wasn’t that big a problem. If I hadn’t been so lucky, I would have a criminal record. My current job would be impossible to get with a record. For the OP, what would happen if you needed to go to the drug store and had a kid in the car with you and got in an accident with the kid in the car? That could easily be a felony conviction, jail and /or prison time, and loss of custody of any children. These days meds can be delivered. Don’t take the risk.
  7. You haven't even given us the names of these agencies, so we can't help you without that information.
  8. Your credit has already been dinged from the late and missed payments. I honestly don’t know what effect this will have on your credit 3-4 years from now. Time heals credit wounds, but not in the same way as before. There are some places that claim to be able to predict what effect certain items will have on your credit rating, but those predictions are not always accurate. The main thing is to get any money owed off your credit reports. Settlement would hurt more than paying the account off, but would wipe out the balance. Also, unless you are insolvent, you will have to pay taxes on the money forgiven in the settlement. The exception is if you owe more than your assets. These are things to consider.
  9. One thing you really need to do is figure out what your goals are. You have several options. The less expensive options are worse for your credit, but less expensive. 1. You can pay the amount in arrears and make the monthly payments until the balance is zero. This is by far the most expensive option, but is the least bad for your credit rating. If you can't afford to do this, you can't afford to do this. 2. Settle. This does not necessarily mean paying off 60%. That is pretty high for a settlement. This option is cheaper than option #1, but if you don't have the money up front you can't do it. Simple as that. It is worse for your credit than option #1, but not TOO bad. If you need a mortgage or car loan a few years down the pike, at least you won't have any outstanding debt. 3. Let this go to default. If they sue, you can probably beat them using arbitration, so at most it costs a few hundred dollars. This is the cheapest strategy, but will hurt your credit rating for the next 7.5 years. If may be very hard to buy or refi a house during that time. Nor is this a sure thing. With a bad judge, you could get a judgment against you. I don't know why they want that high a settlement. If you can afford a lower offer, make the offer and see if they go along with it. 4. In SOME situations you can enter into a hardship agreement, under which you pay a lower monthly payment. That will often be a lower monthly interest as well. If you can get that sort of situation, that might be your best bet. It is cheaper than #1, and the monthly payments would be affordable. The problem is, many places simply won't let you enter into a hardship agreement, or else the hardship is only for a year or so. If that is the case, you are stuck with options 1,2 and 3
  10. What is raising a red flag for me is that the OP must admit liability BEFORE settlement talks can begin. As others have pointed out, the settlement talks themselves are probably not admissible in court. But an admission of liability BEFORE settlement talks might be admissible. So my fear is, the opposing attorney could simply reject the settlement offer, and use the admission of liability to win the case.
  11. That depends. Some doctors’ offices won’t talk to you once an account has been sent to collections. Others will. If you really want to negotiate with the doctors’ office, you can call and ask for their accounts department. If they tell you to talk to the CA, then call the CA.
  12. That is not good. You could settle without admission, or have admission as part of the settlement. Demanding admission of the debt before negotiations sounds like a trap. If they reject your settlement offer they have your admission as a serious weapon.
  13. Citi has a small claims exemption. @Clydesmom may be able to tell you if the exemption applies in this situation.
  14. I have a hard time answering that question. Over the years the “preferred” answer has changed a few times. I never filed between filing of the case and the court ruling. I did file preemptively a few times, but those were special cases. For a while the advice was to file before the MTC hearing to prove to the judge you are serious. These days the common advice seems to be to wait until after the hearing. I realize that is not helpful.
  15. 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?
  16. 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.
  17. Do NOT send a cease and desist letter. That stops all possible settlement negotiations. Don't do that unless you have an extremely good reason to do so. I have sent some, but when I had an extremely good reason to do so. I gave an example of a DV letter earlier in this thread. That is the only good example I can think of.
  18. 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
  19. You are new to this and quite overwhelmed. Understandable. Take things one step at a time. You need to send your DV letter within 30 days of receiving the initial correspondence. So you have a little time to figure things out. Spend some time researching. Spend some time reading the arbitration thread on this forum. You don't have a ton of time, but you have some time to figure things out. Do things one step at a time. The first step is to do some research. The second step is to send your DV letter while you are doing your research. The third step is to see what their reply is to your DV letter. Then, you take it from there. If you are thinking about settlement, right after they reply to your DV letter is a good time to discuss a settlement with them. That is one of your best windows for settlement. You best times for settlement are: 1. After they reply to your DV. You know that they can validate. They expect to settle at that time. It is usually cheaper to settle before they file suit than after they file suit. So this is a good window of opportunity. 2. Right after filing in arbitration. They know it is expensive. They are often more likely to settle. 3. Right before the hearing. They are moving back to in person hearings, which can be very expensive. They may want to settle then. I, personally, have settled accounts at 2 and 3. So have others.
  20. Bank of America has often had some of the most generous settlements we have seen. One of the main benefits of the arbitration strategy is that it often creates a more beneficial settlement. It can't hurt to negotiate a settlement. If you can get a settlement you can live with, consider that a victory. What you should NOT do is give a sob story to the debt collectors. Just don't. First off, some of these debt collectors are trained to manipulate your emotions. If you give them a sob story, you are playing their game on their home field. Second -- this is extremely important -- your particular sob story can be quite dangerous for you. Once you start talking about your business, you are at serious risk of losing your consumer rights. That can hurt you more than you can imagine.
  21. True, I made some assumptions with incomplete information. Occasionally a DV halts a suit. Occasionally bringing up arbitration gets a law firm to return a case. Usually a DV buys some time.
  22. The information given isn’t really sufficient to answer all your questions. You never mentioned your state. If it is not NY your situation is very different. I can advise you to send the DV letter I suggested. That is always good advice. When your situation is clearer maybe I can give some other advice.
  23. If you are already dealing with a law firm, that is a clear threat to sue. Sometimes the DV letter I recommended will stop a law suit. At worst it will delay a law suit by a few weeks. Sometimes they will make a stupid mistake. If you don’t send the DV letter, you will get sued. And you will probably lose. The letter I suggested buys you some time. A few days or a few weeks, sometimes a few months or years. Occasionally they give up. But you have the time to work out your strategy.
  24. You seem to have misinterpreted the article about not sending DV letters. That is referring to cleaning up your credit reports. It does NOT refer to warding off debt collectors. In fact, the article clearly states that debt collectors often do not verify the debt. This is simple. If you send a DV letter and they don’t validate, they cannot collect. Simple as that. For my personal experience over a decade ago, I spent years playing whack-a-mole with debt collectors for BOA. Two accounts almost $70k total. A CA would send a collection letter, I would send a DV CMRRR. I would never hear from them again. Then I would get a letter on the other account. DV, no reply. A few months later a different CA, DV, no reply. This went on for years. I never paid a penny. For a debt collection law firm, I would send the following. Omit the last sentence if there is no arbitration provision in the agreement. Dear Debt Collectors, I dispute this debt. I demand validation. I hereby elect arbitration for all matters concerning this account. Yours, OP
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