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Everything posted by BackFromTheDebt

  1. Send them what you send to JAMS. If you are trying to keep them from accidentally suing you, a cover letter might make it less confusing for them. Couldn't hurt.
  2. Should they? No. Will they? Probably not, but they might. That would be a mistake on their part which could cost them. Make sure to send the JAMS complaint copy to their attorney. As for myself, I was once sued in small claims when I had already filed in JAMS. The law firm had the case dismissed w/o prejudice immediately, and not long after agreed to dismiss it with prejudice.
  3. There are some Californians here. Maybe they can help, but, you did not provide enough information. There are some forms you can find on this forum to ask advice. Such as, who is the plaintiff, who is the OC, what type of court, what amount are you being sued for, and what has happened in the case so far. Without that information, you cannot get the best possible advice.
  4. This seems a bit fishy. Simply put, this could be fraudulent. As @Harry Seaward said, he should check his bank account to see if he really did make this payment. Aside from that questionable payment, when is the last time it shows him making a payment?
  5. This reflects what I have seen. I had a case where we offered a JDB a PFD for an account in my wife's name, and this was getting close to SOL. The letter plainly stated that we would pay 100% for a delete, or pay nothing. No reply. It is past SOL now. We were able to get our mortgage anyway. The credit score difference between paying it off and not paying it off wasn't big enough to make it worth our while to pay them. So, quite seriously, they preferred to collect 0% on a debt with no PFD rather than 100% on a debt with a PFD. Go figure.
  6. This is a good explanation. Many of the CAs have monthly quotas. There may be a minimum amount for which they will settle, and you are more likely to get the minimum near the end of the month, when quotas must be met. Just like you are more likely to get a traffic or parking ticket near the end of the month. Also, the CA is more likely to contact the OC to allow for a lower settlement. Of course JDBs have a much bigger leeway for settlements.
  7. In some states it legally required, but many don't send one anyway.
  8. I will leave it to more knowledgeable people to debate the merits of your case. I don't have a clue on that matter. That is not the question. Assume for the sake of argument the case has merit. If you served Barclays properly, and they have not answered the case by the end of today, then go ahead and file for a default judgment on Monday. Monday is a week past the deadline. Judges will sometimes (not always) give some leeway for deadlines. Of course, any filing with the court should be sent to Barclay's as well. They may see the motion for default judgment and decide to answer and try to get the judge to allow the answer. If so, the judge may or may not allow that. Trying to predict the behavior of an unknown random federal judge is far beyond my limited psychic abilities.
  9. There is some debate as to whether or not a true addict can ever be cured, and there is a lot of debate as to whether addicts are treated properly in the US. Be that as it may, paying off a gambling debt might be a very strong reinforcement to stay the heck away from it.
  10. I agree with @Harry Seaward on this point. $20,000 debt may seem to be crushing debt, but if you are making more money that what you need to get by, it can be manageable. The default and fight/settle option might actually be cheaper than BK, and you might be able to keep more of your money. Attorneys make their money off of bankruptcy. To a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. It isn't bad to have the BK option as a last resort. That is what many of us, including me, have done. I just never had to use that option. Here is the single biggest argument against bankruptcy for a relatively small debt: You don't have a crystal ball. If you file for bankruptcy now, that can tie things up for a long time. If it is Ch 13, you have a 5 year (sometimes less) payment plan, PLUS all the money that goes to lawyers. If anything bad happens in the next 5 years, you cannot discharge the bankruptcy, and you are liable for the debts. Sad to say, most people fail in this. It might not be something bad. It could be kids who take up a lot of your money. The other side is Chapter 7. They may or may not be able to take the $15,000 from your wife, and they might make you sell one of your cars are replace it with a beater or a bicycle. That is over quickly, BUT, you can't file again for another 8 years. God forbid something bad happens to you or your wife and you wind up with some horrible medical bills, but those things happen. If you either work off your debt with a second job, which seems to be the way you are leaning now, or else default and settle/fight, you can get this taken care of in a couple of years. Your credit report will stink for 7+ years if you default. BUT, if something really unexpected happens and you have to declare bankruptcy on a rather large medical debt, you can. There is also the question as to whether working off your gambling debt with a second job would do more to convince you to stay away from gambling. I use to gamble a lot. Not what you would call a compulsive gambler, but I have seen people get into MUCH worse problems than yours. A friend of mine once found himself down $30,000 to Mafia bookies after the Sunday games, no cash on hand, and settlement day on Tuesday. He flipped a coin, used the results of the flip to determine his Monday Night Football bet. He put 30 dimes on the game, won, and broke even for the weekend. Had he lost, well, maybe he wouldn't have been around to tell me that story. Your situation is bad enough. Your wife may have saved you from getting into a situation like I described. Imagine being in that situation, and betting on the wrong team?
  11. This is false. He can get a second job. Defaulting/BK is not the only option. If you look at my more recent posts, I agreed with you that a second job is a good option. Look a little more carefully. He says all his money goes into an account his wife has complete control of. That is what I meant that his wife has to be in on the plan, or else this will fail. The plan could be a second job, or it could be default and settle, but he would need his wife to allow him to use the money he is earning for whatever plan he implements. If his wife has control of the money and won't agree to a plan, then the plan will fail. So far it appears his wife is willing to work with him on his issues. Solving these issues is the way to preserve the marriage.
  12. Let me elaborate a little. Settling saves you money. In cases where there is a JAMS arbitration agreement, you could drag this out for years, and use JAMS to leverage a really good settlement, sometimes even $0. That is what I did (in fact, the amount of money I got from violators was approximately equal to what I paid in settlements), but I was about $150,000 in the whole, without any way to pay off the money, and I had some debts on rental properties that were foreclosed on. I also had a larger mortgage because I had refinanced for more than the house was worth to pay off some CC debts. In my case, defaulting, settling when I had to, and fighting it out, was done out of necessity. There was a big price to pay. It destroyed my credit rating for many years. I was finally able to refinance my house a few months ago, but at a higher interest than I could've a few years earlier. Also, I was paying a higher interest rate for all those years because of my financial troubles. It also in some cases made employment difficult. I did eventually get a temporary job in the finance industry, which I left about 2 years ago, but that meant everything had to be past SOL by that time. Even so, that worked because I had no money judgments against me, and I was able to show the foreclosures did not come with money judgments. The money you could save by settling might be about $10,000, give or take a few thousand. Could be more, could be less. Also, settling takes time. It is almost like a second part-time job in the time it takes. Settling or bankruptcy MIGHT be your best option, or it might not be your best option. The suggestion to take a second, part-time job to get to where you can pay off your loans isn't a bad suggestion. If you are 100% sure you will stay in the same house for the next decade, and you will never refinance, and you will never need a credit card for the next 7 or 8 years, and if even a second job wouldn't pay off the debts in a reasonable amount of time, then default and plan your next strategy. If you COULD make enough from a part-time job to pay off the debts in a reasonable (you and your wife define reasonable) amount of time, then strongly consider that option. That is something you and your wife will have to decide. Not us.
  13. No matter what, unless your wife agrees to the plan, nothing will work out. I guess the choices are, either get a second job to pay off the debts, or else default on everything and save up enough to settle. Bankruptcy is another option, but this is a small amount to waste that on. Just be warned -- if you decide NOT to pay off the debts, and to settle instead, here is what you can expect: 1. You will never get a loan or CC from those places again. Ever. 2. Your credit score will be trashed for the next 7 1/2 years.
  14. Your first step is a debt triage. There are certain bills you MUST pay. Pay them. How much do you have left after this? Put that aside for now. Better yet, open up a bank account, and have your wife put the money into that account, in your name, but let her have control over it. The credit card debts can probably all be settled for about 25-50% of what is owed on them. You are talking about approx. $20k in credit card debt. With interest, that will go up a bit. You are talking about $6k - $12k you could use to settle these accounts. Cut down on your expenses, and see if you can save that kind of money as quickly as possible. IF there is a credit card with a low interest rate and fairly low balance, you may choose to keep that one credit card. For example, when I was in deep doo-doo I kept a USAA credit card with low interest rate, and it was worth it to me. Otherwise, stop paying on all the cards, and set aside the money for settlements. Also, check to see which cards have arbitration agreements. You can probably settle those for a lot less. I settled all the cards with arbitration agreements for $0. I think Credit one has an arbitration agreement. You need to check on that. Bankruptcy is a possibility, but that is more of a last resort. In the meantime, you need to stop gambling. Do whatever you need to do. If that means giving all the money for your wife to handle, do so. If you gamble away your settlement money, you are stuck with ONLY bankruptcy as an option, and you won't have the option again for a long time afterwards. When I was in a bad situation, I bought a device with caller ID that would block certain phone numbers. You may need something like that later on. As long as the debt is with the OC, they will ring the phone off the hook until you talk to them, then they don't bother you for a few weeks. YMMV. By stopping paying ALL the bills, and setting aside as much money as possible, you are buying yourself at least a few months, maybe the rest of the year or longer, to figure out your next strategy. A lot of your next strategy depends on how much money you can save.
  15. Recall that the estimate I gave was an estimate for: Over a decade This site, the "other" site, and various unnamed sites that spread some of the information. There was probably a LOT more money saved by debtors in the few years from 2008 or so than in the past few years. That money is included in the total estimate. So is money saved by people who never posted here for advice, but read up on what others were doing. Or attorneys learned the techniques and used them for their clients. I think my estimate of 10-100 million saved in a period of more than a decade is not far off the mark. Again, it would only have to be $1 million per year. There are reasons why the business models have changed. Some of that is because they were getting killed by chain-of-custody arguments, by arbitration, by FDCPA and FCRA and state laws, etc. Looking at over 15 years, I would guess that most of the money was probably money from defaults around 2007-2010.
  16. I don't feel virtuous having walked away from about $150 k in personal debt, plus other debt from properties which were foreclosed upon. It brought me a huge relief. It allowed me to sleep better at night. It may have saved my marriage and kept a roof over our heads. It gave us a chance to get back on our feet. We still have a lot of extra mortgage debt from when we refinanced to pay off earlier CC debts. After all these years, we owe more money on the house than we did when we bought it in 2002. In that sense, I felt virtuous, in that the choices I made did some good for the family, and we have mostly avoided the traps we were in earlier. Since in those days illegal debt collection practices were more common, in a way I feel virtuous about defeating banks that either used illegal practices against us, or else hired the sleaziest CAs and attorneys around to go after us. Some of the things they did still get me angry. It was nice to make the bad guys pay, even if it was my default that got us into the mess. It is nice that I came out ahead when faced with bullies. Which is what some of these OCs and CAs were. What about the banks that did NOT use illegal collection practices, and still lost money? I don't feel great about that, but hey, they made a business decision and I made a business decision. My business decision is a drop in the bucket for them, but meant a great deal to me and my family.
  17. Are JDBs legitimate businesses? The CA and JDB business models are legitimate. That being said, some of them operate outside the law. Fewer than in the past, though. Back in the old days, I would deal with firms like Mitchell N, Kay from NYC and the Buffalo operations. They were NOT legitimate businesses by any means. The former NY AG, Andrew Cuomo (now Governor Cuomo) put a stop to much of that. (*) The abuses I put up with from those firms gave me a few thousand, and probably led to some OCs walking away from debts in arbitration. Do I feel bad about that? HECK no. In those days, their business model was to use companies which regularly violated the laws. Any bank that lost money from that deserved to lose the money. If violating my rights was part of their business plan, then they had to consider in their accounting the money they would lose in the rare cases they were called on it. Just business, baby. Nothing personal. (*) For New York readers, this is NOT a political endorsement of Mr. Cuomo. I am sure both he and his primary opponent, Ms. Nixon, are wonderful people. As far as arbitration, whether or not it is a loophole? In the old days, there was the NAF rubber stamp scam. That means, they would take you to arbitration, pay almost nothing, win almost 100% of the time, and that was that. Arbitration was great for the banks. They had a cheap way of collecting debts, AND they could get rid of class action suits. Arbitration is a double edged sword. It can be used as a weapon to ward off the class action suits, with the price being the high cost of consumer arbitration. I don't feel bad for the banks, nor the JDBs, for the costs and losses of arbitration. It's just business. The money they lose due to arbitration is factored in by people who are really good at math. The banks are willing to pay the price to keep arbitration. As for the JDBs, the very small percentage of consumers who walk due to arbitration is part of the small cost of buying the debt. It is considered as part of the price. Also, they spend less money in states with pro-consumer laws than they do in states with pro-creditor laws. Just business. In the old days, sometimes I could get creditors, even large OC banks, to walk away due to lack of proper accounting. Don't count on that anymore. That was them being bitten by their business decisions. At some point, talking about what is or is not a loophole gets a little silly. It's just everyone playing their cards. Me walking away from lots of debt was not free. It cost me big time in lower credit scores, and not being able to refinance my house until recently. It was a business decision I made at the time. I was in way over my head, with no way out. I kept borrowing money to pay off debts, and that just made my debts a lot bigger. Defaulting on my debts was the only way to get myself and my family back on our feet. Call it a loophole, call it a bug in their scheme to screw us over by taking away class action lawsuits, call it a business decision, call it hoisting them on their own petards, call it a to-MAY-to or call it a to-MAH-to. When it works, it's great.
  18. I think you are seriously underestimating the amounts of money involved. These sites have been around for over a decade. During that time was the great crash of 2008. It has been estimated by people far more knowledgeable than you or I that the 2008 financial crises wiped out over $10 trillion in the year 2008 alone. That doesn't account for the massive credit card defaults in 2009 and later. That involved quite a few billions of dollars. http://www.businessinsider.com/2009/2/america-lost-102-trillion-of-wealth-in-2008 My estimate of $10 million to $100 million due to the impact of these sites is a drop in the bucket. Realize that these sites have been around for over a decade. Also, realize that not everyone posts on these sites. Also, realize that some consumer attorneys use the knowledge from these sites. I have first-hand knowledge of this. In order for my estimate to be correct, if people using the knowledge from these sites have wiped out even an average of $1 million per year, that would be well within the range of my estimates. Consider, that is not just arbitration, but fighting JDBs in court back in the days when they couldn't prove they owned the debt. That includes negotiating strategies from these sites (those strategies personally saved me a few thousand dollars). It includes suing over FDCPA and FCRA violations. (I got a few thousand that way, too.) It includes strategies for dealing with mortgages with bad paper trails. In includes using DV letters to get rid of creditors who couldn't prove the debts (about half of my estimated $150,000 came from that. Just playing whack-a-mole with DVs until they went away.) I am including situations in which JDBs or attorneys decided not to sue because of someone on the Web Recon list. I have no idea how much money being on the list may have saved me. I do know of one case in which a law firm dropped a case when they realized who I was. Nor am I just including this site and the "other"site. One can find many of these techniques, esp. the negotiating techniques, on many, many sites on the internet. Now, my state is neither particularly big nor particularly small, neither unusually rich nor unusually poor. If I know of $1 million in debt wiped out in one state with just three people, plus I met a consumer attorney who has used these techniques for his other clients, it is reasonable that there may be several millions of dollars wiped out in this one state. Plenty of people have posted on these forums from my state. Multiply that by 50 states, and my estimate of tens of millions and probably over $100 million is not out of line. Credit card defaults are in the range of billions per year on the average during the past decade or so. I am suggesting a small fraction of a percent of all this money has been wiped out due to techniques from these sites. Some of it from negotiation, some from fighting in court, some from arbitration, some from fighting back against violators, and so on.
  19. You are very seriously underestimating things. I think the amount of money lost by OCs, CAs, JDBs and attorneys combined -- due to this site and that other site -- is easily in the tens of millions or higher. Very likely over 100 million. The other site has recorded wins, adding up over a million. That number is way out of date and doesn't include a lot of money where there were NDAs. That is the tip of the iceberg. Nor does it include money due to THIS site. I never dealt with JDBs. I did wipe out a low six figure debt to OCs because of advice mostly from this site, partly from the other site, and also some PMs and phone calls and faxes and stuff with people who posted on these sites. And I picked up a few thousand from violations. I am just one person. I know others who wiped out six figure debts as well. I could come up with three people I know in my state who wiped out combined debts of probably over $1 million. My approx. $150k was the lowest of the three of us. If you add in the attorney fees, it gets even higher.
  20. True, but the collection agency has SOME leeway. The best settlement I negotiated outside of arbitration was before the account was charged off. That window is passed. With a collection agency, it is still often possible to negotiate a good settlement.
  21. @WhoCares1000 has a point. If you file for BK before the judgment, that pretty much stops everything. The case is generally suspended while the BK proceeds. There is a case to be made that filing earlier is better, since that starts the clock sooner. Also, in SOME situations it can be better not to have a judgment against you.
  22. What you have for the time being is a game of whack-a-mole with the collection agencies. Fun while it lasts, but, at some point Citi will probably get tired of the game and send this off to an attorney. Depending on the circumstances, it may be wise to negotiate a settlement at some point, especially if you find a CA that actually does validate the debt. SOME collection agencies get desperate around the end of the month, and one could get a decent settlement. For others, it won't work. It's a crap shoot. When did this debt go into default?
  23. The above advice is good. Make sure you (a) keep copies of everything you send and (b) make sure you send everything CMRRR. One last thing -- 60 days seems like a long time, but it isn't. All sorts of things can go wrong. Get this done as soon as possible. If you get things done quickly enough, you can also show the court the forms you get from JAMS confirming you initiated the case. The more you have, and the earlier you have it, the better. If you get everything you need to the magistrate well before the deadline, you will probably win this one.
  24. On top of that, you should call Midland and explain your medical situation, and see if they will agree to drop the case. They may need verification.
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