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Everything posted by BackFromTheDebt

  1. Yeah, this post is old, but it bears repeating over and over and over, as long as people get into arbitration. When you get into arbitration, you are hoping for one of two results: 1. They walk away. This especially happens if it is a JDB. I did, however, have an OC walk away from a debt in the $10-15k range. Back when Crap 1 still had an arbitration agreement, they simply refused to pay the JAMS fees, and the case was dismissed. 2. You get some kind of settlement. This could be a mutual walkaway, or it could be one party paying money to the other party. I had one arbitration for which I could add a debt collector, and I got a small amount of money from them. So it isn't always the consumer paying the money. The settlement you get depends on a lot of factors. I actually came out ahead on my JAMS settlements. The other settlements were all mutual walkaways because of extenuating circumstances, such as some very genuine claims on my part. Or, in one case, there was an SOL issue (I filed in JAMS years after the Delaware SOL but a few months before my state's SOL, and the contract used Delaware law). The SOL issue combined with some questionable accounting and some legitimate claims on my part led to a mutual walkaway. Another case had some claims against their attorney, who arranged to just have the whole thing dropped with me dropping the claims against the attorney. One case involved some genuine malfeasance on the part of the OC. Their attorney seemed to lose all interest in the case as soon as he saw my evidence in discovery. If you don't have some really good claims against the OC, or SOL issues, etc., do NOT count on getting a mutual walkaway. JDBs are more likely to get a mutual walkaway or they just ignore JAMS and let the case get dismissed., There are a few very good windows for settlement: A. Between the time the JAMS case is initiated and when they have to pay the initial fee. This is why we often suggest not paying the $250 at front. This is a time when you have almost maximum leverage. You may be able to get a good settlement. I got a settlement at this point. As I mentioned, Crap 1 simply walked away, which was pretty much the same result. B. After discovery, if and only if there is something damaging to the creditor during discovery. As I mentioned, in one case I had some VERY damaging evidence against the OC, so their attorney got them to agree to a mutual walkaway at this point. Don't count on good settlement leverage unless you have the goods. C. Just before the hearing. I got an OC to agree to exactly the same settlement I previously offered at point A just before the hearing. The bill for the hearing is expensive, and sometimes they are willing to negotiate to avoid the hearing. I have seen other cases in which the OC ignored settlement offers until just before the hearing. D. If there is an appeal, repeat A-C. These are your best windows for settlement. Which usually means YOU contact THEM with a settlement offer. You will rarely get an OC to settle for a mutual walkaway, but in special cases it happens. In general, point C is your absolute best settlement, with point A a close second. Point C is only if they rejected your reasonable offer in point A, and you give it another shot. Point A is when you really HOPE to settle, to avoid all the hassles of the arbitration. Point B is a special case. If you have the goods against them, stick to your guns, insist on a mutual walkaway. You will get it if you have something they really don't want an arbitrator to see.
  2. I'm not sure what to tell you. My advice would be to document everything, Send in the money on schedule, perhaps send the checks certified mail return receipt requested so you have proof the checks arrived by the proper date. If they deposit the checks, you have a record (the cancelled checks). Save your bank records to show they actually deposited the checks. If they refuse to deposit the checks, you at least have a record that you sent the checks according to the signed agreement. That way, if they ever sue, then you have proof that you were abiding by a signed agreement.
  3. There are some cases in which an OC will buy back the debt. There are three possibilities: 1. The OC never sold the debt. 2. The OC bought the debt back. 3. The suit is an error.
  4. As you can see, this is a scam. Do not under any circumstances give them you credit card information. Do not give them any information at all.
  5. Some posts in the past have strongly suggested using the money to pay advance rent or mortgage, etc. You have to be careful with loans. If you just pay extra money, they will usually apply it to your principal. You need to work out arrangements so that the money you pay is earmarked so that you are paying x months in advance. One banker told me he has an arrangement with his bank so that his mortgage is paid 6 months in advance, and every check is used not for the current month but to continue being 6 months in advance. Perhaps you can work out that sort of arrangement so if you fall behind in your cash flow you will have a cushion to catch up. Good luck to you!
  6. If the house is under water, she may have to negotiate a short sale. With the mortgage and the lien that can get complicated. A little over a decade ago I had two rental properties that were under water and the tenants were on their way out the door. I tried to negotiate short sales. It was rough. The real estate agent took offers to both banks, which were rejected. Foreclosure judgments on both — the same day. In one case, after the judgment the bank agreed to a different short sale for the same amount. In the other case, the bank foreclosed, the property was vacant for six months, then they sold it for $10k less than our short sale offer. I was not allowed to refinance my own home for 7 years afterwards. In my state the banks rarely go after anyone for the extra amount over what they sell the property for, because they can foreclose in half the time that was. Other states may be different. In other words, a short sale may be the best option, but may not be possible. One alternative is to simply stop paying the mortgage, but still collect the rent, and let the bank deal with the mess. That kills the credit for 7 years, though.
  7. Cap 1 got rid of their arbitration agreement, sad to say. Too bad, since they ran away when I forced them into arbitration.
  8. Exactly. It is important -- the answer to many issues vary from state to state, county to county within a state, judge to judge within a court, or even vary depending on the judge's mood that particular day.
  9. There are other factors. For example, if you previously lived in County A, took out the debt in County A, defaulted in County A, and your last known address was in County A, it is possible they would allow the suit in County A, even if you had since moved to County B. Or they might grant a MTD without prejudice, and the plaintiff would just refile in County B.
  10. I did a variation of this. In those days, almost all the cards had arbitration, and arbitration scared the OCs. I started by paying off some cards with low balances. The cards without arbitration agreements I negotiated a settlement, except for one low interest USAA card I kept current and still use. Then I spent the next 6 years fighting the cards with arbitration agreements. In some cases I was able to get a little money fir violations. Altogether I paid less than 10 cents on the dollar, including the low interest rate card I kept. For the cards I negotiated or fought, my aggregate was leas than a penny on the dollar.
  11. If you are happy, this is great. The goal is to get a deal you can live with. Trust me, there were some arbitrations I’ve been through where it would have been easily worth $1000 just to avoid the hassles.
  12. Ah. I see. That could be confusing. Hopefully the judge or magistrate will be understanding.
  13. If the document was done correctly, that is the most important thing. Many attorneys file documents they didn’t draft themselves. Often a paralegal fills out a template form, prints it out, and the attorney signs it.
  14. Several things. 1. You will almost certainly NOT get a PFD. This rarely happens. In those rare cases when you CAN get a PFD, you almost always have to pay 100% of the amount, and that is usually before they file in court. Getting a settlement for < 100% AND a PFD just won't happen unless there are some very unusual circumstances. 2. By participating this far in the case, SOME courts would rule that you have waived your rights for arbitration. Others will still let you arbitrate. This differs from state to state, county to county, judge to judge, and even differs with the same judge depending on his/her mood. So there is no guarantee off arbitration. 3. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. The ONLY way to get arbitration is to file an MTC NOW. Either you get arbitration, or you don't. At least you still have a chance. 4. Your leverage for negotiations are much better once you have filed an MTC. If you file an MTC, and then negotiate a settlement, you will probably get a better settlement. However, what happens once the judge or magistrate or whomever rules on it? If you get your MTC, your leverage is enormous, because they won't follow you into arbitration. If you lose the MTC battle, you have lost all your leverage. I hope that helps. I would suggest writing up an MTC, and bringing it with you to the pre-trial hearing. Then see what happens.
  15. John Does in court cases are not uncommon. I have had that in the past. Proceed the way you would any other case.
  16. It appears you know what to do for this case, since you have been down the arbitration road before.
  17. That’s great! And if these old debts come back to haunt you before the SOL, you now have money to deal with them. If they don’t, even better!
  18. Should you mention arbitration? Only if you want to win. If you don't pursue arbitration, you will probably lose, over 90% of the time. If you do, you will probably win. If I were in your shoes, I would: 1. Download the card agreement from the CFPB web site. 2. Read up on the arbitration threads in this forum. Search and see if you can find anything particular to NY.. 3. Use arbitration, or more precisely incorrect venue due to election of arbitration, as an affirmative defense. 4. File a MTC according to the rules of your county's court. If you do all of that, you will most likely win the case. Best of luck to you!
  19. That is something some people do. They refi for a higher amount, and a portion of the money is used to pay off the debts. In that case, you won't be saving $500 a month, because your principal will be higher. OTOH, you could find yourself in a situation in which the loans are paid off AND you are paying less money per month than you are now. No fear of ever getting sued, and a clean credit rating. The other side of it is, you would have a higher principal on your mortgage. AND, if you refi on a 30 year term, it will take you longer to pay it off. What I did -- I realized I could refi for a 15 year mortgage for less money per month than the 30 year mortgage I was in. I had over 15 years left on my mortgage. I am not saving very much $ per month, especially since the refi costs added thousands of dollars to my principal. But, I am saving a little bit of money per month, and I will pay off my mortgage a few years earlier. Maybe only about 2 or 3 years earlier, but when my mortgage is all paid off, I will certainly appreciate those 2-3 years.
  20. MOST of the time you will have to pay off the accounts in collection. Realize, there are exceptions for everything. A little over a year ago, my wife and I refinanced our home. She had an account Vz had sold to a JDB, for about $600-700. It was close to the SOL. I talked to lenders, and none of them required us to pay off the debt. One lender suggested we attempt a Pay For Delete. We contacted PRA with a PFD offer, but they never responded. We wound up paying nothing, and getting the loan anyway. If you are already contacting banks, and being told you need to pay off the debts in collection, then you have two choices: 1. Pay off the loans in collection, get whatever terms you can get with a 620 credit score. Not great, but not bad. 2. Wait until the SOL has passed, and your credit score is higher, then refinance the mortgage under whatever terms you will be able to get in a few years. I basically did #2, because I had over $100k in charged-off debts, plus a foreclosure on my record. But you only have about $3k. The question is: are the benefits you can get with a refi now, rather than past the SOL, with a 620 credit score worth paying off $3k? Answer that question, and you will know exactly what to do.
  21. AND -- make sure to file a police report. This is key. Filing a police report means a LOT in fighting fraud. If you haven't filed a police report, nobody will take you seriously. Once you have filed a report, you are taken much more seriously.
  22. When you get to the mediation, tell the mediator that you and the plaintiff have agreed on private arbitration. Bring whatever documents you have showing that they agreed to it. If the mediator tries to get you guys to talk about settling the debt, just say you already have the agreement with the plaintiff. Others might chime in, but I don't see any harm in starting arbitration with AAA now. The plaintiff isn't fighting arbitration.
  23. You need to do a little homework. There are many threads on this forum from people who have been in the the same situation. Synchron account, PRA, Rausch law firm. There is a way to win. @fisthardcheese put together a nice arbitration thread. There may be specifics for dealing with Texas. I would recommend doing a search on arbitration, and learning the basic techniques. Look at the specific Texas threads as well. @texasrocker may have some specific detail about Texas courts. Long story short: you can beat this with arbitration, but you have to do your homework to execute your plan. Good luck!