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  1. Hello, I am trying to get a motion together that will allow me to appear via teleconference for an arbitration hearing scheduled Feb 28th. It's regarding a lawsuit by PRA for credit card debt. I was told by the head arbitrator that I would need to provide case law in order to appear via telephone or video conference. I have cited PA Civil Code and Due Process. But honestly I have no idea what I'm doing and I don't know if I'm on the right track or not. Any Additional help would be greatly appreciated! Defendant has the right to be heard in any hearings and this is a fundamental right under due process “a person may not constitutionally be deprived of "life, liberty or property" by governmental action without notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard” Mullane v. Cent. Hanover Bank & Trust Co., 339 U.S. 306, 313 (1950), Armstrong v. Manzo, 380 U.S. 545, 550 (1965), Fuentes v. Shevin, 407 U.S. 67, 80 (1972) (noting that the "central meaning of procedural due process" is the "right to notice and an opportunity to be heard ... at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner"). See generally Martin H. Redish & Lawrence C. Marshall, Adjudicatory Independence and the Values of Procedural Due Process, 95 YALE L.J. 455, 475 (1986) ("The Supreme Court has often stated that the core rights of due process are notice and hearing."). Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Comm. v. McGrath, 341 U.S. 123, 171-72 (1951) (Frankfurter, J., concurring) ("No better instrument has been devised for arriving at truth than to give a person in jeopardy of serious loss notice of the case against him and opportunity to meet it."). United States v. James Daniel Good Real Prop., 510 U.S. 43, 55 (1993) (quoting McGrath, 341 U.S. at 171-72 (Frankfurter, J., concurring)); Connecticut v. Doehr, 501 U.S. 1, 12-14 (1991) (same); Fuentes, 407 U.S. at 81 (same). Escoe v. Zerbst “‘the end and aim of an appearance before the court’ under the statute was to ‘enable an accused [parolee] to explain away the accusation,’ and this required ‘bringing the [parolee] into the presence of his judge.’” Thus, the required elements of due process are those that "minimize substantively unfair or mistaken deprivations" by enabling persons to contest the basis upon which a State proposes to deprive them of protected interests. Fuentes v. Shevin, 407 U.S. 67, 81 (1972). …but by general provisions of law applicable to all those in like condition, he is not deprived of property without due process of law, even if he can be regarded as deprived of his property by an adverse result. Marchant v. Pennsylvania R.R., 153 U.S. 380, 386 (1894). The core of these requirements is notice and a hearing before an impartial tribunal. Due process may also require an opportunity for confrontation and cross-examination, and for discovery; that a decision be made based on the record, and that a party be allowed to be represented by counsel. "In almost every setting where important decisions turn on questions of fact, due process requires an opportunity to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses." Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254, 269 (1970) Although the subject of an administrative hearing has the right to give oral testimony, actual physical presence is not required. See Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254, 268-69 (1970); Kansas City v. McCoy, 525 S.W.2d 336 (Mo. 1975). Furthermore The demeanor of witnesses in telephonic hearings, despite the inability to observe the appearance of the witness, can still be judged by other factors, such as the inherent plausibility of the testimony, the tenor of the witness's voice, inconsistencies and contradictions in testimony and specificity of testimony. Babcock v. Unemployment Division, 696 P.2d 19, 21 (1985). Thus, the notice of hearing and the opportunity to be heard "must be granted at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner." Armstrong v. Manzo, 380 U.S. 545, 552 (1965) Pennsylvania Code § 101.127-101.133 - Regarding Teleconferences 101.128 Section A and B a) The tribunal may schedule, on its own motion, testimony by telephone of a party or witness when it appears from the record that the party or witness is located at least 50 miles from the location at which the tribunal will conduct the hearing, without regard to State boundaries. (b) The tribunal may schedule testimony by telephone of a party or witness, at the request of one or more parties, when one of the following applies: (1) The parties consent to the receipt of testimony by telephone. (2) The party or witness is reasonably unable to testify in person due to a compelling employment, transportation, or health reason, or other compelling problem.
  2. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 25, 2016 CONTACT: Office of Communications Tel: (202) 435-7170 CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU TAKES ACTION TO HALT ILLEGAL DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES BY LAWSUIT MILL AND DEBT BUYER CFPB Bars Law Firm, Debt Buyer from Churning Out Illegal Collections Lawsuits and Imposes $2.5 Million in Penalties WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today ordered the debt collection law firm Pressler & Pressler, LLP, two principal partners, and New Century Financial Services, Inc., a debt buyer, to stop churning out unfair and deceptive debt collection lawsuits based on flimsy or nonexistent evidence. The consent orders bar the companies and individuals from illegal practices that can deceive or intimidate consumers, such as filing lawsuits without determining if debts in question are valid. The orders also require the firm and the named partners to pay $1 million, and New Century to pay $1.5 million to the Bureau’s Civil Penalty Fund. “For years, Pressler & Pressler churned out one lawsuit after another to collect debts for New Century that were not verified and might not exist,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Debt collectors that file lawsuits with no regard for their validity break the law and violate the public trust. We will continue to take action to protect borrowers from abuse." Pressler & Pressler is a New Jersey-based law firm that collects consumers’ debts for creditors through lawsuits and other means. New Century Financial Services, also based in New Jersey, buys and collects defaulted consumer debts and hands off those accounts to Pressler & Pressler for collection. To collect alleged debts on behalf of New Century and others, Pressler & Pressler filed hundreds of thousands of lawsuits against consumers. Sheldon H. Pressler and Gerard J. Felt, partners of the firm, each participated in the firm’s debt collection litigation practices. The CFPB found that to mass-produce these lawsuits, Pressler & Pressler used an automated claim-preparation system and non-attorney support staff to determine which consumers to sue. Attorneys generally spent less than a few minutes, sometimes less than 30 seconds, reviewing each case before initiating a lawsuit. This process allowed the firm to generate and file hundreds of thousands of lawsuits against consumers in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania between 2009 and 2014. The CFPB found that the respondents violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits unfair and deceptive acts or practices in the consumer financial marketplace. Specifically, the CFPB found that Pressler & Pressler, the firm’s named partners, and New Century Financial Services: Made false or empty allegations about consumer debts: The CFPB found that the firm, the named partners, and New Century filed lawsuits against consumers without sufficient basis. Neither the firm nor New Century reviewed documents supporting the validity of debts. Filed lawsuits based on unreliable or false information: Some consumers had previously challenged the validity or accuracy of the debts, but the firm or New Century did not obtain or review information to justify their claims. The firm and New Century also filed suits and collected debt knowing that some account portfolios targeted for lawsuits contained unreliable or false information. Harassed consumers with unsubstantiated court filings: The CFPB found that the firm, the named partners, and New Century filed collection suits generated mainly by automated processes that relied on summary data. The firm won the vast majority of the lawsuits by default when consumers did not defend themselves, even though neither Pressler & Pressler nor New Century had verified that the debts were actually owed. Enforcement Action Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB has the authority to take action against institutions or individuals that engage in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices. The CFPB also has authority over debt collection practices under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The CFPB orders require that Pressler & Pressler, the firm’s named partners, and New Century Financial Services must: Stop filing lawsuits with unsubstantiated claims: Pressler & Pressler, the named partners, and New Century cannot file lawsuits or threaten to sue to collect debts unless they obtain and review specific account-level documents and information showing the debt is accurate and enforceable. Ensure accurate court filings: The firm, the named partners, and New Century may not use affidavits as evidence to collect debts unless they accurately describe relevant facts including that the individual executing the affidavit has personal knowledge of the debt, or, if not, has reviewed documentation related to the debt. The firm must also keep an electronic record showing it is following proper procedures. Pay civil penalties: The firm and the named partners must pay a penalty of $1 million to the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund. New Century must pay a penalty of $1.5 million. The CFPB’s order against Pressler & Pressler and the named partners is available at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201604_cfpb_consent-order-pressler-pressler-llp-sheldon-h-pressler-and-gerard-j-felt.pdf The CFPB’s order against New Century Financial Services is available at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201604_cfpb_consent-order_new-century-financial-services-inc.pdf
  3. Hello, this is my first post. I received a request for admissions, interrogatories, and request for production of documents. I found this previous thread and used it as my basis for responses. I tried to write everything as verbatim as possible. I am in the State of Pennsylvania. I am assuming compounded interrogatories are allowed. (Please reference Interrogatory No.3) Also, I am not sure if I need to provide three separate response pages for the admissions, interrogatories, and production of documents. I have already formatted three separate pieces of paper with the answers. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Request for Production of Documents 1. Produce any and all documents evidencing proof of all payments on the subject credit card referenced in the complaint, including, but not limited to, cancelled checks, receipts, coupons, statements, accountings, memoranda, invoices, financial statements, accounting entires, diaries, charts, lists, phone records, data compliations etc. Response: Denied. The information known or obtainable by the Defendant is insufficient to enable a response to the request. Discovery is ongoing. Defendant's preparation for trial is not complete at this time. 2. Produce any and all documents you intend and/or provide testimony on as evidence at the time of trial. Response: Denied. The information known or obtainable by the Defendant is insufficient to enable a response to the request. Discovery is ongoing. Defendant's preparation for trial is not complete at this time. Request for Admission 1. Defendant applied for the credit card referenced in the complaint. If the answer to Request for Admissions No. 1 is "denied", then supply specific written documentation supporting the denial. Response: Denied. The information known or obtainable by the Defendant is insufficient to enable a response to the request. Discovery is ongoing. Defendant's preparation for trial is not complete at this time. 2. Defendant has failed to make all required payments on the credit card. If the answer to Request for Admissions No. 2 is "denied", then supply specific written documentation supporting the denial. Response: Denied. The information known or obtainable by the Defendant is insufficient to enable a response to the request. Discovery is ongoing. Defendant's preparation for trial is not complete at this time. 3. The attached monthly statment correctly identifies the payments, charges, and balance on the account. If the answer to Reqeust for Admissions No. 3 is "denied" then supply copies of cancelled checks, both front and back, and/or if not available, specific written documenation supporting the denial. Response: Denied. Attached information is incomplete. The information known or obtainable by the Defendant is insufficient to enable a response to the request. Discovery is ongoing. Defendant's preparation for trial is not complete at this time. 4. Defendant has no submitted any written dispute as to the billing inaccuracy concering the credit card in question during the time the account was opened on September 1, 2007 until the last payment date of September 20, 2013. If the answer to the Request for Admission No. 4 is "denied", then supply copies of specific written disputes as to any billing inaccuracies. Response: Denied. Information known or obtainable by the Defendant is insufficient to enable a response to the request. Discovery is ongoing. Defendant's preparation for trial is not complete at this time. 5. $9,319.73 is the correct and accurate balance of the credit card account in question at the time the account was charged off. If the answer to Reqeust for Admissions No. 5 is "denied", then supply specific written documentation supporting the denial and indicate with full explanation what you believe to be the correct balance on the account. Response: Denied. Information known or obtainable by the Defendant is insufficient to enable a response to the request. Discovery is ongoing. Defendant's preparation for trial is not complete at this time. 6. Please admit that you agreed to pay Plaintiff's predecessor all amounts due resulting form the use of you credit card account, including any finance charges and other charges due under the terms of the agreement. If the answer to reqeust for admissions No. 6 is "denied" then supply specific written documentation supporting the denial and indicate with full explanation what you believe to be the correct balance on the account Response: Denied. Information known or obtainable by the Defendant is insufficient to enable a response to the request. Discovery is ongoing. Defendant's preparation for trial is not complete at this time. 7. Please admit that for each month you had a balance on your credit card account, you were sent, by mail or otherwise, a bill, statment of account, invoice or other request for payment showing all transaction s billed to your account during the billing period. If the answer to Request for Admissions No. 7 is "denied", then supply specific written documentation supporting the denial and indicate with full explanation what you believe to be the correct balance on the account. Response: Denied. Information known or obtainable by the Defendant is insufficient to enable a response to the request. Discovery is ongoing. Defendant's preparation for trial is not complete at this time. Interrogatories 1. Please identifiy the person(s) answering these Interrogatories Answer: My name 2. Please identify each and every person that has assisted you in responding to these interrogatories Answer: No one else 3. Separately, for each of your answers to Requests for Admissions 1 through 9 above where your answer is anything other than an unqualified admit, please: a. State each fact known to you upon which you rely to support your denial or qualified answer; b. If you response is that you do not have sufficient information or knowledge to admit or deny, then describe each effort you have made to acquire the information you feel would be necessary to admit or deny the request; c. Identify each document known to you which you believe contains information relevant to your answer; and d. Identify each witness known to you who may have knowledge with respect to the information upon which you rely for your denial or qualified answer and as to each witness, state the infromation you believe is known to them with respect to you answer. Answer: The Request is Unintelligible. Discovery is ongoing. Defendant's preparation for trial is not complete at this time. 4. If you filed affirmative defenses to Plaintiff's Complaint, separately for each defense please: a. State the factual basis that supports your defense; b. Identify each document known to you which you believe contains information relevant to your defense: and c. Identify each witness known to you who may have knowledge with respect to the information upon which you rely for your defense and as to each witness, please state the information you believe is known to them with respect to your defense. Answer: The Request is Unintelligible. Discovery is ongoing Defendant's preparation for trial is not complete at this time. 5. Have you ever requested Plaintiff's predecessor to open a credit card account in your name? If so, please state the credit card account number(s). Answer: No, I never requested Plaintiff’s predecessor to open a credit card account. 6. Are you aware of any credit card accounts with Plaintiff's predecessor opened in your name? If so, please state the credit card account number (s). Answer: Defendant denies allegation. The information known or obtainable by the Defendant is insufficient to enable a response to the request. Discovery is ongoing and defendant denies the request until such time as sufficient information is known to make a different response. Interrogatory is compounded and contains subsections. 7. Have you ever made a purchase or obtained a cash advance by using a card, account number and/or account access check issued by Plaintiff's predecessor? If so, please state the credit card account number(s) and the date(s) of the purchase or cash advance. Answer: Defendant denies allegation. The information known or obtainable by the Defendant is insufficient to enable a response to the request. Defendant denies the request until such time as sufficient information is known to make a different response. 8. Has Plaintiff's predecessor ever sent to you, by mail or otherwise, any bills, statements of account, invoices or other requests for payment? If so, identify each document and state whether you objected to it. If you have objected, identify each objection, including whether it was written or oral. Answer: Defendant denies allegation. The information known or obtainable by the Defendant is insufficient to enable a response to the request. Defendant denies the request until such time as sufficient information is known to make a different response. 9. Have you ever objected, in writing or otherwise, to any bills, statements of accounts or invoices you were sent? Answer: Defendant denies allegation. Defendant denies the request until such time as sufficient information is known to make a different response. 10. If you keep records of purhcases or payments with respect to your credit card account with Plaintiff's predecessor, do these records show a blance owing on the account? If so, what is that balance? Answer: Defendant denies allegation. Defendant denies the request until such time as sufficient information is known to make a different response. 11. Is there any portion of Plantiff's claim that you admit you owe? If so, state the amount that you admit you owe to Plaintiff and any facts that support your claim that you do owe the rest of Plaintiff's claim. Answer: Defendant denies allegation. Defendant denies the request until such time as sufficient information is known to make a different response. 12. If you claim that the account on which Plaintiff is suing is inaccurate, specific each inaccuracy and any facts that support your conclusion that the account is inaccurate. Answer: Defendant has denied allegations, burden of proof lies on Plaintiff. Defendant's preparation for trial is not complete at this time.
  4. I have a (somewhat) curiosity question concerning the homestead exemption in Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Pennsylvania. I have a home with no equity, but I have a lot of credit card debts and am considering filing Chapter 7. If I have an addition constructed on my home (Increasing the home value by say $25,000) and pay for it by credit card - and then wait 6-12 months before filing Chapter 7, can I claim the $25,000 as Homestead Exemption and discharge the debt even though that $25,000 is part of the debt to be discharged? Does anyone know of a statutory reason I couldn't do this? Are bankruptcy judges allowed to make "judgment calls", or do they go strictly by the statute? Thanks for everyone's thoughts.
  5. In completing the Chapter 7 Means Test in Pennsylvania, can anyone shed light on the Mortgage Debt Payment (Subpart C of Means Test) if a home is CO-OWNED with a non-spouse? Specifically, myself and the co-owner are planning to file bankruptcy (one at a time). If I file first, can I state that I pay 100% of the mortgage in Subpart C of the Means Test? This would make passing the means test possible. Also, assuming my bankruptcy is granted, can the co-owner THEN file using the same 100% mortgage payment in his Subpart C?
  6. First of all, Thank you for your time & attention! Can someone help me by giving me an example or template for: -Praecipe to Submit Preliminary Objections -Preliminary Objections I took out 3 non-federal student loans to help pay for my undergraduate degree. My dad is my co-signer on these loans. I graduated then went to Asia to get my MBA with Syracuse. Crossing languages & countries- the Plaintiff didn't acknowledge that I was in grad school therefore they did not defer my loans. I have not mad any payment on these 3 loans. I was served papers for a civil action law suit (the court of common pleas) for these 3 loans. The promissory notes were not attached to the papers I was served. I HAVE NOT received a 10 day notice of Default Judgement My dad has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease shortly before I was served these papers. My two sisters are in college and my mom works. I need to take care of my dad. Summary judgement against me should be avoided if possible. **I need help with the Preliminary Objections! I need to file ASAP because its past the 20 days**