remybergen

Motion to Appear

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A little background. In college I had a few credit problems, had a credit card and stopped paying in August of 2004. It looks like I owe about $755.00 which I am more than willing to pay now as I'm employed at a great job, etc.

I started receiving notices from Pressler & Pressler stating I owed them over $1,000. They threatened to seize property, put me in jail, etc.

I responded with Certified Letters requiring them to prove they owned the debt. They responded with a letter of their own stating:

Their "client" New Century Financial currently owns the debt and that:

"Judgement was entered against you on June 6, 2008, and an outstanding balance remains due and owing to our client. Attached please find a copy of the judgement notice as verification of debt."

Now, I'm no legal eagle but a judgement notice is not exactly proof they "own" this debt.

As I mentioned, I have no problem paying the original amount owned, maybe even with some penalties, but I WILL NOT pay a company that won't prove they actually own the debt.

Fast forward to last week when I received a Motion to Appear in Bergen County Court here in NJ. I have work commitments all this month so filed a Motion to Continue requesting a later date.

In the meantime, I want to send the court clerk, judge, secretary or anyone I can at the Bergen County Court paperwork that can get this case dismissed.

If Pressler and Pressler provided paperwork proving they own the debt, I would have paid them and been on my way. But I can't accept this massive waste of time. I have an extremely demanding position with my employer, and taking time away from work to deal with these bastards is not something I'm willing to do.

How can I appeal to the court to save them time and myself time? What paperwork can I submit?

The debt is now gone from my credit report. I was also under the impression everything is past the statute of limitations but Pressler & Pressler claim that since they filed suit (I'm not even sure they did) in 2008 they can try and sue me for 20 years (stated in a letter to me).

I'd like to avoid this showing as a Judgement on my credit report as well.

Any ideas?

Thanks

Edited by remybergen
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First of all I would go online or go to the court that the claim they got a judgement from and see if its true and if its the amount they state.

If they really got a judgement on you then they could start doing things like attaching your wages or grabbing your bank accounts if they can find them.

If they are just suing you now, then answer the lawsuit and deny owing the bill at all. With some help from here you may not have to pay. Sounds like the debt was resold and they rarely have the required info to win a case but if they have a judgement already then you are sunk. If they have a judgement already then empty out your bank accts before they attach them and all your money.

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Here are some more details:

Proceeding Status PENDING

Case Filed Date xx/xx/2008

Calendar Type MOTION HEARING

Judge Name JOSEPH R ROSA

Caption NEW CENTURY FINANCIA VS xxxxxxxxxx

Motion Type MOTION TO ENFORCE LITIGANTS RIGHTS

Motion Status PG HEARING

I have a docket number, I received 2 sets of papers from P&P demanding personal information like items i own, etc which I refused to provide to them... mistake??

My bank account is out of state so I doubt they'll get their greasy hands on my account.

I just have an issue paying someone who can't produce evidence that I owe money to and then them demanding, after they won't provide this evidence, that we waste tax-payer money and people's time in court.

Seriously, what can I do without having to appear, through certified letters, etc.?

If P&P would just produce some evidence that I owe them directly I'd gladly pay them.

Is it a must that I go to court for this or can I make my case through letter writing to them and the courts?

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I don't think you really comprehend how bad off, in reference to this account/debt, you are. Your talking like somebody that was just sent a letter or got a call from a junk debt buyer, creditor, collection agency, ect...

You have a judgement against you. It's over (generally speaking). The time to prove they own the account has passed. Not only do they have judgement, they are hauling you into court for the judge to compel (force) you to disclose your bank accounts, property, work information, ect.

You're in the judgement enforcement stage. Their going after your money and property and your sending letters like there has been no trial. Don't get me wrong, challenging standing (they own the debt) is a great argument, probably the best.

However, not at this stage. They have trumped your demands and your DV letter by producing a judgement.

You really don't want to not show up for court or send letters to the judge. This is not criminal but the Judge can still hold you in contempt for failing to appear. What your going to is sometimes called a debtors exam. It is where the court puts you under oath and you have to disclose personal information.

If P&P would just produce some evidence that I owe them directly I'd gladly pay them.

They have done what your requesting when they sent you that judgment.

Now, I'm no legal eagle but a judgement notice is not exactly proof they "own" this debt.

True, but it is proof you owe them the amount listed in the judgement.

Edited by Coltfan1972
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Listen to coltfan. He has more knowledge that I do but yes, you already have the judgement against you and now the Plaintiff is trying to collect. you have a hearing now to find out about your assets and see if you have money or assets that can be sold to pay off the judgement. UGH. Did you fight this case at all? If you didn't know about it til now I would try to get the judgement overturned. I don't know how to do that but perhaps you should write a new message here saying that unbeknownst to you you have a judgement against you and have to go to a hearing to tell the judge about all your assets and is there a way to stop the judgement and get a trial or something. The judge ordered you to appear so you have to appear just like coltfan stated. I am sorry for you. Good luck!

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PS: they already proved to the court/judge that you owed the amount they asked for. Either because you never showed up at court when they filed a case against you or because you went to court and lost. Part of the story seems to be missing.

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Thanks ColtFan1972.

You're right, I don't understand the process and don't really understand where I'm at in that process.

I basically was under the impression I could fight until the end based on the fact that they still had never proved they owned the debt.

Obviously, I missed my chance to fight for that proof somewhere in this process.

The motion to appear was the 1st instance where I was asked to appear in court so I thought that that would be my chance.

I'm wrong obviously.

No problem, I pay the debt, I'm fine with that as I missed the opportunity to request the proof I wanted. My original issue was on principle... not about the money at all. I owe a debt, I admit that. I just wasn't sure it was Pressler & Pressler I owed it to and would have preferred they prove that I owe it to them

So can you fill me in on what my options are now? If any!

They requesting $400 more than my original debt. Can I contact Pressler & Pressler directly and offer a settlement amount or will I be demanded now to pay the amount they are requesting in full?

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A little background. *snipped*

I started receiving notices from Pressler & Pressler stating I owed them over $1,000. They threatened to seize property, put me in jail, etc.

Ummmm.... wha? Put you in jail? If they really threatened this, I would be doing some reading on my rights...

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Its against the law to threaten a debtor with jail etc. You should look up a collection attorney that works for debtors only and file an fdcpa case against them and maybe other state laws that may apply for your state. You might be able to collect some money off of them. Hope you saved the letters. I also would try to be sure that pressler and pressler do own the account and that if you pay it that it will be shown on your records that it is paid. The extra money is for their attorney fees, court costs and probably more interest.

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They can't put you in jail for not paying. There are instances where someone was held in contempt for not obeying an order to pay - which could lead to jail. But these cases are few and far between.

If you can pay, I'd just pony up the cash and be done with it.

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I think I'll just settle then.

Is there a point of no return here where I cannot negotiate any longer?

I have not heard back on my Motion to Continue, asking for an additional 30 days prior to a hearing.

I'd like to avoid missing a hearing because of work commitments but if I had to can I still negotiate a settlement?

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First the FDCPA still applies to them even after a judgment. However, that can be used as leverage but you still have a judgement.

Generally speaking, anything you can try to settle. However, your really behind the eight ball. They already have the judgement. They still do settle judgments but it won't be near the discount without a judgment.

You can't hurt yourself by trying. Also, explore your FDCPA rights. If you have solid proof they threatned to put you in jail, that is a violation of your rights. Just because you have a judgment against you does not mean you forfit basic rights.

Good luck, but to be honest you don't have a lot of leverage after there is a judgment. If you can come up with a lump sum though, I bet they would take it. However, they most likely won't go for payments. They will just garnish your check to get guaranteed payments, instead of relying on you to actually send them their payments.

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From your post, I see nothng that says if or when you were served with a lawsuit. There should be a copy of this in the court file. As for appearing, you have to go or be held in contempt. If you were never served and had no knowledge of this case, you may be able to vacate the judgment and start all over again, if you want to fight. Junk debt buyers are not that hard to beat, they won't want to spend any money on this small a case. I would definitely bring that letter to court where they threatened you with jail. The judge might not like that.

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Thank you all for replying.

I'm thinking that what is becoming clearer and clearer at an increasing rate is that I'm not very well informed on judgements, lawsuits, motions, etc.

I'll be sending a letter looking to settle to Pressler & Pressler and New Century.

My letter asking for a Motion to Continue should have already been received.

I very much cannot miss work on the particular day the Motion to Appear states. I have a client flying in from the West Coast that day specifically to meet with me.

The money is not an issue at all. My attempt to fight was on principle and the high value I place on my time.

Will the court just hold me in contempt and award P&P the entire amount?

Then I pay and we're all done? Should I/can I negotiate the amount down still? Or are there further ramifications? Credit report filings, etc.

Again, the money....not so important. My time and job... extremely important.

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There's likely merit to an FDCPA case against them, for threatening to put you in jail.

I'd likely send them a letter stating I'll not file an FDCPA action against them in exchange for satisfaction of the judgment.

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I'll look for the exact wording but I remember reading what was sent and saying to myself... wow! Jail.

I was concerned at first but I read a little about this particular group and then began to think they were empty threats to intimidate.

I actually thought it was a scam because of the fact that this debt was gone from my credit report.

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I started receiving notices from Pressler & Pressler stating I owed them over $1,000. They threatened to seize property, put me in jail, etc.

FDCPA violation:807. False or misleading representations [15 USC 1962e](4) The representation or implication that nonpayment of any debt will result in the arrest or imprisonment of any person or the seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of any property or wages of any person unless such action is lawful and the debt collector or creditor intends to take such action.

(5) The threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken.

Their "client" New Century Financial currently owns the debt and that:

"Judgement was entered against you on June 6, 2008, and an outstanding balance remains due and owing to our client. Attached please find a copy of the judgement notice as verification of debt." Was there an actual judgement? Was this a fabricated judgment and not legal? need to know this.

Pressler & Pressler claim that since they filed suit (I'm not even sure they did) in 2008 they can try and sue me for 20 years (stated in a letter to me).

Write them and demand strict proof of this in the form of a judgment signed by a judge. If they do not another FDCPA violation under 807. False or misleading representations [15 USC 1962e](9) The use or distribution of any written communication which simulates or is falsely represented to be a document authorized, issued, or approved by any court, official, or agency of the United States or any State, or which creates a false impression as to its source, authorization, or approval.

we need to know these things.

Go get a copy of the court case and read it and see what happened. Did they get a default cause you did not show up for court?

Were you served back in 08 look at the court docket and see what they have for proof of service. Let us know if they did serve you or not.

If they did not serve you properly and you did not know about the judgment then you can attack the validity of the judgment itself under these situations.

Edited by BTO429
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And if you just want to be rid of them, give them a call and offer them what they want. Or tell them you have bla bla amount you can give them right now, will they accept it and satisfy the judgement. You are going to have to pay either what they claim you owe or close to it but it never hurts to say I have blank amount I can settle this case with right now. If you can settle it before the hearing then you shouldn't have to go to one.

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Will the court just hold me in contempt and award P&P the entire amount?

This has already been done !!!! Not the contempt but the awarding of the full amount. It's game over.

They already have been awarded the full amount. Do ask for a continuance, by motion, not by a letter. That is a very legit reason to get a continuance.

However, your still missing the important part to this. They have won. They have the judgment. They want your stuff. They are getting ready to get court orders to take your stuff and levy your bank accounts.

Take this serious as they will get atty fees and additional costs to do all this. They are also getting post judgment interest. If the money is no problem, then pay them off and be done with it.

Everytime they step in a courtroom, send a letter, or file a motion, it has potential to be charged to you.

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First off you have not yet told us whether or not you found out if the judgment is real.

If they got a judgment and you did not know about the suit at that time you have several ways to attack the judgment.

Just because they have a judgment does not mean it the end. Most courts have in their rules of trial procedure means in which a person can attack the validity of the judgment its self.

If you were not served and did not know about the the suit you attack the validity of the judgment its self due to lack of service.

PLEASE go to the court get a copy of the docket sheet and let us know what it says. Let us know if there really is a judgment. Call the court and ask if there is a judgment on file. Come back and post this info so we can help you out.

I'm not a lawyer,,YET,, I still have another semester or two and then i have to wait until next July to take the bar exam.

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I appreciate your efforts BTO429, but I'm going to take ColtsFan's advice and make a settlement offer as I have no issue paying the debt.

Taking time from work, going to the court, trying to get judgement information, etc. are excellent ideas but if my settlement offer just makes them go away at this point it is well worth it. In a way, they win, but in another, I do as I don't need to spend further time on this. If I had more time to commit to educating myself on procedures, etc. and use your advice better, I certainly would. Again, I appreciate your time already.

I'd like to share some further info that might be useful to others if you can make sense out of any of it.

On March xx, 2011 I received a letter from:

Superior Court of NJ

Special Civil Part, Law Division

County of Bergen

It Stated:

Notice to Defendant

On March xx, 2011, a judgement was entered against you by the court. A copy of the writ of execution is attached showing the total amount of $xxxx. (I don't remember anything actually attached. Nothing was included with the letter actually.)

Then it listed steps that would be taken against me if I didn't contact the court officer... blah blah blah.

This is what prompted me to start writing certified letters, and pushing back.

I thought it was a scam!!!

The instructions were to mail a check to:

Superior Court of NJ, Special Civil Part

c/o Gerald Rammoth

P.O. Box 160

Paramus, NJ 07653

(201) 368-9000

A Paramus address for a NJ court didn't seem right.

So I called that number and immediately was speaking with a RUDE woman. I demanded to speak to Gerald Ramoth if I was going to send a check to him.

The woman told me I couldn't speak to him. I explained to her I wasn't sending a check to someone who I couldn't speak to.

She started screaming at me and her exact words, I wrote them down were:

"You don't understand, Gerald Ramoth is this office. I'm Gerald Ramoth"

To this day I have no idea what she was talking about but what little info. I could gather was that Pressler & Pressler was allowed to setup some sort of court office in Paramus where they could file these judgements against people.

Is that right? And why did they file another judgement when I thought there already was a judgement from 2008?

I have a letter here from Pressler and Pressler stating clearly that:

"Plaintiff filed suit against you on February xx, 2008."

In that same letter it states: "Judgement was entered against you on June xx, 2008), same will remain valid for twenty (20) years."

Is this all meant to be purposely confusing?

Edited by remybergen
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If I were you I wouldn't willy nilly mail a check to some strange entity. I would go to the court house and read the file on you and see if there really is a judgement. I think many gave you that advice. Then I would ask who to contact to pay. It should be the lawyers that handled the case against you. I would go to the hearing at that court and find out what is going on.

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It looks like what happened is they filed a lawsuit against you in Feb, 2008 and you did not show up or answer so they got an automatic judgement against you. A law suit and the judgement are 2 different acts. If you don't show up for the lawsuit you lose automatically and get a judgement pretty quickly, ie, in March. I don't know why they are waiting 3 years to try and collect on it tho. Usually they try to collect right away.

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I'm making a settlement offer to Pressler & Pressler... being mailed ASAP.

I just included the information about Gerald Ramoth because it struck me as odd and maybe someone here could make sense of it for someone else that is or will have a similar situation.

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It looks like what happened is they filed a lawsuit against you in Feb, 2008 and you did not show up or answer so they got an automatic judgement against you. A law suit and the judgement are 2 different acts. If you don't show up for the lawsuit you lose automatically and get a judgement pretty quickly, ie, in March. I don't know why they are waiting 3 years to try and collect on it tho. Usually they try to collect right away.

OK, it's starting to make more sense. Thanks.

So I did miss something, it was just 3 years ago.

Just out of curiosity... What is a judgement? Is that an order to pay?

You have to forgive me, I have never had an interest in understanding any of this.

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