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My Day in Court Yesterday


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Went to my hearing yesterday. The CA representing Cap 1 sent a rented lawyer from PA on their behalf. It was at a magistrate. I thought I had a bit of a shot to win but the judge and attorney against me were all "buddy buddy" with eachother and I lost.

Judge was pretty rude to me and did not care at all that the plaintiff violated PA R.C.P 1019. I ended up admitting the debt was mine (even though I disagree with the amount) and judgement was awarded to the plaintiff.

I'm not sure what is going to happen now, I have no house or assets and my bank account is in the negative and is being investigated because someone in Bejjing charged Fraudulent items on my account.

I have no job and have lost my unemployment benifits. The judge said it is possible they would execute a sheriff sale if they chose to do so. Other than saying that nothing was explained to me about the judgement.

So what is going to happen now and what should I do? Will they really come and take my infants crib and stuff???

I'm hoping to get some money together and file for bankruptcy, will that help?

Any advice is welcom, I'm so worried.

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After reading some of the other threads, I would imagine you can appeal this can't you?

And did you look into if they broke any of the FCDPA/FCRA/State rules when they filed against you, or even prior to that during their "collection" period?

I can't see where this decision is it, I have to think that you are able to appeal and fight this. That buddy buddy stuff is crap, there has to be a way to fight that.

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Yes, I would appeal. At least it will stay them doing anything further to you. You should never have admitted to owing the bill.

However, there is probably nothing for them to get. I think the judge is trying to scare you. Look up bankruptcy laws in your state. They allow you to keep most things. 1 cheap car, your home, your personal household items. If you do have anything of value get rid of it. There is also a $ exemption etc.

They could seize your bank accts so if you get that money put back into it take it out and close your acct asap. Be very careful about putting any info anywhere regarding any job you may get. They can't squeeze blood from a turnip.

The judge will probably do a debtors exam to see what assets you might have. You will have to swear under oath and answer questions regarding your assets in the court room. Be sure to check your rights of what you are able to keep. I wouldn't admit to having anything expensive or fancy in your home.

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Yes, I would appeal. At least it will stay them doing anything further to you. You should never have admitted to owing the bill.

However, there is probably nothing for them to get. I think the judge is trying to scare you. Look up bankruptcy laws in your state. They allow you to keep most things. 1 cheap car, your home, your personal household items. If you do have anything of value get rid of it. There is also a $ exemption etc.

They could seize your bank accts so if you get that money put back into it take it out and close your acct asap. Be very careful about putting any info anywhere regarding any job you may get. They can't squeeze blood from a turnip.

The judge will probably do a debtors exam to see what assets you might have. You will have to swear under oath and answer questions regarding your assets in the court room. Be sure to check your rights of what you are able to keep. I wouldn't admit to having anything expensive or fancy in your home.

I wasn't planning on admitting the debt and i thought the burden of proff was on the plaintiff but the judge was nasty and didn't even look at the statements the plaintiff had and she was like this IS your debt... ugh

I do not own anything expensive lol. My only concern is that I am currently living with my boyfriend. His stuff is in our apartment. Can they take his stuff?? We also plan on moving into a house (in his name only) next month sooo idk what I would need to do for that if they come after me because It is a different address.

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No, they can't take his stuff and I wouldn't worry about moving etc. I wouldn't even tell them. The judge may do nothing. Just close your bank acct asap. In fact I would tell the bank you want to close it and if they get the money that belongs to you that they give you a cashiers check or something. If you close your acct and the judge calls you in for a debtor exam you can tell they you have no bank accts, that you had to close them due to no job or unemployment checks. I don't know if you did it or not but I would have let that creditor know that you had no job or $$. But whatever, they have a judgement and thats it. I would appeal.

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No, they can't take his stuff and I wouldn't worry about moving etc. I wouldn't even tell them. The judge may do nothing. Just close your bank acct asap. In fact I would tell the bank you want to close it and if they get the money that belongs to you that they give you a cashiers check or something. If you close your acct and the judge calls you in for a debtor exam you can tell they you have no bank accts, that you had to close them due to no job or unemployment checks. I don't know if you did it or not but I would have let that creditor know that you had no job or $$. But whatever, they have a judgement and thats it. I would appeal.

What would appealing it do for me? I dont have money for an attorney to fight it again and when I do get money wouldnt it be better to file for bankruptcy.

Also my bank account is in my and my boyfriends name. It is negative $300 right now because some company in china charged stuff to our acount and we are currently going through the process of filing an affidavit for that. So therefore we can't close it. What can I do about that? Will they just make my account negative 7k to satisfy the judgement?

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Guest usctrojanalum
Yes, I would appeal. At least it will stay them doing anything further to you.

It actually wouldn't. Unless the judgment is bonded.

Also, those of you saying appeal are a bit misguided here. The OP has no assets, a bank account in the negative, and does not have enough money for a BK at this moment. Why would you guys offer advice to appeal a decision that A) will likely cost at least a few hundred dollars B) the OP is not likely to win C) appeals are difficult and are probably outside the scope of 9 out of 10 pro se's

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There is no wage garnishment in PA. unless it is for:

judgments for child or spousal support

obligations relating to final divorce distribution

PHEAA student loans

back rent on a residential lease

as restitution for criminal matters

for certain types of taxes

Judgments are good for 5 years / 20 years and must be renewed every five years. Nobody can take anything your boyfriend owns, the case has nothing to do with him.

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What would appealing it do for me? I dont have money for an attorney to fight it again and when I do get money wouldnt it be better to file for bankruptcy.

Also my bank account is in my and my boyfriends name. It is negative $300 right now because some company in china charged stuff to our acount and we are currently going through the process of filing an affidavit for that. So therefore we can't close it. What can I do about that? Will they just make my account negative 7k to satisfy the judgement?

I am going to send you a PM, but in the meantime...

You went in front of a magistrate?

Were you served properly with a summons?

You were not told to answer it but just show up?

Are you wanting to file BK?

In the state ... all over... there is legal aid that will take things on for free.

You might want to contact them and get their opinion on anything that

could be done to stop the judgment end and also if they handle BK.

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Maybe you can take your name off of your boyfriend's checking acct. Then it will be safe. There is really nothing for them to get from you. Maybe some day, but not now. All you have to do is protect whatever assets you have or will get. But they can take that checking acct because your name is on it so he should have his own account without you on it.

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I am going to send you a PM, but in the meantime...

You went in front of a magistrate?

Were you served properly with a summons?

You were not told to answer it but just show up?

Are you wanting to file BK?

In the state ... all over... there is legal aid that will take things on for free.

You might want to contact them and get their opinion on anything that

could be done to stop the judgment end and also if they handle BK.

I'm not sure if I can recieve or respond to PM since I'm new. I went to a probono lawyer already who was a hack and gave me no advice and talked about his vacations to Madrid... so dumb I hate our legal system.

I was in front of a magistrate

The sheriff served my mother (at a different address) my complaint

I was told not to file an answer (judge didnt really care about civil procedures i guess or maybe its different for magistrate)

I do want to file for BK, I think it may be my best option, I guess

I don't know if when I do file BK if I should even bother dealing with Probono again...

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I went to a probono lawyer already who was a hack and gave me no advice and talked about his vacations to Madrid...

There you go, this is your local lawyer. Maybe the plane will crash and we'll lose one more dummy. I wouldn't try for an appeal, this is way beyond what you can do. Ever see Shawshank Redemption? Rememeber what Tim Robbins asked the guard on the roof? There you go. Cash your check, put the cash in an account controlled by somebody who has no connection to this case. Let them spend their money to chase a dead end, guaranteed they won't do it.

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You went to court, admitted to the debt, and now you want to appeal because the lawyer and judge were friends? It's called a professional courtsey and everytime I was in court the atty for the other side was VERY friendly with the judge, even asked about a soccar game.

We then got to business and I kicked their tail and left. If you have a couple of doctors that run into each other at the grocery store, generally speaking, they are going to chat it up and be friendly. You were in a professional setting with professionals, they are going to be buddy, buddy.

It sounds like you got intimidated in court and admitted everything and are now having buyers remorse. It happens, court is very stressful and can be intimidating. However, don't see grounds for an appeal.

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You went to court, admitted to the debt, and now you want to appeal because the lawyer and judge were friends? It's called a professional courtsey and everytime I was in court the atty for the other side was VERY friendly with the judge, even asked about a soccar game.

We then got to business and I kicked their tail and left. If you have a couple of doctors that run into each other at the grocery store, generally speaking, they are going to chat it up and be friendly. You were in a professional setting with professionals, they are going to be buddy, buddy.

It sounds like you got intimidated in court and admitted everything and are now having buyers remorse. It happens, court is very stressful and can be intimidating. However, don't see grounds for an appeal.

I never said that I WANTED to appeal.. that is what others have suggested... read carefully before you start assuming. Anyways I'm not angrey about them being buddy buddy .. I could care less, i'm a bit disappointed that rules of civil procedure werent really followed.. but whatever.

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It actually wouldn't. Unless the judgment is bonded.

Also, those of you saying appeal are a bit misguided here. The OP has no assets, a bank account in the negative, and does not have enough money for a BK at this moment. Why would you guys offer advice to appeal a decision that A) will likely cost at least a few hundred dollars B) the OP is not likely to win C) appeals are difficult and are probably outside the scope of 9 out of 10 pro se's

The appellate is going to see nothing wrong. The judge can question any witness and the OP admitted the debt. If you admit the debt then the Plaintiffs don't have to bring in any other paper.

A check of the judges previous rulings would have alerted you to the judges way of ruling.

Going forward I don't see how the OP could afford the approx. 300-500 dollars for appeal fees and an appeal bond (Surety One offers those for roughly 4% of the judgment). what was the amount.

Personally whe need to get people up to speed for trial. pre trial stuff prep is good but If you don't know whats going to happen going in you will lose.

I would not recommend appeal in this case.

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Personally whe need to get people up to speed for trial. pre trial stuff prep is good but If you don't know whats going to happen going in you will lose.

.

Absolutely....

A year to a year and a half ago I tried to get a thread going about this very thing and it dies with only 3 replies....

I think now is a good time to do such... And suggest those

of you with experience in front of a judge or even a magistrate

to step up and get one going....

Not everyone has the time to go and monitor court before

their day there... and in PA, at least in my area, you cannot sit in

on a Magistrates hearing unless it is your case...

You need to wait in the waiting room.

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I am so sorry to hear this. This brks my hrt! Make sure you get your name off his Bank acct!

I won both of my cases & I tell ya, the judges can make you feel they're in the attt's court. So I think that can be scary.

I never sat in on trials before my cases. I just really took the advice of everyone here & as scared & if I felt it wasn't the right thing to do I did it anyway. You have to fully trust this forum. I mean BELIEVE in these guys here. They know what they're talking about & if you go in prepared w/ all that you've taken from here. You will win. I subpoened witnesses, I cross examined them, I objected & back it up w/ caselaws & CA codes. I denied the debt b/c they couldn't prove standing. They're banking on YOU to win their case for them! I wasn't about to let them use me as part of their evidence. Even if that meant crying in my car after being direct examined for 30mins by their bully atty. I wasn't about to let him get to me in court.

I'm so sorry you went through this & its scary, I know I've been there twice now.

I hope there is something you can do. :cry:

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i'm sorry to hear you lost ... but THANK YOU for sharing the details of your case and it's outcome with us ... even a defeat can be usefull in advancing the cause ...

look at it this way , you were broke and unemployed before the trial , afterwards nothing changes ...like everyone has said they can't get money from a stone , rest easy knowing that right now you cost THEM more money then their going to get out of you ...

As for what the judge was saying about them excuting a sherrif's sale .. if your living with your boyfriend then that would be HIS property , and i would think that the sheriff wouldn't have the legal right to enter the property and inspect things ...

if they ask to come in , say no , if someone you don't know knocks on the door , don't answer ...

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i'm sorry to hear you lost ... but THANK YOU for sharing the details of your case and it's outcome with us ... even a defeat can be usefull in advancing the cause ...

look at it this way , you were broke and unemployed before the trial , afterwards nothing changes ...like everyone has said they can't get money from a stone , rest easy knowing that right now you cost THEM more money then their going to get out of you ...

As for what the judge was saying about them excuting a sherrif's sale .. if your living with your boyfriend then that would be HIS property , and i would think that the sheriff wouldn't have the legal right to enter the property and inspect things ...

if they ask to come in , say no , if someone you don't know knocks on the door , don't answer ...

Thank you! That is why I wanted to share my story to help others. Other posters are right that we need more information on the board about what actually happens at the trial (or district justice) so we can be prepare on what to expect.

I thought I was golden, they had violated civil procedures, hired a rent-a-lawyer instead of the actual lawyer suing me.

I did NOT admit to the debt at firs (sorry I realized I didn't clarify it well)

I tried to bring up my defense and object to insufficientcy of their pleadings, etc. Sadly, judge didn't really want to hear it (at that level they mostly deal with misdemeanors and traffic violations)

Oh and if the sheriff has an order to break and enter then he willl just break the door down, theres not really a way to not let them in if they have that.

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I agree with Coltfan...To preface it though, we are not picking on you..never admit to the debt..force the Plaintiff to prove every cause of action in their complaint.

Attorneys want you to think all they need is a bunch of account statements to prove their case, but that is not true. Yes, it does establish that their is an existence of a relationship, but it does not prove that you are the one who used the card, made payments on the card or were even aware of the card....A Plaintiff will have a hard time proving you were the one using the card, if you deny it, you are unaware of the card and three most times, a Plaintiff does not have any proof that you were the one who made payments, since most payments are done through online banking. If you think a collections attorney will get banking information from their client, 9 times out of 10, you are wrong...These legal spe******ts or recovery spe******ts groups in a company are very small maybe 5-6 people and they review an excel spreadsheet of all deliquent accounts, then sign affidavits stating that the amount they are claiming is correct. Most of these employees have no previous banking experience and most do not have much of an education..these affidavits are misleading....

Considering most banks have offices on the east and west coasts as well as down South, if you live in a northern state and it is a debt under $10k, the Plaintiff will most likely not send a witness..so the only thing the attorney will have in most cases are account statements backed by an affidavit...

Most attorneys will tell you that it is very difficult to beat an original credit cause they can retrieve all the documents needed to win...I will disagree with that assumption...most banks are so big, under-staffed and with all of the mergers and buy-outs that most banks did not retain all the records when the data files transferred servers...

Last, unless the Plaintiff makes the affiant available for cross-examination to the statements they swore to, the statements made are Hearsay and the account statements hold very little weight as long as you deny the account.

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I agree with Coltfan...To preface it though, we are not picking on you..never admit to the debt..force the Plaintiff to prove every cause of action in their complaint.

Attorneys want you to think all they need is a bunch of account statements to prove their case, but that is not true. Yes, it does establish that their is an existence of a relationship, but it does not prove that you are the one who used the card, made payments on the card or were even aware of the card....A Plaintiff will have a hard time proving you were the one using the card, if you deny it, you are unaware of the card and three most times, a Plaintiff does not have any proof that you were the one who made payments, since most payments are done through online banking. If you think a collections attorney will get banking information from their client, 9 times out of 10, you are wrong...These legal spe******ts or recovery spe******ts groups in a company are very small maybe 5-6 people and they review an excel spreadsheet of all deliquent accounts, then sign affidavits stating that the amount they are claiming is correct. Most of these employees have no previous banking experience and most do not have much of an education..these affidavits are misleading....

Considering most banks have offices on the east and west coasts as well as down South, if you live in a northern state and it is a debt under $10k, the Plaintiff will most likely not send a witness..so the only thing the attorney will have in most cases are account statements backed by an affidavit...

Most attorneys will tell you that it is very difficult to beat an original credit cause they can retrieve all the documents needed to win...I will disagree with that assumption...most banks are so big, under-staffed and with all of the mergers and buy-outs that most banks did not retain all the records when the data files transferred servers...

Last, unless the Plaintiff makes the affiant available for cross-examination to the statements they swore to, the statements made are Hearsay and the account statements hold very little weight as long as you deny the account.

No I totally understand I wasn't being picked on, I was just making poster aware that I did NOT say I wanted to appeal. Yes I should not have eventually admitted the debt, my mistake. I have a 4month old at home so I really didn't want to risk any further litigation, or being found in contempt of court or something stupid. My dad has worked with this judge many times (he is a landlord and has sued tenants) And he told me for a fact that the judge does not favor defendants at all, despite not having adequate proof. I again probably should have denied but I couldn't do it I got scared. I'd rather have at least tried and then file for BK than be caught in a lie in front of a judge or something.

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then sign affidavits stating that the amount they are claiming is correct.

I wonder..... has anybody ever asked one of these robosigners if they ever failed to state the amount is correct? They start that, and guaranteed they'll be unemployed. Talk about an interested, prejudiced witness. This is like Heinrich Himmler swearing that Hitler was a nice guy.

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