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Discover paid the JAMS fee, now what?


jg2933
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I was being sued by Discover for about $2500 and I am still waiting for decision on my motion to dismiss from court. I filed with JAMS but haven't paid the $250 fee yet. Just received an email from JAMS saying that Discover paid their fee and they are waiting for mine to proceed.

So what happens now? I'm surprised they went ahead with this, but what should I expect at this point?

The motion to dismiss hasn't been decided yet and the case is still "active" in court. Don't they have to dismiss if they are pursuing arbitration?

Also, the lawyer for Discover was trying to scare my to settle by telling me that I will be responsible for all JAMS fees, including theirs (if I lose). I'm aware of $250 fee for consumer arbitration and nothing more. He was full of it, right?

Furthermore, they still didn't provide me with any single piece of paper regarding this account!

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First of all, don't panic.

They have only paid $550.00. They will get the next bill for $5,000.00. For a $2,500 debt, this will not make sense for them to pursue. They are hoping to scare you into a high settlement by paying the $550.

If they have consented to Arbitration by paying, the court case will likely be stayed and not dismissed (put on hold).

The attorney may have committed an FDCPA violation by saying you would have to pay the JAMS fees. Read your agreement carefully. Most say the consumer is only responsible for certain amount. And even if it does not, JAMS consumer rules says your cost are capped at $250.

That being said, your goal should be a reasonable settlement, not trying to go "All the way," in the arbitration process.

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The Discover agreement says that they may advance me my portion of the fees but the arbitrator will make the ultimate decision as to who is responsible for them.

I asked the lawyer where he got the idea that I'm responsible for all the fees and he said that it was on the JAMS website. I checked the website and it said that in consumer credit arbitration I'm only responsible for the $250.

The funny thing is that I had a payment plan with Discover for a year and then it stopped. A few months later, I got the letter from the lawyer asking for the remainder of the money. Since I never heard of this law firm and had no idea who they were, I sent them the letter asking for paperwork. Never got anything from them. 6 months later I accidentally found out there was a case against me (They never served me!!!) I showed up with my answer. Then I came again and I told them I would move to dismiss and file for arbitration. In the meantime, the court clerk requested all the proof from the lawyer about the debt. This was in October. Still waiting....

The lawyer showed up for the hearing for the motion, said he wasn't going to oppose it, and left (didn't even bother to stay). That's where he told me about the fees and tried to settle. I told him that I could make no decisions about any settlements until I get proof of debt. He started flipping through his files and telling me he has all the documents there, at which point I told him that I DIDN'T have them!

Ugh, the whole thing is just so frustrating. Not to mention I'm judgment proof (no income or assets). I have no idea whose bright idea it was to sue me because I was paying the debt!

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I'd go ahead and be working on your formal complaint so that it won't slip up on you. Just be getting it down at least in rough draft form.

Then when you pay, you'll get a commencement letter from JAMS and you'll only have 7 days to get your formal complaint letter in and turn in your arbitrator strike list . . . and Discover will be getting that next "big" bill! :mrgreen:

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I paid my JAMS fee and things got moving quite fast! The plaintiff initially argued that most consumers will not pay the fee, thus wanting to proceed for summary judgment. Surprise, surprise, surprise! ::devillaugh:: Once I paid my fee letting them know I was serious, they were jumping through hoops to get some kind of agreement to avoid paying those higher fees!8-)

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Thanks everyone! I am sending my $250 tomorrow.

I have a question about formal complaint. I've been piecing it together looking at what other people did

I am listing the Law firm and Discover as 2 separate respondents, but technically all my violations are against the Law Firm. I don't know the names of the lawyers I dealt with so can I just list the firm as a whole?

In addition, I know some people put in punitive damages for pain and suffering, etc. Is this usually done? Can I put it in and ask for $250K just to avoid streamlined arbitration?

Does anyone have a sample formal complaint?

Thanks

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Pain and suffering, now you're getting into IIED, and I don't have a clue as to how that would play out in arbitration. I can tell you that if you are going for IIED under state standards, it's a fairly high bar when it comes to proof. Under the FDCPA, it is lower. It can also vary from state to state. I would research it before putting it in personally, but again, I've never dealt with private contractual arbitration.

When it comes to claims against the law firm and Discover, are they under the FDCPA, state law or something else?

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Pain and suffering, now you're getting into IIED, and I don't have a clue as to how that would play out in arbitration. I can tell you that if you are going for IIED under state standards, it's a fairly high bar when it comes to proof. Under the FDCPA, it is lower. It can also vary from state to state. I would research it before putting it in personally, but again, I've never dealt with private contractual arbitration.

When it comes to claims against the law firm and Discover, are they under the FDCPA, state law or something else?

I have no idea about "pain and suffering" either, and I wasn't planning to put it in. I just saw some people do it so I thought I'd ask. I guess I'll just stick to FDCPA, etc. My claims are under FDCPA (they didn't respond to my request for validation), NY civil procedural law (they didn't serve me when they filed with court), the local NYC law regarding validation and documentation, NYC consumer protection law (again, no validation), and another NYS law about telling me I will be responsible for all JAMS fees (which is false).

Basically, I asked them for validation multiple times and haven't seen a single shred of paper. This violates FDCPA, NY state and NYC laws.

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OK, if the violations were committed by the law firm, you cannot claim vicarious liability against Discover under the FDCPA because Discover is an OC. You need to start going through NY and NYC laws and case laws to see if that is a different story under those. It may not be and you may have to let Discover slide, unless you can find something else.

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OK, if the violations were committed by the law firm, you cannot claim vicarious liability against Discover under the FDCPA because Discover is an OC. You need to start going through NY and NYC laws and case laws to see if that is a different story under those. It may not be and you may have to let Discover slide, unless you can find something else.

See, I wasn't sure how to handle it. At no time was I in contact with Discover, everything was initiated by the Law Firm. So whatever violations I had came from Law Firm. The only reason I included Discover was because technically Law Firm is their agent. I guess maybe I can list Discover and if it's not allowed, it's not allowed?

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Again, I'm not familiar with how they will actually run private contractual arbitration. It's just a matter of the FDCPA not being applicable to OCs in general. The funny thing is, JDBs have been held vicariously liable for the actions of their attorneys under the FDCPA. IMO, with the NY and NYC laws, look to see what you can find on this issue. If you can't find a definitive answer, you may be good to go. If you find a definitive answer, use that as your guide.

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So can I still use the FDCPA violation against the Law Firm? To be honest, they just sent me a letter saying they were lawyers for Discover, but who the hell knows? You'd think that dealing with OC, they'd have no problem providing me with a statement or two.

I've been making payments on the card for a year before I got sued, so I have no idea if those payments are reflected in the total they are claiming. I have no idea what that amount is, if it's what it should be. They wanted to settle for 1600 (amount is 2600) and I told them I can't entertain any settlement talks until I see some kind of statements. I was told I was going to get them, and again I didn't get anything.

This just pisses me off more than anything else. And the weird thing is that I was making payments and would have paid the whole thing off like that if they didn't initiate action. Now they are shooting themselves in the foot.

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So then, you do have a dispute with Discover. They claim you owe them $XXX and you have disputed the amount partially or in total, therefore you want a declaratory award stating you owe Discover $XX or $0.

Stated another way;

Discover claims you owe them $XXX and you've refused to pay. Discover wants the court to review the information and issue a judgment against you.

You are demanding the the matter be decided in private arbitration in stead of court, which is your right per their contract. You don't need to have a violation against them to get in. All you need is a dispute. I'm guessing that you dispute the amount they are demanding you owe them.

The matter just proceeds in private. The byproduct is that is costs Discover more to have their case heard.

Having a claim(s) against Discover or their agents is a bonus.

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This just pisses me off more than anything else. And the weird thing is that I was making payments and would have paid the whole thing off like that if they didn't initiate action. Now they are shooting themselves in the foot.

Were your payments being made as per some agreement? If so, can you prove that agreement? If you answered yes to both questions, you may be able to tear into them for breach of contract. I think turning the tables on them like that would be fantastic.

As for your question about going after the lawyers, that depends on if they are in house attorneys or were locals who were retained by Discover.

Edited by usagi555
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Were your payments being made as per some agreement? If so, can you prove that agreement? If you answered yes to both questions, you may be able to tear into them for breach of contract. I think turning the tables on them like that would be fantastic.

Unfortunately I can't find the letter I had from Discover anywhere.....I spoke to them over the phone and I arranged a payment of $50/month that was debited directly from my bank account. I got a letter from them after, stating that we have an agreement, etc...but I can't find it now, I looked through all my papers. It might have been tossed away by accident. I have my account records to prove payments.

After 12 months of debiting my account they suddenly stopped and 2 months later I get a letter from these lawyers.

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While FDCPA does not apply to OC, usually state consumer law apply. Look to see if you have any state claims you can make against them.

I doubt the will the second round of fees. Like Thomas said, they are rolling the dice on the $550 that you will not pay your $250. Since you have, they will need to pay more than the amount of the debt to see it through arbitration.

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Thanks everyone for your advice! My check to JAMS just cleared. Do I have to wait for some letter from them to send in my complaint? I know I have either 7 or 14 days depending on the type of proceeding, but when does that clock start? I'm assuming I send the complaint to JAMS and to the lawyers for Discover?

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  • 2 months later...

I'm in the same exact situation with discover in NY. What is the status of your case? Were you able to include Discover in your fdcpa violations against their law firm?

Do you mind providing your sources for the NY state laws you used against Discover. Thanks!

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I'm in the same exact situation with discover in NY. What is the status of your case? Were you able to include Discover in your fdcpa violations against their law firm?

Do you mind providing your sources for the NY state laws you used against Discover. Thanks!

Discover dismissed the case, with prejudice! Basically they got a $2500 retainer bill and folded.

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I have no idea about "pain and suffering" either, and I wasn't planning to put it in. I just saw some people do it so I thought I'd ask. I guess I'll just stick to FDCPA, etc. My claims are under FDCPA (they didn't respond to my request for validation), NY civil procedural law (they didn't serve me when they filed with court), the local NYC law regarding validation and documentation, NYC consumer protection law (again, no validation), and another NYS law about telling me I will be responsible for all JAMS fees (which is false).

Basically, I asked them for validation multiple times and haven't seen a single shred of paper. This violates FDCPA, NY state and NYC laws.

Where can I find the NYC law regarding validation and documentation you refer to? Also, the NYC consumer protection law and NYS law?

I am looking for some NY specific laws regarding deceptive practices, as well as the state validation laws.

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