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Served Summons & Complaint by CitiBank


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CitiBank is OC and plaintiff. Attorney is Bernh@rdt & $trawser out of Charlotte.

This forum is great. Ive been reading for days but Im still overwhelmed. More questions than answers. Just wondering if someone could point me in the right direction on what to do next.

amount in dispute is around 18k. My wife is only name listed on the summons, though they totally butchered the last name(matter?).

This account is approximately 13 years old, but last payment 12 months ago.

theres some background info on why were at this point but I wont go into that unless needed. Citibank changed the rules on our arrangement.....anyways...

at this point I want to push back as hard as I can with whatever legal right I may still have. Ive always been honest and have had good standing with all other creditors. Citibank has been the absolute worst to deal with. The amount has ballooned now and Im looking to see what options I have to get through this with the least amount of damage.

1.Served papers included an affidavit with a Citibank "custodian of records" listed on it. Is it normal to receive this now?

2. When should I look into an attorney and what are their general costs?

3. The first step is to answer them, right? Any thoughts on the graduated denial (ie I deny thath this is my debt and if it is my debt, I deny that it is still a valid debt and if it is a valid debt I deny I am being sued for the correct amount)?

4. Is a Sworn Denial a separate form and/or when is it entered in relation to the answers to the complaint?

5. I read where the Sworn Denial eliminated the Affidavit that was entered...is this true? then they must provide a live witness?

I am in NC. If any details of the Complaint, dunning letter or affidavit need to be looked at I can enter those.

Ill keep reading this site until I fall over. just a little overwhelemd now and the clock is ticking. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

thanks!

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CitiBank is OC and plaintiff. Attorney is Bernh@rdt & $trawser out of Charlotte.

This forum is great. Ive been reading for days but Im still overwhelmed. More questions than answers. Just wondering if someone could point me in the right direction on what to do next.

amount in dispute is around 18k. My wife is only name listed on the summons, though they totally butchered the last name(matter?).

Maybe not by itself, but take note of it, file it away and be ready to hammer them with it. You'll have to find out where the butchery occurred and why it occurred.

This account is approximately 13 years old, but last payment 12 months ago.

theres some background info on why were at this point but I wont go into that unless needed. Citibank changed the rules on our arrangement.....anyways...

SOP for CC companies.

at this point I want to push back as hard as I can with whatever legal right I may still have. Ive always been honest and have had good standing with all other creditors. Citibank has been the absolute worst to deal with. The amount has ballooned now and Im looking to see what options I have to get through this with the least amount of damage.

How hard do you really want to fight back? I was willing to appeal as far as possible, then if I lost after running up tens of thousands in their attorney's fees, file BK7. Are you willing to go that far? Set limits, understand the consequences and go from there.

1.Served papers included an affidavit with a Citibank "custodian of records" listed on it. Is it normal to receive this now?

SOP for Citibank. I could post a list and there is a decent chance that the name of the person who signed your affidavit would be on that list. This person, who I'm betting works for Citicorp Credit Services Inc. (USA) is not actually a custodian of records. This person's job (according to a response to an interrogatory of mine) is to "review business records for this account in order to verify and sign the affidavit in the complaint filed against the Defendant." This person also will be evaluated based on the number of affidavits produced per hour, and probably produces 30 per hour. Failure to meet quota will result in overtime freezes and denial of pay raises.

2. When should I look into an attorney and what are their general costs?

Attorney fees vary, but $200/hr seems to be fairly typical. I don't know how many hours would be required. When should you look for one? Well, find out what the total cost of defending you, the chances of winning and then do a risk vs reward analysis. If there is a 90% chance of winning for $4k of attorney fees, start looking now. If chances are that you'll lose, see my approach above.

I'll let others answer the rest and chime in if I feel that something is missing.

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this is a cc debt. dont have a copy of the contract as its ~13 year old account.

What is rights to compel arbitration? was just searching and didnt find it. thanks

Will Citi really fly in the custodian of records from Missouri to NC for a trial?

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First off, read my posts. I have put up a lot of info that is useful in your case. Also follow USAGI555, he has extensive experience with this creditor. There are ways to fight, but you have to have a very good understanding of the law to do it.

As for the complaint, post it word for word, change names and amounts. Be advised that you cannot represent your wife, she has to do this. Eventually she is going to have to appear in court, and she has to know what to do. If she studies, she can make the other side wish they had never started this. I wouldn't waste my time with a lawyer, they will charge you at least 200 per hour up front, as they feel that if you can't pay a credit card bill, you won't pay them either. All you'll get is "settle this." They usually have no clue as to how to fight these people because they don't take credit card cases. We have posters here that have made creditors wish they were never born. 18 large is a lot of cake for these people, they will go after you. Citi must be busy this week.....lot's of new Citi cases here. Let's make them sorry. Your financial position is critical. If this is just your wife, they cannot take any of your assets to satisfy a judgment if they win. They can only take hers. Make sure she doesn't have any. Read up on garnishment law for your state.

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great, thanks LE Ill get readin...

regarding the name on the card/complaint

Maybe not by itself, but take note of it, file it away and be ready to hammer them with it. You'll have to find out where the butchery occurred and why it occurred.

The last name they have on the card and complaint is a mix of her maiden name and last name. It looks bizarre. it was weird when they would call and ask for Mrs XxxyYyyx

wondering if this is a defense that the person named in the suit is not technically my wife(they have the wrong person).

interesting though after she had to sign the verification request, they made note of the real last name and appended it to a page in the complaint as " Mrs XxxyYyyx ....also known as 'real last name')

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this is a cc debt. dont have a copy of the contract as its ~13 year old account.

What is rights to compel arbitration? was just searching and didnt find it. thanks

Will Citi really fly in the custodian of records from Missouri to NC for a trial?

If they were going to fly somebody in, it wouldn't be the person who signed your affidavit unless they were told to fly that person in by the court. They don't want their little robosigners on the stand. They would find somebody else to fly in from somewhere else.

Also, over $18k, Citi might very well just go ahead and pay the arbitration fees. If you have a bad case in court, you have a bad case in arbitration.

You say the account is 13 years old, do you recall if it was originally a Citibank account, or was it opened up with a different bank that either sold Citi a portfolio of other accounts or possibly opened up with a bank that Citi acquired? That can make a huge difference with the quality of records that they hit you with, and there has been a lot of corporate shell games and mergers going on in the 10 or 15 years.

Another question is if the account allegedly carried constant non-zero balance from before 2006. If so, there are a few things that you can ask for in discovery that will make them whine.

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Is this debt from a credit card?:confused: If so, you might want to look at your contract for your rights to compel arbitration.:)++

I'm not sure arbitration would be a good idea in this case. For the amount stated in the Complaint, Citi might be very willing to go through with arbitration.

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Yes, it may very well. According to the investor prospectuses for their credit card master trust, the static pool information was not easily available for the securitized receivables prior to 2006. Since this information comes from the servicer of the accounts, that indicates that a change in record keeping practices occurred here, and likely a pretty big one at that. It would also likely have to been for all accounts too, not just ones designated to the master trust, otherwise they would be storing vital information for some accounts and not for others.

(Don't start thinking about a securitization defense here, that's a route that should only be taken if you are willing to put hundereds and hundereds of hours into researching that topic alone.)

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You might want to ask them these questions in Interrogatories to get things under way:

1. State with specificity the choice of law provision in the alleged cardholder agreement.

2. State whether or not Citibank is bound by the statutes of the choice of law provision Citibank chooses in their cardholder agreement.

3. State whether or not the alleged cardholder agreement fully explains the statutes by which the cardholder is allegedly bound

4. If the response to 3 was in the negative, explain why Citibank refuses to divulge to the consumer the statutes under which they are allegedly bound

5. If the response to 3 was in the affirmative, state the specific statutes that apply.

6. If the response to 2 was in the negative, state why Citibank is not bound by the choice of law their customers are supposedly bound by.

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Documents to ask for: (don't change the wording, it is specific for a reason)

1. The original signed application establishing the account

2. Charge slips bearing defendant's signature which establish use of the account

3. The original written agreement in which defendant allegedly assented to the terms of the account

4. A complete history of the account from day one, establishing the legitemacy of the balance sought

5. Any document setting forth the choice of law provision

6. Any document plaintiff intends to introduce at trial which establishes the exact day the subject account went into default

7. Any document produced by plaintiff in the normal course of business which states and defines the exact statutes the choice of law provision seeks to enforce

8. Any recording, or transcript of any recording, of telephone calls in which defendant disputed the alleged amount owed

9. Any cancelled checks or copies of cancelled checks, or other verified payments on the account plaintiff intends to introduce as evidence at trial

10. Proof of mailing of monthly statements

11. Any documents evidencing that defendant retained monthly statements for an unreasonable amount of time

12. Any document produced by plaintiff in the normal course of business defining "unreasonable amount of time."

Edited by legaleagle
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awesome Thanks for the input LE! I will start with that.

Im trying to find some info on when to file what when....

Does it matter by state?

I know I have to Answer the complaint first. IS anything else filed at the same time?

Looking around trying to figure out where Interrogatories and Discovery fall in the timeline....

thx again

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You know legal, along with your ideas for having stuff for individual states, etc... we should also have specific threads with tested discovery requests for individual creditors. I think that we could really start organizing information on here in a way to force them to either immediately drop when a pro se'er starts fighting them with info found here, or actually start keeping their damned records straight.

Once you have a thread for a creditor, you would have to state who is representing them and in what state. You would also have to have the poster post each discovery request sent, the reason that it was sent and the response received, a long with a note of if they had to MTC to get an answer.

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ohhh.....and this is the Complaint word for word

The Plaintiff, complaining of the Defendant, says and alleges:

1. That Plaintiff is a National Bank located in the State of South Dakota

2. That Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that Defendant is a citizen and resident of Wake County, North Carolina, and is of a legal age and under no legal disability.

3. That Defendant owes Plaintiff $xx,xxx for charges made by Defendant to his/her Citi Mastercard account with Plaintiff.

4. That Plaintiff has made demand upon Defendant for payment of said $xx,xxx, but no payment has been made.

5. The credit card agreement provides that the Defendant will be held liable for the Plaintiff's reasonable attorney fees and Plaintiff has given notice to the Defendant as required by N.C.G.S. 6-21.2.

6. Based on the foregoing, the Plaintiff is entitled to have and recover of the Defendant its reasonable attorney fees as provided by N.C.G.S. 6-21.2.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for Judgement against Defendant in the amount of $xx,xxx, interest at the rate of 8% per annum from the date of entry of Judgement until paid, and the costs of this action, including reasonable attorney fees as provided by N.C.G.S. 6-21.2.

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surprised they mention the credit card agreement. Is this standard? I highly doubt this is something they have.

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Another generic complaint that states no cause of action. Account stated? Breach of contract? Speeding? They don't say. Me, I would move for a more definite statement. Your reason will be that each cause of action requires a different defense in credit card cases. The rule for this is 12 e.

GS_1A-1,_Rule_12

http://www.nccourts.org/Forms/Documents/306.pdf

Not sure, but it looks like a motionn should be attached to this cover sheet. There appears to be a filing fee for this.

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ok, so I would file the Motion for a more definitive statment instead of an answer at this time?

excuse my ignorance, but is there any downside in asking for them to further define their case against us at this point instead of keeping it vague?

or the thinking is that this puts the ball back in their court (no answer after 20 days judge may strike original pleading)?

"The motion shall point out the defects complained of and the details desired."

What details are desired? an explicit cause of action such as Breach of contract? Do I desire the details of teh credit card agreement at this time?

thanks again.... this is getting interesting

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Eagle, you listed Interragatories to get things started. I appreciate the input. Does this come before or after the answer(Sworn Denial). Where does the Motion for More Definitive Statement come in? Are they all filed at same time? cant seem to find a timeline for when to file what when

thanks again

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