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Portfolio Recovery/PA


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I just received a summons regarding being sued by Portfolio for a credit card debt. Given the amount of the debt, it doesn't seem to make sense to retain an attorney so I'm going to try to represent myself. I'm hopeful that I could get some suggestions as to wether I'm taking the correct approach in regards to my responses to the judgement. Any advice on how to best proceed would be greatly appreciated.

Who is the named plaintiff in the suit?

- Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC

What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.)

- Two attorneys are listed, Robert N Polas Jr & Carrie A Brown. Both appear to be attorneys for Portfolio(?).

How much are you being sued for?

- $812

Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff)

-GE Money Bank

How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?)

- Served

How were you served? (Mail, In person, Notice on door)

- Sheriff's Dept.

Was the service legal as required by your state?

- Yes

What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued?

- None, I've actually never heard of them before last night.

What state and county do you live in?

PA / Cumberland

When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations)

- Unknown, but their estimate of 5/2010 may be accurate

What is the SOL on the debt? To find out:

- 4 years

What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed? You can find this by a) calling the court or B) looking it up online (many states have this information posted - when you find the online court site, search by case number or your name).

- Complaint and Notice served, 20 days to respond

Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?)

- Neither

Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? Note: if you haven't sent a debt validation request, don't bother doing this now - it's too late.

- No

How long do you have to respond to the suit? (This should be in your paperwork). If you don't respond to the lawsuit notice you will lose automatically. In 99% of the cases, they will require you to answer the summons, and each point they are claiming. We need to know what the "charges" are. Please post what they are claiming. Did you receive an interrogatory (questionnaire) regarding the lawsuit?

- 20 days, no questionaire

What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits.

1. A statement of account, lists general info, date account opened/last payment/original debtor. No details.

2. An affidavit claiming Portfolio 'owns' the account (account number obscured on affidavit)

3. A copy of APR info for the card in question along with a copy of a card agreement (not signed).

4. An invoice listing a charge off (principal/fianance) with a zero balance due and account number obscured.

I'll also paste my response below along with the original complaint to see if that could help.

Answer and New Matter

Defendant, name, answers the Complaint filed in this action as follows:

1. Defendant admits everything is true.

2. Defendant admits everything is true.

3. Defendant specifically denies that: It is averred that Defendant was indebted to GE MONEY BANK, F.S.B. / OLD NAVY on March 5, 2007 with account number ************2102 (hereafter referred to as "Account"). A copy of the account history is attached here to and collectively marked as Exhibit "A". Defendant states the following in response: The request refers to an account history, which is not attached. Defendant is as of this time without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation contained therein, and leaves the Plaintiff to provide proof thereof.

4. Defendant specifically denies that: By using the Account, Defendant agreed to repay any incurred balances and/or charges made to the Account pursuant to the terms and conditions governing said Account. Failure to pay Defendant's incurred charges on the Account is considered a default. Defendant states the following in response: Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment.

5. Defendant specifically denies that: At all relevant times material hereto, Defendant has used said Account for the purchase of products, goods and/or for obtaining services. Defendant states the following in response: Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment.

6. Defendant specifically denies that: Defendant was provided with copies of the Statements of Account showing all debits and credits for transactions on the aforementioned Account to which there was no bonafide objection by Defendant. Defendant states the following in response: Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment.

7. Defendant specifically denies that: Defendant was in default with respect to that debt for failure to make the required payments on the Account. The last payment made on this Account was on May 17, 2010. Defendant states the following in response: Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment.

8. Defendant specifically denies that: Plaintiff is the purchaser, assignee and/or successor in interest GE MONEY BANK, F.S.B. / OLD NAVY and Plaintiff is now the holder of the Account. A true and correct copy of the affidavit is attached hereto and collectively marked as Exhibit "A.". Defendant states the following in response: Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment. Defendant doesn't know if the rest of the information in paragraph 8 of the Complaint is true or false. Defendant has no way to figure out if the rest of the information is true or false. Since she doesn't know if it is true or false, she denies that the rest of the information is true. She demands that Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC should be required to prove the rest of the information is true at a hearing.

9. Defendant specifically denies that: As of the date within Complaint, the remaining balance due, owing and unpaid on Defendant's Account, as a result of Defendant and/or authorized user's use of said Account is in the sum of $811.95. Defendant states the following in response: Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment.

10. Defendant specifically denies that: Despite reasonsable and repeated demands for payment. Defendant has refused and continues to refuse to pay all sums due and owing on the aforementioned Account, all to the damage and deteriment of the Plaintiff. Defendant states the following in response: Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment.

11. Defendant specifically denies that: The amount in controversy is within the jurisdictional amount requiring compulsory arbitration. Defendant states the following in response: Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment.

WHEREFORE, Defendant, name, requests this Court to enter a judgment in her favor and against Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC.

New Matter

First Defense: Lack of Standing

12. Defendant repeats all the statements in the previous paragraphs as if typed in full here.

13. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC is not the original credit card company with which Defendant opened this account. (GE MONEY BANK, F.S.B. / OLD NAVY was the original creditor.)

14. Defendant never signed a contract or other papers with Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC in which agreed or promised to pay Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC for this debt.

15. Unless Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC can show how it became the owner of Defendant's account, and show the legal paperwork to prove it, the court must dismiss this case against the Defendant.

WHEREFORE, Defendant, name, asks the Court to:

A. Enter a judgment in her favor and against Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC; and

B. Grant any other relief as the Court deems just and proper.

Second Defense: Disputed amount

16. Defendant repeats all the statements in the previous paragraphs as if typed in full here.

17. Defendant disputes the amount that Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC says Defendant owes.

18. Defendant believes the amount is wrong because:

a) the fees (like late and over-limit fees) are too much or should not have been added;

B) the amount of interest, or the rate of interest, is too high;

c) there are no calculations or enough information to prove how much Defendant owes

19. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC must provide proof of the exact amount Defendant owes by presenting evidence of what charges were made and how the amount was calculated.

WHEREFORE, Defendant, name , asks the Court to:

A. Enter a judgment in her favor and against Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC; and

B. Grant any other relief as the Court deems just and proper.

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What is 1 & 2. If it is anything other than your name and address, deny. Ofthen the first paragraph is who they are. Do you really know their proper legal name and form of business?

Correct, 1 is the plaintiff. My thoughts were to confirm their address via a quick search, but I can see the reasoning to deny.

2. Is my name and address.

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Your responses need to tweaked. First, read your court's Rules of Civil Procedure. Unless the rules specifically state that you must repeat the allegation in your answer, you don't need to do that. Also, see if the rules state that using the "without knowledge or information" response requires an explanation. For instance:

Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment. Plaintiff has provided no documentation to support the allegation.

You gave lack of standing as an affirmative defense, then listed your reasons they don't have standing. There are those who will suggest holding off on your affirmative defenses for now.

Right now, you don't want to state "with which Defendant opened this account" or "Defendant's account". That's admitting you had the account in the first place. Other than the account number in the Complaint, PR hasn't provided any documentation that shows this is the account you once had. I don't know about you, but I can't remember cc account numbers off the top of my head. I have to see the credit card or an actual statement from the cc company.

Read your rules to see which defenses are waived if not raised in your response. If lack of standing is not one of them, you don't have to raise it right now. The Statute of Limitations is another example of an affirmative defense, but it doesn't appear to apply to you in this case.

Could you give more detail about the evidence they provided with the Complaint? Was any of it from the credit card company, or is it all Portfolio documents?

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Could you give more detail about the evidence they provided with the Complaint? Was any of it from the credit card company, or is it all Portfolio documents?

Upon review it does appear that the complaint only needs referenced, not repeated. I'll correct all of that. Thanks!

As far as evidence, the only document that is not from Portfolio is the invoice, which I should have stated is a credit card statement from the CC company which details a charge off (principal/finance). All others are from PR.

I'll have to research the rules a bit more to see what would be waived, for example.

Edited by thewrac
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Is this small claims court? Small amounts like this usually are, which restricts what you can do. My first response to this would be a request for a more definite statement. The complaint lists NO specific cause of action. Make them state one.

It is actually filed with the court of common pleas in the county of my residence. I'm going to look into the procedure for a request for a more definite statement, as I'm very much a novice at this.

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Sounds like you're tweaking the answer right now, but I do think you provided way too many arguments in your answer. Just deny or deny because they did not provide you enough info with the complaint (that will depend on your rules).

Also leave off the disputed amount. That makes is sounds like there was ever an amount in dispute. That's like saying you were not speeding because you were only going 80 in a 70MPH zone and not 90.

Lack of standing is a good defense. I would not use it as an affirmative defense but whatever, that has been argued to death. However, I would not go into detail about how standing works. The court is well aware if they can't prove standing, the issue is raised and they don't prove it, they have failed to prove standing. They don't need you laying out, in your answer, how standing works.

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