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Equable Ascent Financial/Chase Summons & Complaint


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I just found this site last night and am hoping to get some help.

Monday night the papers were delivered to my house. It is for a credit card with Chase Bank...which was originally opened with WAMU in my wife's name. I signed for the papers though. I'll give you as much info as I can.

1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? Equable Ascent Financial, LLC

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.) Machol & Johannes, LLC Seattle, WA

3. How much are you being sued for? About $2k

4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff) Chase Bank

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

6. How were you served? (Mail, In person, Notice on door) In person at home.

7. Was the service legal as required by your state? I'm not sure. I signed it, but I'm not named on the complaint. The defendant is listed as "Mary Smith and John Doe Smith, and the marital community comprised thereof"

Here's the law for my state: A notice of appearance, if made, shall be in writing, shall be signed by the defendant or his attorney, and shall be served upon the person whose name is signed on the summons. In condemnation cases a notice of appearance only shall be served on the person whose name is signed on the petition.

8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? They sent some requests for payment but I ignored them.

9. What state and county do you live in? Washinton State, Pierce County

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations) I'll have to look at her credit report, but I think it's been about 2 to 2 1/2 years.

11. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out: I'm not sure. It's either 3 years or 6 years.

12. 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). I think it was just served on me, I don't think anything has been filed. There is no case number to look up on the court website.

13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?) No.

14. 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.

15. 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 after receipt of summons. I'll post the complaint below.

16. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits. Nothing was attached. Just the summons and complaint.

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Here's the complaint:

The Plaintiff, as purchaser or assignee of the Defendant's credit account with Chase Bank USA, N.A., or any other assignee that may have or have had any interest in the Defendant's said credit account, or any interest in any obligation relating to such credit account, alleges:

1. The Plaintiff is duly qualified to bring this action.

2. That the Defendants named above reside within the jurisdiciton of this Court.

3. That Defendants are indebted to the Plaintiff for, and are in default of his/her promise to repay for, extensions of credit obtained upon opening and using a credit account with Chase Bank USA, N.A. for purchase of merchandise or services.

4. By using said account, the Defendants became bound to the duties and obligations as set forth in the printed terms and conditions of the account.

5. That although demand for payment has been made, payment has not been forthcoming, and there is now due and owing the sum of $2,053.48 as of December 31, 2010 plus additional interest from that date pursuant to the terms and conditions of the credit account.

WHEREASFORE, the Plaintiff prays for Judgement against the Defendants, Mary Smith and John Doe Watson, and the marital community comprised thereof, in the sum of $2,053.48 plus interest, and costs of this action, plus any other relief deemed eqitable and just by the court.

Dated: January 31, 2012

(just a note...though I changed my wifes name, it actually says "John Doe" on the summons and complaint for my name.)

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1. The Plaintiff is duly qualified to bring this action.

Denied, calls for guesswork on the part of the Defendant.

2. That the Defendants named above reside within the jurisdiciton of this Court.

Admit (if true).

3. That Defendants are indebted to the Plaintiff for, and are in default of his/her promise to repay for, extensions of credit obtained upon opening and using a credit account with Chase Bank USA, N.A. for purchase of merchandise or services.

Denied.

4. By using said account, the Defendants became bound to the duties and obligations as set forth in the printed terms and conditions of the account.

Denied.

5. That although demand for payment has been made, payment has not been forthcoming, and there is now due and owing the sum of $2,053.48 as of December 31, 2010 plus additional interest from that date pursuant to the terms and conditions of the credit account.

Denied.

Now add any affirmative defenses you think might fit the case. Lack of standing, since this is a JDB, would be the primary one that comes to mind.

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What Admin said. In Washington CR26 allows you to start discovery right away, so as soon as you have answered you will want to do request for production of documents. Specifically you want the documents supporting their claims, like the supposed terms and conditions, each and every modification to said terms and conditions, the assignment history, as well as a full accounting from the start date of the account.

Pierce County judges tend to be consumer friendly, so you have that going for you.

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Here are some I wrote up for document requests

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."

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Thank you all for your help. This doesn't look like it has been filed with the court. In the summons its says in part:

If you serve a Notice of Appearance on the undersigned attorney, you are entitled to notice before a Default Judgement may be entered.

If not previously filed, you may demand that the Plaintiff file this lawsuit with the Court. If you do so, your demand must be in writing and must be served upon the undersigned person. Within 14 days after you serve your demand, the Plaintiff must file this lawsuit with the Court, or the service on you of this Summons and Complaint will be Void.

This Summons is issued pursuant to Rule 4 of the Superior Court Civil Rules of the State of Washington.

Do I want them to file this? I will send off the answer today, but do I also proceed with the discovery if this isn't filed with the court?

Can you confirm what the statute of limitations is in my state. I followed a link in one of the threads that showed it but I think it was wrong. I am seeing either 3 years or 6 years.

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Rule 4 has apparantly changed and yes they serve you and they can later file. In operation that likely means they carpet bomb these out and any they get someone willing to fight, they just round file.

So you would only send it to the lawyer. If you really want to battle them and have counter claims then you demand they file. Likely they would again just attempt to round file, but I would call that action itself a violation.

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Yes, discovery would not occur until it was filed.

HOWEVER, your question makes me think that maybe you would want to send along a detailed discovery request and a cover letter letting the lawyer know that is what you intend to serve upon them as soon as they do file. It may provide more incentive for them to reach for the round file.

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Here are some I wrote up for document requests

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."

What's the story behind these two? (11 and 12)
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First -- I want to tell you -- you CAN beat these guys. I beat Equable Ascent, Chase, and this same law firm just a couple of months ago because they finally quit the day before trial.

You need to file an answer and if you do not include affirmative defenses, reserve the right to amend and add affirmative defenses.

In my case, they never produced a single document that had my name on it.

They bought 30,000+ accounts from Chase in one sale last February, and they appeared unable to generate any documentation.

At pre-trial, a sock-puppet attorney showed up, knew nothing about the case.

Some people make the mistake of asking for the documents that would prove the Plaintiff's case in Discovery - "Produce the final statement", "Produce the agreement", "Produce the Bill of Sale and affidavit of authenticity", etc, etc etc..

My take on it is this - Why would you as a defendant ask for documentation that helps them prove their case? Only ask for something that helps your case.

Machol and Johannes produced nothing in discovery, just a bill of sale with no account details and a generic cardmember agreement. In discovery, I asked for nothing. Nada. I have no knowledge of the account. I have no records.

Then I prepared myself for the court date by reeaching case law and preparing a brief for trial. Two days before trial, I faxed my trial brief and motions in limine to the attorney and to the court, and the next day, they dismissed with prejudice.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

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First -- I want to tell you -- you CAN beat these guys. I beat Equable Ascent, Chase, and this same law firm just a couple of months ago because they finally quit the day before trial.

You need to file an answer and if you do not include affirmative defenses, reserve the right to amend and add affirmative defenses.

In my case, they never produced a single document that had my name on it.

They bought 30,000+ accounts from Chase in one sale last February, and they appeared unable to generate any documentation.

At pre-trial, a sock-puppet attorney showed up, knew nothing about the case.

Some people make the mistake of asking for the documents that would prove the Plaintiff's case in Discovery - "Produce the final statement", "Produce the agreement", "Produce the Bill of Sale and affidavit of authenticity", etc, etc etc..

My take on it is this - Why would you as a defendant ask for documentation that helps them prove their case? Only ask for something that helps your case.

Machol and Johannes produced nothing in discovery, just a bill of sale with no account details and a generic cardmember agreement. In discovery, I asked for nothing. Nada. I have no knowledge of the account. I have no records.

Then I prepared myself for the court date by reeaching case law and preparing a brief for trial. Two days before trial, I faxed my trial brief and motions in limine to the attorney and to the court, and the next day, they dismissed with prejudice.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

Thank you for the info....it's encouraging. I may want to pick your brain as this progresses. Any info and all info is appreciated!

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Some people make the mistake of asking for the documents that would prove the Plaintiff's case in Discovery - "Produce the final statement", "Produce the agreement", "Produce the Bill of Sale and affidavit of authenticity", etc, etc etc..

I agree to a certain extent. I would never ask for an affidavit of authenticity, because I wouldn't want them to know that I know documents should be authenticated.

On the other hand, I would ask for a bill of sale. Just because you don't ask for it in discovery doesn't mean they can't show up with the document at a hearing. If they have it, I want to see it.

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I agree to a certain extent. I would never ask for an affidavit of authenticity, because I wouldn't want them to know that I know documents should be authenticated.

On the other hand, I would ask for a bill of sale. Just because you don't ask for it in discovery doesn't mean they can't show up with the document at a hearing. If they have it, I want to see it.

I guess I'd rather lull them to sleep and then hit with both barrels at trial. These guys are used to people rolling over and Pro Se people coming in not knowing procedure and the law.

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  • 8 months later...

I never heard from them again and have now received a letter from a new agency trying to collect. I will list the details on here later to get feedback on how to proceed.

Thank you all for the advice, it really worked, but I don't want to keep fighting this forever so I will need to come up with a plan to end this.

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  • 1 year later...

I just got a letter from the court stating that the case of Equable Accent Financial against my wife has been reassigned to a new judge who is at recess on 3/28.  This is news to me!  I was never notified that there was a case, let alone a court date.  It says I had a Mandatory Court Review, to set a trial date, set for 3/28 which has been cancelled.  There is an Order Amending case Schedule.

 

The letter was addressed to my wife with Pro Se listed under her name.  It is a new lawyer, Roger E Rahlfs.  I have not received one piece of mail, nothing served, absolute silence on this for the last 2 years.

 

Here's what the Order Amending Case Schedule says:

 

Pending Case Schedule Items Event Schedule

Confirmation of Service                                                                                           04/08/2014

Confirmation of Joinder of Parties, Claims and Defenses                                        05/13/2014

Jury Demand                                                                                                           05/20/2014

Plaintiff's/Petitioner's Disclosure of Primary Witnesses                                            07/08/2014

Defendant's/Respondent's Disclosure of Primary Witnesses                                   08/05/2014

Disclosure of Rebuttal Witnesses                                                                             09/23/2014

Deadline for Filing Motion to Adjust Trial Date                                                         10/21/2014

Discovery Cutoff                                                                                                       11/25/2014

Exchange of Witness and Exhibit Lists and Documentary Exhibits                           12/09/2014

Joint Statement of Evidence                                                                                      12/16/2014

Deadline to file Certificate or Declaration re: Alternative Dispute Resolution             12/16/2014

Deadline for Hearing Dispositive Pretrial Motions                                                      12/16/2014

Pretrial Conference                                                                                                    12/30/2014

Trial                                                                                                                             01/13/2015

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