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Sued by Pressler & Pressler and New Century Financial


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Hi everyone, I recently found out that I'm being sued by Pressler & Pressler on behalf of New Century Financial Services in NJ. I originally posted this in another section of the forum but it was suggested that I move it here as to get more input.

I have included the info of the situation below but basically I am looking for advice on how to move forward. I'm not sure how to respond in my answer, do I just completely deny knowledge of the debt or what? Thanks in advance.

1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? New Century Financial Services

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? Pressler & Pressler - Ralph Gulko

3. How much are you being sued for? $750 (demand amt, filing fee, service fee, att fees)

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

5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?) received summons & complaint in the mail

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

7. Was the service legal as required by your state? yes

Process Service Requirements by State - Summons Complaint

8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? None, this is the first time I'm hearing of this

9. What state and county do you live in? New Jersey, essex county

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations) 2007

11. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out: I believe 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). suit served

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? 35 days

16. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits. Nothing, they just mentioned the HSBC account number

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Start reading your court's Rules of Civil Procedure (RCPs) for the proper way to answer the Complaint. In addition, see what your rules state about the discovery process. So far, they've provided nothing to prove their claim.

You might also want to check your credit report to see what HSBC is reporting. First, make sure HSBC's entry states "sold" or "transferred" indicating the account was sold. Then see what HSBC reports as the date of last payment.

If you want to post the Complaint (deleting identifying information), you can do so.

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Yes, you can post the complaint. I'm guessing you are in small claims to, given that amount. IIRC, in NJ, that means that you only get 5 interrogatories, but that is still much, much better than a simple DV letter.

There are a few posters from NJ who have dealt with P&P. If this thread is kept on the first page or two, they'll eventually notice it and they'll be able to help you with first hand knowledge of NJ's court system.

BV80 has some good suggestions.

What these guys are hoping for is you not responding to the summons and not showing up. They'll get default for very little work. If you show up and handle things right, they'll have to actually prove their case, which is nearly impossible for a JDB to do. I would be leery of small claims, however, because the judges don't always follow the rules of evidence properly, though that may not apply to NJ small claims.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all, I am filing my answer on Monday and it would be awesome if I could get some critique and feedback.

First off here is the complaint I received from Pressler & Pressler:

Plaintiff having a principal place of business at: 100 Jefferson Road Suite 104 Whippany, NJ 07981 says:

1. It is now the owner of the defendant(s) HSBC account number XXXXXXXXXX which is now in default. There is due the plaintiff from the defendant(s) XXXXXXX the sum of $XXX plus interest from 12/XX/XXX to 2/XX/XXXX in the amount of $XX for a total of $XXX.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff demands judgment for the sum of $XXX plus accruing interest to the date of judgment plus costs.

I certify that the matter in controversy is not the subject of any other court action or arbitration proceeding, now pending or contemplated, and that no other parties should be joined in this action.

I certify that confidential personal indentifiers have been redacted from documents now submitted to the court, and will be redacted from all documents submitted in the future in accordance with Rule 1:38-7(B).

Here is the answer I plan to file:

Comes Now the Defendant, XXXXXXX, Pro Se, who admits and denies the following paragraphs in the Plaintiff’s Complaint:

ANSWERS

1. Denied. Defendant has no knowledge of the alleged account, the Plaintiff provided no documentation to support the allegation.

WHEREFORE, the defendant demands judgment dismissing the complaint with prejudice with costs.

SEPARATE DEFENSES

2. Defendant reserves the right to raise affirmative defenses as they become known to Defendant during discovery.

I certify the matter in controversy is not the subject of any other court action or arbitration proceeding now pending or contemplated, and that no other parties should be joined in this action.

I certify that confidential personal identifiers have been redacted from documents now submitted to the court, and will be redacted from all documents submitted in the future in accordance with Rule 1:38-7(B).

I further certify that this answer was served on all other parties within 35 days of the date the summons and complaint were mailed to me as indicated on page 2 of the summons.

What do you think? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

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I would tweak it just a bit. They made more than one claim in that allegation. They claim they own the account, that it was your account, and that a certain amount is owed.

1. Denied. No evidence has been provided to support Plaintiff's claims.

Edited by BV80
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You might want to check out this website:

Philip D. Stern & Associates, LLC

Stern is a NJ attorney who defends debtors. Lots of good information on his website. He even posts copies of court documents. For instance, he'll file an MSJ against a JDB who has sued his client. Stern then posts the copy of his MSJ and the JDB's opposition to that MSJ.

Index of /files

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Wow, thanks for that link I'm sure it will come in very handy in the future. I was completely freaked out when I first received the complaint but after a month of lurking through this site and reading tons of info I feel more at ease. You guys are gems, seriously.

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Answering the complaint is done by form. Here's the kit.

http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/prose/10554_ans_cmplt.pdf

You are most likely in Special Civil, a small claims court, here are the rules.

New Jersey Special Civil Part Court Rules

You may want to try arbitration per the cardholder agreement, it will cost them more than they can get. If you made the last payment in 2007, this thing is dead on arrival per the cardholder agreement. HSBC is based in Nevada with a 4 year statute of limitations. File a motion to dismiss in lieu of an answer. You may also send the law firm a letter of intent to sue for being terminally stupid and trying to collect zombie debt. We argue about this all the time, but my take is this; they insisted that Nevada law applies, so let's make it apply. They are lawyers, this is their field, they should know the law. Could be a nice FDCPA violation.

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Hi Legaleagle,

Thanks so much for your input. So I just checked my credit report to be sure and it appears that my last payment was in Feb 2008 not 2007 like previously stated.

Also, I read on one of the threads here that the statue of limitations for open-ended accounts in Nevada is 4 years which means my debt still falls within the limit right?

Oh yes, and you're correct my case is in Special Civil

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Wow, thanks for that link I'm sure it will come in very handy in the future. I was completely freaked out when I first received the complaint but after a month of lurking through this site and reading tons of info I feel more at ease. You guys are gems, seriously.

Stern's site is priceless. IF New Century ends up filing an MSJ, the site has great case law and arguments to use against JDBs.

I stated that Stern has copies of MSJs that he's filed for the debtor in JDB cases, as opposed to the JDB filing an MSJ. Read Stern's filings. They contain arguments that show how a JDB's claim is insufficient.

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While it is one of their elements to prove, never leave the issue of standing undisputed. It should not matter, but anytime they claim they have ownership of the account, deny. You don't have to raise standing as an affirmative defense (in fact I would not) but make sure you don't even remotely make it appear you concede they have standing to even be suing you.

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For anyone in NJ, if you have a legitimate claim against a debt collector and you have your ducks in a row (i.e., letters, recorded messages, etc.), contact Philip Stern's office.

HE LOVES TO SUE THOSE SCUMBAGS! On contingency !!! He's constantly looking for cases and class action suits.

  • Like 1
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Also check your own records, don't rely on the date of payment on the credit report. Sometimes an OC or JDB will make a payment on your behalf just to get the account back into SOL. Or the CA reports an erroneous date based on the day they got the information, not the actual date of the payment.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

So after I filed my answers I received a call from Pressler & Pressler offering to set up a payment plan for the total amount in lieu of continuing court proceedings which I declined. A couple days later I received a letter from them with the same offer in writing which I ignored. Now I've received the following interrogatories from them:

DEMAND is hereby made of Defendant(s) for Certified Answers to the following Interrogatories within the time prescribed by the rules of this court.

Each question below requests an answer or information relating to HSBC Account XXXXX purchased by New Century Financial Services, and your responses should be directed thereto.

1. Set forth with specificity all facts in support of each defense and/or claim which the defendant has in the above-entitled matter including dates, places, names and addresses of persons present or involved in any actions and/or conversations.

2. Attach copies of all writings, documents, or any other records with relate to said account or in any way support any defenses or claims, including, but not limited to, correspondence, contracts, agreements, notices, monthly statements, application, and any letters sent to or received in connection with the subject account.

3. Attach any documentations evidencing defendant's mailing address(es) between 12/16/07 to 08/31/08, which should include, by is not limited to, copies of energy or water bills, telephone bills, lease(s) and/or deed(s)/mortgage(s) and driver license(s). If said documentation is not in the possession of the defendant, please list each address at which the defendant received mail during the time period requested.

Considering that I answered the complaint with a general denial, I'm not really sure how to respond to their interrogatories since I don't have any evidence to disclose...any help with be appreciated!

Thx,

Kelly

Edited by Kelly1720
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Here is what I am going to send. Any feedback? Thanks!

1. Set forth with specificity all facts in support of each defense and/or claim which the defendant has in the above-entitled matter including dates, places, names and addresses of persons present or involved in any actions and/or conversations.

OBJECTION Overly broad, burdensome, vague, and premature. Defendant has not asserted any valid affirmative defenses. Defendant cannot formulate a response to "persons present or involved in any actions or conversations" as it is ill defined and generally lacks any specificity.

2. Attach copies of all writings, documents, or any other records with relate to said account or in any way support any defenses or claims, including, but not limited to, correspondence, contracts, agreements, notices, monthly statements, application, and any letters sent to or received in connection with the subject account.

Defendant attaches nothing. The referenced documents remain the burden of the plaintiff to produce, as they are required to prove plaintiff's case.

3. Attach any documentations evidencing defendant's mailing address(es) between 12/16/07 to 08/31/08, which should include, by is not limited to, copies of energy or water bills, telephone bills, lease(s) and/or deed(s)/mortgage(s) and driver license(s). If said documentation is not in the possession of the defendant, please list each address at which the defendant received mail during the time period requested.

OBJECTION Defendant's personal bills and driver's license are irrelevant to the instant action and are confidential. Certainly the plaintiff knows the defendant's address through its business records.

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  • 10 months later...

For anyone in NJ, if you have a legitimate claim against a debt collector and you have your ducks in a row (i.e., letters, recorded messages, etc.), contact Philip Stern's office.

HE LOVES TO SUE THOSE SCUMBAGS! On contingency !!! He's constantly looking for cases and class action suits.

I concur! I contacted Phil for a similar case and he has been of tremendous help. HE IS THE BEST! Also reach out to him if you  there are any FCRA violations, he is very good with those claims as well.

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