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Remember when you could find an attorney that would handle any legal issue you had? I talked to every attorney in my little town, and emailed a few out of town with my case, all of them said, well, did they hit you with a big truck? I say no, they say, we only do personal injury law. WTF are there any Real lawyers left in the world. I was forced to go Pro Se, because I couldn't find a lawyer to take the case, even if I paid the fees up front. It is disgusting that all they want to do is chase anbulances.

I apologize to any attorneys on here that truly do care about the law and practice, but I sure couldn't find one in this town..

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My friend, you're about 100 miles from me and it's what I tell anybody that ever sends me a PM that is in our neck of the woods, "you better get ready to go pro-se."

Unless you want to plea out a charge, have a personal injury claim, an uncontested divorce, or a BK, get ready to learn the law yourself.

However, on the up side, I had no clue how things worked. I just knew surly my rights had been violated. No atty even wanted to come to the phone. The rest is history. Now I'd go toe to toe with any atty defending a collector or junk debt buyer, and be like a kid on Christmas-Eve the night before the trial.

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National Association of Consumer Advocates | Consumer Protection Advocates and Attorneys - Help for Consumers

You might get lucky and there's one there. Around my area I found 1!! Anyway I'm poor so I went por se (he wanted 750). But yeap is hard to get one.

Once the corporation I work for, drop all my benefits, because I went on medical leave of absence returned, and they didn't update the stupid computer correctly. So 6 months later I was with no benefits. Even before that like a month before I received a letter for COBRA, call them up they said it was ok but no. Then I call them after my benefits where gone, and after a week nothing happened, two weeks nothing, about a month after I try to get a lawyer to sue them and didn;t find one, same thing or I was hit by a car or no lawyer. Fortunatly about 2 weeks after they reinstated my benefits.

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Guest usctrojanalum

Attorneys often take a very smug attitude when it comes to debt collection cases. I work part time in a law office, and my boss refuses to take any case that involves defending a consumer in a debt case.

First, he believes if they did not have the money to pay their creditors - how could they possibly have any money to pay him.

Second, a lot of people come to him with debts that are from $1500-$10,000. It's not even worth it for the debtors for them to hire him. His fee is likely to be more than the debt that is trying to be collected, and the debtors are better off paying the debt instead of the attorney.

He has taken on some commercial clients with huge debt bills in the 50k+ range, that because he was able to charge his fee - then negotiate the debt down and save the client money.

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Coltfan,

I hit PCM, I called a process server in Mt Home where the account was, and they have an office there, She told me that she would have to server the papers, because her husband, the REAL process server works for PCM serving Papers. How Ironic is that. I got Susan Webber Wright as my Judge and some Local Magistrate down here in pine bluff to hear the case. Plus The AG sent me his opinion, if they really want a fight, by god if I don't just get out lawyered by a lawyer, I am going to rip them a new one. I think now that the Threat is now a reality, I think they will want to meet and confer to make a settelment.

David

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I had one well known firm here in town tell me a number of jaw dropping things... heres a few.

if its only x amount you should just pay it.

We deal with X lawyer alot and we have our reputations to think about.

----

its a high priced, good ole you rub my back I'll rub yours racquet in alot of ways.

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We deal with X lawyer alot and we have our reputations to think about.

I have no problem with this one, if they tell you up front. What is horrible and I have seen and hear about is when an attorney won't be aggressive enough because they need to think about working with the other side in the future.

In an insurance case I was observing for our company. We lost (as usual) and I asked the attorney if we could appeal because it was my opinion the judge had made a huge error admitting a certain piece of evidence.

The atty admitted the ruling was wrong and would most likely be won on appeal. However, we would have to get another atty to do the appeal because there was no way he was doing it as he is in that court weekly and pretty much knew it would get overturned on appeal, and of course, judge's don't like getting overturned on appeal.

You can actual use this to your advantage though. You can go all out and not care one bit. I put the other side in awkward positions several times. I forced them into answering some discovery because I knew I had a 50/50 shot at winning a motion to compel and I knew they did not want to get compelled by the judge, it looks bad. So several times I forced the other side to compromise their aggressive representation of their client to look out for their own tail.

They were representing an out of state junk debt buyer that would never step foot in the courtroom and these attys had to be in this court all the time. I turned that against them and forced them to concede certain things just so they would not have to risk losing in front of a judge that had to practice in front of all the time.

I actually used the argument to them when they were trying to bully me of "I'm supposed to lose, and lose badly. If I lose so what, are you going to brag you beat a pro-se with no law experience?, but what if I do win, then what?, you get to have the honor of getting beat by a pro-se with zero law experience, I'm sure you won't catch any grief from your lawyer buddies on the golf course." :twisted:

That's when they would never talk to me again unless it was on the record.

In sports it's why the power teams don't like playing certain inferior schools. They have nothing to gain in winning by 50 points but everything in the world to lose.

See, Appalachian State V Michigan in football. Michigan lost their coach over that game and really has never fully recovered. App State winning made world news, but if Michigan had won by 50 it was have been on the ticker at the bottom of the screen nobody paid a lick of attention too.

Edited by Coltfan1972
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I'm not sure where you get your swagger, Coltfan though I warily admire it. I love the underdog spirit! You're right, it's a matter of where they cut their losses, if they have anything to lose. Pay a guy to sue a guy. Better if he's poor and vulnerable. It's easy, just pick the weak ones. Classic bully behavior on their part. But they have a lot to lose.

I'd like to think that the people suing me (MIDLAND FUNDING LLC) grossly underestimated my strength and ability to fight back.

And yes, I would love to teach them a harsh lesson of "they never know who they're dealing with, that sometimes they might lose, very badly."

Having said that, I don't know your situation, if you were poor, broke and just had had enough of being pushed around by big banks and corporations or what. They also have deep pockets to pay with, though it's all just business. They've got frivolous lawsuits all day, emotionally and financially ruining people that are already struggling.

And that's what I have a problem with. Sometimes the bully has to get punched in the nose by the little guy, completely unexpected.

On the phone with the most recent tag team phone bully from POLLACK AND ROSEN. I tell them "Listen, I know how you guys do business. You paid maybe a few hundred dollars for my debt. Take what I'm offering. I'm trying to make this easy for you."

And they act so entitled like they're doing me a favor by suing me and demanding usurious payment from me. And they try to act like it's righteous that they are authorized to aggressively seek the full amount.

So I sent them a letter hinting of countersuit...

But the business side of my brain says, hey I just cut my losses now, plus I wont have to deal with these clowns anymore.

Though it's very tempting to scare them back with a ludicrous lawsuit of my own! Say, I dunno suing for "abuse of process" or "emotional distress," seeking damages in the tens of thousands...

Maybe then they'll learn not to do this.

Though in the bigger picture of macroeconomics, I think of bankruptcy and how it's supposed to work. And this sort of secondary debt securities market is just another hedged tax relief risk for financiers, and partial debt relief (through debt settlements) for consumers. It sorta works, if one is educated and fortunate enough to see it that way.

But this is coming from a pro se Defendant, who cant afford to lose doubly if a hired attorney loses, and also demands payment of fees. So in my case it makes sense to settle because it would only cost me <5k versus years of my life and a lot more aggravation. So I guess I have a lot to lose too. Only difference is they can lose and absorb the costs with their huge pockets, and if I lost it's more difficult to get back on my feet.

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I know where I am, no atty will take your case against a JDB unless you know them personally. I had one that is in trouble with the bar send me a letter pitching his services. I am promptly reporting him to the board of proffessional conduct as I KNOW he is not supposed to be practicing law.

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I'm not sure where you get your swagger, Coltfan though I warily admire it.

I'm fine with pushing my chips "all in" every time, and simply know a law firm has way too much to risk by calling my bet every time.

Back in the 90's our basketball coach, Nolan Richardson, pretty much would flat out say, we are getting ready to substitute at every whistle, full court press the whole game, and run you out of the gym. See if you can handle "40 minutes of hell."

He got us three final fours and our only national championship in the history of the school.

I started learning that attitude pretty much worked with collectors and junk debt buyers. The old, here is what is going to happen now try to stop it. I'm betting you can't. Do you want to bet your reputation and standing in the legal community. You win, who cares, you lose, ohhhhhhh booooyyyyy

I just got pushed around one too many times and said to myself, screw it, see if you can handle an absolute all out, loose cannon with no fear and ready to fight over anything strategy.

I'm not naive enough to believe they can't handle the strategy. I just know from working in insurance claims that you pass by the loose cannons and make up your money on the 99.5% that are not that way.

Plus I'm an adrenaline junkie and I get an incredible adrenaline rush fighting the other side from an underdog role. America loves an underdog and hates banks and wall street right now. I'm taking that sentiment and running with it.

Edited by Coltfan1972
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I just cannot see a jury siding with a Collection Agency. Most, if not every possible person in the jury pool in my socioeconomically depressed region of the Arkansas Delta has been harassed by a debt collector or collection agency at one time or another. All I can say is thank god for Mississippi, or we would be last in everything.

I think it is Ironic that the process server that they use is going to serve them with my papers :D

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Besides, I have the same attitude as Coltfan. What the heck can they do to me? File a counterclaim? for what? All I have to lose is my 350.00 filing fee, and I get to Say Objection your Honor, exculpatory, or Hearsay, or facts not in evidence. I have always wanted to say Objection Your Honor! And trust me, I am going to object to him saying his freaking name to the judge. Objection your honor, does this man have a license to practice in this division of Federal Court? or, Can he prove that he is who he says he is? LOL, defense exhibit A, objection Your honor, he can't do that! Objection, he objected to my objection. I'm kinda stoked, they get served tomorrow. I have subpoena power according to the Clerk, I am going to subpoena all of the drs billing clerks, the Doctor, the collectors that work for the collection agency, all of the Doctor Patients, hell I might even subpoena Coltfan just for good measure. Anybody else want to come enjoy the show?

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I just cannot see a jury siding with a Collection Agency.

I agree 100%. The problem is that a jury won't hear 90% of your allegations. Most of your allegations are matters of law. There is not really a lot of facts to dispute.

Unless I did not see it, I don't see where PCM is or has disputed your allegations. From what I can tell their position is pretty much that they did not break the law or they cured anything that was breaking the law immediately.

I know working insurance claims if a case went to trial, we would stipulate a lot of the facts to keep a jury from hearing the case. The reason is what you just pointed out, there was no way a jury was going to side with an insurance company.

The other sides attys did everything possible to push a jury trial and we did everything possible to get a bench trial.

In your case, the facts are what they are. It's all going to come down to the law and if their undisputed behavior violated the law. It's going to come down to strict liability or not and bona fide error or not. I don't see a jury ever being seated for your case.

Don't look at that as all negative. You're in federal court. The judges know this stuff. Generally speaking, you're not going to have to brief the court with tons of supporting case law for your position. This is what I had to do in state court. The judge ended up with the correct rulings but he asked a ton of questions (that's good) and wanted briefs and precedent.

You know as well as I do that there are not many people in Arkansas taking FDCPA claims into state court acting pro se. So the judges don't know this stuff off the top of their head.

Good luck but as I've said over and over, you really need to find out if the law you're suing them under (the military leave type law) is strict liability or not and if there is a private right of action if there is a violation of that law.

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And as I've posted over and over, a loose cannon with a take no prisoners and nothing to lose attitude is hard to defeat, regardless if the arguments they use hold water or not.

I had/have that attitude, but the one time you want to check that type of attitude is in the courtroom. You don't want to tick the judge (a fed judge at that) off with frivilous arguments and objections.

On a side note, it is very fun jumping up with an objection your honor. What's even better is the look on the other sides face when they hear "objection sustained."

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You get your case past a motion to dismiss, you can start up the circus music and let the show begin.

I laid off the subpoena issuing due to costs, but I had them in court every other week over something. One time was a motion to compel on a single interrogatory. Took 2 min for the hearing and about an 1.5 hrs waiting around for our turn. That's 1.5 hrs the client got billed and I was using a 1/2 day of my almost maxed out vacation time so I was getting paid as well.

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Thats why I plan on doing consumer law. I hate the fact that no lawyer in my area will help with debt collection law suits.

I for one do not want to be that 250 dollars an hour lawyer. Do not get me wrong if the case warrants I will charge like the other lawyers do but as far a debt collection I plan on helping and base my fees on the debt its self.

I can always collect my fees from the Plaintiff.

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Coltfan, this is from the Tricare Title 32 CMF that references the Title 10 USC 55

Hold Harmless Policy for Network Providers

A network provider may not bill a TRICARE beneficiary for excluded or excludable services (i.e., the beneficiary is held harmless), except in the following circumstances:

• If the beneficiary did not inform the provider that he or she was a TRICARE beneficiary

• If the beneficiary was informed that services were excluded or excludable and agreed in advance and in writing to pay for the services

A TRICARE beneficiary is held harmless from financial liability for non-covered services unless they have agreed in writing (using the TRICARE Non-Covered Services Waiver Form) in advance of the service/care being performed. If there is not a TRICARE waiver on file for the patient and the specified date of service and care, then the network provider has no recourse and must uphold the hold harmless provision according to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations on TRICARE.

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Then it's not strict liability. So, unlike the FDCPA, you must show intent, that they knew you were covered under TRICARE and billed you anyway.

If you can't show that, then based only on the info I've read from you, I expect they will argue affirmatively that as soon as the attorney general notified them you were covered under TRICARE, they immediately backed off and removed the entry from your reports.

I would expect their motion to dismiss to go along the lines of

There was no violation of the FDCPA because there was no violation of the FCRA and/or TRICARE. Specifically, the FCRA is not strict liability and the information being reported was true and correct based on their knowledge at the time. In other words they thought you really owed the creditor and therefore they put this on your report in good faith.

Once they were notified by the AG they corrected the credit report, therefore, removing the FCRA violation.

Also no violation of the FDCPA due to violating TRICARE because there was no intent to violate TRICARE and intent must be shown. So even though you were covered under TRICARE, they did not know that, therefore, no intent, no intent = no violation of TRICARE which = no violation of the FCRA which = no violation of the FDCPA which = case dismissed.

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I understand, but the question is did they violate the law by trying to get you to pay. In other words, did they say, "oh now we know about TRICARE and you're right Mr. McDaniel, we can't collect from him, we are immediately removing this from his credit report and ceasing all collection activity."

The statute is not written with strict liability language. So the burden will be on you to prove they knew you were covered under TRICARE but tried to collect from you anyway. The way the law reads, they get a pass if they did not know what they were doing was illegal. Therefore, unlike the FDCPA, the burden is on you to show they intentionally violated TRICARE.

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