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Hi all,

 

I was served a civil warrant this evening in Tennessee for an alleged debt to ASSET ACCEPTANCE LLC, assignee of DELL FINANCIAL SERVICES.  My court date is a week from Monday.  I'd appreciate any advice as we are new to Tennessee and especially unfamiliar with its court system.

 

1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit?  ASSET ACCEPTANCE, LLC assignee of DELL FINANCIAL SERVICES

 

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit?  Fulton Friedman & Gullace, LLP

 

3. How much are you being sued for?  $2XXX & change

 

4. Who is the original creditor?  DELL FINANCIAL SERVICES/CIT ONLINE BANK

 

5. How do you know you are being sued?  I was served.

 

6. How were you served?  In person, at my home.

 

7. Was the service legal as required by your state?  Yes, I believe so.

 

8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued?  Possibly none.  I think I've had some letters from Asset, but I don't recall any correspondence with the law firm.

 

9. What state and county do you live in?  Williamson County, TN.  We moved here about six months ago from another state.

 

10. When is the last time you paid on this account?  Unsure, but the latest possible is sometime early in 2010. 

 

11. What is the SOL on the debt?  SOL on open accounts is three years in our prior state, but looks like six here - don't know if that matters.

 

12. What is the status of your case?  I think just suit served.  My warrant has a court date but I cannot find case info online.  I'll call the court during business hours.

 

13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus?  No.

 

14. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed?  No.

 

15. How long do you have to respond to the suit?  About a week; court date is 3/11.  The summons simply asks me to appear; there's nothing saying if any other response is desired or necessary.

 

16. What evidence did they send with the summons?  Barely anything; only the affidavit attached. 

 

Thanks in advance for any help/advice you may be able to offer.

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You can read up on either Midland or Portfolio and it will be almost the same procedures. You could also elect arb by notifying both the attorney and Asset that you wish to elect arb with JAMS. You would need to do it Monday and send it CMRRR. Hopefully it will fly. Read up on Linda7's thread about arbitration and learn what you can on it. I would also answer any summons and appear in court to keep from getting a default against you, this you must do. It's possible the court could deny you arb, but if you follow Linda7 you should get through it. Good luck.

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Asset Acceptance is represented by Steve Glaser out of Gallatin.  He's suing like mad for AAC, Midland, etc.  In any event, they never have any documentation and while the do have a Tennessee Collection Services License, they don't have legal standing to commence litigation under the Tennessee Collection Services Act.  This isn't even touching upon the fact that even if they did fully comport to the TCSA, they could never authenticate a chain of title under the T.R.E.

 

You may consider lawyering up before you head to Sessions Court in Franklin (and no, I don't mean to solicit you - I mean that you just need a lawyer because Sessions Court is very fast and loose with pro se litigants).

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Good info to know. Welcome to the board, hope you stay with us like several other attorneys that stop by and help us. It's appreciated.

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Williamson County Rules of Court

 

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:fXvcWQZCBaYJ:www.williamsoncounty-tn.gov/DocumentView.asp%3FDID%3D449+&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgvIcBix5qTHz0EeWDJZCfNNkTK_wazsg3a9INkhnr1fWMDrE6NpmzMDITXU7FvdXRpNKzSkPthijzNcL4SDvkBhUpdSRlolBTZsRwJnSGyLSQJPe1n33YJn_OLC3Tc6wiIgzJW&sig=AHIEtbS_eWBIyIsohGoMSpOX-NfpiG8C6A

 

Tennessee Rules of Court

 

http://www.tncourts.gov/courts/rules

 

Whatever you do make sure and file a notarized sworn denial with the court clerk ASAP and send a copy to the attorney CMRR. I couldn't find one for your county. This one is for all of Tennessee.

 

http://www.tsc.state.tn.us/sites/default/files/docs/final_-_sworn_denial.pdf

 

You can add something like "Defendant reserves the right to raise affirmative defenses as they become apparent through discovery."

 

When you go to court tell the judge you would like a trial date set. I wouldn't mess with talking with the other attorney even though it will be offered. Get this much done and then come back here and do research and ask questions.

 

Arbitration may be an option for your also. Others here can answer questions concerning this.

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Discovery is not permitted in General Sessions Court unless you specifically move the Court.  Answers are not filed.  However, a formal Motion to Dismiss is warranted here inasmuch as Asset does not have standing to commence litigation in Tennessee as a matter of law.  Moreover, because they do not comport to the TCSA, they are taking action that legally cannot be taken and are thereby, in violation of the FDCPA.

 

Again, the OP really needs counsel to articulate the above inasmuch as Mr. Glaser will steam roll them at hearing.

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Again, the OP really needs counsel to articulate the above inasmuch as Mr. Glaser will steam roll them at hearing.

 

I can't agree more with this statement. While several of our members here have had a measure of success defending themselves against debt collectors over the years, the overwhelming majority, despite their best efforts, often find themselves on the losing side. If you are at all able to do so, speak with an attorney before trying to fight this yourself.

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Thanks, all, for your advice & tips so far.  I really do appreciate them.

 

Based on a past case in another state, I expected that when I showed up on Monday I'd be one of several people and that when I verbally denied the claims, the judge would set another date to actually hear it.  Is that not the case in TN?  Given the short time frame between service of the warrant and the court date (5 business days), it would have been nearly impossible to gather everything I would need to adequately respond to the suit particularly since they sent me an affidavit with almost no identifiable information on it (my name, 4 digits of an account number, no dates or anything else). 

 

I read up on the arbitration and that seems like a strong option for those being sued by an OC, which I am not.  So I figured that wasn't the best road for me.

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Thanks, all, for your advice & tips so far.  I really do appreciate them.

 

Based on a past case in another state, I expected that when I showed up on Monday I'd be one of several people and that when I verbally denied the claims, the judge would set another date to actually hear it.  Is that not the case in TN?  Given the short time frame between service of the warrant and the court date (5 business days), it would have been nearly impossible to gather everything I would need to adequately respond to the suit particularly since they sent me an affidavit with almost no identifiable information on it (my name, 4 digits of an account number, no dates or anything else). 

 

I read up on the arbitration and that seems like a strong option for those being sued by an OC, which I am not.  So I figured that wasn't the best road for me.

Arbitration is an excellent tool to use against JDBuyers.  They don't want to arbitrate at all and you can often get the case dismissed with prejudice, no selling of the debt, deletion of the tradelines and no 1099 in exchange for you "not" moving forward with arbitration after the judge grants your motion to compel arbitration.  Read the Strategy and Steps of Arbitration in the Arbitration forum and you'll understand the concept. 

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I can't agree more with this statement. While several of our members here have had a measure of success defending themselves against debt collectors over the years, the overwhelming majority, despite their best efforts, often find themselves on the losing side. If you are at all able to do so, speak with an attorney before trying to fight this yourself.

They - pro se litigants - just lose in most Sessions Courts in Tennessee.  It is worth the cost of an attorney to avoid a judgment that you will be paying for quite some time or one that could force you into bankruptcy.  We're "not" that expensive and most attorney's are open to installments.

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Arbitration is an excellent tool to use against JDBuyers.  They don't want to arbitrate at all and you can often get the case dismissed with prejudice, no selling of the debt, deletion of the tradelines and no 1099 in exchange for you "not" moving forward with arbitration after the judge grants your motion to compel arbitration.  Read the Strategy and Steps of Arbitration in the Arbitration forum and you'll understand the concept. 

The problem for pro se lititgants is getting into evidence something that prescribes that arbitration can be compelled.  Moreover, in Tennessee, we have certain ways in which it must be plead under our state law.  "If" a pro-se litigant can get the terms and underlying conditions from the original creditor, I just move to dismiss for improper venue because their is always a clause prescribing where suit must be brought.

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