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court ordered mediation

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I, personally, don't know of anyone that has been sued and then worked out an advantageous deal with them without giving them a real hard fight first.

Why would they agree to such a thing? If you don't fight back, they'll get their judgment and then just sit back and wait until you can pay them.

All the while, interest is accruing on the debt until it gets to a point where you'll never be able to pay them.

 

Look at it this way ......... you would have to sign a stipulation of judgment and then, even if they agree to your terms  .....at a $100 a month ....... it would take you almost 16 years to pay off the balance ......... that doesn't even include the interest that they will be tacking on every month. What if something should occur in your life that eats into that $100 you send them and you can't make your payment?

BOOM, the judgment is filed and you're right back to square one (minus the amount you've paid them, of course).

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So your saying I'm probably looking at filing? And they can't get a judgement until court right?  I mean, they won't get one just from mediation right?  And if mediation doesn't produce anything and it is turned over to court, at that time I can still file correct?

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If you don't want to fight this then yes, you're probably looking at BK.

 

If your finances are that tight, you may be considered judgment proof. Do you have any assets that can be taken to satisfy a judgment? Just be aware that your financial life may improve sometime down the road.

 

They can't get a judgment until either a Motion for Summary Disposition occurs (which will happen soon if you don't answer the complaint) or until trial if you answer and give a good accounting of your self.

 

You can file even after the judgment is granted ........ but then, while the debt is forgiven, you will have a judgment against you on your credit report.

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We have had some medical issues, and yes, right now our finances are that tight.  0 savings.  We do own our house but there is no equity in it.  That is about all of the assets we have.  My car is 12 yrs. old, and my husbands is 10 yrs. old.  What does judgement proof mean?  We are hoping our finances improve down the road, and we can then pay off these debts.  I have already answered  the complaint, which is what led to this court ordered mediation.  I really don't see what good this will do, because from what you are telling me, it is unlikely they will accept a low monthly payment, and we truly can't go any higher at this point.  We have nothing in our retirement, and nothing in savings and no where to borrow anything from.  We have tried so hard to stay out of BK so that someday we can pay these loans, but I feel as if we are being pushed into it.  So after mediation, I guess if it gets turned over to court, (assuming they bring proof of my debt) then we will have to pursue BK then.  I don't want a judgement against me on my credit report.  

 

I'm still a little miffed by the change in cc#'s after the account was charged off.  When they come for mediation, I plan to ask for proof of an agreement, and agreement with the creditor that authorizes them to collect, and how they arrived at the total of the debt.  If they cannot provide any of that, then possibly that would be a reason to fight it in court?  But do I want to take the chance of losing in court, and then I will have a judgement on my credit report?

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We have had some medical issues, and yes, right now our finances are that tight.  0 savings.  We do own our house but there is no equity in it.  That is about all of the assets we have.  My car is 12 yrs. old, and my husbands is 10 yrs. old.  What does judgement proof mean?

 

You just defined it yourself. You have no assets for them to take.

 

You can ask for all the proof you want but, considering this is an original creditor .......... they will probably have it.

 

I have a judgment (satisfied) on my credit report .......... it doesn't affect my life what so ever. You're far better off not having credit anyway (life lesson learned the hard way).

 

The above statement is just my opinion ......... your circumstances may dictate otherwise.

 

Like willingtocope's signature says: Manage your debt ......... not your credit score.

 

When is your mediation hearing?

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The 3rd week of April.  The gal that set it up, told me to bring a list of my expenses and my income.  Sound reasonable?  I'm not sure what else I will bring in with me at this point.  

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I don't know what is reasonable  (I've never been through ADR)  ...... but if it was someone from the court that told you this ........ then by all means ....... do so. Just don't give any financial info to the plaintiff (bank account numbers ........ etc.).

This is not a debtors exam and until/if plaintiff gets a judgment ......... they can't legally request this information.

 

Expenses & Income ? ....... yes, make up a list and be prepared to submit it if required .......... don't volunteer any information.

 

Remember they haven't proven anything yet.

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Well. . . .  I went to my court ordered mediation, and this is how it went.  The mediators were really nice, and the rent a lawyer wasn't too bad either.  he really wasn't pushy at all, in fact he was pretty disinterested, very distracted most of the time.  After a few phone calls to the original lawyers, they accepted a monthly payment of $100.  As he was writing up the form to sign, he said something about this being a consent judgement, and I right away asked about that. He said that's what it is, and I told him I didn't want a judgement on my record.  He checked with his other guy, and said that was the only way they would right it up, so I said deals off, I don't want a judgement.  Now. . .  he did not have anything, and I mean anything to show me to prove it was my debt.  But he repeatedly told me that he could get it, if this went to court.  Both him and the mediator feel that a couple of old statements would be sufficient for the judge, so that will not be an issue for him.  The mediator basically told me that this sounds like it was purchased from BOA, and this is how FIA pressures you into paying.  He knew absolutely NOTHING about this case, not my name, nothing.  I really feel if it goes to court, (and I'm pretty sure it will), they won't have the documentation, but try to talk their way through it.  

 

Now, I feel like I would like to talk with someone, and poss. have them go to court with me to help me through it.  I feel as tho a BK lawyer will just try to talk me into filing, and I would rather not, if I don't have to.  So, who would i seek out?, Do you think there is a chance it will not go to court? What should my next step be?

 

Thanks for any insight you can give me.  All of the help I have received on this site, was super helpful and definitely calmed my fears, and really gave me valuable knowledge.  

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Now, I feel like I would like to talk with someone, and poss. have them go to court with me to help me through it.  I feel as tho a BK lawyer will just try to talk me into filing, and I would rather not, if I don't have to.  So, who would i seek out?, Do you think there is a chance it will not go to court? What should my next step be?

 

I'm sorry ......... I know of no one that I can point you to to talk this over with ..........maybe check here.

 

These are the steps I would take at this point:

  • Follow Linda7's election of arbitration & hope they don't follow you due to the costs and the proclivity that FIA has against arbitration.
  • If arbitration is denied, fight it out in court hoping that the attorneys mess it up.
  • If you lose in court or in arbitration........... drop the BK nuke.

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OK, bear with me here.  I have now received a letter from the attorney who is suing me.  The first letter is the plaintiffs witness list, and exhibits.  It looks like it was submitted to the courts for the trial.  The second is a document that reads

 

1.  PLAINTIFF'S INTERROGATORIES, REQUEST TO ADMIT AND REQUEST FOR DOCUMENTS TO DEFENDANT with Proof of Service.

 

It is requesting answers to the following questions:

 

1.  Have you ever purchased goods or services on an open accounted granted to you by plaintiff or plaintiff's predecessors in inters?

 

2.  If you have ever made a payment for such purchase, state the date and amount of each payment and identify any documents or other evidence of each payment.

 

3.  Do you keep records, such as account payable ledgers, etc.

 

etc, etc, etc,

 

7.  Is there any portion of plaintiff's claim that you admit you owe to plaintiff?  If so, state the amount that you admit that you owe to plaintiff and any facts that support your claim that you do not owe the rest.  Identify and attach any documents that supports your answer.

 

8.  If you claim that the account on which plaintiff is suing is inaccurate, specify each inaccuracy and facts that support your conclusion that the account is inaccurate.

 

9.  Please identify any witnesses that you plan to call at trial in this matter.  

 

OK, then it lists a request to produce documents. 

 

The last is the REQUESTS TO ADMIT

 

1.  Please admit that this account, as defined in paragraph 1 above, belongs to you.

2.  Please admit that you are responsible for the payment of any outstanding balance on this account.

 

3.  Please admit that personally applied for this account, either in writing, via the internet, by phone or in person.

 

4.  Please admit that you and/or your agents , etc, purchase for good and or service son this account.

 

5.  Please admit that you have made periodic payments on this account.

 

And so on.

 

In some of the prior legal jargon in this packet, it states that if I decline to attach legible copies to the answers to the interrogatories and the response to the requests for production and timely serve same, than all requests for production of documents herein shall be deemed a request for me to appear at the office of plaintiff's counsel at 10:00 am on a date 28 days after service of these documents.

 

What I don't understand about all of this is that it lists the plaintiff as FIA CARD SERVICES, N.A., but it specifically says that this communication is from a debt collector and this is an attempt to collect a debt.  

 

On the letter that was sent it lists on the exhibits:

 

1.  all pleadings

2.  account statements

3.  Any exhibits introduced by the defendant.

 

Up to this point they have not produced any proof what so ever that this is mine.  At the mediation, I asked for it, and of course the rental lawyer, knew nothing about it, and had nothing, but assured me they would produce it in court, it need be.

 

So. . . . . how do I respond to this "stuff".  

 

Sorry this is so long, and thanks for your input.

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Help. . . . . . . does anyone know whether I need to respond to this letter (above), or is it another bunch of legal stuff scare tactic?  It says I need to respond to (admit) this letter  within 28 days or else I need to report to their office 28 days after receiving this letter.  ( it is 3 hours away).  Why do I have to respond to all of this if there is a court date set?

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Did you agree to the consent judgment or not?

 

Even though you went through ADR, if the Plantiff did not have proof that you owe the debt up to this point, the panel would provide back to the court that the case (as of now) is worht $0.

 

Why even discuss a payment plan, when they have not shown you that the amount they are claiming is accurate.

 

I went through the same process with Chase. The attorney at mediation still did not produce any proof that the account was mine. I kept firing back that the burden of proof is on the Plaintiff. After a couple minutes the panel turned to the Plaintif's attorney and said, "He is right, do you have any evidence showing that this is his debt?" After we were done, they asked if either party wanted to talk with them one-on-one, and I did. I had a candid conversation with them that they attached nothing to the complaint and up to this point, there is nothing showing that this is my debt. Further, I kept stating I never had a credit card with Chase. They wrote up their summary and came back that the case is worth $0.

 

A month later, Chase dismissed with prejudice. Never, ever indirectly show that this is your account. Force them to prove everything.

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No, I did not sign the consent judgement because I did not want a judgement on my record, so that ended the mediation.  My immediate problem is this lawyer, is demanding I answer this letter or show up at his office in two weeks.  Is he yanking my leg?  And do I need to answer or show up?  

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You do not need to show up at his office...that is a scare tactic. You need to respond to their discovery requests and send them your own ROGS, Admissions and prod. of docs. When they object to your requests, send them a Letter to Confer.

 

What date was your initial pre-trial? How long did the judge set discovery for?

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The date of the pre-trial is 9/9 and discovery is 42 days from 4/23.  So I'm kind of dumb at this, but how do I respond and what do I send them (ROGS)?  I don't know what that is.

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'ROGS' is a short way of saying Interrogatories.

 

OK ............ from my understanding; you have 17 days to answer their discovery requests and to send them yours (Production of Documents, Interrrogatories and Request for Admissions).

 

You need to get these things done post-haste; if you don't answer their Request for Admissions (at least) on time they will be deemed as admitted by the court and you will lose.

 

There are a lot of resources on this board indicating the possible answers to their discovery questions as well as how to file your own discovery with plaintiff's attorney.

 

If you have specific questions, we'll try to help; we can't do your work for you.

 

Sorry if this sounds harsh.

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Thank you for all of the info, it is very helpful, and no, you do not sound harsh, just honest.  I think I may seek some legal counsel to help me with this, (and that is difficult as well to try to find an attorney) because from what I've been reading, I don't want to screw this up.

 

I do have a question about who is actually suing me.  It says it is from the attorney on the other side of the state, representing FIA.  But on all of the communication I have received, it says they are a debt collector, trying to collect a debt.  According to my credit report, it says that FIA has charged this off.  So, is FIA actually suing me or is this a JDB suing me, trying to look like they are suing on behalf of FIA?

 

If I decide to request more time to answer this, what exactly do I need to do, and who would I send that to?

 

Thanks so much for your help, this is quite a learning experience for me, and an overwhelming one at that.  

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The named plaintiff on your summons is the party that is suing you. The law firm is representing the plaintiff.

The requisite disclaimer (debt collector, trying to collect a debt) is a formality required by the debt collection laws of most states ( even my monthly mortgage statements have this disclaimer on them).

 

If I decide to request more time to answer this, what exactly do I need to do, and who would I send that to?

 

You would file a motion for continuance with the court. You would need a really good reason for the continuance and it would probably be opposed by plaintiff.

If your reason is sufficient (such as seeking legal counsel) the judge will rule one way or the other.

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OK, its a bit clearer now.  Thank you soooo much for your help, I'll keep you posted on the status of this.

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OK, I'm in the process of writing up my answers, but I have a few questions.

 

First of all under Witnesses, it lists,

1. me

2. any witnesses I call upon

3. the keeper of records for FIA card services,( so does this mean they will actually bring someone from there?)

4. they reserve the right to amend this list.

 

The exhibits:

 

1.  All pleadings  (are these just the court papers, or would they be any documents like my signature opening the account, etc.)

2.  Account statements (will they have all of the statements or only the last few months, and will it be just the statements, or other docs too?)

3.  Any exhibits I introduce, (which is basically none, right?)

4.  reserves the right, etc

 

On my interrogatories some of the questions cover a broad range in my opinion, such as 

1.  Have I ever purchased goods or services on an open account granted to you by Plaintiff or Plaintiff's predecessors in interest?

 

Well, yes I made purchases on a B of A card.

 

2.  If I have ever made a payment for any such purchase, state the date and amount of each payment and identify any documents or other evidence of each payment.

 

Yes, I have made payments, but I don't know the dates, amounts, etc.    I feel like each one has such a broad range of info in it, its impossible to give an answer because it is so broad.

 

3.  Do I keep records, etc., and if yes, identify them.  No I don't keep records, but if I answer that way, will it come back to haunt me somehow?

 

This next one, I just really don't understand.

4.  Has Plaintiff in interest ever delivered to me, by mail, or otherwise, any bills, statements of account, invoices, or other requests?  If so, identify each document and state whether I object to it.  If I object, identify each objection, including whether it was written or oral.

 

What I'm gathering out of this, is did I ever receive any statements for the BOA account, and what would I object to, and how would I identify it?

 

OK, this next one, is really open ended.

 

5.  Is there any portion of Plaintiff's claim that you admit you owe to Plaintiff?  If so, state the amount that you admit that yow owe to Plaintiff and facts that support your claim that you do not owe the rest of Plaintiff's claim.  Identify and attach any docs that supports my answer.

 

I do owe BOA money from a cc, but I don't know the exact amount anymore, with all of the interest, late fees, etc tacked on, and I don't have any documentation.  So, if I just deny, I feel like this will come back to haunt me as well.

 

The next one says that if I feel the account is inaccurate, specify each inaccuracy and facts that support my conclusion.

 

I don't know specifics, and have no support.

 

And finally, witnesses.  Who would I call as a witness?

 

It is FIA that is suing me, and I know they are part of BOA, so I can't really use that as a reason, because I did open a card with BOA.

 

 

Thanks for your help.  I do have a generic form I printed out from the state of MI, but I feel like some of these require more of an answer than agree, disagree, because. . . . .  and do not know if the statement is true.

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OK, I think I'm on my way.  I answered all of the interrogatories, all denied, no recollection, and I answered request to admit, all denied as well, mostly because I have no proof.  Requests for docs, was pretty simple, all of them unaware of any docs, so therefore I can't produce any.  Now, I'm onto my request for docs.  I have a pretty standard set of requests, but what I'm having trouble with is the cover letter, and when they sent me all of this there was several pages of definitions and instruction.  Should I be sending out something to that effect?

 

I don't have any witnesses, so I guess I won't submit any.  I know when I send it, I should send it cert. mail, with a request for a signature, but do I have to have a little blip about proof of service?  And should I send a copy to the courts?

 

Thank you so much for any insight you can give me.

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OK, I think I'm on my way.  I answered all of the interrogatories, all denied, no recollection, and I answered request to admit, all denied as well, mostly because I have no proof.  Requests for docs, was pretty simple, all of them unaware of any docs, so therefore I can't produce any.  Now, I'm onto my request for docs.  I have a pretty standard set of requests, but what I'm having trouble with is the cover letter, and when they sent me all of this there was several pages of definitions and instruction.  Should I be sending out something to that effect?

 

I would use a format that is very similar to theirs (i.e. cover letter, definitions, instructions etc.)

 

I don't have any witnesses, so I guess I won't submit any.  I know when I send it, I should send it cert. mail, with a request for a signature, but do I have to have a little blip about proof of service?  And should I send a copy to the courts?

 

In Michigan, you don't file discovery with the courts so I don't think you'd need a proof of service. Did you get one with their discovery requests? CMRRR receipt should be proof enough that they received your discovery requests.

 

.

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Yes, I did get one with theirs, but it was not CMRR.  Also on the directions, it is about 9 pages long, do I really need to do that?  Especially since I don't understand about 90 percent of it.  So are you saying I don't have to file with the court?  They did send one to the courts.

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Check your rules, most states don't want you to file your discovery requests. I have a great list of doc requests and admits, I will post them later, I am on my I pad right now and don't have access.

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Yes, I did get one with theirs, but it was not CMRR.  Also on the directions, it is about 9 pages long, do I really need to do that?  Especially since I don't understand about 90 percent of it.  So are you saying I don't have to file with the court?  They did send one to the courts.

 

Most of the correspondence I have received from plaintiff's attorneys were not sent CMRRR either. That is because judges will believe the attorneys before they will believe a Pro Se defendant .. we need those CMRRR receipts to prove that the plaintiff has received our filings.

 

As to the definitions and instructions .... you just need to be clear as to what you are requesting ... you don't have to go overboard.

 

Are you saying that they sent a copy of the request for discovery to the court? Or are you saying that they sent the Proof of service to the court? If they filed a proof of service with the court ... you should too.

 

I don't believe that the discovery requests are required to be filed with the court.

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