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PRA initiated a lawsuit against me for a debt that was originated with GE Capital.  My lawyer answered with a general denial but she seems reluctant to proceed with a defense relating to the ownership of the debt.  When I discussed settling for a payment plan with PRA if I received proof of ownership, they quickly agreed to a $25/month payment plan and sent a stipulation for confession of judgment but no proof.  I demanded the proof and they provided a general bill of sale.  I refused to sign the confession of judgment and want to fight this. 

 

I've read several threads on here and, in my mind, have a fairly clear cut case where they probably won't be able to provide any additional supporting documentation beyond a bill of sale (no specific accounts listed), an affidavit from someone at PRA, and one billing statement.  My lawyer is stating that there is a 90% chance the judge will rule what they have is sufficient evidence and grant them summary judgment.  I told her to object on the grounds of hearsay and file discovery for more proof but she acts like it's a waste of time.  Am I totally wrong in my thinking that this case is winnable? 

 

 

 

 

1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? PRA

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? Wetsch, Abbot, and Osborn

 

3. How much are you being sued for? $5957.24

 

4. Who is the original creditor? G.E. Money Bank FSB

5. How do you know you are being sued? Served, in person, legally

8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued?

·         served summons/complaint

 

9. What state and county do you live in? Iowa, Polk county

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? April, 2010

 

11. What is the SOL on the debt? 5 yrs, I believe

12. What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed?

  • Motion for Summary Judgment 1/25/13
  • Resistance 2/8/13
  • Order Setting Hearing 2/15/13
  • Other Order (Settlement discussion) 3/27/13
  • Dismissal Notice 7/29/13 (but they will refile Motion for Summary Judgment if I don't sign the Confession of Judgment)

 

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? We need to know what the "charges" are. Please post what they are claiming. Did you receive an interrogatory (questionnaire) regarding the lawsuit? No interrogatory

 

16. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits.  They provided an affidavit (from PRA), one statement from OC

 

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Hard to tell until discovery is initiated and PRA puts their cards on the table. You're correct that a generic bill of sale and an affidavit from the CA is not sufficient proof of ownership. Sounds like your lawyer doesn't want to be bothered with the case. It's really no surprise as most people who come here after consulting a lawyer have similar stories. You could certainly go pro se and win this if you have the time and motivation to fight.

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Hard to tell until discovery is initiated and PRA puts their cards on the table. You're correct that a generic bill of sale and an affidavit from the CA is not sufficient proof of ownership. Sounds like your lawyer doesn't want to be bothered with the case. It's really no surprise as most people who come here after consulting a lawyer have similar stories. You could certainly go pro se and win this if you have the time and motivation to fight.

This.  Also, see if you can locate the card agreement that was in force when you defaulted.  If it has an Arb clause (and you aren't too late in the process to do so), you might consider electing arb, and filing a MTC.  This usually, from what I have heard, causes most JDBs to fold.

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Hard to tell until discovery is initiated and PRA puts their cards on the table. You're correct that a generic bill of sale and an affidavit from the CA is not sufficient proof of ownership. Sounds like your lawyer doesn't want to be bothered with the case. It's really no surprise as most people who come here after consulting a lawyer have similar stories. You could certainly go pro se and win this if you have the time and motivation to fight.

After speaking with my attorney today, I do feel like this is more of an annoyance to her than anything.  I certainly have the motivation to fight this, I just want to be sure I'm on the right track.  I believe, at this point, a Motion for Summary Judgment needs to be refiled since the case appears to have been dismissed under Iowa Civil Courts rule 1.944, which looks like an automatic dismissal due to inactivity or something to that effect.  At what point would I initiate discovery?  I mentioned this to my attorney and she, again, sounded annoyed and just stated she really thinks they already have sufficient proof and why would PRA lie?  I just kind of laughed at that comment. 

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This.  Also, see if you can locate the card agreement that was in force when you defaulted.  If it has an Arb clause (and you aren't too late in the process to do so), you might consider electing arb, and filing a MTC.  This usually, from what I have heard, causes most JDBs to fold.

Thank you, I will try to locate the card agreement.  I don't believe it's too late in the process as I think since the case appears to have been dismissed (at least that's what the online court records show), the CA will have to file a new Motion for Summary Judgment.  Is the MTC a Motion to Compel?  Sorry, I'm new to this but have been trying to research as much as I can on this.

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Starting an Arbitration. If you or we elect to arbitrate a claim, the electing party must notify the other party in writing. This notice can be given after the

beginning of a lawsuit and can be given in papers filed in the lawsuit. Otherwise, your notice must be sent to GE Money Bank, Legal Operation, P.O. Box 29110,

Shawnee Mission, KS 66201, ATTN: ARBITRATION DEMAND and our notice must be sent to the most recent address for you in our files. The party seeking

arbitration must select as the arbitration administrator either the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), 1633 Broadway, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10019,

www.adr.org, (800) 778-7879, or JAMS, 620 Eighth Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10018, www.jamsadr.com, (800) 352-5267. If neither the AAA nor

JAMS is able or willing to handle the dispute, then the parties will resolve their dispute in court.

The arbitration administrator will appoint the arbitrator and tell the parties what to do next. The arbitrator must be a lawyer with at least ten years legal

experience. In making decisions or awarding remedies, the arbitrator must apply the same law and legal principles that would apply in court, but may use

different procedural rules. If the administrator’s rules conflict with this Provision, this Provision will control.

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/credit-cards/agreements/search/?q=ge+money+bank credit agreement

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/community/topic/314030-the-strategy-and-steps-of-arbitration/ strategy and steps of arbitration read this

http://www.jamsadr.com/   you would elect jams you do not want AAA

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Here's the latest correspondence with my attorney (this was today), this might help to show where I'm at with this case:

 

Hi, Cory,

 

I followed up with the creditor's attorney and this is where we stand.

 

When I had originally talked to the attorney the agree was that you would do a confession of judgment after they provided a copy of the proof that they own the debt. They provided that one document that I forwarded to you.

 

They do not want (cannot) produce any other documents. They want to pursue judgment with full collection if we do not agree to it. Where that leaves us is this- we can fight them at the summary judgment hearing and say that the document doesn't evidence ownership of the debt. At that time, the judge will have to determine if it is satisfactory enough to enter judgment. I spoke to Laura, another attorney in my office, who said its about 50/50 on whether a judge will accept it as enough evidence.

 

If you agree to the confession you pay $25 a month until paid. If you pursue the summary judgment and win it proceeds to trial. If you pursue summary judgment and lose, the judgment is entered and they will move to garnish wages and bank accounts right away.

 

Let me know how you want to proceed or if you have any additional questions.

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 At what point would I initiate discovery?  

 

Immediately. There's usually a discovery period that starts right after you answer and a court date is set. It's a limited time frame that ends at a certain point prior to trial. 

 

I wouldn't say you're at a 50/50 chance of losing against summary judgement. Their evidence is thin and defensible. Have they filed for summary judgement yet?

 

If not, initiate discovery IMMEDIATELY. In most states a motion for summary judge is untimely if discovery is on-going.

 

Something else to consider, assuming you afford it, a $25 a month settlement is an extremely reasonable offer. You won't get anything remotely close to that if you lose. Think long and hard about it, you're going to have to do a lot of work to get up to speed on this. Not that it's impossible, but I don't want you to look back in 6 months and regret not taking the settlement if it makes sense for your situation. Personally I'd fight but that's me.

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My personal opinion? It is not worth it to your lawyer to pursue this. It would cost you more to pay them than what you may or may not owe the plaintiff.

If it were me, I would pull out (google) my rules of civil procedure, and start studying. I would post everything here, personal identifying redacted, and do this my self. My first step would be to let my attorney go, and be on my way.

That said, it depends on you, how much time you have to spend, and if you can not fold under the pressures of the court. Your call.:)

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Immediately. There's usually a discovery period that starts right after you answer and a court date is set. It's a limited time frame that ends at a certain point prior to trial. 

 

I wouldn't say you're at a 50/50 chance of losing against summary judgement. Their evidence is thin and defensible. Have they filed for summary judgement yet?

 

If not, initiate discovery IMMEDIATELY. In most states a motion for summary judge is untimely if discovery is on-going.

 

Something else to consider, assuming you afford it, a $25 a month settlement is an extremely reasonable offer. You won't get anything remotely close to that if you lose. Think long and hard about it, you're going to have to do a lot of work to get up to speed on this. Not that it's impossible, but I don't want you to look back in 6 months and regret not taking the settlement if it makes sense for your situation. Personally I'd fight but that's me.

 

I do realize that $25/mo is a reasonable offer but in principle, I shouldn't even be responsible for this debt.  My ex-wife was supposed to take this debt per our divorce decree since it's for some cosmetic "enhancements" she received but the card was in my name only because she couldn't get credit approval at the time.  Anyway, she filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy and tried to include this in her filing but PRA decided they'd rather go after me for the full amount.  In short, I want to fight this using everything I can because of that.

 

In regards to whether or not they have filed for summary judgment, they did back in January 2013 but based on the court timeline, I believe it's been dismissed.  I've attached both the court timeline from the Iowa Courts website and the latest item I received from PRA, which is a Stipulation and Confession of Judgment which I have not signed.  I think they may have to refile a motion for summary judgment again, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Court Timeline_Redacted.pdf

Stipulation and Confession.pdf

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My personal opinion? It is not worth it to your lawyer to pursue this. It would cost you more to pay them than what you may or may not owe the plaintiff.

If it were me, I would pull out (google) my rules of civil procedure, and start studying. I would post everything here, personal identifying redacted, and do this my self. My first step would be to let my attorney go, and be on my way.

That said, it depends on you, how much time you have to spend, and if you can not fold under the pressures of the court. Your call. :-)

Thanks shellieh98, I agree with your opinion.  I do feel like this isn't worth it to my attorney.  The only reason I'm even using her is because I have legal insurance that pays 100% of the costs for debt collection matters.  But yesterday when I spoke with her, she stated if I wanted to move forward with fighting this, I'd be responsible for court hearing fees, court reporter fees, and some others that I'd never heard her previously mention.  So I think I'll let her go and battle this on my own.

 

I definitely have the motivation and can make time to fight this myself.  I'm a former Army Ranger so there's nothing the court can throw at me that'll make me fold under pressure :-)

 

 

 

Your best bet is to FIGHT it with our help. Your attorney is only going to do so much. use them as a resource while you do the work. At $25.00 a month it would take you a life time to pay it off, what, with interest etc. Fight and win.

 

 

Thanks TomnTex.  I agree, $25/month is a life-long payment plan. 

 

 

That being said, do I wait for them to file for summary judgment again or am I incorrect in thinking that is the next course of action?

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You need a new attorney

 

I do realize that $25/mo is a reasonable

Why is that reasonable did PRA loan you any money? I bet the answer is no.

 

"they will refile Motion for Summary Judgment"

Guess what you can file Motion for Summary Judgment

 

"They provided an affidavit (from PRA), one statement from OC"

They have nothing and trying to scare you.

 

Stipulation and Confession of Judgment

Never sign that you will owe forever

 

I hope your attorney did not charge you any money for those services

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I'm with racecar 100%! This attorney is a waste of money and time. Drop her and start defending yourself. PRA tends to dismiss once you dig your heels in and demand, by way of discovery, that they provide every single bit of evidence. With my case(s), they had one statement. I kid you not.

PRA also has a love of humble pie, as they keep putting on that bib and asking for more servings. Dig in your heels and show them you're not an easy win. Of course you don't have to listen to me, though I've beat them twice. The decision is all yours my friend.

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Cory who leads the way?

In this case it seems that portfolio recovery leads the way.

We have to change this.

 

General Orders

Rule one

Never talk to the other side.

Rule two

If you feel like talking to the other side refer to rule one.

 

Need to know.

1.What has been submitted in your case by your attorney from day 1 to 08/29/2013.

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http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2079155 Defending Junk-Debt-Buyer Lawsuits read this

Usually the junk debt buyer receives no more than a spreadsheet with thousands of names, addresses, telephone numbers, account numbers, and charge off amounts.

http://www.law.gonza...ction_Suits.pdf  These are good to read so you have an idea of what has to be proven by the junk debt buyer.

 

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/community/topic/313112-the-all-inclusive-ive-been-sued-or-contacted-by-midland-whats-next-andor-help-me/ its says midland buy you think PRA they are all junk debt buyers

 

 

      

This is how debt is sold to the junk debt buyer.

THE CHARGED-OFF

ACCOUNTS ARE BEING SOLD "AS IS" AND "WITH ALL FAULTS",

WITHOUT ANY REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY WHATSOEVER

AS TO EITHER CONDITION, FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR

PURPOSE, MERCHANTABILITY OR ANY OTHER WARRANTY,

EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AND SELLER SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS

ANY WARRANTY, REPRESENTATION, ORAL OR WRITTEN, PAST OR

PRESENT, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, CONCERNING THE CHARGEDOFF

ACCOUNTS, OR THE STRATIFICATION OR PACKAGING OF THE

CHARGED-OFF ACCOUNTS.

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 At $25.00 a month it would take you a life time to pay it off, what, with interest etc. Fight and win.

 

 

I was thinking about that on my ride home from work last night. I can't imagine why they'd be okay with that amount. It's like a 20 year payoff. 

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You need a new attorney

 

I do realize that $25/mo is a reasonable

Why is that reasonable did PRA loan you any money? I bet the answer is no.

 

"they will refile Motion for Summary Judgment"

Guess what you can file Motion for Summary Judgment

 

"They provided an affidavit (from PRA), one statement from OC"

They have nothing and trying to scare you.

 

Stipulation and Confession of Judgment

Never sign that you will owe forever

 

I hope your attorney did not charge you any money for those services

 

Good point, they didn't loan me anything.  I haven't technically paid anything for my attorney's services except the premium for legal insurance, which covers 100% of debt collection defense.  That's really the only reason I even have representation.  But it's clear I'd be better off figuring this out without her.

 

I'm with racecar 100%! This attorney is a waste of money and time. Drop her and start defending yourself. PRA tends to dismiss once you dig your heels in and demand, by way of discovery, that they provide every single bit of evidence. With my case(s), they had one statement. I kid you not.

PRA also has a love of humble pie, as they keep putting on that bib and asking for more servings. Dig in your heels and show them you're not an easy win. Of course you don't have to listen to me, though I've beat them twice. The decision is all yours my friend.

 

Thanks for the encouragement, I'm definitely going to dig in on this one. 

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Cory who leads the way?
In this case it seems that portfolio recovery leads the way.
We have to change this.

General Orders
Rule one
Never talk to the other side.
Rule two
If you feel like talking to the other side refer to rule one.

Need to know.
1.What has been submitted in your case by your attorney from day 1 to 08/29/2013.


I like those references, they're definitely underestimating my intestinal fortitude in this fight. I've attached everything that has been filed from day 1.

Court Docs_Redacted.pdf

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I was thinking about that on my ride home from work last night. I can't imagine why they'd be okay with that amount. It's like a 20 year payoff. 

 

They quickly agreed to that amount when I told my attorney to demand proof of ownership.  They came back with the stipulation and confession of judgment and a generic bill of sale.  That's what led me down the path of wanting to fully challenge the suit as I don't believe they can produce sufficient evidence of ownership.  After reading all the information and discussions on this website, I believe my suspicions were correct and I have a chance at winning this thing. 

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I was thinking about that on my ride home from work last night. I can't imagine why they'd be okay with that amount. It's like a 20 year payoff.

Because they get the confession and judgement, let you pay on it for a little bit, then either tell you that you can't make payments any longer and they want the lump sum, or sell it to one of their subsidiaries, and take you to court to garnish, or seize bank money to pay the judgement you agreed to, and since they had no payment agreement with you, they just collect the judgement.

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Because they get the confession and judgement, let you pay on it for a little bit, then either tell you that you can't make payments any longer and they want the lump sum, or sell it to one of their subsidiaries, and take you to court to garnish, or seize bank money to pay the judgement you agreed to, and since they had no payment agreement with you, they just collect the judgement.

 

 

Don't forget it restarts the almighty statute of limitations.

 

Thank you both for the information.  I was not aware of either of those.  I'm really glad I didn't sign that document now, kind of makes me wonder how my attorney is even practicing as a consumer protection/debt collection defense attorney.  I would think she'd be aware of both of those points. 

 

So is my next step here to file a motion for something or do I wait to see if PRA files another motion for summary judgment?

 

Thanks again to everyone on here who has provided insight and advice on this matter.  I greatly appreciate it.

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did your attorney ask for a list of documents? a specific list.  If she did, post what she asked for, and we will see what else you will need in the way of documents from them.  The only thing hurtful in this case is you admitted to the debt so to speak.  It was yours, in your name even though your ex agreed to pay for it.  we need to get some input from some lawyers here on if a divorce decree absolves you of that obligation when they can't go after the other party. (your ex)Your paper work suggests that your side sent them the divorce stipulation?

 

Not to worry though, we are going to attack standing to sue here, and if they can't prove standing, then weather it's your debt or not is a mute point.

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did your attorney ask for a list of documents? a specific list.  If she did, post what she asked for, and we will see what else you will need in the way of documents from them.  The only thing hurtful in this case is you admitted to the debt so to speak.  It was yours, in your name even though your ex agreed to pay for it.  we need to get some input from some lawyers here on if a divorce decree absolves you of that obligation when they can't go after the other party. (your ex)Your paper work suggests that your side sent them the divorce stipulation?

 

Not to worry though, we are going to attack standing to sue here, and if they can't prove standing, then weather it's your debt or not is a mute point.

 

No, she did not ask for a specific list.  She wasn't even aware of the proof of ownership question until I brought it up.  She simply asked for proof of ownership (this was outside of court, by the way) beyond the affidavit they filed with the initial petition.  The bill of sale was then provided, which I told her, once again, was not sufficient.  She went back to them with another request and they said they wouldn't provide anything further.  And yes, my attorney did send them a copy of the divorce decree that specifically states this debt was to be the responsibility of my ex.  They initially were going to accept payment on the debt through my ex's chapter 13 bankruptcy plan but then rescinded, saying "why would we accept a lesser amount when we can collect the full amount". 

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