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What to expect in pre-trial / florida court


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Went to Florida court yesterday ( received summons from Portfolio Recovery Associates / original creditor HSBC 2010) PRA bought account in 2011.

My whole experience!!! It is very long but I really hope some one could benefit from it :-)

I don't know how this works in another state but here in florida the amount of people sued by debt collectors companies especially PRA is just insane! ( Judge mentioned to have 200 cases just on that day) My pre-trial was at 9:00am and there were 30-40 people scheduled at that time. I was nervous but did my work and educated myself before going to court ( read posts here and also found valuable information using google search)

When I got to court at 8:45 PRA's attorney was already seating outside the court room talking to a man, making payment arrangements ( I was the 2nd one outside the court room) when PRA' attorney saw me she immediately stopped the conversation with the man she was talking to and asked me if I was there regarding a claim with PRA and when I responded yes she then asked me to have a seat and with a nice, friendly smile ( just to make you believe she is your friend) told me I was next to speak to her so we can make payment arrangements ( Thanks to God, to my advantage and because the night previous to my pre-trial I read somewhere about Debt collector's attorney approaching people outside the court room I wasn't caught off guard) The debt collector's attorney is there to make a payment plan with everyone before they go in front of the Judge. I heard PRA's attorney telling another PRA attorney that she arrived to court at 7:30am ( of course she needed to get as much people as possible before the court room was opened ) the man she was talking to was very nervous ( everyone was, including myself) and he told her all he could pay was $10.00 a month and she said she could not accept that and with all her tactics and pressure he accepted to pay $80.00 monthly :-(

when my turn to speak to her came and after pulling up my name and alleged amount on her iPad the first thing she again very nicely and with a smile asked me; how much could you pay monthly? To what I responded; This is not my debt! here comes the tricky part and one I wasn't aware of ! she said oh lets look at the information on my records and opened a new window and showed me my SS # and asked me if that was my # which I admitted and told her that although that was my SS # that was not my debt! Then she opened another window and shows me a copy of the original creditor statement which had my address ( I am sure she shows people those 2 windows just to make you freak and to make you believe that PRA has all you records) I made sure to look at the date on the statement she showed me and it was 2010, what I am thinking is that when they buy the accounts from the original creditors,the original creditor provides to them the last statement just to make sure they got the total amount owed on the account. (it was a one page statement not the whole report) she asked if that was my address and then asked me if I recognized the transaction showed ( a Walmart purchased back in 2010) which I responded yes it is my address and no I do not recognize that transaction! because she had nothing else to show me and I did not recognized the debt she said; when the judge call your name you explain to him. Which I said ok, thank you very much! ( for the record, I was as friendly as he was). PRA's attorney spoke to everyone and made a payment plan with more than 90% of the people that was scheduled for pre- trial. I feel for those people because most likely they will not afford to make the payments and they will freeze their bank account and get their funds :-(

Although, I was the 2nd one to arrived at the court room I was almost the last one to be called in front of the judge ( only 5-6 people were in the court room when I left) I believe that the people with payment plans were called first! To my surprise the Judge ( female) was very friendly with the debt collectors attorney and everyone there representing PRA (she was joking, laughing, having a good time with them) of course seeing this made me more nervous! Also she kept telling people in a sarcastic tone; you took their money and now you have to pay them back ( I wanted to remind her no one there owed PRA nothing, and if they do it should only be the small amount they purchased the debt for) She was telling people, if you lost your job, your house, etc, I don't care ! If you come in front of me you better have a payment plan. I am telling you she was on PRA's side ( of course she works with this people every day of the week) My head keep going in circles and with every action and her nasty responses my anxiety level keep rising!

The man who went in front of the judge before me had a letter made by an attorney ( he told me) saying that the bill of sell wasn't attached to the documents he received ( the judge said; let me see in my records and pulled out the documents filled in court on her computer and asked the PRA attorney something and then asked the defendant are you trying to revert the law? She asked him; other than than is there any other reason why I should dismiss your case? Which he answered no but said he wasn't paying so he will go to trial. ( he was the only one fighting his case) another lady wanted to change her mind once she was talking to the judge but judge said; you already ate the cake now you don't wanted? You have to pay!

Here I go in front of the judge!

She asked APR's attorney the particulars and she added $350 court cost. She then asked me; how are you responding to this? I did not give her time to think nor ask me any more questions and I said; Your Honor as I told APR's attorney outside the court room, I do not recognize this debt and I would like to ask you if it is possible for PRA to provide me with copies of the detailed history on this account and also any documents signed by me when this account was opened ( some people say contract but not for a second I wanted to sound like an attorney because I knew for her previous responses she was going to eat me alive) I wanted to sound as natural as possible :-) she then said; they have 30 days to provide you with these documents and if they don't your case will be dismissed and if they have these documents you will be schedule for trial. please make sure they have your correct address, have a good day!

Tip! When I spoke to the APR attorney I did not ask her for account history nor copy of contract signed by me because I did not want to give her the heads up of what I was going to request from the judge. when I requested these documents from judge the two PRA's attorneys looked at each other and ignored me ( like saying here we have no case). I will wait for a response and

Hopefully PRA drops its lawsuit because many debt collectors lack the documentation they need to prove a debt :-)

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