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JDB / Attorney Relationship


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Hi everyone,

 

I wanted to pose another question for the crowd in regards to something that has been on my mind lately. Let's say JDB "X" claims they own a defaulted debt. JDB "X" assigns the account to a law firm to collect the debt, and the file sits in collection for a few months or even years.

 

Suddenly the law firm takes legal action and sues the person they believe owes the debt. What I want to know, with these lawsuits, do these law firms actually have any contact with the Plaintiff at all. The reason I ask, is because with my own case I get the vibe that the law firm filed the lawsuit on their own, just to see what would happen. Does the law firm need permission from the JDB to open the lawsuit? Do most law firms just work on contigencies with JDBs? Basically what I mean is do the JDBs give their regularly used attorneys a bunch of files and says "do whatever you have to do to get us money."

 

The only time I can fathom there would be some communication is whenever the attorney needs account documentation, whether that be for a default judgment, or during discovery, or during any other point that something directly from the JDB would be needed.

 

Let's say a debtor makes an offer to settle a lawsuit, how does the debtor know in fact that the law firm "representing" the JDB even discusses the offer with the JDB. In these cases, it almost seems that the law-firm is concerned with their interests first, and knows how much money they want to even make it worth their time and the JDBs time.

 

Am I way out of line here, or do I have some valid points? I'm not even sure where I am going with all of this, but I just wanted to get a better idea of the relationship the JDBs have with their attorneys.

 

 

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Often, attorneys actually are instrumential in forming a JDB.  They will go to other professionals in the area...doctors, accountants, dentists, etc...and say "hey guys, how about you each put up $5,000, and I'll set up up with an LLC that's buys debt...then I will handle the law suits for you...the ROI is unbeleivable".  Although the lawyer is not actually a partner in the JDB, he does run the show...and therefore gets to pick the cases he goes for.

 

I know this because the lawyer that handled my business and I got to talking one day...he ran a JDB on the side.

 

I would assume that many of the very large JDBs actually have a stable of indepentent lawyers in each jurisdiction that they "employ".  And, I would assume those lawyers are just given lists of names and account numbers...and they work their way thru the list between chasing ambulances.

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It really can depend on several things, I imagine.  For example, there are some debt collection firms that partner with attorneys, so in fact, the party that "owns" the debt could be connected to the attorney.  Likewise, there are some attorneys that act as debt collectors.  So in that case, it would depend on who the attorney is and who they claim the owner/assignee of the debt is. 

 

Other than that, that is why it is so important for consumers to fight back and not to just ignore a summons.  There are even judges who have said that as much as 80-90% of the debt collection cases that go through their courts are won by default, and should not be won anyways, because the plaintiff lacks the proof needed to overcome even a basic challenge. 

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I really appreciate the responses coming in. I really wish I could elaborate more, but I wish to keep some things with my current case private, at least until the darn thing is over. At that point I'll be able to describe more about why I asked these questions, and why I feel like I'm just being sued by a law-firm that just inserts the name of the JDB into the Plantiff field on the paperwork, but in reality, it's the attorney sort of acting on their own agenda to see if they can cash in.

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Some JDBs have certain attorneys in each state that they use on a regular basis. Although the pay can vary I spoke with one that gets 30% of all money he collects for one of the larger JDBs. One case I was involved in was called off by the JDB, so I'm guessing they picked up the filing fees for that one. I'm not sure who normally pays the court cost if collection on a judgement is unsuccessful. 

 

Others go on websites and choose accounts they wish to pursue. Its almost like a dating site. An attorney sitting around without any money coming in can go and bid on accounts on a site like this one. 

http://accountsrecovery.net/

 

Whatever the situation most of these attorneys will only make money by bluffing the defendants. It has been my experience that the JDBs give very little support to these attorneys when evidence is needed. These attorneys do really seem to get upset when the JDBs refuse to send witnesses. I would guess the attorneys get what they need less than 10% of the time. That is why they are so open to settlement. 30% of a little is better than 30% of nothing. 

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So let's say this, by this point of the case the law-firm should realize I'm not the standard pro-se defendant, mostly because of the help I have received from lurking around here.

 

With that being said, the bluffing and offers I have received from the other side are comical at best. Seriously, like offering me to settle for 90% of what was listed on the complaint. I don't know if that's the standard garbage or what. It's like they think I am a fool or something despite the stand I am taking. I just don't know if it is the attorney making those offers, or if it does happen to be the JDB that is that outrageous.

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The JDB gives them a list of accounts. Some of the bigger ones have certain firms they work with. My case I had a NY lawyer who was assigned my case. He in turn assigns it to a firm licensed to collect in colorado.

They are given leeway on how much they can settle for. They will always tell you they can't settle for that without talking to JDB first, but usually they are given some leeway. They will usually try to get 80% of the amount sued upon. (Cough spit)

I think some JDB s have several firms they work wit, and sometimes they get their paperwork crossed, causing 2 attorneys trying to collect from you. Other times they assign a case, and if nothing has happened in a year or so they sell it to another JDB. Then the lawyer that WAS assigned decides to sue, all the while they don't own the account anymore. That is one reason it is so important to fight these guys. They keep horrible records, and even after you win, or settle, you will often get another JDB coming after you for the money.

In my own case I won with prejudice, and the JDB is doing pulls on my credit report. Guess the attorney forgot to tell them it was dismissed.

My aunt has one going on that she paid a default judgement in full, and they sold it anyway. Now she has a new JDB trying to collect on it. She is currently waiting their offer on how much they want to pay her for their mistake, working with a consumer attorney.

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So let's say this, by this point of the case the law-firm should realize I'm not the standard pro-se defendant, mostly because of the help I have received from lurking around here.

 

With that being said, the bluffing and offers I have received from the other side are comical at best. Seriously, like offering me to settle for 90% of what was listed on the complaint. I don't know if that's the standard garbage or what. It's like they think I am a fool or something despite the stand I am taking. I just don't know if it is the attorney making those offers, or if it does happen to be the JDB that is that outrageous.

Lol my rent a lawyer for the plaintiff was sent to dismiss the suit at trial. I told him the attorney said it would be with prejudice, and he goes "we could do that.....unless of coarse you want to settle?" Dumb shyt.

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So let's say this, by this point of the case the law-firm should realize I'm not the standard pro-se defendant, mostly because of the help I have received from lurking around here.

 

With that being said, the bluffing and offers I have received from the other side are comical at best. Seriously, like offering me to settle for 90% of what was listed on the complaint. I don't know if that's the standard garbage or what. It's like they think I am a fool or something despite the stand I am taking. I just don't know if it is the attorney making those offers, or if it does happen to be the JDB that is that outrageous.

 

It's standard operating procedure for these jokers to keep pressing for you to settle all the way to trial and sometimes even further than that. Just because you're fighting back it doesn't change their strategy one iota. 

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Lol my rent a lawyer for the plaintiff was sent to dismiss the suit at trial. I told him the attorney said it would be with prejudice, and he goes "we could do that.....unless of coarse you want to settle?" Dumb shyt.

 

That's absolutely crazy!! LOL, it's like, hmmm.... should I walk out of here with my head held high and my checkbook intact, or should I turn over my entire life savings to you?

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Keep in mind that you may have the law on your side, but they can still beat you with legal procedure. If this is a local firm they know the courts system and know which judges are best to play in front of. When dealing with these cases you find three kinds of judges. A handful are pro consumer and will give you every chance possible. Many more are "pro banking/collections and you will lose no matter what you do. While most are fair but they seem annoyed by Pro Se defendants. I'm not saying this to scare you, but just want you to make sure you are fully prepared to fight. 

 

90% is definitely a high number. I would guess most here are offered at least 50% before trial. Before my first trial I was offered 25% and turned it down. A little later after I rejected the offer they dismissed. All of it has to do with whatever their business model is. Some have certain guidelines they must stay within, while others just make a judgement call at the time. They realize their chances of getting paid go down the longer you fight. Unless its for a large amount of money they usually do not want to go to trial. Why should they waste money and time on you when they can slaughter those who give in and/or don't show up?

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This is how specialized some of the JDBs and law firms get when selecting accounts. This is funny and disturbing at the same time. I would not want to be one of the people in that picture! 

 

http://bkdeacquisitions.com/Bankruptcy_Locate.html

 

 

I can't find it right now, but another site was basically set up for older and smaller debts that the normal law firms didn't want. I'll bet some wannabe debt collectors get these without even having a lawyer on staff. All they do is send letters on legal letterhead and hope for some sucker to pay them. They have very little to lose until someone files an FDCPA case against them. Then they probably just get another PO Box and start over.

 

As @shellieh98 says most of these have no idea who is doing what. Its just a pure numbers game and unfortunately it is a very profitable one. 

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@ArtVandelay Thank you for being blunt with the situation, and letting me know that even if I fight, there are no guarantees. I suppose at the end of the day I was tired of being bullied by these people, I not only wanted to stand up for myself, but for all the hundreds and thousands of defendants that sit back and take it.

 

I told myself that I would eat, drink and sleep this case and would give it my best. In the worst case scenario, the idea of filing for BK was somewhat more appealing to me than losing to this JDB in court, and having to lose most of my money through garnishment. So if that's an option I need to keep in my back pocket, so be it. Until then though I plan on fighting this thing all the way. My goal is to write the best opposition to a Summary Judgment once that time comes. If I can get beyond that point, I think the scales drastically tilt in my favor.

 

So far I have put in HOURS upon HOURS of research, and I thank you all for standing by me during the process. I've searched through hundreds of court dockets to learn the different styles of judges, to review the law-firms paperwork to see exactly what they write, and what case law they present for various motions. It's been an unbelievable learning experience, and I think this whole situation has made me a better person too.

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@ArtVandelay Thank you for being blunt with the situation, and letting me know that even if I fight, there are no guarantees. 

 

You have the main ingredients needed and that is the will to fight. You will need to invest as much time and energy in this as possible. Do this, add a little luck and you have a great chance of winning. 

 

The outcome will also depend on the amount of the debt and who you are going up against. Many have the same patterns while others operate like a an unsecured air hose. In addition to coming here you might want to at least consult with a consumer attorney that has FDCPA experience. Most will give you a free consultation. You will be surprised how many of these JDBs/attorneys will violate your rights under the FDCPA. They do this because it works and most will never call them on it. 

 

Good Luck!

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@debtzapper yes, that's definitely one of the main culprits around my neck of the woods. Their name is all over court dockets as they represent many of these scum JDB. Most of these guys have the same M.O. Bluff all the way until trial and then dismiss if they have a fighter on their hands. Other than that it's either default judgments, judgments on the pleadings, consent judgments or summary judgments when defendants disappear during the discovery stage.

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Some JDBs have certain attorneys in each state that they use on a regular basis. Although the pay can vary I spoke with one that gets 30% of all money he collects for one of the larger JDBs. One case I was involved in was called off by the JDB, so I'm guessing they picked up the filing fees for that one. I'm not sure who normally pays the court cost if collection on a judgement is unsuccessful. 

 

Others go on websites and choose accounts they wish to pursue. Its almost like a dating site. An attorney sitting around without any money coming in can go and bid on accounts on a site like this one. 

http://accountsrecovery.net/

 

Whatever the situation most of these attorneys will only make money by bluffing the defendants. It has been my experience that the JDBs give very little support to these attorneys when evidence is needed. These attorneys do really seem to get upset when the JDBs refuse to send witnesses. I would guess the attorneys get what they need less than 10% of the time. That is why they are so open to settlement. 30% of a little is better than 30% of nothing. 

thats the thing though--it isnt a little.  Some judges have said that as much as 90% of the debt cases that they see in their courtrooms end up with the plaintiff getting a default judgment.  When consumers hide from the lawsuits, they win.  And these same judges have said that even mounting a basic defense is often enough to get the case dismissed because the JDB/attorney does not have proof of anything.  Until consumers really start digging in and responding to these tactics, they will continue to use them and make money where they shouldnt be making money.  I've got a case going on right now in my thread where an OC is trying to use similar tactics on me, and I have no idea why since an OC should have the paper to prove the account.  But this OC is so fraudulent, I guess I should not be surprised.

 

Remember this--they would not continue to put their time and money into a collection tactic unless that tactic worked.  A friend of mine is being sued for an old credit card account in Texas presently.  The law office that represents the JDB has a grand total of four attorneys in it.  Last month alone, I did some checking...I found that these four lawyers, in the span of one month, had filed more than 600 debt collection cases within just three counties, and hundreds more in other counties.  Thats in addition to the cases they already had in process, the 600 cases were all newly filed in that month.  They would not be filing so many cases on such a continuous basis if it did not pay off, believe that.  I wish I could find a good case law example for TX that relates to attorneys acting improperly when they file so many cases that they could not possibly give them the proper amount of attention to ensure they are not frivolous.  We all know theres no way they could possibly review all those cases to ensure they have any merit at all.

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@willingtocope

 


I would assume that many of the very large JDBs actually have a stable of indepentent lawyers in each jurisdiction that they "employ".  And, I would assume those lawyers are just given lists of names and account numbers...and they work their way thru the list between chasing ambulances.

 

I spoke to a debt defense attorney here in SC about this very thing.  He told me that, at least in SC, debt collection law firms "bid" for well-known JDBs' business.  Of course, that would encompass Midland, Portfolio Recovery, etc.   If the winning law firm gets good result, they will handle the vast majority, if not all, of the JDB's lawsuits. 

 

I asked him about it because there's one law firm here in SC that represents Midland although it appears that another firm has come on the scene and is attempting to get some of Midland's business.

 

The law firm that regularly represents Midland is very aggressive.  If a defendant answers the complaint, nine times out of ten, the law firm will provide an affidavit from the OC,  more than a few billing statements, and will motion to compel the bank records of the defendant.

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@BV80  

 

Some of these smaller law firms rely on one JDB for most of their business. Its not unusual in TN for two lawyers to cover the entire state for a JDB. That's 550 miles each way from one end to the other.  :backpedal:  I would be curious as to how much they make doing this. I have witnessed them getting 20K worth of default judgments in just a few minutes. That sounds like a lot at 30%, but I'll bet the collection rate on these is pretty slow. Of course they probably don't pay any federal taxes due to travel expenses. They could easily deduct a couple of thousand a week just on mileage alone. 

 

Unless they have a large support staff it is very understandable why they are so unprepared. I doubt attorneys like this spend more than 15-30 minutes on each account/case. I don't guess it matters considering their client doesn't have the evidence needed and that most of their opposition never appears. 

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The JDB CACH has a nationwide network of attorney/franchisees.  Their typical MO is to shift the account around to several of them before sending it to a lawyer in your state, who will file suit.

 

Always send a DV letter if you get a dunning letter from any JDB lawyer.  They often will violate the FDCPA, which can give you some leverage over them.

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Any time you get letters from these "attorneys" always check to see if they have a license and that they are in good standing. Also check the background on the "location manager" or "business officer" they have in your state. You never know when they might employ a convicted felon and that can be an "issue" in some states. Anything is possible ;-)

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