Sign in to follow this  
bluesharpie

Sued by Citibank in Georgia

Recommended Posts

I live in Georgia and was properly served a lawsuit listing Citibank as the plaintiff.  Zakheim & LaVrar is the counsel listed.

 

I am not in a the capacity to pay for a lawyer and would like to fight this before filing CH7.    

 

I have a few questions that arose while I was googling the you know what out of this firm and how to fight this situation.

 

First, the account was opened 20 years ago.  Defaulted spring 2011.  They only attached the summary part of a statement and not the original contract signed over 20 years ago.

 

Second, is this firm a JDB and do I have any defense on that issue because only Citibank is listed as the plaintiff? 

 

Third, the complaint seems too simple and could be missing some points.  So I am looking for any defenses to this alone...

 

1.The Def herein names is a resident of XXXXX and is subject to the jurisdiction of this court.

2. Def has failed to make payments due on a CITI CARD credit account.

3. Def owes plaintiff $$$ according to the attached account (Exh A),

Wherefore, pl demands judgment against def for the sum of $$$ together with costs, interest, and any other relief this court deems just.

 

I have 8 days to respond/answer and am having trouble finding civil procedure that I can actually understand for the Superior Court.

 

Any help would be awesome! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, the account was opened 20 years ago.  Defaulted spring 2011.  They only attached the summary part of a statement and not the original contract signed over 20 years ago.

 

Given that you used the account for 20 years they don't need to have the original signed application to prove their case.  I would not focus on that.  

 

Second, is this firm a JDB and do I have any defense on that issue because only Citibank is listed as the plaintiff? 

 

No, this firm is not a JDB.  You are being sued by the original creditor, Citibank.  The firm is merely their hired counsel to pursue the case on their behalf.  There is no defense on that basis.

 

Third, the complaint seems too simple and could be missing some points.  So I am looking for any defenses to this alone...

 

1.The Def herein names is a resident of XXXXX and is subject to the jurisdiction of this court.

2. Def has failed to make payments due on a CITI CARD credit account.

3. Def owes plaintiff $$$ according to the attached account (Exh A),

 

Wherefore, pl demands judgment against def for the sum of $$$ together with costs, interest, and any other relief this court deems just.

 

When an original creditor is suing the complaint does not have to be complicated to file the case.  There is no chain of custody, bill of sale, or affidavits that are necessary in a case where a JDB is suing.  

 

1.  You are a resident of GA and they filed in the correct court so there is no defense to this.

2.  If the account is yours and you defaulted on it not much defense to that either.

3.  You can defend on the balance but all that will do is cause the court to award the correct amount but that also means admitting the account is yours.  

 

The last one is their asking the court for what they want as a result of the suit.

 

Beating an original creditor in court can be done but it is NOT easy.  They are not required to sue under every available option so missing points may not be relevant.  Given that they are suing you in Superior Court and GA has one of the highest small claims court limits at $15k then I gather the amount they allege is owed is quite high.  If you are planning to file BK anyway why not just go ahead and file shutting down the lawsuit so you don't have to defend at all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, this really looks hopeless.  I was hoping to stall for some time so I can get the money up to file Ch7.   Not really lucking up on useful DIY bankruptcy filing resources.  This is the only debt that has pushed this far.  The others have either been passed around a bunch of times so I know I can try to defend those or not dischargeable.   Just fell on some really hard times and have determined that I am judgment proof.  So they are not going to get anything anyway if they win. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, this really looks hopeless.  I was hoping to stall for some time so I can get the money up to file Ch7.   Not really lucking up on useful DIY bankruptcy filing resources.  This is the only debt that has pushed this far.  The others have either been passed around a bunch of times so I know I can try to defend those or not dischargeable.   Just fell on some really hard times and have determined that I am judgment proof.  So they are not going to get anything anyway if they win. 

 

It isn't hopeless but defending an OC lawsuit is NOT easy.  You need to start studying A LOT because you are going to have to defend this pro-se in Superior Court and that is NO easy task.  The second major hurdle is that this firm is experienced in these kinds of suits and does not carry a reputation as a robo-filer.  So there isn't much that may be challenged via a defense.  The account is yours, you did default, and they appear to have the records to prove it.  You need to start discovery and find out exactly what they intend to use and if you can get it excluded.

 

No one is "judgment proof" it is a misapplied term.  ANY plaintiff can get a judgment against a defendant in their case.  Collecting on it is an entirely different matter.

You might be collection proof at the moment and if that is the case simply keep saving the money towards the BK.  The problem is that GA has a ten year SOL on judgments so while you might be collection proof NOW that doesn't mean it will be that way permanently and they can continue to rack up interest until that time comes.  

 

You can file a denial of their suit and ask for a continuance to delay the trial and get more time to file the BK.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you by chance know how long a continuance would be granted by do this?

 

Depends on the court calendar but at least 30 but more like 60-90 days.  I would motion for this based on needing to hire legal counsel.  This is the ONE reason that the plaintiff really cannot challenge or object to because it is YOUR right and a one time continuance does not prejudice their case.  The plaintiff AND the court will assume it is to defend this case (you need not explain) and then you hire a lawyer for the BK.  It isn't a LIE and it isn't your fault if they assume it is for this court case.  If questioned the answer is "after looking at all my debt with counsel we determined a defense was not in my best interest but BK is."  End of story.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't need to do a continuance...if all you are doing is stalling until you can save up enough to file bankruptcy then what you want to do is let the law firm know you are electing arbitration through the JAMS forum (not AAA). The  best way to do this is to actaully file a case with JAMS, Notify the lawfirm (and Citibank) all in the same swoop. To do otherwise will tip off Citi and you will find yourself in AAA,

 

Then, after filing a clain with JAMS ( Linda7 has a huge thread on just how to do all of this...Bless her) you file a motion to compel arbitration with the court. This is going to buy you a minimum of a couple of month's time, and maybe more. If you need more time than that you can actually start making payments to JAMS (your coost will be $250 if it goes this far). You may qualify for a fee waiver...I am not familiar wiht the criteria for that but there are people here that are.

 

I am not familiar with Georgi's rules either... you may have to file an answer first...or you may not want to do that if it jeopordizes your chance at arbitration. DO NOT alert Citi or the law firm you are going to JAMS for arbitration until you have sent JAMS the paperwork. The initial paperwork is very simple.

 

PLEASE read the thread on how to file for arbitration. Unless this is not your debt you will lose to Citi in court. They play hardball and they have the goods. You will not beat them in court.

 

If you only need a few months this will buy you some time...if you have to go down the JAMS trail you can easily stretch this out for 6 month to a year to get your bankruptcy in order.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't see Clyde's last post before I posted mine...this may work just as well for you, and be simpler...if bankruptcy is what you are after in the near future. Good luck.Do one or the other, or you could use the continuance to get your arb set up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this