artsie

Michigan - Sworn Denial Question

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Edit your title to include Michigan. A lot of your questions will be state specific and we have some very helpful members from your state. 

Just to name a few:

@Savoir

@Brotherskeeper

@bmc100

@peanutrs

@Spikey lives next door!

@Clydesmom

 

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/community/topic/318271-those-being-sued-in-michigan-by-a-jdb-step-by-step-in-defending/

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Answer these questions in this format. It will help others here help you. Round off all numbers and do not include any personal info.

 

1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit?

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.)

3. How much are you being sued for?

4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff)

5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?)

6. How were you served? (Mail, In person, Notice on door)

7. Was the service legal as required by your state? 

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

9. What state and county do you live in?

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations)

11. What is the SOL on the debt? 

12. What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed? You can find this by a) calling the court or looking it up online (many states have this information posted - when you find the online court site, search by case number or your name).

13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?)

14. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? Note: if you haven't sent a debt validation request, don't bother doing this now - it's too late.

15. How long do you have to respond to the suit? (This should be in your paperwork). If you don't respond to the lawsuit notice you will lose automatically. In 99% of the cases, they will require you to answer the summons, and each point they are claiming. We need to know what the "charges" are. Please post what they are claiming. Did you receive an interrogatory (questionnaire) regarding the lawsuit? 

16. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits. 

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..

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I would need to see your answer to determine how badly you have wounded yourself.

If you post it in digital format ....... PLEASE redact any personal information.

 

It sounds like this is an original creditor so they will probably have the evidence to prevail in court. The situation, as you have described it, leads me to believe that your only argument is the amount of damages they are claiming.

 

Does GE Money bank have an arbitration clause in their credit card agreement?

When was the account opened?

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you need to go after them for FDCPA violations. There were charges that were not correct. You were charged late fees, finance charges…etc an the problem was never corrected. There could be a FCRA violation in there as well.

 

I would talk with a consumer law attorney and see what you have. For a $850 lawsuit, they will drop it and try and run. 

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@

Welcome to the rodeo. You have my sympathies on dealing with MJE. You should follow BMC100's advice and contact a consumer advocate attorney. http://www.naca.net

 

Or, try here: http://thelaw.tv/detroit/Debt+Collection+Law

 

If that doesn't pan out for you, contact legal aid for your area: http://www.ladadetroit.org/

 

"SOL" means statute of limitations. This is the legal time period--6 years in Michigan--in which you can be sued for this type of debt. The SOL for reporting this account on your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports is 7 to 7.5 years. 

 

@Savoir asks a good question about an arbitration clause.  

 

Don't sign anything until you understand it fully.

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Page #4  RESOLVING A DISPUTE WITH ARBITRATION

 

I know very little about arbitration, but it might fit your situation. I do know if you do it to choose JAMS. Others here can explain it to you. 

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Thanks for those links. It's all over my head. Does it appear other than the answer I sent that there is anything else I can do to help my situation? I have a pretrial date set for March 5th. I will be worthless in court... I have a full plate of worries / stresses and know that I will do nothing but cry the whole time I am there. Would signing the consent judgment from MJE be my best move? Or maybe I have contacted the wrong attorney to help me. It doesn't seem I am getting much by way of help. I have only talked to a paralegal by email and briefly in the beginning by phone. Both sides (me and attorney) have signed a retainer and today I got an email from the paralegal stating she was going to send me a timeline.?? Should I try to find a different Attorney or am I now locked into this one because I signed this retainer?

 

Remember when dealing with situations like this everyone has different experiences and different opinions. This includes attorneys. Not to mention every state has different laws and local courts have different rules. What works for one person in one place may not work for another. Dealing with an OC (original creditor) is much more challenging than dealing with a JDB (debt buyer). Your best hope is if the attorney falls under the FDCPA.

 

I'm not sure about the FDCPA angle in your situation. I would wait and see if the attorney says you have a case. I say this because most FDCPA attorneys only take cases they can win. If you have a strong case the attorney will usually pay your fees up front. Then if you win the other side pays their fees. Just be sure they understand this up front and that you know what you are getting into. 

 

Once again arbitration is something that works for some and doesn't for others. Most that use this strategy use it because it is very expensive for the other side. They might have to spend 5k-10K trying to get you to pay a 1K bill. This does run off some although a few banks don't care. I would wait and see what the attorney says about a possible FDCPA claim before you decide on the arbitration route. Filing arbitration can limit the your rights you have in a regular court.

 

Like I said earlier all of this is state specific. You need to make sure you understand and comply with all deadlines. The one thing that guarantees a loss is procrastination. Its a good thing you are worrying right now. Those that do not worry almost always lose because they don't fight and/or don't care. Take a deep breath and just start reading how others have been successful. Just don't show up for court unprepared and tell the judge you don't think this is fair. 

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@

We understand you are stressed. We've all been there. While it may seem like a fortune to you, this is not a large debt for litigation purposes. MJE was hoping you wouldn't answer and then get a default judgment against you. Because you answered the complaint the way you did, MJE wants you to settle for the amount you claimed in writing you owed. No need to involve the judge.  Your situation is beyond my abilities.  This is an "account stated" cause of action. (I know you don't know what that means.) As such, you should probably file an amended answer with your own notarized affidavit (we can help with that.) denying some of the allegations and adding your own facts in dispute. It appears you are beyond 14 days since being served. You would need to get written permission from MJE (highly unlikely) or by asking the court permission to amend. But, if you intend to deny owing anything, I don't know how you unring the bell. Wiser heads here may know. 

 

I just read where you've signed a retainer with an attorney for possible FDCPA violations. This is a binding contract with him, so I hope you read and understood it. 

 

MCR 2.118  Amended and Supplemental Pleadings

(A) Amendments.

 

(1) A party may amend a pleading once as a matter of course within 14 days after being served with a responsive pleading by an adverse party, or within 14 days after serving the pleading if it does not require a responsive pleading.

 

(2) Except as provided in subrule (A)(1), a party may amend a pleading only by leave of the court or by written consent of the adverse party. Leave shall be freely given when justice so requires.

 

(3) On a finding that inexcusable delay in requesting an amendment has caused or will cause the adverse party additional expense that would have been unnecessary had the request for amendment been filed earlier, the court may condition the order allowing amendment on the offending party’s reimbursing the adverse party for the additional expense, including reasonable attorney fees.

 

(4) Amendments must be filed in writing, dated, and numbered consecutively, and must comply with MCR 2.113. Unless otherwise indicated, an amended pleading supersedes the former pleading.

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KVanHorn: while it can feel overwhelming to deal with this, if there is any way that you can talk yourself out of that feeling, it will help you a lot. 

 

Even if you had an attorney to represent you in both the suit against you, and any countersuit you might file, you still would want to know what is going on, because it's not wise to leave your future up to somebody else. And telling yourself that it's too hard to understand it all will ensure that it will be too hard.

 

Tell yourself that this is new, and you will need time to absorb it, but that you CAN absorb it. And you can. So very very many of us have had to do the same, and it worked. 

 

Arbitration is a method of settling creditor/debtor disputes outside of the courtroom. Clauses for arbitration were put into credit contracts routinely, up until very recently. The biggest reason that they are not necessarily in the contracts anymore is that NAF, the arbitration forum of choice for creditors, was barred from hearing credit disputes by the government. They were, for all intents and purposes, a rubber stamp for the creditors. AND, didn't cost the creditors much to use.

 

AAA is another forum. They are a LITTLE more fair, as well as more expensive than NAF was. To the creditor, JAMS is BY FAR the most expensive, because their rules limit the cost of arbitration to the consumer to $250, and all the rest--and "all the rest" can be $10K-$20K or more--to the creditor. 

 

You can see how you choosing arbitration would cost you less than the stipulated judgment, and cost them many times what they claim that you owe them.

 

That is the second reason that arbitration clauses are being removed from contracts: debtors have learned to use them to their own advantage, and an alleged debt of $800 is a big reason to use them, if it can work for you.

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Do Not sign a consent judgment ........ even if you lose your case you may be able to petition the court for payments that you can afford rather than have MJME garnish your assets.

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Yeah ........ she's been sued by consumers for various FDCPA violation on numerous occasions .......... a real blood sucker.

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