metpit1

Any help would be appreciated.....

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I am going to my first pre-trial conference in one week. This is for a lawsuit CitiBank brought against me for a credit card debt. I think I was informed on this forum that the conference is more of a negotiation mtg. for reaching a settlement. If I don't reach one and a court date is assigned can I still get the lawyers representing Citi to give me all my credt card info like all charges made and the original contract with the card company?

 

I would not be able to pay a lump sum settlement so should I try to go to trial or is it possible I could get them to agree on a more lengthy payment plan?

 

Finally....although it said CitiBank is the Plaintiff on the original summons could it still be possible that the law firm Rubin&Rothman is the actual plaintiff and purchased the debt from Citi? This is happening inthe state of NY.

 

Thanks for any input....

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 If I don't reach one and a court date is assigned can I still get the lawyers representing Citi to give me all my credt card info like all charges made and the original contract with the card company?

 

If the rules of civil procedure for your court allow you to do discovery you can request those items.  Keep in mind that there is no "original contract with your signature" on a credit card account.  The court knows this,  Citi knows this so requesting it is a waste of time.  The card agreement that was effective when you opened the account is the contract.  They also do not have to produce EVERY statement.  The last 3 months and up to 6 months prior to default is sufficient proof of use of the card/account.  They also don't have to have purchase receipts either.  Those are given to the consumer at the time of purchase not the creditor.

 

If you do discovery you have to do it correctly because asking for information that is not necessary to prove the case only tells the plaintiff's attorney what you don't know how to do.

 

I would not be able to pay a lump sum settlement so should I try to go to trial or is it possible I could get them to agree on a more lengthy payment plan?

 

Odds on them agreeing to a lengthy payment plan after a default and having to file suit are slim to none.  Even if they did agree to a payment plan they would require you to sign a consent judgment that states if you default again the judgment is automatically entered and they don't have to return to court to get one.

You can ask but I would not get your hopes up.  Whether it is a good idea only you can decide.

 

Finally....although it said CitiBank is the Plaintiff on the original summons could it still be possible that the law firm Rubin&Rothman is the actual plaintiff and purchased the debt from Citi? This is happening in the state of NY.

 

No it is not possible.  The law firm is merely hired counsel for Citi.  If they owned the debt they would have to list themselves as the plaintiff.  You are being sued by an original creditor which is beatable but much more difficult because the typical defenses used in a debt purchase are not available to use since the debt has not been sold.

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Finally....although it said CitiBank is the Plaintiff on the original summons could it still be possible that the law firm Rubin&Rothman is the actual plaintiff and purchased the debt from Citi? This is happening inthe state of NY.

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It is possible that there is an undisclosed and improper business relationship between the law firm and the OC. The odds of proving that in court to my advantage are pretty close to zero. I would look elsewhere to favorably resolve litigation.

 

Winning in court against an OC appears to be most often through a valid defense like SOL or keeping all the plaintiff's hearsay evidence out of the court. Showing that the plaintiff has no admissible evidence proving up each of the required elements to their cause of action is the way I would attempt to prevail.

 

I would want to be thoroughly knowledgeable on the governing rules of evidence when opposing a collection lawsuit.

 

Reviewing the court cases, in my jurisdiction, where a party prevailed in a collection case should be instructive. It may also provide a lead to a competent winning consumer attorney familiar with collections and winning. I may want to consult with the attorney. I would want to review their pleadings and motion filings in their winning case if I have access to them.

 

Sitting in on collection hearings would probably be a good use of time for a defendant. Especially if the hearing is with my judge.

 

If the situation's circumstances merited it and it is available, some have had success halting litigation by compelling contractual arbitration and throwing the suit out of court. While I am not personally a fan of arbitration for collections defense it is reported that it can be used to leverage a favorable settlement. There is information on arbitration available in this forum. If there is an arbitration clause in the CC agreement it may be an available option.

 

In negotiating I would not be likely to admit to owning the alleged debt but would just want to settle to avoid the high cost and risks of litigation. The same reasons the plaintiff would want to settle.

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