Seadragon

Alternatives to fighting it out in court when sued for debt collection

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In another thread several posters have been helpful to point out that not everyone wants to take on the burden of litigation. So I wanted to have a frank and honest discussion of available means to leverage a liveable solution. I invite everyone to the discussion but must caution everyone that we are not here to bully any single agenda through but must make a negotiating salad so to speak. So please keep the language G rated and everyone respect all opinions, even if you don't agree with them.

 

Without further adieu, lets define the problem:

 

Some people do not want to slug it out in court, but they will get raped when negotiating a settlement or payment plan or terms.

 

So we frame that along those lines "WTFrog do I do now" 

 

I for one if I ever decided not to fight it out (Don't get your hopes up debt collection scum), would like to see some favorable terms for settlement.

 

One issue: would be that they take what they are given and report it to the CRA's correctly, and if they breach they cannot collect any further payments.

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Negotiating a favorable settlement is a wonderful idea but that only works when you as the consumer/debtor have the leverage.  A creditor that can file suit and garnish you for a WHOLE lot more doesn't have to negotiate or capitulate to the consumer demands.

 

The problem that comes into play is that knowing a JDB has bought the debt for pennies on the dollar the consumer wants the same deal.  However, if the JDB can sue and get the whole amount, costs, and attorney fees then why negotiate?  

 

If an OC is suing they can attest to their own records and do not have half the problems an assignee does in proving their case.

 

Your idea is noble but the reality is there is no one size fits all answer.  There are those who believe that arbitration is the be all and end all solution.  Others swear by litigation to the bitter end.  The majority of consumers think "I owe it and I don't have the strength to fight so I will just ignore it" and they let the default judgment happen.  A small number find their way to sites like this and decide to fight via a path and even some of those give up after they see what they need to do.

 

Each person needs to do full research on what method they are going to use when dealing with their debts.  My only disagreement is with those zealous supporters of a sole method of fighting that do not give the ENTIRE TRUTH about what might happen and SWEAR on all that is holy if someone just does what they tell them the defendant WILL win.  We all know that is not true.  No one method is guaranteed that any defendant will win.  I prefer to preach the mantra that if you are going to go down at least do down swinging with what ever bat you choose to use.

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Wholly reasonable position, what to do for any areas of negotiating and making payment plans favorable to defendants?

 

Once it has reached the lawsuit stage creditors are unwilling to negotiate a payment plan for one reason:  the consumer has already defaulted at least ONCE why should they take a chance again.

 

The other problem with negotiating a settlement based on payments is that the creditor is going to insist on a consent judgment being signed so that if the consumer does default again they do not have to go through the rigors of trial and can simply file the judgment and move straight to garnishment.  That risk is TOO high for many consumers.  

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The "pleasant" alternatives to fighting it out in court when sued for debt collection seem pretty limited. The party not afraid to muss their hair in litigation has more leverage in a negotiation than the one protecting their hairdo IMO. The party that has more leverage is more likely to get a favorable settlement. I would want to identify all of my leverage and identify all of the opposing party's leverage and enter negotiation with my eyes open.

 

I don't bluff in negotiations and am unclear on how a party doing so would gain an advantage over me. I want what I want and understand the leverage each party has. If you are bluffing I will most likely know it, we won't reach a settlement, and in the future I will not likely believe a word you say.

 

In my experience litigation and/or arbitration are tool(s) I use to negotiate a favorable settlement.

 

My preference is to use the correct tool or combination of tools whether litigation (with or without an attorney), contractual arbitration, negotiation, become collection proof, BK, and/or walk away as appropriate for my situation, my goals and my resources. When I am limited in the tools I can or will use in a collection defense my leverage decreases and I believe the odds for a favorable settlement also decrease.

 

Negotiation is easy when I have already done all the hard work to convince the opposing party that I am not the easy money consumer they were looking for OR in the rare case where I possess incredible leverage, e.g., I am being sued in a consumer friendly state for an alleged debt of only $500 by a JDB when I have solid evidence of multiple FDCPA/state violations and a clearly applicable and very consumer friendly arbitration agreement specifying high-cost-for-the-business JAMS inclusive of the right to a 3 arbitrator appeal in JAMS to be paid for by the business all while my favorite aunt, a brilliant consumer attorney, is filing my court pleadings and motions).

 

Negotiating can be like shooting fish in a barrel. More often it comes with a sizeable check being written or a lot of hard work. I have found that after around two years of engaged litigation that the opposing party is much more amenable to me drafting my own favorable settlement terms.

 

Arbitration is a possibility depending on availability and the particulars.

 

If low to no-cost shortcuts exist for collection defense I have not seen them. Wanting to avoid litigation is fine, but doing so with a favorable settlement is not going to be the typical resolution IMHO. The proverbial free lunch is likely going to end up being an illusion.

 

If you pay whatever another party claims you owe them and you pay them when they want to be paid, there should be minimal debt collection litigation in your future. I cannot say that there will be no collection litigation or judgments in your future because, as we know from this forum, it is possible to have an adverse judgment for a debt that was not even your debt.

 

The obvious shortcut, for those consumers with money, is to hire an attorney that (almost) never loses to be their "fighter" in court. Unfortunately their fee may exceed what the opposing party alleges the consumer owes.

 

If "winning" in a collection defense lawsuit is hard and frustrating work (it is) that many would like to avoid, I cannot imagine how hard and frustrating it would be to attempt to negotiate a favorable settlement with a litigious collection attorney when I have no real leverage.

 

I continue to suggest one size does not fit all. I also don't believe it is a good idea to waste too much energy searching for that "easy" button or wonderful shortcut. The alternatives to litigation are not likely smooth or easy. Everything tends to extract its price, one way or another. Heck, my "favorite aunt" might even say to me, "Someday - if you live that long - I may call upon you to do a favor for me. But until that day, accept this legal defense of a debt collection as my gift to you."

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So a blended approach then? By that I  mean partial litigation and discovery followed by settlement discussions. how about throwing the typical leverage points violations, spoliation, and the ubiquitous under the breath mention of BK?

 

OR

 

Offer  to pay 10 dollars a week, with a grace period.

 

What I am starting to see here is that it is better to conduct negotiations within the course of litigation.

 

A question based on that? Is that the reason that debt collectors sue because their position is weak and can only get agreements by judicial bullying?

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I would bet that 99% of attys try to make a settlement a the pre trial conference.  Why? Because if the pro se has made it this far the atty knows they might lose. So better to try to make a seetlement and hope the pro se will not want to go to trial.

 

So yes, I think that doing DV, answer, dscovery and showing you are willing to take it to the end will get you a better settlement if that's what you are after.

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Alot of the problem is we as consumers most have not the first clue in what to do, so they do nothing.  The attorney however sees this as a game. (It is)  I was having a conversation with my Dr. last week, and somehow got on the subject of malpractice, law, etc.  He has an attorney friend.  He asked his attorney friend how he does it.  I mean his job is to help people, make them better, give a better quality of life, while the attorney's job basically causes stress, sometimes financial ruin.  The attorney told him:  It doesn't matter if I win or lose.  I don't really care if I win or lose.  It's a game.  The only thing I have to do is play. I get paid to play, it is up to the two sides to work out a deal.  Play the game, play it well, get paid no matter who wins.

I think that is why some fight so hard even with no evidence.  They can drag it out, putting more money in their pocket, but they could care less who wins.  It is up to the client to stop them, and that only occurs if they are paying attention to how much it is costing them, the attorney will just keep going until told to stop.  That might be why they usually tell the consumer to settle.  They know the chances of collecting their pay to play from a consumer are far less than from a corporation or business.  They don't fight to hard for the consumer unless they see big pay days from some rights that were violated.  (Please note I am not talking about all lawyers, we have some great ones here, and this only pertains to civil law, not criminal)

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I would bet that 99% of attys try to make a settlement a the pre trial conference.  Why? Because if the pro se has made it this far the atty knows they might lose. So better to try to make a seetlement and hope the pro se will not want to go to trial.

 

So yes, I think that doing DV, answer, dscovery and showing you are willing to take it to the end will get you a better settlement if that's what you are after.

 

100% of attorneys try to make a settlement before trial but not because the defendant has done discovery or answered.  Some states (GA for one) do not even allow discovery unless being sued in Superior Court.  If the defendant has actually done discovery, RFAs, rogs they know that the chances of getting them to fold are much smaller.

 

They make a settlement offer because they get a consent judgment signed by the defendant which guarantees they don't have to go back to court to collect if the consumer defaults again.  The small percentage of defendants who have done any research and intend to fight might be nervous and freak thus consenting to the offer.  The majority have no clue how court works and some simple misleading words convince inexperienced defendants to agree and sign.

 

The percentage of defendants that stares them down is SO small that they are willing to roll the dice.  For the knowledgeable defendant they know if they refuse the judgment they are rolling the dice as much as the Plaintiff and either way ONE of them is going to lose.  

 

Offer  to pay 10 dollars a week, with a grace period.

 

NO Plaintiff's counsel is going to agree to $10 a week with a grace period on a debt of several thousand dollars.  The bare minimum I have seen them go for absent abject poverty is $100 a month and there is NEVER a grace period because you have to sign a consent judgment to get the settlement.  The consent judgment states the nanosecond you are late:  game over they file the judgment and go to garnishment.

 

Is that the reason that debt collectors sue because their position is weak and can only get agreements by judicial bullying?

 

No.  They sue because all collection attempts prior to filing have failed and yielded no money.  They sue because under the law they are able to.  They sue because if they get the judgment they have remedies to collect the money such as wage and bank garnishment that they cannot use without the judgment.  They sue because there are a LOT of people who owe money and the only way to get them to pay it is to FORCE them to pay.

 

What I am starting to see here is that it is better to conduct negotiations within the course of litigation.

 

Not necessarily.  Against the right attorney early settlement talks can be a sign of weakness and make them dig in more.  One has to learn their opponent before deciding when to make an offer that might be accepted.  Even if you make your best offer there is no guarantee that the other side will accept it.

 

Again, there is no one size fits all answer to this question.  It isn't as though you can draw a matrix plan that says did this happen?  Yes: do  this.  No:  do that and move your way through the chart until you reach a solution you are happy with.  Despite all credit suits being similar no two credit lawsuits are alike.  

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I find that honestly knowing myself is the most important piece to my ability to favorably resolve debt collection lawsuits. YMMV

 

DC attorneys sue because that is what they do for a living. They file and prosecute lawsuits. They also understand that lawsuits provide them very good leverage. They seem to be shocked that it provides them minimal to no leverage with an intelligently engaged defendant that has nothing to lose.

 

I assume I will "win" if sued on an alleged debt. I have no ability to predict exactly what I will have to do to execute that win. I know I will use whatever tools makes sense at any given time during the process. I am always looking for and acquiring more leverage as time moves forward.

 

On a forum where consumers are getting educated on the ways of dealing with debt collection there is this thread entitled, "Alternatives to fighting it out in court when sued for debt collection". It is fine to discuss such alternatives but we need to be honest that a fear or unwillingness to "fight it out in court" provides huge leverage for the opposing party. They are well aware of this and I would speculate that is why they built a huge industry around default and other money judgements.

 

Despite my distaste for binding contractual arbitration I will use it whenever or wherever it is to my advantage.

 

I am not surprised if I have to use litigation, arbitration, and negotiation all in the same dispute. It is what it is. 

 

The only "alternatives" I am looking for is an alternative to "losing".

 

As always only the individual up to their neck in liti-gators can define what is a "win" or a "loss".

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So is it that consensus that you have to litigate to get a better deal? Is it of utility then to go the other way and refuse a settlement offer.

More often than not I must be willing to litigate to get a better deal. Litigation can move forward with or without my consent (barring BK or compelling binding arbitration).

 

The question is akin to do I have to use all of the cylinders in my automobile engine to get the best performance out of the engine. It is a fairly safe assumption to make IMHO.

 

I would always accept a favorable settlement offer that I considered a "win". I would think that would be a wise move for most sane people.

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Negotiating a favorable settlement is a wonderful idea but that only works when you as the consumer/debtor have the leverage.  A creditor that can file suit and garnish you for a WHOLE lot more doesn't have to negotiate or capitulate to the consumer demands.

 

The problem that comes into play is that knowing a JDB has bought the debt for pennies on the dollar the consumer wants the same deal.  However, if the JDB can sue and get the whole amount, costs, and attorney fees then why negotiate?  

 

If an OC is suing they can attest to their own records and do not have half the problems an assignee does in proving their case.

 

Your idea is noble but the reality is there is no one size fits all answer.  There are those who believe that arbitration is the be all and end all solution.  Others swear by litigation to the bitter end.  The majority of consumers think "I owe it and I don't have the strength to fight so I will just ignore it" and they let the default judgment happen.  A small number find their way to sites like this and decide to fight via a path and even some of those give up after they see what they need to do.

 

Each person needs to do full research on what method they are going to use when dealing with their debts.  My only disagreement is with those zealous supporters of a sole method of fighting that do not give the ENTIRE TRUTH about what might happen and SWEAR on all that is holy if someone just does what they tell them the defendant WILL win.  We all know that is not true.  No one method is guaranteed that any defendant will win.  I prefer to preach the mantra that if you are going to go down at least do down swinging with what ever bat you choose to use.

 Maybe with spirited DV, followed by letter notifying of violations, then eroding their arguments for a potential lawsuit by crushing their anticipated causes of action such as account stated? Or is the only real way, is to step into the thunderdome.

 

I find that honestly knowing myself is the most important piece to my ability to favorably resolve debt collection lawsuits. YMMV

 

DC attorneys sue because that is what they do for a living. They file and prosecute lawsuits. They also understand that lawsuits provide them very good leverage. They seem to be shocked that it provides them minimal to no leverage with an intelligently engaged defendant that has nothing to lose.

 

I assume I will "win" if sued on an alleged debt. I have no ability to predict exactly what I will have to do to execute that win. I know I will use whatever tools makes sense at any given time during the process. I am always looking for and acquiring more leverage as time moves forward.

 

On a forum where consumers are getting educated on the ways of dealing with debt collection there is this thread entitled, "Alternatives to fighting it out in court when sued for debt collection". It is fine to discuss such alternatives but we need to be honest that a fear or unwillingness to "fight it out in court" provides huge leverage for the opposing party. They are well aware of this and I would speculate that is why they built a huge industry around default and other money judgements.

 

Despite my distaste for binding contractual arbitration I will use it whenever or wherever it is to my advantage.

 

I am not surprised if I have to use litigation, arbitration, and negotiation all in the same dispute. It is what it is. 

 

The only "alternatives" I am looking for is an alternative to "losing".

 

As always only the individual up to their neck in liti-gators can define what is a "win" or a "loss".

"Now Thyself" So we are in the matrix so to speak. We can I think gain immense leverage by making counterclaims on small debts, and by moving the football game to another stadium for the instances where a pro plaintiff judge happens. So because debt collectors push hard and will not come down from the amount nor accept small payments we necessarily have to fight it out in court.

I am glad we are having this discussion. So an added thing is getting people up to speed credit wise before problems happen. One further question, would it be of any utility to offer the OC something like 12% of the debt in exchange for cancellation, so they get max profit without the hassle of selling it.

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We can I think gain immense leverage by making counterclaims on small debts,

...

One further question, would it be of any utility to offer the OC something like 12% of the debt in exchange for cancellation, so they get max profit without the hassle of selling it.

 

You have me there. I have not filed counterclaims or dealt with small alleged debt lawsuits.

 

Ideally I would want to be making my offer as a counter-offer.

 

Perceived and real leverage for all parties should all be weighed prior to creating or fine-tuning any offer of my own creation.

 

I know the proposed hypothetical offer was to an OC but I will throw in a JDB in my example to show the extremes.

 

An offer may make sense to a:

JDB with nothing more than a spreadsheet row;

Inexperienced DC attorney just starting their "career";

Defendant with numerous court wins against collector lawsuits;

Defendant with no income and assets that can be easily identified;

Enforceable high business cost arbitration clause;

Small alleged debt; and

Defendant with solid counter-claims.

 

The same exact offer might not make sense to an:

OC with what they believe to be admissible evidence to prove up the elements of their claims;

Experienced attorney that rarely loses;

Inexperienced defendant;

Defendant with identifiable assets and income;

No arbitration clause;

Large alleged debt; and

No counter-claims.

 

Putting a hypothetical offer together before clearly identifying all the leverage being brought to the table by all the parties is putting the cart before the horse. IMO

 

I say all the parties because I view the DC attorney as a third party at the table.

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 One further question, would it be of any utility to offer the OC something like 12% of the debt in exchange for cancellation, so they get max profit without the hassle of selling it.

 

The problem here is getting "hard numbers" on favorable settlements reached by others, since they are typically bound by a non-disclosure. I have read that the number you proposed is possible if settling with all of your creditors at once.

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 Maybe with spirited DV, followed by letter notifying of violations, then eroding their arguments for a potential lawsuit by crushing their anticipated causes of action such as account stated? Or is the only real way, is to step into the thunderdome.

 

There is NO such thing as a "spirited DV" because regardless of what a consumer demands in a DV letter all the FCDPA requires that a creditor provide is the name and address of the OC and amount owed to be in compliance.

 

IF there are even violations.  Most consumers are unaware of what their rights are let alone what actual violations are.  I can tell you I got one of the top five JDBs to back down on a debt of less than 1k due to violations but it took my affidavit, a lawyer, the CFPB, and the BBB to make it happen.  A simple letter alleging violations:  they won't even blink.  They hear false threats thousands of times a month.

 

When the creditor believes you owe them $10,000 and they can collect there are very few letters of what they will consider empty threats that will induce them to back off of a lawsuit.  You are now mixing two different scenarios settling pre-lawsuit and post filing of a suit.  Two entirely different settlement situations.

 

 One further question, would it be of any utility to offer the OC something like 12% of the debt in exchange for cancellation, so they get max profit without the hassle of selling it.

 

An OC is not going to get max profit on a debt at a 12% settlement.  The consumer owes the debt to them and it hasn't been sold so settling for that amount leaves them with an 88% loss not a profit.

 

A JDB who bought the debt for pennies on the dollar MIGHT go for it but that depends on a lot of factors that cannot be anticipated in advance.  

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@Clydesmom is correct - I was referring to JDB accepting a lower amount. OC's that pursue their own cases are typically in no mood to deal.

 

Now that JDBs are requiring better documentation will we start seeing an increase in OC's going after their own accounts, rather than selling? Makes sense - they can hire the same law firms and JDBs and get more than four cents on the dollar...

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To expand on Credator's strategy and advice of knowing yourself - know your local judges (check previous cases to see how they typically rule), know your rules of procedure for your state (there may just be something in there that is very favorable to you if you use it properly), know the DC attorney (check previous cases and how they conduct their business, are they sloppy, do they currently have pending litigation against them for FDCPA violations, etc.), and most importantly are you able to pay what they are asking for in the settlement as far as payments - taking into consideration a potential job loss, unforeseen emergency that causes you to be unable to meet the terms of your settlement, etc. After educating yourself on all the issues, then make a decision.

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I believe other posters understand that they are not guaranteed the same positive results I get in court.

 

Why a poster would think that my negotiated settlement percentages of 0% of the alleged debt (when I am willing to litigate until I win a judgment against the plaintiff) would somehow have any meaningful application to their situation when they can not/will not fight in court is a complete mystery to me. Everyone brings different skills and leverage to the table.

 

It would seem to me that there are too many variables to permit any real value or predictability in a settlement percentage that may be negotiated. Perhaps an attorney, in my jurisdiction, that has recent experience dealing with my plaintiff and repeatedly settling for similar percentages each time with this plaintiff could provide some predictability (as well as a fee schedule). I would suggest it is likely to be much more productive to expend efforts in acquiring leverage rather than searching for "hard" settlement percentage numbers based on unknown leverage and negotiation skills by the parties involved. Hiring a competent winning consumer attorney can provide significant leverage. Leverage can come from many places in a collection defense lawsuit/pre-suit.

 

A party that lacks leverage can have anything...

the other party wants.

 

OCs sell alleged debts for many reasons. Looking at the ARM services offered to credit unions it is apparent that customer and public relations can play a big role in the decisions to sell/not sell and whether to sue or not.

 

Seadragon, on 13 Apr 2014 - 1:33 PM, said:
Maybe with spirited DV, followed by letter notifying of violations, then eroding their arguments for a potential lawsuit by crushing their anticipated causes of action such as account stated? Or is the only real way, is to step into the thunderdome.
...
 

I recently finished my most "spirited" DV letter ever. I am not spending anything beyond 1st class postage to send it. A DV letter is a communication in my experience. I have a communication that I am sending to a CA. I am not interested in pursuing any statutory or other claims against the CA. I sure would not rely on a DV letter to create significant leverage in a settlement negotiation. It could happen and it would probably be a good idea to send that DV letter via USPS CMRRR. I have sent plenty via CMRRR.

 

The only FDCPA check I have cashed was from a DV letter sent via 1st class mail. Leverage permits one to do the impossible. Leverage is the "magic" bullet that we are all appear to be looking for. Unfortunately, I have not found a reliable and predictable low/no cost shortcut for obtaining significant leverage in a collection defense lawsuit. The again, if I don't believe something exists I am unlikely to make an effort to find it.

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know the DC attorney (check previous cases and how they conduct their business, are they sloppy, do they currently have pending litigation against them for FDCPA violations, etc.),

...

Good idea. I always do that.

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Excellent points, So I think we have answered the original question. It is quite simply a function of the fact that the reasons debt collectors litigate is they can violate SOME portions of the fdcpa under the litigation shield, harass in new and stressful manners, and sick the law dogs on us for collections, with us having no power at all.

 

General consensus,

Terminator(1984); Reese: "Listen and understand! That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear, and it absolutely will not stop-EVER, until you are dead."

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Here is my humble take on this.  If you want to settle it should have been with OC. They will settle they will take pmts.  I had a heloc 115,000. Bank tried to settle for 20,000.  Most peole never try to deal with OC and therefore think they are done.

 

Then JDB comes for the whole amt with interest.  And because of the OC charge off, our credit is still not gong to be good.  So my point is try to work it out with OC , or don't be shocked when you get sued , AND be prepared to learn how to fight the minute you default on anything.

 

The JDB atty's have everything in their court. In the beergoggle days it was easier than now. They have changed the wording, and laws have been changed (mostly in their favor) . Not saying to fight and prevail, but I feel it's harder now.

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Excellent points, So I think we have answered the original question. It is quite simply a function of the fact that the reasons debt collectors litigate is they can violate SOME portions of the fdcpa under the litigation shield, harass in new and stressful manners, and sick the law dogs on us for collections, with us having no power at all.

 

General consensus,

Terminator(1984); Reese: "Listen and understand! That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear, and it absolutely will not stop-EVER, until you are dead."

 

I must counter The Terminator with Winston Churchill: "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!" 

 

What I mean by posting this quote is the courtroom is only one field of battle in a dispute. Now, without the intention of getting any attorneys reading this too upset, I've found that most debt collections attorneys and their clients violate the law at will. Falsified signatures, robo-signed Affidavits, fraudulent Affidavits, falsified records, falsified service of process, sewer service, attorneys lying to the court, and failure of collection agencies to maintain proper state licenses and/or required surety bonds, are all their stock and trade. Junk debt buyer attorneys violate the rules of their state bar associations with such frequency you would think fraud and lying were bar requirements, not prohibitions. The game debt collection attorneys play is "catch me if you can" because they think they can act in this fashion with impunity.

 

I say the courtroom is not the only field of battle. Many clerks of the court have independent offices that investigate Affidavit fraud. If you are a victim of Affidavit fraud, file a report with your Clerk of the Court. If you've found a forgery, file a criminal complaint. Caught an attorney violating bar rules? File a bar complaint. Caught a bank cooking the books with false statements? Go to the OCC and/or CFPB. Collection agency failed to maintain its license? In Florida its both a civil and criminal violation. It may be in your state, too.

 

It may sound harsh to go this route. However, I have very simple rules of honesty and dishonesty, and the laws are there for a reason. If someone is making your life miserable by committing illegal acts, then file the appropriate complaint. Then watch their civil case crumble.

 

There are several very important things if anyone should choose to go this route. 1) Never file a frivolous or false complaint just to be a pain in someone's backside. That will make you the law breaker and in for a great deal of trouble. Make sure your complaint is valid and shows a violation of the law before filing. 2) Be prepared to see you complaint through, which may mean testifying and filing charges. 3) Never use the threat of a regulatory or criminal complaint to negotiate your civil matter or to obtain a settlement. That's not not legal. However, if you have a valid complaint such as the ones I described, filing it will likely help you in your civil matter. You'll also be saving many people from similar heartache because legitimate complaints of this nature do have a deterrent effect.

 

I observed a foreclosure attorney in Florida who ran the largest foreclosure firm in the state, handling hundreds of thousands of foreclosures with illegal tactics, make people homeless while he enriched himself with fraudulent conduct. Enough people got together and filed complaints that the Florida Bar stood up and took notice. He was disbarred and his law practice shuttered in 2013 (David J. Stern). The debt collection multi-state law firm and legal powerhouse Mann Bracken is now bankrupt because enough people blew the whistle. The National Arbitration Forum (NAF) who once ruled the credit card arbitration business while making it virtually impossible for any consumer to prevail - now prohibited from handling credit card foreclosures due to collusion with banks. I guarantee that there are junk debt buyers and their attorneys causing grief for members of this forum with illegal tactics who will be out of business in a year or two, if we keep fighting back. Don't just fight them in the courtroom, but with every civil, regulatory, or criminal complaint and legislative tool at your disposal.

 

Never surrender!

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They have changed the wording, and laws have been changed (mostly in their favor) . Not saying to fight and prevail, but I feel it's harder now.

I am not aware of much AZ law that have been changed in the creditors favor for collections. The statutes have some changes with setting the SOL for credit card debt to be 6 years and the 44-7804. Establishment of amount owed on a credit card account. In a contested case I don't see the real impact for engaged parties other than the possible loss of a 3 year SOL defense. Having not been sued outside of a year of alleged DOFD, much less 3 years, it would not have been a useful defense for me. With the seemingly frequent filing of plaintiff MSJs in collection cases, that I have experienced and reviewed, I do see Wells Fargo Bank, NA v. Allen, 292 P.3d 195, 231 Ariz. 209 (Ct. App. 2012) as case law favorable to the alleged debtor.

 

Perhaps I am missing other AZ laws that have changed in the favor of the alleged creditor. It doesn't seem "harder now" to me but perhaps I missed out on the easy collection defense days so I have only known the tough battle. The AZ legislature doesn't seem to be the friend of the AZ consumer but they do not seem to have been able to have significantly raised the bar preventing an engaged party from successfully defending a collection lawsuit.

 

The defeats, in collection lawsuit defenses, that I read about seem to involve the defendant's failure to keep out inadmissible evidence, document the failure of the plaintiff to prove up all of the elements to the claim brought, and/or the failure to make a proper trial court appeal record and appeal as necessary.

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