shay24

About to be sued by PRA

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I live in the state of Georgia I been receiving a lot of letters from bankruptcy lawyers stating that portfolio recovery has filed a lawsuit against me. In 1 of the letters from the bankruptcy lawyer it had a case number. I immediately sent PRA a DV Letter amd then called Fulton County state court and spoke with the magistrate division and gave her the case number I had gotten from the letter and she informed me that portfolio filed a suit against me she stated that they are just waiting for the Marshall to serve me. As of now I have not been served I sent the DR letter on 1-18-16 with a return receipt which I tracked it and PRA received it on 1-23-16. The debt is for a walmart cc the last payment was in 2013. The charge off balance was 2500 but PRA has it for 3100. I don’t want no judgement against me and I am very nervous should I just wait to be served or just call PRA? HELP PLEASE

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45 minutes ago, HockeyFan said:

You posted in the wrong forum.  Post in the same forum that you found my thread in. 

 

45 minutes ago, HockeyFan said:

You posted in the wrong forum.  Post in the same forum that you found my thread in. 

I kinda confused because I posted in your forum earlier and was told to start my own.

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35 minutes ago, BV80 said:

I moved it to the correct forum.

Can you send me the link to my forum you moved I can't seem to find it. Thanks in advance 

Edited by shay24
typo

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@shay24

All I did was move this thread to "Is There a Lawyer in the House".   This is still the same thread.   However, I notice that you started another one.  Just let me know which one you'd like to delete.

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Was this walmart card issued by Synchrony Bank?  If so, pushing for arbitration would likely be the best route on this one.

I would not concern myself with any DV letter you sent.  That is useless at this point.  They have sued, the only thing that matters is answering the lawsuit.

You don't need to panic and you don't need to do anything until you are served (except keep reading and learn about arbitration and the magistrate court process).  Once you are served you will have 30 days to file an answer with the court.  Your answer does not have to be complicated.  You simply would deny all of PRA allegations.  After you file the answer, the clerk will set a court date for about another 30 days from then. 

Arbitration works because PRA would be forced to pay for the arbitration which will cost them over $5,000, while your fees would be capped at $250 max.  PRA does not want to pay $5k to chase down an alleged $3k debt where even if they win, they lose.  Instead, they will likely just drop the case and move on.  This is the goal of using arbitration.

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8 hours ago, BV80 said:

@shay24

All I did was move this thread to "Is There a Lawyer in the House".   This is still the same thread.   However, I notice that you started another one.  Just let me know which one you'd like to delete.

@BV80 you can delete the other one and keep this one. Thanks again for all your help 

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7 minutes ago, fisthardcheese said:

Was this walmart card issued by Synchrony Bank?  If so, pushing for arbitration would likely be the best route on this one.

I would not concern myself with any DV letter you sent.  That is useless at this point.  They have sued, the only thing that matters is answering the lawsuit.

You don't need to panic and you don't need to do anything until you are served (except keep reading and learn about arbitration and the magistrate court process).  Once you are served you will have 30 days to file an answer with the court.  Your answer does not have to be complicated.  You simply would deny all of PRA allegations.  After you file the answer, the clerk will set a court date for about another 30 days from then. 

Arbitration works because PRA would be forced to pay for the arbitration which will cost them over $5,000, while your fees would be capped at $250 max.  PRA does not want to pay $5k to chase down an alleged $3k debt where even if they win, they lose.  Instead, they will likely just drop the case and move on.  This is the goal of using arbitration.

@fisthardcheese it was thru synchrony bank

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Do you know the date of the last payment you made to this account?

Nevermind, I see 2013 above.   If you don't still have the card agreement, then you should print one off online.  If you can find one from 2013, it would be the best one to use.

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You can fight this with arbitration as was suggested.   We have also had success in GA Magistrate court through the regular litigation process.   You can read the threads by @NormInGeorgia who has helped a number of GA defendants like you, and maybe he will chime in.  The important thing  is to remain calm and focused.

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@debtzapper thank you I am doing all the research that I can. So when I do get served I can have all my information. Still a little bit confused on how arbitration works this is all new to me just trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. I do appreciate everyone input and advise. 

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32 minutes ago, shay24 said:

@debtzapper thank you I am doing all the research that I can. So when I do get served I can have all my information. Still a little bit confused on how arbitration works this is all new to me just trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. I do appreciate everyone input and advise. 

You can fight this with arbitration as was suggested.   We have also had success in GA Magistrate court through the regular litigation process.   You can read the threads by @NormInGeorgia who has helped a number of GA defendants like you, and maybe he will chime in.  The important thing  is to remain calm and focused.

 

@shay24   Here is a link to posts by NorminGeorgia

 

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=creditinfocenter+georgia+normingeorgia

 

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@shay24 Let us know when you get served so we can understand what documentation they provide to support the initial claims.    Please clarify for us if this is in Magistrate or State court.   If possible, after you are served, copy the documents, redact your personal info then attach a copy  here so we can see what they gave you.

If Portfolio is the plaintiff, you might be in pretty good position to win via court or via arbitration.

 

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@NormInGeorgia when I called the courts I was directed to speak with someone in the magistrate court she informed me that it was a lawyer name Tracy Reese on behalf of portfolio recovery. That's all the info she had but I will definitely keep you posted on when I get served an upload the documents thank you so much. 

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This a 3 page thread that digresses somewhat, but the poster won in GA magistrate court with arbitration.  In fact, just the fact that he was motioning for arbitration was enough to get the plaintiff to drop the lawsuit.

 

 

 

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@shay24 This might sound too simple to you at the moment, because the first time you have to worry about being sued you starting thinking big-bad court and other intimidating things.. but here is the reality:  GA Magistrate Courts are low-level small claims courts.  They don't use any rules of regular court, there is no discovery and there is really no rules of evidence.  Collection attorneys use this to their advantage and they file in Magistrate Court because their flimsy or non-existent evidence will be accepted by most Magistrates.  However, the same is true for you and that is the key.  While the scummy collection attorneys know they can use some affidavit that is hearsay and some made-up print out that anyone could have typed up in Excel with some dollar amount on it, they also know that if you assert a counter claim against them or push for arbitration, they will have just as bad of a chance against you in Magistrate Court.  That is why a large group of us who have won in Magistrate Court have done so only by simply filing a counter claim or motion for arbitration.

What you should do at this stage is not worry about how to arbitrate.  Your case will never get to that point and even on the super rare chance it does, you will have LOTS of time between now and then to learn about it.  All that matters is that you 1) File an answer denying all of the allegations within 30 days of being served.  and 2) file a counter claim or prepare a motion to compel arbitration.  The counter claim and MTC do not even have to be filed at the same time as your answer ... so that gives you even more time to read and learn about each of those too.  The answer is the most important thing to file by the 30 day deadline - and the answer can be very simple.  In fact, some county Magistrate Courts have a pre-printed form that you can fill out to make it even easier. All you have to do is say that you deny all allegations. Very simple.

After you do that, you buy yourself another 30 days at least where you can work on and file a counter claim or have an arbitration motion prepared.  The other thing in Magistrate is that is will be rare if you actually speak to the judge.  What will happen on your court date, is that the PRA attorney will ask to speak with you out in the hall.  They will try to intimidate you and trip you up and admit to the debt.  They will say all kinds of lies to scare you into signing a stipulated judgement (a payment plan).  This is the critical moment in your case.  This is the time when you stand firm and tell him you are going to push for arbitration per the terms of the card agreement (or assert your counter claim).  Almost always, when they see that you are prepared, know your rights and will not lay down and roll over for them, they will agree to dismiss the case.

As far as arbitration itself, here is the short of it:  The Synchrony Bank card agreement says that any dispute may be resolved through JAMS.  JAMS is a private arbitration firm that just so happens to be the most expensive arbitration firm that will handle consumer disputes.  The expensive part is for THEM, not you.  That is how it works to your advantage.  No matter what lies their attorney will say about how expensive arb will be for you, it is a lie.  Your cost is capped at $250 max, but even then, their own card agreement says that THEY will pay for YOUR arbitration fees.  That means it will cost you $0.  It will cost THEM $5,000 just to have the first hearing.  Those who actually go to arbitration do not have the goal of winning their case in mind (arbitration is not fair to a consumer and you will not win), but rather, the point is to have as many hearings by objecting everytime they don't follow the rules or you disagree with something. Then you request another hearing to resolve the objection ... that next hearing cost THEM another $5k...and so on.  Now, with that said, there is a 99% chance you never get to that point.  You likely won't even have to file a claim with JAMS - although you can and it may scare them off even more when they see you have, but we will get to that point in a bit.

So for now, try to relax and wait until they serve you.  Then go one step at a time and there are lots of people here who can guide you through it.

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18 hours ago, fisthardcheese said:

@shay24 This might sound too simple to you at the moment, because the first time you have to worry about being sued you starting thinking big-bad court and other intimidating things.. but here is the reality:  GA Magistrate Courts are low-level small claims courts.  They don't use any rules of regular court, there is no discovery and there is really no rules of evidence.  Collection attorneys use this to their advantage and they file in Magistrate Court because their flimsy or non-existent evidence will be accepted by most Magistrates.  However, the same is true for you and that is the key.  While the scummy collection attorneys know they can use some affidavit that is hearsay and some made-up print out that anyone could have typed up in Excel with some dollar amount on it, they also know that if you assert a counter claim against them or push for arbitration, they will have just as bad of a chance against you in Magistrate Court.  That is why a large group of us who have won in Magistrate Court have done so only by simply filing a counter claim or motion for arbitration.

What you should do at this stage is not worry about how to arbitrate.  Your case will never get to that point and even on the super rare chance it does, you will have LOTS of time between now and then to learn about it.  All that matters is that you 1) File an answer denying all of the allegations within 30 days of being served.  and 2) file a counter claim or prepare a motion to compel arbitration.  The counter claim and MTC do not even have to be filed at the same time as your answer ... so that gives you even more time to read and learn about each of those too.  The answer is the most important thing to file by the 30 day deadline - and the answer can be very simple.  In fact, some county Magistrate Courts have a pre-printed form that you can fill out to make it even easier. All you have to do is say that you deny all allegations. Very simple.

After you do that, you buy yourself another 30 days at least where you can work on and file a counter claim or have an arbitration motion prepared.  The other thing in Magistrate is that is will be rare if you actually speak to the judge.  What will happen on your court date, is that the PRA attorney will ask to speak with you out in the hall.  They will try to intimidate you and trip you up and admit to the debt.  They will say all kinds of lies to scare you into signing a stipulated judgement (a payment plan).  This is the critical moment in your case.  This is the time when you stand firm and tell him you are going to push for arbitration per the terms of the card agreement (or assert your counter claim).  Almost always, when they see that you are prepared, know your rights and will not lay down and roll over for them, they will agree to dismiss the case.

As far as arbitration itself, here is the short of it:  The Synchrony Bank card agreement says that any dispute may be resolved through JAMS.  JAMS is a private arbitration firm that just so happens to be the most expensive arbitration firm that will handle consumer disputes.  The expensive part is for THEM, not you.  That is how it works to your advantage.  No matter what lies their attorney will say about how expensive arb will be for you, it is a lie.  Your cost is capped at $250 max, but even then, their own card agreement says that THEY will pay for YOUR arbitration fees.  That means it will cost you $0.  It will cost THEM $5,000 just to have the first hearing.  Those who actually go to arbitration do not have the goal of winning their case in mind (arbitration is not fair to a consumer and you will not win), but rather, the point is to have as many hearings by objecting everytime they don't follow the rules or you disagree with something. Then you request another hearing to resolve the objection ... that next hearing cost THEM another $5k...and so on.  Now, with that said, there is a 99% chance you never get to that point.  You likely won't even have to file a claim with JAMS - although you can and it may scare them off even more when they see you have, but we will get to that point in a bit.

So for now, try to relax and wait until they serve you.  Then go one step at a time and there are lots of people here who can guide you through it.

Excellent advice.   Good reassurance.  

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