BAllen1217

Please Help! Michigan- PRA lawsuit, MTC denied ? Now Trial by Judge!

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Hello All! I'm looking for some advice for how to proceed with my current case. I've had amazing help over at debtorboards.com but wanted to get feedback from here as well. Here's a rundown- 

 

PRA filed suit in December, I was served in Febraury for $578.36 from WFNNB Victoria's Secret. 

 

After reading advice from debtorboards, I filed a MTC. The PA filed a opposition, and I then filed a reply. 

Court was today! It was ROUGH!! The PA sent some young girl and she immediately as me if I wanted to make a payment plan- NO! She says "so you deny this debt is yours"? I said "yes!"  I told her only settlement was a dismissal with prejudice and she didn't reply. 

She continues to argue that the court uses some printout of a CC Agreement from 2009 since that was the year it was opened (because there is no Arb. Agreement). I rebuttal with the 2012 CC Agreement that shows Arbitration since it's the year that the alleged account was in good standing". 

The judge them starts grilling me! Treating me like a child. He asks is this your debt ? I answered "No, to the best of my recollection I paid my debt in full". He asked me again- I have the same answer. He then asks "So are you saying "you THINK this isn't your debt, or no it's not your debt". I said "No its not my debt".  I argued "the PA hasn't given me any authenticated documents from the OC and have no way to prove this is my debt". 

He says "Why Arbitration? Do you no how much that costs you? You have to pay half? Why do that? Do a trial by judge! It's quicker, easier and free. I think that's what you should do. Arbitration takes forever".  So I panic and say "ok, fine". 

He asks the PA if there's anymore paperwork they have that they intend to use at the trial by judge. She said no- but they haven't done Discovery yet. The judge says "it's okay. Just do an informal one, just make sure the defendant has the paperwork you intend to use". 

So its scheduled for May. 

 

Now I'm worried. Why was he so pushy about this? How the heck can I beat these dummies? Did I perjure myself when the Judge asked me like 4 times if it's my debt and I said no?! 

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35 minutes ago, BAllen1217 said:

He says "Why Arbitration? Do you no how much that costs you? You have to pay half? Why do that? Do a trial by judge! It's quicker, easier and free. I think that's what you should do. Arbitration takes forever".  So I panic and say "ok, fine". 

The Judge didn't deny your MTC you agreed to drop it when you panicked.  PRA counted on being able to bully you and it worked.

36 minutes ago, BAllen1217 said:

Why was he so pushy about this?

Because it is a creditor friendly court and you didn't know how to effectively argue your point(s).

36 minutes ago, BAllen1217 said:

Did I perjure myself when the Judge asked me like 4 times if it's my debt and I said no?! 

No.   You are not required to prove it isn't your debt they are required to prove it IS.  Start studying the recent CFPB decision against PRA and their spurious documentation and how to fight anything they intend to use as "evidence" against you at trial. 

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1 hour ago, BAllen1217 said:

No, to the best of my recollection I paid my debt in full". He asked me again- I have the same answer. He then asks "So are you saying "you THINK this isn't your debt, or no it's not your debt". I said "No its not my debt".  I argued "the PA hasn't given me any authenticated documents from the OC and have no way to prove this is my debt". 

Sorry this happened to you today. You could not have known how to respond to these questions in the right way. Not your fault. But here's the thing; if you claim the parties are parties to an agreement to arbitrate, you are also conceding that you're both parties to the contract that allows for enforcement of the debt. So, you really can't turn around and say "they have no way to prove this is my debt," because you've already confirmed it. You did the right thing by stating that you believe you paid the debt in full, but, whether you meant to or not, you contradicted that with the rest of your statement. For what its worth, I get the sense that the judge was not inclined to find that a valid arbitration agreement existed, no matter what you did. You need to put this behind you and get to work locating whatever evidence you have to suggest the debt was indeed paid in full. The standard of proof is a "preponderance of the evidence," meaning, whomever's story is most likely the correct version,  is going to win. That's where you are now.

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@BAllen1217 did the Judge deny your MTC in writing? If so-

691.1708 Appeals .Sec. 28. (1) An appeal may be taken from any of the following:(a) An order denying a motion to compel arbitration.

https://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%2854cner45hyhdlm55sbtmtaie%29%29/documents/mcl/pdf/mcl-Act-371-of-2012.pdf

Although it kind of sounds like you waived your right to arbitrate. You could look into a motion to reconsider, just make sure while doing that the clock isn't running out on your time to file the interlocutory appeal. You'll have to check Michigan rules.

 

Quote

He asks the PA if there's anymore paperwork they have that they intend to use at the trial by judge. She said no- but they haven't done Discovery yet. The judge says "it's okay. Just do an informal one, just make sure the defendant has the paperwork you intend to use". 

Read through the CFPB order against Portfolio to see how it can help your case. http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201509_cfpb_consent-order-portfolio-recovery-associates-llc.pdf

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