Charissa

Barclay Card Arbitration

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I need advice!

I was served by Barclay Card for an alleged old debt. It was a very similar post as another member on here @NormInGeorgia wrote about his experience and mine were almost identical, even the same law firm representing. I followed the same procedure recommended for him and filed a motion to compel Arbitration. I received a notice from the court that the judge would stay proceedings for Arbitration. 

The law firm tried to settle but I didn't respond because my claim is that I cannot be sure this debt is mine, why would I pay? I thought certainly they wouldn't proceed with arbitration since the total they claimed I owe is only $2665.  

I just received an email from Pro Se AAA stating: 

Dear Parties:

 

Pursuant the Rules, the Association has appointed David R. James, Esq. as the arbitrator in this matter.  Enclosed please find the arbitrator’s Notice of Appointment and biographical data.  

               

Should any party have any factual objections with respect to this appointment, such objections must be filed with the Association no later than July 27, 2016.

 

If there are no objections, please advise of your availability for the preliminary teleconference during the first two weeks of August.

 

Sincerely,

Pro Se Manager of ADR Services

I can't believe they are moving forward and now I have no idea what to do. Please advise if you can. Thank you so much in advance

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@Charissa you'll want to get up to speed on AAA's rules. Head to https://www.adr.org/aaa/faces/aoe/gc/consumer note the consumer rules (arbitrator selection is covered beginning at R-15), protocol and pro se links. Also, read through your cardmember agreement since everything will be based on that. If it's silent on arbitrator selection, you'll go by AAA rules.

@fisthardcheese

 

 

 

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@CCRP626 @fisthardcheese @NormInGeorgia Okay I have read the rules. It appears I am definitely coming from a weaker place than Barclays - is settlement still on the table now that they have paid the fees? I believe they can get  a refund if we don't meet - They approached me via email. Or should I just let this play out. 

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If you panic you will make a mistake.  You are still far from the hearing.  First they will schedule a conference call.  You need to insist on an in person hearing as allowed by the consumer rules.  You need to ask for full discovery. I would ask for at least 30 days to complete discovery.  The arbitrator will set a schedule for discovery. He may set another conference call or just set a date for the hearing.  They still have a chance to back out and settle with you for up until the day before the hearing. If they try to deviate from the rules you must object in writing.  I ask for hearings on all my objections. Every hearing and phone conference cost them more. At some point you will hit their breaking point. You just have to keep going at it until you get there. 

Next time they offer to settle, counter with a mutual dismissal with prejudice.  Let them know you are willing to do this and you may just find they go for it. Don't expect them to just offer it up themselves.

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Thank you @fisthardcheese you are right, I am not panicking exactly but I am scared. But then I realized, why I am I scared. What have I got to lose? I was just surprised they paid the initial fees. Okay so I will set the conference call for the last day they allow and insist on on an in person hearing. I will ask for 30 days to complete full discovery. 

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the advice. Thank you thank you thank you 

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3 minutes ago, Charissa said:

Thank you @fisthardcheese you are right, I am not panicking exactly but I am scared. But then I realized, why I am I scared. What have I got to lose? I was just surprised they paid the initial fees. Okay so I will set the conference call for the last day they allow and insist on on an in person hearing. I will ask for 30 days to complete full discovery. 

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the advice. Thank you thank you thank you 

Did you ever respond to their offer?

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@fisthardcheese No, they only offered full payment over the course of 24 months as a settlement so I didn't respond because I wasn't interested in that offer. I probably should have offered to walk away with prejudice right?

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@Charissa the AAA fees detail shows any refunds they get disappear over time. Also, what does your cardmember agreement show for appeals? Someone else had the OC follow them through arbitration (I believe JAMS) all the way with the OC getting an award but the consumer appealed per the agreement. The cost got too great at that point and the OC dropped it which also wiped away their original award. Nothing wrong with settlement either if it gets you what you want, just take time to review any offers.

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@CCRP626 Thank you, yes I know that the AAA refunds disappear over time. But I think they have 30 days, the problem is I don't know when the 30 days started - did it start when they paid the fee? Or did it start when the judge filed the motion to compel arbitration? And don't they have to pay an additional fee every time we sit down with the Arbitrator? $1700 per day I think. So they more hearings the better. As for the appeal, yes the cardmember agreement says I can appeal immediately any decision and at that point I think I can request a 3 person Arbitration, maybe? I need to look again. I will settle if it is a reasonable settlement, but that hasn't happened yet.

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Okay @CCRP626 I don't understand the reasoning behind this whole procedure - I just reviewed the rules again. They are suing me for $2655, They had to pay $2594 in order for this to proceed. Now that an arbitrator has been appointed they can't retrieve that. They have to pay $1700 per day for the hearing. How is this to their benefit? Why on earth didn't they drop it?

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@Charissa discovery is requesting info to use as relevant evidence (production of records, interrogatories, admissions, depositions). The AAA rules state what you're allowed. The whole point of arbitration is it's supposed to be quicker and less burdensome than court, so the discovery is more limited. It's one thing that can waive your right to arb if you get too involved with in court prior to deciding on arbitration but you're well past that now.

1 hour ago, Charissa said:

My email was in flux (Google insanity) when I received an email from them. I just found it in my online cache. The law firm requested a counter offer on May 25th should I counter offer with walk away with prejudice?

Fix your e-mail and if the offer sounds good, send it. Worst that can happen is they counter or refuse and you continue on course while studying the rules to your advantage. Settlement offers aren't an admission of guilt that can be used against you.

Quote

How is this to their benefit? Why on earth didn't they drop it?

They aren't a cents on the dollar JDB so a different mentality. I guess in their books they're still $61 ahead? LOL They've also won't have to spend additional funds at this point, so they'll try to settle before they have to cough up funds for a hearing or other activity down the line.

Somewhere in the AAA consumer section is a spreadsheet with case results and fees as far as consumer reimbursement as part of an award. I remember JAMS didn't have the consumer paying those back even if they lost. Here it is https://www.adr.org/aaa/faces/aoe/gc/consumer/consumerarbstat

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Most attorneys have never dealt with consumer arbitration. They may br thinking they can stick you with the costs if they win.  That is not the case.

Always respond to settlement offers even if it is to simply say "I do not accept your offer".

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@fisthardcheese  does it do any good to  demonstrate that we have absolutely no money to the Arbitrator? We don't own our home, we don't own our cars, we have medical bills, tax debt (working directly with the IRS) and student loans.  Should they rule against me, I would likely be forced into Chap 7 Bankruptcy.   @CCRP626

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On July 21, 2016 at 6:53 PM, fisthardcheese said:

Most attorneys have never dealt with consumer arbitration. They may br thinking they can stick you with the costs if they win.  That is not the case.

Always respond to settlement offers even if it is to simply say "I do not accept your offer".

I am doing a happy dance!! I did as you both suggested @fisthardcheese and @CCRP626 I replied to the attorneys and offered a mutual dismissal with prejudice and today received "My client has advised that they would be agreeable with a mutual release in this matter.  To that end, attached is a proposed agreement for your review.  If agreeable, please execute and return a copy to my attention." 

 

Thank you so much for your help, I never would have emailed the attorney directly to make this proposition if you hadn't recommended! Thank you SOOOO much!!!

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15 hours ago, Charissa said:

I am doing a happy dance!! I did as you both suggested @fisthardcheese and @CCRP626 I replied to the attorneys and offered a mutual dismissal with prejudice and today received "My client has advised that they would be agreeable with a mutual release in this matter.  To that end, attached is a proposed agreement for your review.  If agreeable, please execute and return a copy to my attention." 

 

Thank you so much for your help, I never would have emailed the attorney directly to make this proposition if you hadn't recommended! Thank you SOOOO much!!!

CONGRATS!!!! I can only hope for the same for me in my case. @fisthardcheese and @CCRP626 are huge contributors and life savers on this board. 

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18 hours ago, CCRP626 said:

@Charissa is it a simple dismiss with prejudice agreement or more entailed than that?

@CCRP626 It appears to be a simple dismiss with prejudice to me, but I don't really know the difference. It says I have to keep it confident and not say anything bad about the other party and I agree not to sue now or later. Its about 7 total pages including the 2 sig pages. And they asked me to inform the Arbitrator or give them permission to do so.

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Sounds like a standard mutual release settlement with prejudice.  It's a good thing.

Once the agreement is signed, I would just send an email to AAA (and copy the attorney too) stating that the case has been settled.  If the attorney beats me to it, I always simply "reply all" to the email to confirm that a settlement agreement has been reached so that the arbitrator gets confirmation from both sides.  After that, you should be home free.

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34 minutes ago, fisthardcheese said:

Sounds like a standard mutual release settlement with prejudice.  It's a good thing.

Why seven pages though when everything can be said in a paragraph, such as here?

http://www.circuitclerk.org/Civil/Forms 2013/Non Editable Forms/Stipulation&OrdertoDismiss.pdf

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