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Being sued by Portfolio Recovery ASSociates (PRA) in WA (WASHINGTON STATE)


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1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.) 
Robert Dunphy
3. How much are you being sued for?
  Around $1500

4. Who is the original creditor? Synchrony
Bank

5. How do you know you are being sued?  I was served papers

6. How were you served? (Mail, in person, Notice on door) In person

7. Was the service legal as required by your state? 
 Yes

8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? 
Zero

9. What state and county do you live in?  Washington, Snohomish


10. When is the last time you paid on this account?  IF this account is really mine, 2015

11. What is the SOL on the debt? 6 Years in WA

12. What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed? Suit Served, have not filed an answer yet

13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?) 
I did after being served.

14. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? No

15. How long do you have to respond to the suit? 20 days, now less.

16. What evidence did they send with the summons?  Absolutely nothing.

Hi everyone, I would love to get a clue on how to proceed. I'm thinking of a Motion to Compel for arbitration as I have the original agreement from the Federal website.  Can anyone give me a tip of how to throw these bottom-feeding pests out of court? Thanks.

 

 

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@Flaming Globes of Sigmund

I believe Synchrony Bank has an arbitration provision in the cardmember agreement.   You could motion to compel arbitration as required by that agreement.   The arbitration would be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and the court would have to grant the  motion.  Considering the low amount for which you are being sued, I doubt that Portfolio would agree to arbitrate and would probably dismiss the lawsuit.

Go to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website and locate your agreement.  The year of the applicable agreement would be the one in which the account was still in good standing before default resulted in a charge-off.

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/credit-cards/agreements/

Hopefully, @fisthardcheese , our resident arbitration expert, will reply.  In the meantime, search his posts.  

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1 minute ago, BV80 said:

@Flaming Globes of Sigmund

I believe Synchrony Bank has an arbitration provision in the cardmember agreement.   You could motion to compel arbitration as required by that agreement.   The arbitration would be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and the court would have to grant the  motion.  Considering the low amount for which you are being sued, I doubt that Portfolio would agree to arbitrate and would probably dismiss the lawsuit.

Go to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website and locate your agreement.  The year of the applicable agreement would be the one in which the account was still in good standing before default resulted in a charge-off.

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/credit-cards/agreements/

Hopefully, @fisthardcheese , our resident arbitration expert, will reply.  In the meantime, search his posts.  

Synchrony Bank = free JAMS.  The best arbitration clause you can get.

This means you have a winning case.  All you need to do is have the court grant your Motion to Compel Arbitration.

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8 minutes ago, fisthardcheese said:

Synchrony Bank = free JAMS.  The best arbitration clause you can get.

This means you have a winning case.  All you need to do is have the court grant your Motion to Compel Arbitration.

Thank you!   Do you know in which thread you posted your MTC so we can provide the link to the OP?

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MOTION TO COMPEL PRIVATE/CONTRACTUAL ARBITRATION AND DISMISS OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, TO STAY PROCEEDINGS PENDING ARBITRATION


NOW COMES Defendant, appearing Pro Se for its Motion to Compel Private Contractual Arbitration and as grounds thereto states the following:

1. That on or about ___________, 2011, Plaintiff filed its Complaint against Defendant.

2. Defendant sent a letter via certified mail to Plaintiff's attorney on ____________, 2011, electing arbitration with JAMS and requesting dismissal of this case (see Exhibit A, attached).

3. Defendant moves this court to compel binding Private Arbitration based on the terms and conditions of the Credit Card Agreement (see Exhibit B, attached).

4. The parties are bound by the Credit Card Agreement. The Arbitration Agreement states among other things:

(a) YOU AND WE AGREE THAT EITHER YOU OR WE MAY, AT EITHER PARTY’S SOLE ELECTION REQUIRE THAT ANY CLAIM BE RESOLVED BY BINDING PRIVATE ARBITRATION.

(b) IF YOU OR WE ELECT PRIVATE ARBITRATION OF A CLAIM, NEITHER YOU NOR WE WILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO PURSUE THAT CLAIM IN COURT OR BEFORE A JUDGE OR JURY.

(c) YOU OR WE MAY ELECT ARBITRATION UNDER THIS ARBITRATION PROVISION WITH RESPECT TO ANY CLAIM, EVEN IF THE CLAIM IS PART OF A LAWSUIT BROUGHT IN COURT. YOU OR WE MAY MAKE A MOTION OR REQUEST IN COURT TO COMPEL PRIVATE ARBITRATION OF ANY CLAIM BROUGHT AS PART OF ANY LAWSUIT

(d) CLAIM MEANS ANY CLAIM, CONTROVERSY OR DISPUTE OF ANY KIND OR NATURE BETWEEN YOU AND US.

(e) THIS ARBITRATION PROVISION IS MADE PURSUANT TO A TRANSACTION INVOLVING INTERSTATE COMMERCE AND SHALL BE GOVERNED BY AND ENFORCEABLE UNDER THE FEDERAL ARBITRATION ACT.


5. The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) 9 USC, Section 1-2 provides:

“A written provision in any maritime transaction or a contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce to settle by arbitration a controversy thereafter arising out of such contract or transaction or the refusal to perform the whole or any part thereof or an agreement in writing to submit to arbitration an existing controversy arising out of such contract, transaction, or refusal, shall be valid, irrevocable and enforceable save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract”.

6. The Supreme Court Ruling, decided April 27, 2011, AT&T MOBILITY LLC v. CONCEPCION ET U, states that courts must enforce arbitration agreements according to their terms. If there is an arbitration clause in the contract, that clause must be honored.

"We have described this provision as reflecting both a “liberal federal policy favoring arbitration,” Moses H. Cone , supra, at 24, and the “fundamental principle that arbitration is a matter of contract,” Rent-A-Center, West, Inc. v. Jackson , 561 U. S. ____, ____ (2010) (slip op., at 3). In line with these principles, courts must place arbitration agreements on an equal footing with other contracts, Buckeye Check Cashing, Inc. v. Cardegna , 546 U. S. 440, 443 (2006) , and enforce them according to their terms, Volt Information Sciences, Inc. v. Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior Univ. , 489 U. S. 468, 478 (1989) ."

Furthermore, "The “principal purpose” of the FAA is to “ensur[e] that private arbitration agreements are enforced according to their terms.” Volt , 489 U. S., at 478; see also Stolt-Nielsen S. A. v. AnimalFeeds Int’l Corp. , 559 U. S. ___, ___ (2010) (slip op., at 17). This purpose is readily apparent from the FAA’s text. Section 2 makes arbitration agreements “valid, irrevocable, and enforceable” as written (subject, of course, to the saving clause); §3 requires courts to stay litigation of arbitral claims pending arbitration of those claims “in accordance with the terms of the agreement”; and §4 requires courts to compel arbitration “in accordance with the terms of the agreement” upon the motion of either party to the agreement . . . "

7. The Defendant elects arbitration to settle this dispute.


WHEREFORE, Defendant moves this Honorable Court to compel private contractual arbitration pursuant to the Cardmember Agreement and to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint due to Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction or in the alternative, to stay proceedings pending contractual arbitration.



Respectfully submitted this day ________________, 2014


(Your name typed), Defendant, pro se

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WA has a very strong arbitration statute

https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=7.04A.070

and a public policy favoring arbitration of disputes:

Washington State also has a strong public policy favoring arbitration of disputes. See Int'l a$$'n of Fire Fighters, Local 46 v. City of Everett, 146 Wash.2d 29, 51, 42 P.3d 1265 (2002); Mendez v. Palm Harbor Homes, Inc., 111 Wash.App. 446, 454, 45 P.3d 594 (2002); Perez v. Mid-Century Ins. Co., 85 Wash.App. 760, 765, 934 P.2d 731 (1997).

In the excellent motion fisthardcheese gave you, you might see if you could add some of what I cited here.  In small claims court, judges aren't always used to seeing Supreme  Court cases being cited by a  pro se litigant, and it sometimes helps if they see some state statutes and cases, with which they are more familiar.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you! I filed my answer and MTC and will wait and see what happens.

 

In the meantime I just got a letter from PRA wanting to collect on a different debt! I'm seriously considering bankruptcy just to not deal with this nonsense anymore. But then I'd have serious issues renting a place to live.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

 

Filed answer, filed motion to compel arbitration, never heard from anyone again, neither PRA nor the court.

I'm wondering if I was supposed to request a hearing for the motion to complel arbitration.

Anyway, since it's been a month, is there anyway I can get the case dismissed due to lack of prosecution??

Thanks! @fisthardcheese@debtzapper

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22 hours ago, Flaming Globes of Sigmund said:

Hi everyone,

 

Filed answer, filed motion to compel arbitration, never heard from anyone again, neither PRA nor the court.

I'm wondering if I was supposed to request a hearing for the motion to complel arbitration.

Anyway, since it's been a month, is there anyway I can get the case dismissed due to lack of prosecution??

Thanks! @fisthardcheese@debtzapper

    (1)  Want of Prosecution on Motion of Party. Any civil action shall be dismissed, without prejudice, for want
of prosecution whenever the plaintiff, counterclaimant, cross claimant, or third party plaintiff neglects to note
the action for trial or hearing within 1 year after any issue of law or fact has been joined, unless the failure
to bring the same on for trial or hearing was caused by the party who makes the motion to dismiss. Such motion
to dismiss shall come on for hearing only after 10 days' notice to the adverse party. If the case is noted for
trial before the hearing on the motion, the action shall not be dismissed.
	
    (2)  Dismissal on Clerk's Motion.
	
    (A)  Notice. In all civil cases in which no action of record has occurred during the previous 12 months, the
clerk of the superior court shall notify the attorneys of record by mail that the court will dismiss the case for
want of prosecution unless, within 30 days following the mailing of such notice, a party takes action of record or
files a status report with the court indicating the reason for inactivity and projecting future activity and a
case completion date.  If the court does not receive such a status report, it shall, on motion of the clerk,
dismiss the case without prejudice and without cost to any party.
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