MsKiya2u

Received DV from Calvary Portfolio Services

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I recently received a letter from an attorney's office in Princeton NJ (Schachtner Portney LLC) for a debt bought by Calvary Portfolio Services. The OC is Citibank. The attorney sent back the last credit card statements from Citibank as well as the documents proving that CPS purchased my debt as part of a bundle of junk debt. At this point, I am planning to send a letter to begin settlement negotiation. The amount of the debt is $3,000.00 and the SOL doesn't end until Sept. 2018. My initial settlement offer will be 20%, which is $600.00. Based on reading other posts, I have been checking my county's court database to see if a judgment has already been filed. Ideally, I would like to avoid this at ALL cost, as I already have a default judgment on my CR... I know, I know.... I was young and DUMB because I ignored the summons, and will NEVER allow that to happen again. I just wanted to ask if I'm headed in the right direction, as far my next step being the debt settlement negotiation? Also, what is the likelihood that this attorney will move forward with suing while I am attempting to settle with them? And worse case scenario, IF they refuse my settlement offer(s) and move forward with a suit, should arbitration be my next move? I read this forum frequently and respect all of the expertise and assistance that so many FREELY give! Its great to know that there are good individuals in this world who are willing to help! Thank  you in advance!!

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I would not settle with Calvary, but that's just me.  I can almost guarantee they have violated some consumer law somewhere.  Not only that, but the Citi card agreements have arbitration with JAMS and I believe they say it is at no cost to you. Even if it doesn't say they will pay all arbitration fees, the max you pay in JAMS is $250.

I would want to file an arbitration claim against Calvary before they decide to file a suit in court because the Citi agreements have language that could be tricky if they end up filing in small claims court.  www.jamsadr.com has the form you need, called a "Demand for Arbitration" form.  Make sure you indicate this is for a CONSUMER arbitration when filing.  The instructions for filing are on the same form.

Calvary is very unlikely to arbitrate because while your costs are capped at $250, they will be billed in excess of $5,000, so it ends up being a losing situation for them even if they "win".  They will likely ignore the arbitration, but if they attempt to file in court after you arbitrated, then they are definitely violating the FDCPA, and it should be easy for a court to order arbitration.  No matter how it goes, I would say you have a 99% chance of avoiding judgement and paying $0 on this.

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Thanks so much Fisthardcheese! I have the card agreement... Silly of the attorney's office, they actually sent me a copy of it with the statement, because otherwise, I wouldn't have had it. I will read through it this evening and file online before they can move forward. AAA is also an option on the Citi agreement... Is JAMS the better option in this case? I'm a little more than confused on the difference between the 2 entities. This may be something I'll easily figure out once I go to file the demand for arbitration form, but I'll ask anyway.... will this arbitration be against Citi, Calvary or the law firm, since they're the ones attempting to collect on the debt for Calvary? Thanks again for your help!

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7 minutes ago, MsKiya2u said:

Thanks so much Fisthardcheese! I have the card agreement... Silly of the attorney's office, they actually sent me a copy of it with the statement, because otherwise, I wouldn't have had it. I will read through it this evening and file online before they can move forward. AAA is also an option on the Citi agreement... Is JAMS the better option in this case? I'm a little more than confused on the difference between the 2 entities. This may be something I'll easily figure out once I go to file the demand for arbitration form, but I'll ask anyway.... will this arbitration be against Citi, Calvary or the law firm, since they're the ones attempting to collect on the debt for Calvary? Thanks again for your help!

Citibank no longer owns the account, so it no longer has anything to do with the account.

The arbitration would be against Cavalry because they claim to own the account.

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As @BV80 said, you file against Cavalry.  I would list the law firm as Cavalry's representative in the Demand forms and mail a copy to their address as well.

The main differences are this: 

AAA caps your cost at $200 and has easy email filing.  However, AAA is more streamlined and the creditor's costs is usually only around $4,000.  I find AAA to be more business-friendly in terms of helping them by favoring phone hearings rather than in-person hearings (being cheaper for the business) and by sometimes allowing the business to get by with skirting the rules over consumers.

JAMS caps your cost at $250, and requires filing by mail (and including 2 copies of everything to file).  JAMS seems to have more retired judges as arbitrators and due to their experience, the arbitrator's fees are generally higher.  The filing fees for the business starts off lower than AAA, but once a date for hearing is set, they are billed a retainer fee of around $5,000 and the costs for JAMS goes way up from that point.

When looking at arbitration, it is merely a strategy based on cost and time.  I use it like a road block.  The more detours I can cause a creditor, the more likely they are to give up and settle.  The goal in arbitration is not to get to a hearing and "win", but to be a stickler for the rules, objecting and asking for extra hearings each time the creditor deviates from the rules.  Each phone call, email or hearing the arbitrator must rule on, the more it costs the other side.   In a case like yours, where you don't know if there are any solid violations yet, I would be looking for a settlement that would look something like "Release of liability including extinguishing the alleged debt and removal of TL from all credit reports in exchange for a dismissal of the arbitrattion case with prejudice".  If I get them to agree to this, I consider it a win.  Should you find solid violations of consumer laws along the way, I may demand more in my settlement, such as a check made out to me in an amount commiserate with whatever the violation is.

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Thank you @fisthardcheese and @debtzapper. I am working on the JAMS forms as we speak.... Its a bit overwhelming, but I think I have everything I need filled out. Just a couple of questions:

1. "Mediation in Advance of the Arbitration"- Is it necessary? Does it benefit me in any way? I haven't check that box, but I'm wondering if mediation is worth it.

2. "Nature of Dispute"-I've listed Violation of FCRA and Violation of FDCPA laws. Is that good enough? Do I need more detail or to list any others?

3. "Request for Hearing"- Do I select any location or will JAMS make the selection for me?? Is an in-person hearing most common??

4. "Proof of Service of the Demand"- does this  mean I am sending copies of my completed Demand for Arbitration form to Calvary? Are copies of the USPS receipt and the CMRRR mailed to Calvary, sufficient proof?

Thanks in advance for the help!  

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On 3/16/2017 at 10:33 AM, MsKiya2u said:

Thank you @fisthardcheese and @debtzapper. I am working on the JAMS forms as we speak.... Its a bit overwhelming, but I think I have everything I need filled out. Just a couple of questions:

1. "Mediation in Advance of the Arbitration"- Is it necessary? Does it benefit me in any way? I haven't check that box, but I'm wondering if mediation is worth it.

2. "Nature of Dispute"-I've listed Violation of FCRA and Violation of FDCPA laws. Is that good enough? Do I need more detail or to list any others?

3. "Request for Hearing"- Do I select any location or will JAMS make the selection for me?? Is an in-person hearing most common??

4. "Proof of Service of the Demand"- does this  mean I am sending copies of my completed Demand for Arbitration form to Calvary? Are copies of the USPS receipt and the CMRRR mailed to Calvary, sufficient proof?

Thanks in advance for the help!  

Even though you say you found the answers, I will answer these for the benefit of others who may come along looking for similar answers.

1.  I have never used the "mediation" in arbitration.  I don't believe they really even use that in consumer cases.  I would not ask for it.  The entire point of arbitration is to make it LONG and EXPENSIVE for the other side.  Mediation is a way to resolve things quicker. That will not help you.  I do not mind if arbitration drags out for months and months and requires the arbitrator to have several hearings.  That is in my favor.  It is my goal in arbitration to have as many hearings over my objections to the other party not doing something (or doing something counter to the rules) as I can.

2.  What you put as "nature of dispute" is fine.  The demand form does not have to be a full complaint, but just a general view of what your claims are.  However, at some point you will need to type up a full complaint that gives more details on your claims.  If you don't do this before the first phone conference, the arbitrator will usually set a date for you to do so.

3.  Always request an in-person hearing and list your own City/State as the location.  The Consumer rules in both JAMS and AAA state you have a right to an in person hearing in your home town if requested.  You should not be required to travel, yet the other party will be required to travel to you, which is another check in your favor.

4.  JAMS does ask for proof of service, but I have never had an issue with sending the paperwork to JAMS at the same time as serving the other side.  I simply include a "certificate of service" page with my JAMS package that says I certify that I have served a copy to JDB at XYZ address and sign it.  If JAMS wants further proof, then after they receive my demand forms, they will send a letter asking for "missing items" and will ask for proof of service, at which time you can send them a copy of the CMRRR green card signed by the JDB.  I have yet to be asked for the green card as proof.  I believe this would only be an issue if the other side claims to not have been served a copy of the demand paper work.

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Hi everyone! It's me again! I wanted to provide an update on my situation. I followed the advice given in this thread and quickly selected JAMS Arbitration. I requested that the JDB's attorney pay the $250 filing fee, which they never did. For months, JAMS reached out to me as well as the JDB's attorney for payment of the JAMS fees. I never submitted my $250 because I was waiting for the attorney to state whether they would agree to pay the fee or not. Its been over 5 months and they never responded, despite numerous attempts by JAMS. Well today, lo and behold, I received an email sent to JAMS and I was Cc'd, from the JDB's attorney which states: "Our client will not be pursuing arbitration." I'm confused... What does this mean??? Does this mean that they will no longer attempt to collect on the debt? That they are denying my right to arbitration and in turn are subsequently going to sue? I'm confused and not sure how I need to proceed! Thank you again for all the help!

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They probably will not sue you because they know that you will simply file a motion to compel arb and they will be back at this position after spending more money to file a court case. What they probably will do is sell the debt to the next JDB in time. As for the debt itself, realize that the SOL clock has still been ticking all this time.

If you want to know what to do next, my suggestion would probably be do nothing until you know that they are going to do next. You are the point now where you need to let them make the next move.

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This is just their admission that they are refusing to follow the contract and pay for arbitration.  I would expect that JAMS will soon send a letter closing the file.  I would keep that letter and the attorney's email (and all emails regarding this case) in a very safe place.  It is likely you won't hear from them anymore, however, should they happen to try to sue you later on, you can use these documents as part of your evidence to the court that they should force Cavalry to arbitrate according to the contract.

Like @WhoCares1000 stated, I would not do anything but just keep an eye on the SOL and also watch for any other type of collection activity they may send you.  Keep your documentation as well as fully documenting any future contact by them.

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Follow-Up: The JDB's attorney (Schatner Portnoy, LLC) has sent an email to both me and JAMS and stated "Our client has closed this matter with prejudice." in response to JAMS continuing to follow-up with us, to know how I would like to move forward. The last time I spoke with someone from JAMS by phone, the case manager said I would have to pay both my filing fee as well as Calvary's if I want to proceed. I asked for time to think about it.  I have continued to be contacted by JAMS asking what I would like to do next. JAMS has also sent the following in an email: "

In order for JAMS to close its file, parties need to submit a signed stipulation advising they do not wish to proceed with the arbitration.


If Respondent doesn’t pay for the filing fee, the Claimant can still proceed with the arbitration process by paying up front Respondent’s fees.


Please advise how party/ies wish to proceed. Thank you.

Two weeks have passed since I received that email from JAMS and Monday I get an email from Schatner Portnoy stating the following, asking me to sign and return it to them if it's acceptable:

Jones v. Cavalry SPV I, LLC

This will confirm that the above referenced matter opened by (my name) before JAMS is being discontinued and Cavalry SPV I, LLC has withdrawn its claim with prejudice.

What should I do??? Do I sign this letter and return it to them... draft a letter of my own and send it to THEM to sign and if so, what should I say... Or do I just ignore both Schatner Portnoy and JAMS and just let JAMS eventually close out the file on their own?? PLEASE ADVISE!!!

 

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, MsKiya2u said:

I get an email from Schatner Portnoy stating the following, asking me to sign and return it to them if it's acceptable:

Jones v. Cavalry SPV I, LLC

This will confirm that the above referenced matter opened by (my name) before JAMS is being discontinued and Cavalry SPV I, LLC has withdrawn its claim with prejudice.

What should I do?

Sign it and return it.  You won!  They are dropping the lawsuit with prejudice meaning it cannot be refiled and they are not arbitrating.  Nothing else to do but celebrate.

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@Clydesmom That's the thing... They never filed. I was never actually sued, so I was confused by the use of the phrase "withdrawn its claim with prejudice". Once I got the first letter from Schatner Portnoy, I requested debt validation... They sent me  old credit card statements, and before I gave them the opportunity to file a suit, I submitted the Arbitration forms to JAMS and sent the attorney a copy. I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing and make sure the debt is not sold to yet another JDB and that they will then file a suit against me later. The SOL runs out in June of 2018 (if I remember correctly), so there's a lot of time for things to happen. Thank you so much for your response! I truly appreciate it!

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They could have filed in court while you were in the middle of arb. They can also file after SOL. What that does not mean is that they will win. If you sign the dismissal of claim with prejudice and they later sue you, you simply submit this as evidence that you attempted to follow the dispute resolution path as stated in the contract and they abandoned their claim, hence the case should be dismissed with prejudice.

Besides, I would not worry about a court case too much. These people are more interested in the low handing fruit and they know you will fight costing them tons of grief and money with possibly nothing to show for it. When 98% of the people simply do not answer (or answer is a way says they owe the debt) allowing them to get a summary judgement, why would they bother with you. You are the sand in the gears of a well oiled machine. I doubt they will bother you anymore.

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I would NOT sign that thing at all!!!  No way.

All I would do is let JAMS know that I do not agree to pay the other party's fees, but I do not agree to drop my claims or my right to arbitration.

However, before I talk to JAMS, I would email the attorney back and tell them if they wish to send me a proper settlement agreement releasing me of all liability regarding the alleged debt, then I will drop my arbitration claim.

What they sent to you is NOT a proper settlement.  It is just a document stating you don't want arbitration.  If you sign that, they will just sue you and say you waived your right to arbitrate in writing.

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12 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

Sign it and return it.  You won!  They are dropping the lawsuit with prejudice meaning it cannot be refiled and they are not arbitrating.  Nothing else to do but celebrate.

There is no lawsuit.  This is HORRIBLE advice.

7 hours ago, WhoCares1000 said:

They could have filed in court while you were in the middle of arb. They can also file after SOL. What that does not mean is that they will win. If you sign the dismissal of claim with prejudice and they later sue you, you simply submit this as evidence that you attempted to follow the dispute resolution path as stated in the contract and they abandoned their claim, hence the case should be dismissed with prejudice.

Besides, I would not worry about a court case too much. These people are more interested in the low handing fruit and they know you will fight costing them tons of grief and money with possibly nothing to show for it. When 98% of the people simply do not answer (or answer is a way says they owe the debt) allowing them to get a summary judgement, why would they bother with you. You are the sand in the gears of a well oiled machine. I doubt they will bother you anymore.

They are using tricky language here, IMO.  They have no claims to drop.  They never filed any claims in court or arbitration.  They can't "drop" ANYTHING , with or without prejudice since there is no claims.  This is not a proper settlement and says NOTHING about releasing OP of any liability regarding the debt.   If OP signs this, they will simply sue her and use this document as evidence that OP agreed to waive arbitration.

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@fisthardcheese Thank you!! I will be sending the email to the attorney this  morning. I'm glad I didn't sign anything yesterday. I agree, the use of the term "withdraw its claim with prejudice" is what made me hesitant! Because my 1st thought was, what claim??? I will respond to their email and wait to see what happens next.

Thank you again!

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UPDATE:

At the advice of @fisthardcheese I sent an email to the JDB's attorney requesting the proper settlement agreement which releases me and any liability to the alleged debt. I just received this document via email in response. I am asked to sign and return it if it's acceptable. I've read through but I definitely want further insight.... It looks to me like I am released and that they also agree to not sell or transfer the account to another JDB. Please advise. THANK YOU!!!

 

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND RELEASE

THIS RELEASE dated as of September ___, 2017 (this "Release"), is entered into by and between CAVALRY SPV I, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company ("Cavalry"), and(my name), a New Jersey resident ("Defendant").

In return for the consideration herein set forth, each of the undersigned hereby agrees as follows:

1. (a) Each party unconditionally releases and discharges the other party, and such other party’s past and present divisions, affiliates, subsidiaries, parent companies, officers, directors, members, managers, employees, agents, representatives, attorneys, predecessors-in-interest, successors-in-interest, and assigns, in their individual and representative capacities (collectively, the "Released Parties"), from any and all charges, complaints, claims, liabilities, obligations, promises, agreements, causes of action, rights, costs, losses, debts and expenses of any nature whatsoever (collectively, the "Claims"), known or unknown, which such party or their heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns ever had, now have or may in the future have by reason of any matter, fact or cause arising out of any events concerning the debt described on Exhibit A (the "Debts"), the collection of the Debt, the credit reporting of the Debt, or any related matter, including Claims brought or which could have been brought in litigation.

(b) Each party acknowledges and agrees that this Release is a final and general release. This Release specifically includes and applies to any and all Claims, whether or not any party now knows of or suspects the existence of them and whether or not they are specifically described in this Release.

2. Cavalry will cause any litigation that it filed regarding the Debt to be dismissed with prejudice. Cavalry hereby represents that it will not effectuate any future transfer, assignment, sale, trading, reaging, renaming, renumbering or any other conveyance of or activity relating to the Cavalry Account.

3. The parties acknowledge that this Release does not constitute an admission by any party or any Released Party of any: (a) liability; (b) violation of any federal, state or local statute, law, regulation, order or other requirement of law; (c) breach of contract, actual or implied; (d) commission of any tort; or (e) other civil wrong.

4. In the event that Defendant has brought any charge, claim, suit, action or proceeding against Cavalry or any of the Released Parties, Defendant will cause such charge, claim, suit action or proceeding to be dismissed with prejudice. Defendant will not bring, or authorize any attorney to bring, any charges, claims, suits, actions or other proceedings against Cavalry or any Released Party arising out of any events concerning the Debt or any related matter.

5. This Release shall not be construed with a presumption against the party causing this Release to be drafted.

-2-

 

6. The parties shall be entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees in any action commenced to enforce this Release or any provision therein.

7. If one or more provisions of this Release shall be ruled unenforceable or void, Cavalry may enforce the remainder of this Release.

8. Defendant has had an opportunity to consult with an attorney before signing this Release or has voluntarily waived such right. Defendant acknowledges that in signing this Release, Defendant relied only on the promises set forth in this Release and not on any other promise made by Cavalry. This Release has been entered into freely, knowingly, and voluntarily and not as a result of coercion, duress, or undue influence.

9. Defendant agrees to execute any and all documents that Cavalry requires to be executed for the purpose of effectuating this Release.

10. This Release constitutes the entire understanding and agreement between the parties hereto with respect to its subject matter. This Release supersedes all other understandings, agreements, communications or negotiations (whether written or oral) between the parties hereto with respect to such subject matter.

11. This Release may not be amended, changed or altered, except by a writing signed by Defendant and Cavalry.

12. This Release shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties hereto and their respective successors, assigns, estate, heirs and personal representatives.

13. This Release may be executed in counterparts, and if so executed each such counterpart shall have the force and effect of an original. A facsimile or copy of an original signature transmitted to the other party is effective as an original document.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed this Release as of the day and year first above written.

 

 

 

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This is a proper settlement.  This means they can not come after you for this alleged debt in any way.  Even if they sell it (which would violate this agreement), this settlement absolves you of any debt at all.

I would be happy to sign this agreement and dismiss my arbitration case.

Great job!!

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Thank you so much for all the advice I've received on this forum! I have one final question before signing the settlement agreement. In Line 6 it states :

"The parties shall be entitled to an award of attorney's fees in any action commenced to enforce this Release or any provision therein."

Any idea what this means???

Thanks! 

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It means if you or they violate the terms of the settlement agreement and then a lawsuit is required to enforce the settlement agreement, that any fees or costs during that suit can be awarded by the judge.

In other words, if they violate this agreement by selling the debt or later trying to sue you for it, they will be on the hook for your attorney fees to take them to court and enforce this settlement agreement.

After you sign this settlement agreement and email it back to them, I would send a notice of dismissal with prejudice to JAMS.  That is the only requirement of you in this agreement.  I would want to make sure I followed through with doing exactly what I'm supposed to do so that they can not say I did not hold up my part of the agreement.  Once you do that, you are free and clear of this debt and everything involved with it for good.

You won!

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