Vulturebait

Invoking Arbitration/pocket summons in MN

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In MN.  Received pocket summons (no court file yet)  from debt collector law firm representing 1st creditor.  I understand I have to respond to summons to avoid default judgment.  I would like to push this to arbitration with JAMS since it was part of the original contract that either party could request.  I am hoping debtor fee for arbitration will make them rethink settling or dropping it.  Or if neither, level the playing field a bit since I can't afford to hire an attorney.

I am a cosigner on account.  We are both listed on the pocket summons.  Can we respond with one set of answers with both our names on it?

Do I include in my answers that I am invoking my right to choose arbitration?  If yes, where/how do I do this in the response?

Do I need to actually initiate arbitration (ie contact JAMS and initiate) before sending in answer?

Do I need to send letter to debt collection attys and creditor re exercising right to use JAMS for ADR before I send in answers, or can I do it at same time (ie attys for creditors would receive both ADR and answers at once)?

This is involving a subprime car loan.  I surrendered the car because it never worked right and supposed "warranty/service agreement" they charged me for never fixed the problem (inconsistent starting).  

I was never informed of time/place of sale of car.  Nor was I informed of sale price of car and given an accounting of my "balance owing" - even after several requests to car dealer, creditor, and creditor's attys.  My understanding is that this is required and could be cause for dismissal of suit.  Do they have to give proof of sale price of car (w VIN on it so I know it refers to the car in question)?  

Can I argue these failures as an affirmative defense in my answers or do I just say I don't know actual account balance so I cannot admit owing anything? I don't know how aggressive to be with this in answers or how to say it.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

 

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9 hours ago, Vulturebait said:

I was never informed of time/place of sale of car.  Nor was I informed of sale price of car and given an accounting of my "balance owing" - even after several requests to car dealer, creditor, and creditor's attys.  My understanding is that this is required and could be cause for dismissal of suit.  Do they have to give proof of sale price of car (w VIN on it so I know it refers to the car in question)?  

Check your state laws to see if it's required.

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State law says they must inform of time/place of car sale and give new balance on account post-sale.  It is law and it is in the contract as well.

Is this an affirmative defense that I would state in answers (maybe as "Other")?   Or would I just list it as reason that I don't have enough info to admit/deny balance owing on acct (ie amt being sued for)?  Thanks!

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Sorry for late response and Thank You's for responses!  

Do you still want the clause in the contract posted to the forum in case it may be helpful to others?  Or is that moot pt now since our request seems to have worked?

It seems that invoking arbitration w/ JAMS was successful.  Thanks in large part to  fisthardcheese, who patiently spelled out what to do for response/invoking arbitration, we responded to pocket summons (legal in MN - means no case filed in court but lawyers can file and get default judgment if you don't answer in time or they decide to open case etc).  

JAMS confirmed they received paperwork and Credit Acceptance (the OC for rip off car loan) in-house lawyer has been phoning my friends regarding the ADR all day.  Credit Acceptance had been using a debt collection law firm for pocket summons until now.  

I told my friends to tell them they couldn't talk now til we figured out what to say/not to say.    The Credit Acceptance in-house lawyers asked what they "hoped to get out of arbitration".  errrrrr... capped fee, making you pay, making you prefer to walk away or settle ...

My friends would really like to just get rid of this thing.  I am willing to help them w/ a lump sum payment for full settlement w prejudice and hopefully getting rid of tradeline on this for them too.    

Do you think the in-house lawyer is calling (desperately btw) to try to settle to avoid the fees for ADR?

If yes, what should they say or definitely not say?

Should they answer her question about "what they hope to achieve w/ ADR"? (it's sorta funny - sounds like a parent berating a child or something).

Should my friends offer a settlement amt?  IF so what percentage?  BTW they are not sure what their actual debt is since never got notice re car sale - if it was sold, how much, when etc.  Before tacked on fees w their lawyers I'm guessing their balance was around $4k-4.5k range.

Should settlement negotiations be only in writing or can they be on phone and don't do anything unless/until you get validation in writing?

My sense is that Credit Acceptance is trying to do something before the 5 day limit to cancel JAMS and get fee refund.  JAMS confirmed paperwork rcpt on Tuesday 4/26.  Not sure when 5 day countdown starts ends.  I'm hoping they want to settle but who knows?

TIA for any advice for talking to them!  It would be so nice to get this thing over with since none of us knows what we're doing.

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If this were me, I would stop talking to the attorney immediately.

Wait for them to respond to the JAMS filing.  They need to either stop answering the phone, or tell the attorney to email them any questions and then hang up.

The first document you get from JAMS which should come soon will be a letter that lays out which JAMS rules apply and it will state that all communication is to be done through email and with JAMS copied.  Once you get that letter, if the attorney does not follow it and continues to call, I would email JAMS with the attorney copied and request an immediate administrative hearing for an injunction due to excessive harassing phone calls from the attorney.

NEVER tell the attorney your goal is to cost them more.  You don't owe him any explanation.  I assume your JAMS filing said which violations you were claiming against them, correct?  That is the answer to his question.  But again, I wouldn't answer him.  He is just throwing a fit right now, because that is what most collection attorneys do when you completely rip the rug out from under them and know what you are doing.  He is very P.O'ed right now because he understands you are not going to give him an easy judgement like he is used to.  Don't let it bother you.  Just focus on the JAMS case and let it ride out through that process. 

Also, keep an eye on the court dockets to make sure they don't try to sneak the case into the court anyway, even through you filed in JAMS.

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