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I'm being sued by Discover. Im not sure about how to navigate this forum. I read to post in the "is there a lawyer in the house" but I don't know how you guys find that. If Im inthe wrong spot- please do let me know. Thanks!

I sent in a request for arbitration with JAMS back in May. They ignored my request which is evidenced by the papers they had served to me yesterday. I elected arbitration because I need to buy time. I do not have funds to negotiate with I do not have an income.  The reason for the "breach of contract" was a personal injury which is also in litigation. I wanted to buy time with Discover til the litigation in my PI case was settled then neg a settlement with Discover at that time. I dont expect a settlemnt in the PI case for one year as my attorney in that matter just filed.

Anyone? Should I just let them get their judgement and deal with it when I get my settlement since I have nothing to barter with? How much damage can they do with a judgement? Take my car? My home? Im at a loss and have no clue what to expect. Also feeling a bit sorry for myself as this would not have happened if I had not been injured. (sob Sob.. sorry everyone has their story- and I know noone else cares- especially not DISCOVER) so... please advise? 

I thought maybe calling them out for practicing as a collection agency without a license in WA State- but even if the Judge bit on that, it probably wouldnt dismiss. 

I have read through these forums to nausea and as helpful as they are- I dont understand how to respond to the paperwork. Is there a step by step somewhere?

Thanks so much!  Oh.. I did see I need to answer some questions:

1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? DISCOVER BANK

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.)Suttell & Hammer, P.S.

3. How much are you being sued for? over 15k

4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff) Discover

5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?) served

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

7. Was the service legal as required by your state? think so, yep

Process Service Requirements by State - Summons Complaint

8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? I sent a letter in May requesting JAMS. a few letters from them since offering settlements but I have not responded.

9. What state and county do you live in? WA , Kitsap

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations) still in statute (no luck on that one)

11. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out: 6 years

Statute of Limitations on Debts

12. What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed? You can find this by a) calling the court or  looking it up online (many states have this information posted - when you find the online court site, search by case number or your name). Im not sure what this means

13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?) I disputed with Discover when I requested JAMS they sent me a questionaire from the Fraud department- I did not fill it out.

14. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? Note: if you haven't sent a debt validation request, don't bother doing this now - it's too late. YES, they sent me copies of a few statements and a few cashed checks of payments to the account.

15. How long do you have to respond to the suit?  20 Days

If you don't respond to the lawsuit notice you will lose automatically. In 99% of the cases, they will require you to answer the summons, and each point they are claiming. We need to know what the "charges" are.  Breach of Contract

Please post what they are claiming. Did you receive an interrogatory (questionnaire) regarding the lawsuit? no interrogatories.

Here is an example of what the summons/complaint may look like: Sued by a Debt Collector - Learn How to Fight Debt Lawsuits

16. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits. NO evidence, they listed within the document the last 4 of the card number, that I had made payments, that I had used the card... that kind of stuff.

 

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The most important thing to right now is to answer the complaint.  It may be best to consult an attorney; however, if you fail to answer the complaint in time, the Plaintiff can move for and win default judgement against you, and that is just a big old bucket of no fun.

See this link on this site:  https://www.creditinfocenter.com/legal/ive-been-sued.shtml

You mentioned you were in WA state.  I found this link, but I in in AR and have never dealt with a WA court.:  https://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/resource/how-to-answer-a-lawsuit-for-debt-collection

Take a deep breath, and focus on getting the answer submitted correctly and on time.

 

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I want to add that there is no Court Date on the summons - I don't understand that. Does  that mean I just send in my response then they will decide a court date later? Will a judge determine a MTC without a court date?  I don't mean to be stupid- its just it seems there's a lot of istuff that doesn't make sense. - It just says to respond in writing. Can anyone help me clear up this muck? I've  decided to go the Arbitration route. There are many good samples for the motion I  can copy and adapt to my situation. What I cant figure out is the timing and what other docs. I need to file. Is it:

1) Notice of Appearance (file immediately)

2) Answer to Plaintiffs Complaint (file  just before 20 days with court and send a cert copy to the Plaintiff?)

3)Affirmative Defenses ( file  just before 20 days with court and send a cert copy to the Plaintiff?)

4) Motion to compel Arbitration( file  just before 20 days with court and send a cert copy to the Plaintiff?)

 

So 4 separate documents. Attaching the Discover contract with the arb JAMS verbage  to the motion to compel? 

Can I file them all at the same time- send them at he same time? Does the 20 days mean postage stamped date to the plaintiff?  SO many details I am not sure of.

Any help with any of these.... sure appreciate it- Thanks!

 

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25 minutes ago, Amazed1 said:

Does  that mean I just send in my response then they will decide a court date later?

Yes.  The court doesn't set a date until the Defendant is served and answers.

 

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3 hours ago, Amazed1 said:

I want to add that there is no Court Date on the summons - I don't understand that. Does  that mean I just send in my response then they will decide a court date later? Will a judge determine a MTC without a court date?  I don't mean to be stupid- its just it seems there's a lot of istuff that doesn't make sense. - It just says to respond in writing. Can anyone help me clear up this muck? I've  decided to go the Arbitration route. There are many good samples for the motion I  can copy and adapt to my situation. What I cant figure out is the timing and what other docs. I need to file. Is it:

1) Notice of Appearance (file immediately)

2) Answer to Plaintiffs Complaint (file  just before 20 days with court and send a cert copy to the Plaintiff?)

3)Affirmative Defenses ( file  just before 20 days with court and send a cert copy to the Plaintiff?)

4) Motion to compel Arbitration( file  just before 20 days with court and send a cert copy to the Plaintiff?)

 

So 4 separate documents. Attaching the Discover contract with the arb JAMS verbage  to the motion to compel? 

Can I file them all at the same time- send them at he same time? Does the 20 days mean postage stamped date to the plaintiff?  SO many details I am not sure of.

Any help with any of these.... sure appreciate it- Thanks!

 

You understand that Discover is likely to agree to arbitrate.   It can be a drawn-out process.  Here's a thread started by a poster who's been in arbitration for a while.

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/community/topic/329008-in-arbitration-with-zwickeramex/

 

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3 minutes ago, BV80 said:

You understand that Discover is likely to agree to arbitrate.   It can be a drawn-out process.  Here's a thread started by a poster who's been in arbitration for a while.

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/community/topic/329008-in-arbitration-with-zwickeramex/

 

Thank you for the link. I'm headed there now. Yes, I am hoping they will arbitrate and draw it out for a few years. Its better for me than court. I will lose either way Court I lose more and I lose it faster. 

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7 minutes ago, Amazed1 said:

Thank you for the link. I'm headed there now. Yes, I am hoping they will arbitrate and draw it out for a few years. Its better for me than court. I will lose either way Court I lose more and I lose it faster. 

Why would you lose more in court?

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Just now, Amazed1 said:

Attorney Fees.  

You can still be responsible for any attorney fees they  accrued in filing the complaint and any motions with the court. 

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50 minutes ago, Amazed1 said:

I am hoping they will arbitrate and draw it out for a few years.

Years?  Not likely.  You might get 9-12 months but it won't be years.  Discover is very familiar with arbitration and won't hesitate to use it.

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22 hours ago, Clydesmom said:
 

Years?  Not likely.  You might get 9-12 months but it won't be years.  Discover is very familiar with arbitration and won't hesitate to use it.

My apologies, I was being facetious when I said "years" 9  to 12 months would be helpful.  I cant do anything right now.  I expect to have a settlement from my own PI case in about 9 to 12 months- that is why I'm in this mess and it is my only way out. I really appreciate your direct responses. Respectfully, I have no choice  but to arbitrate because I need to buy time and because I cannot afford an attorney. If I have to pay attorney fees later, so be it- I dont have the n=money to hire one now- I am injured and cannot even consider trying to appear in court pro se.   I would not expect to win in either venue so IF I can buy time.. its the only hope I have for my particular situation. 

My questions were more about  the paperwork not how to win or whether to arbitrate. I have to arbitrate, I was looking for help with how to file the papers to ensure that happens. 

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I'm not an attorney.  I don't want to be an attorney.  I don't do legal advice.

BUT

I can share my experience.  I had several court cases--every one of them took 3+ years.  It really isn't hard to slow things down if you're just playing for time.  In my experience (WA Superior Court), the court doesn't set a timeline--it simply responds to the parties.  Typically, my cases went something like this:  I'd be served and put in a notice of appearance.  Eventually the plaintiff would move for default judgment.  I'd answer which would squash the default.  They'd come back with an MSJ.  I'd motion to strike the evidence and motion in opposition to MSJ.  They'd cancel the motion hearing.  (BTW, I regret I didn't catch on sooner--I should have filed a motion to dismiss at the same time.)  Anyway, the motion to opposition would give them a roadmap of defects to try to correct, so they'd try to fix them and come back with a second MSJ.  Rinse and repeat.  Eventually, some one blinks or you're moved to trial after an unsuccessful MSJ or Motion to Dismiss.  I never did discovery with a JDB because I truly didn't care what they had:  I always played it as standing and keeping out any evidence they try to introduce.

One case was an OC.  That was a lot stickier and scarred me for life which is why I never wanted to talk about it.  They had everything, including the resources to really come after me.  One of the reasons I tend to be somewhat cryptic is that it's disconcerting to write a Motion to Strike when all your board posts are printed out and introduced as evidence.  But--let's say you have BIG Bank, NA suing you.  All of the sudden all these documents for BIG Bank Servicing, LLC show up.  "Oh, that's just who does the servicing, Your Honor."  Most people are rolled there.  I'm more Motion to Strike, needs foundation, and I'll need a continuance to conduct discovery on the relationship between BIG Bank, NA and BIG Bank Servicing, LLC, Your Honor.  Turns out there are curious similarities between banks and servicers, kind of like banks and JDBs.  Now, you can really PO a judge with this kind of stuff, but if you've got your legal ducks in a row, so to speak, AND you can figure out how to work within the court system, do your legal research, and make your case, you can at least put up a decent battle--even if you lose.  For the curious:  We did a walkaway, dismissal with prejudice, each side bearing their own costs.  I don't think of it as a win at all.  It was idiotic to get into a multi year battle over that amount (5K or so) and it would have been way more cost effective to just settle up front.  The rabbit hole just kept getting deeper and deeper, and by the time it was ready to go to trial, there were so many looming questions I dredged up to fight the MSJs it looked like it would be a long and expensive trial.  They offered to let it go and I took them up on it.

The point to this long and rambling reply:  Had I chosen arbitration, it probably would not have taken anywhere close to as long as the court process--and remember, this never actually got to trial.  It took over 3 years to get to the point of scheduling a trial.  You never know how long stuff will take, but I do know that an unopposed default judgment goes quicker than a good fight.

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On 9/13/2017 at 4:43 PM, Amazed1 said:

I want to add that there is no Court Date on the summons - I don't understand that. Does  that mean I just send in my response then they will decide a court date later? Will a judge determine a MTC without a court date?  I don't mean to be stupid- its just it seems there's a lot of istuff that doesn't make sense. - It just says to respond in writing. Can anyone help me clear up this muck? I've  decided to go the Arbitration route. There are many good samples for the motion I  can copy and adapt to my situation. What I cant figure out is the timing and what other docs. I need to file. Is it:

1) Notice of Appearance (file immediately)

2) Answer to Plaintiffs Complaint (file  just before 20 days with court and send a cert copy to the Plaintiff?)

3)Affirmative Defenses ( file  just before 20 days with court and send a cert copy to the Plaintiff?)

4) Motion to compel Arbitration( file  just before 20 days with court and send a cert copy to the Plaintiff?)

 

So 4 separate documents. Attaching the Discover contract with the arb JAMS verbage  to the motion to compel? 

Can I file them all at the same time- send them at he same time? Does the 20 days mean postage stamped date to the plaintiff?  SO many details I am not sure of.

Any help with any of these.... sure appreciate it- Thanks!

 

If you havent filed a notice of appearance yet,  you should check out this link and print it out if you can..(if for Washingtonians like you & me!) then read thru the section about 'notice of appearance' . it will guide you through the proper way to file it  with the courts.

https://www.washingtonlawhelp.org//resource/how-to-answer-a-lawsuit-for-debt-collection

After you do that, it's my understanding that you don't have to worry too much about filing your answer within 20 days.

so after you file your notice of appearance,

at some point the plaintiff will file for summary judgment and they'll notify you of when that hearing will be,

thats when you make sure your answers are ready. You can file them any time before then too..

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