he_who_is_poor

PRA lawsuit, served, 2 weeks court date can I do anything?

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1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit?

Portfolio Recovery Associates

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.)

Can't tell. Papers have a list of 3 people with SC numbers but the paper says PRA LLC vs. me

3. How much are you being sued for?

Just over $1,000.00

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

Synchrony Bank/PayPal

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

I was served

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

In person by a sheriff.

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

Yes

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 believe I was paying PRA for a few months but stopped. I can't recall why but I was also being sued by another CA in that time and had to pay them in full (monthly settlement). Last letter received from PRA around May of 2017. A few months ago I was talking to PRA but was not able to pay as I couldn't open a bank account and my work-based accounts were non-transactional. I suppose I should have considered the cashier's check method. PRA insisted cards were not accepted.

9. What state and county do you live in?

Kansas, Wyandotte

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations)

2017 to PRA or 2016

11. When did you open the account (looking to establish what card agreement may be applicable)?

Account opened between 2013-2015 closer to beginning of 2015

12. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out:

Statute of Limitations on Debts

The card was opened in NY, but I moved to KS and it's 6 for the former, 3 for the latter.

In my credit reports though PRA is active, reported on December 2017

13. What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed? You can find this by a) calling the court or B) looking it up online (many states have this information posted - when you find the online court site, search by case number or your name).

Summoned to court

14. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?)

No I have not, I have paid it partially through PRA (32%)

15. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? Note: if you haven't sent a debt validation request before being sued, it likely won't help create FDCPA violations, but could be useful to show the court that you dispute the debt ('account stated' vs. 'breach of contract').

No I did not request a DV

16. How long do you have to respond to the suit? (This should be in your paperwork). 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. Please post what they are claiming. Did you receive an interrogatory (questionnaire) regarding the lawsuit?

Received it yesterday (12/27) I have 14 days to respond, court date on Jan 08 2018

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

17. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits.

There is an affidavit 

Then two screenshots of account summary from PayPal, looks like something I would see if I logged into that account or saw a statement from PayPal.

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So I received a couple of letters from attorneys advising me to file for bankruptcy (not my intent) that's how I found out about this. I had to call the court as the information was not online. Then I was actually served after getting a sticker on my door. I then called the number on the sticker to be served. Prior to this (a few days back) I called PRA (bad move?) to try and settle to avoid the lawsuit. In my prior case of being sued I was talking directly to an attorney. In the case of PRA the person talking to me asked for $200+ down payment and then a year of payments, I agreed, provided bank account info but no money was taken out. I asked (after the agreement by phone) if the lawsuit would be canceled/put on hold (thinking back to the attorney case of prior lawsuit) to which the person kept re-iterating she's not a lawyer/can't answer.

Anyway, at the moment I can't afford the full amount yet but I could within the two weeks. My concern however is the garnishment, not only adding to my already destroyed credit but the fees. I heard it can double what I owe. I have been scouring forums, just figured I should post here as I read some threads about PRA here.

I am considering calling one of the attorneys or PRA again (why?) to offer just under $900 (the lump sum settlement offered in the past) but I think it won't do me any good as they could potentially win this and get a judgment against me for full amount. But I also read they wouldn't have to pay the contingency attorney if doing the settlement.

I'm currently looking to write my response and get it mailed out by Friday/Monday (12/29  - 1/1) in case I do call them and see what happens but I'm wondering if I should call? Should I call PRA or one of the attorneys listed in the papers?

Do I have any defenses? I don't think so, because the debt is valid, I called them. I'm thinking the proof may not be good but I read somewhere that they don't necessarily need the bill of sale contract or something like that.

Do I have anything to do besides answer and show up? I can at worst case scenario have as much as possible saved up (minimum full amount) and see what happens in court.

edit: I'm pretty sure that I can afford the full payment at court. If I do that do I expect to have court fees added onto it?


Thanks for any help.

 

Funny my first post here was about this back in January. Here I am, another lawsuit. At least I will try to prevent Midland from suing me next by taking their low lump sum offer after I deal with PRA and survive. I'm living with a month of buffer (just over $1,000) so that is where this money will be coming from and then I'll be check to check again.

edit: thank you to the developers of this site using cookies/caching as I accidentally closed this tab before hitting submit

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Summary Of Events Condensed

Yes I very well could probably have gotten this case dismissed, I'm just tired of going to court/mailing stuff. People provided the solution to me, I just didn't execute it well, don't let my outcome deter you this is a personal choice.

Please confirm in another thread for your case.

File your answer can be a general denial

Start MTC with JAMS(or AAA) try to have this with your MTC.

In my experience do not deny entering the contract(check this, in my case apparently I couldn't use arbitration if I deny the contract).

Don't Do What I did

I didn't want to "look dumb" by asking what to send exactly, so I sent the same "objection/denial" for the discovery of documents, and this was not correct ie. I was denying the existence of the card contract which is what allows you to compel arbitration. So instead of getting the MTC granted, I was asked by the judge to answer if there is indeed a contract, and then to re-answer for a third time the discovery of documents.

At this point I just decided to settle, I asked how low the attorney could go he said 50%. I talked to him by email BUT NO PAPER TRAIL and instead of talking with the attorney, I called PRA directly... so that 50% payment was treated as a payment against the balance.

As of 05/14/2018 I'm looking/hoping that I am going to get a settlement as agreed upon through email... but who knows I did something dumb by trying to runaway from my problems again.

What should I have done? Gotten the attorney to draft payments, then talked through the attorney. That way it's all on paper instead of my payments being treated as a balance.

This whole thing sucks just because I still have another court date to go to, 4th time. It's possible I will end up paying the full balance anyway which means all of this time and effort with mailing things/going to court/people's time here on this thread, was all a waste.

So yeah... don't be me. Ask, I'm not a law expert so I'm clearly not going to know what to do.

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Summary Of Events

12/27/2017 Received summons

01/02/2018 Filed answer denying all claims except county with request for arbitration/mailed copy to attorney (file first, mail stamped copy of answer to attorney)

01/08/2018 Court date

Court event:

Called up, asked by judge if I owed this amount "I deny, request for arbitration"

Stamped, scheduled for March

Talked to attorney, asked me what my argument was, could get 12 months of statements. Said the amount could be off, no proof of purchase. I almost didn't make it through that part, person is right there next to you looking at you in the eyes. "I feel bad" is in the back of my mind. But I just said pretty much "I can't say anything... going to file MTC"

I was asked that a few weeks back I tried to pay it, and I did, I provided bank account, they wanted $200+ down right away and then the 12 months of payments, to which I agreed and provided routing/account numbers to my bank account. But they didn't take it, got the lawsuit... now we are here.

I thought I didn't have an argument, but stuck to what @fisthardcheese said about denying because you're not sure about actual price/ownership.

Now looking to see what happens next, I didn't quite catch the actual date, it was so fast, I barely even remember (also really tired, I'm a night person and this court date was on 9 AM)

Funny I saw the piece of paper this guy was holding, it was an excel sheet print out with names, they had 11 for that day under PRA and some had check marks on the right side of the page  on their line.

01/25/2018 filed MTC with court and sent copy to plaintiff attorney, not sure if I screwed up with the lack of a header/quickly added on last resort.

02/25/2018 Received a packet from PRA, it's thick. Addresses four things: Questionnaire, request for admissions, Exhibit, request for production of documents. Document sent to me on 02/20/2018, given 15 days to respond.

02/27/2018 Response notarized, filed, mailed MCRRR

Preparing for court date to get MTC granted. Some great information here about what to potentially expect.

03/05/2018 Next court date

Post court date on 03/05/2018

Given 30 more days. "You have not filed arbitration... need something to stay proceeding..."

Edit: Actually given till 04/30/2018

Status: Pretrial Conference

You have to answer discovery of documents since you objected based on "pending arbitration" which isn't the case.

04/03/2018 mailed JAMS Demand for Arbitration

04/10/2018 received email receipt from JAMS, I'm assigned a case manager

04/25/2018 mailed denied/object discovery answers, affidavit of JAMS

04/30/2018 court date

- defendant has not answered discovery - Judge: "I ordered you to answer these discovery, you haven't answered them" (objection/denial is not an answer apparently)

- by denying the contract, you can't use the arbitration clause

- if you don't answer I will sanction you

- 7 days to answer discovery/admit/deny credit card agreement

Sorry guys, I'm just choosing to settle. 50% is still a chunk of change, I can barely afford it.

04/30-31/2018 settled at 50% - still have to wait 10 days for confirmation, have to sign papers, file an answer

05/22/2018 Sent emails/letter out to get settlement letter sent out, nothing yet, looking like I will have to actually answer the supplemental requests and go to court.

But 4 months, the money I've spent mailing things/time to go to court/stress... I know I failed/weak... you should have seen me in court it was pathetic unable to speak/frozen/kept repeating the same thing. Doesn't help the judge is a hot blonde haha.

All the answers/path was provided to me here I just didn't have the will to pull it off I guess.

I should also note that all three times I went to court I did not get any sleep(my sleep pattern, I'm a night person) and on top of that an introvert/guy that avoids conflict/can't handle stress.

This is sadly not a Defendant wins against JDB case entirely my own fault.

I'm just done, I want to move forward, the stress/time sink from this. Parts of days I miss that I could be productive (takes me 3 hours to go to court/mail) round trip.

05/25/2018 no sign of settlement. I filed/mailed supplemented responses however I attached the settlement email which you're not supposed to do I guess.

I repeat DO NOT INTRODUCE SETTLEMENT OFFERS IN TRIAL.

06/04/2018 Case DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE

After a lot of prep-work/help from @Brotherskeeperregarding answering the third set of Supplemental Discovery, I found out at court(by asking the attorney) that my case was dismissed. Though at that time I did not know it was dismissed without prejudice which means I could be sued again for the same debt though at a lower balance I believe.

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Relevant documents/templates mentioned in this thread

PayPal 2014 CC Agreement

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Important notes for you future reader:

(This is a great example of what not to do).

Either decide to go through the arbitration route and do your research or decide to settle. If you do settle, get it in writing, do not pay until you have an agreement in paper and make sure the case is actually dismissed.

I tried the arbitration route, I did not ask for the proper response to a discovery response, and I essentially screwed myself. Then made a settlement agreement that was not on paper so it's looking like I will pay it all anyway.

Filing An Answer

File an answer and show up to court. Bare minimum you can do to avoid default garnishment. The judge literally calls out names, any of those names don't answer, STAMP, garnishment.

Filing an answer means you create the proper format (same header structure as the lawsuit you received with the plaintiff vs. defendant with parenthesis separation), write your argument (answer), then have a certificate of service at the end which you sign.

Go to the same court you'll be attending. File your answer there. Should be free (was for me in both occasions (MTC)).

Filing MTC (these may go together if you choose that route, this is not what I did, no reason just didn't know)

UPDATE: File right away, or have it pre-filed/ready to be sent. I didn't have it filed and so my arbitration was I guess technically non-existent.

(I should note I don't know if you can always do this, in my case this account is/was under Synchrony)

At the time I'm writing this sentence, I just sent some poorly formatted MTC forms. Not the actual MTC part as I got help with that. For some reason it slipped my mind that I would need the header/certificate of service as well.

So when you write your MTC, do the same thing with the answer filed (header at the top, MTC in the middle, Certificate of Service with signature) at the bottom.

If you reference documentation, attach them. 

Important: Use the correct card agreement if you reference one eg. a card agreement that matches your card's active year(s) and get it sent with an affidavit.

Do the same thing of file a copy with the court, send a copy to the attorney. I got them filed first (stamped) then sent (stamped copy). I guess it's not necessary that they're stamped(copies sent to attorney).

We'll see, I might have just lost this case by being I don't know absent minded I guess, I could have asked for a question but honestly my mind was just blank on the matter, not sure why.

It'll suck the $1,000 + fees would not be a cost that I could easily eat, that's my month of living expenses.

Lesson learned I guess, don't be a dumbass like me (if it was by choice to default)

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So currently my plan is to file a general denial answer, I saw this mentioned in a couple of posts here.

I'm not sure if I should use the defense of "proof of ownership" and I don't know if it's relevant regarding my current thought of filing the general denial.

 

All I have is a affidavit and some screenshots of amount due from paypal's website.

 

Pretty much the outcome I'm trying to get to is avoiding garnishment and at most pay the full amount but no fees, if not settle for the original proposed 75%.

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Forget trying to defend this in court.  You'll surely lose.

Arbitration on the other hand....  If this case went to arbitration, PRA would have to pay around $5,000 to collect a $1,000 debt they paid next to nothing for.  If the court orders the parties into arbitration, PRA will dismiss the case and you walk away.

Synchrony has the most consumer-friendly arbitration provision going.   PRA has to pay your fees as well as their own, and there is no small claims exception.

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Thank you for your response. So I will research about arbitration.

 

If I don't mind paying the full amount (luckily I think I can afford it) I'm trying to figure out what would happen in court. Do I say something like "I agree to the full amount" and then only pay that/no fees. I think the fees are going to happen since an attorney is there.

 

Also does the general denial still work for an answer to prevent the default judgment. Or my response is to arbitrate?

 

First link not looking good

That is one case though but the sued for amount is low. 

 

Ah read further looks like the same point you mentioned was brought up too much pay to collect on a smaller return.

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44 minutes ago, he_who_is_poor said:

Ah read further looks like the same point you mentioned was brought up too much pay to collect on a smaller return.

And as I told you would happen in your case, Portfolio dismissed their case and walked away.
https://www.creditinfocenter.com/community/topic/328702-help-portfolio-recovery-agrees-to-arbitration/?do=findComment&comment=1354124

 

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Depends on what it's worth, at this point. If you can pay full amount, you should be able to call attorney and start bargaining. Do some back-and-forth, like you can't pay and then ask "what would you take in a lump sum to wrap this up?"

If you are up for filing a motion to compel arbitration and whatever nonsense follows (if they try to oppose with some lame argument) then you can make this all go away. Depends on what your time is worth.

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Thanks to you both. 

 

My concern closer is if I have the money (possibly delay by responding). After that, if it is dismissed won't it come back at some point, so I would like to settle it. I'm looking to pay this other debt before it gets bad. I have a settlement offer of just over $400 so I'd like to take care of that as well.

 

Yeah I was considering offering a settlement to PRA. Though I do still have to go to court either way. Saving the $1,200.00 + fees at the moment (regarding barely able to afford) is appealing but I have the mindset of paying/settling.

 

At this stage I'm wondering if they'd accept anything than less the full amount.

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They may or may not. It all depends on how much they have invested in the debt. The longer the  case goes on, the closer they get to reaching their legal fee cap, at which point they will have little motivation to settle for less than the full amount of the debt.

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Hello Harry,

I'm wondering if 2 weeks is too close regarding the "legal fee cap". I have been dealing with this for over a year now from the point of sending letters to now (from their side).

It appears my plan will be to ask to settle for a lump sum (how much). If not, go for the arbitration. I will read up and see if the general denial response still applies or if the arbitration is the answer.

I'll see what I can do/afford. I'm really trying to settle this other debt (below $1,000.00) before it gets to this point of a lawsuit, I've read this CA has sued for a similar amount. They have a website and I did login, there's the option there to settle for the lump sum amount. I have this urge/impulse to just pay right there, but I'm wondering if this might be a bad move regarding proof of payment. Though I intend to at least screen record the browser while I fill it out/pay or I'll just call them tomorrow assuming financially I can do this (afford to drop close to $500).

My concern overall is the timing, when I will need this money whatever happens at court do I need the money at that instant. I suppose going the arbitration route it would delay any sort of decisions/outcomes. On the other hand if I can settle, that money would be needed now so I suppose I should call the PRA attorney first.

At any rate, I have more topics to obsess/search over now and have some insight so thanks.

edit: If  a settlement can be done, do I still file a general denial or say "agreed to a settlement"? (I need to go read)

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You need to file an answer no matter what you do, lest they get a default judgment. 

The legal fee cap is usually reached about 6-8 weeks into litigation, depending on how much you make them work.

Your settlement negotiations will determine when you have to come up with the money. You tell them when you can pay and they either accept it or come back with a different date. 

If I we're you, I would use the threat of arbitration as settlement leverage. They will tell you arbitration isn't available to you or it's very expensive or 10 other reasons you don't want to use arbitration, but the fact is they will never arbitrate this debt and would end up with nothing if you back them into the arbitration corner.  You have all of the control over whether or not the get anything from you.  Keep that in mind as you talk to them, and conduct your side of the discussion accordingly. 

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>The legal fee cap is usually reached about 6-8 weeks into litigation

Yeah I think I'm passed that unless the "moved to litigation" letters are a bluff until the point where you're actually sent lawsuit papers.

Man... I'm just not the guy to negotiate, I'm the "willing to bend to other people's demands" type of person unfortunately like too nice/get taken advantage of.

I was thinking about that, mentioning the arbitration but wasn't sure if it would be a good move (gives them time to come up with a defense against that).

Doesn't the attempt to settle/outcome determine what I file for an answer? 

I'm thinking there are three answers I could file (or is there only one?): general denial, settlement, arbitration

So I'm trying to think, if I should call them first, negotiate, then write the answer based on that. I intend to have it filed by this coming Monday which is the beginning of the first two weeks till the court date.

Oh man I'm scared to call them. Like being seen, putting personality in the person in the letter. I'm wondering if the 75% and then arbitration on top is an appealing proposition or not. Then there is the concern of trying to keep the extra money for the other debt which I want to take care of/prevent from going into a lawsuit as well.

I don't even know how to bring up the arbitration like "by the way..." or "are you sure? I'm thinking of filing for arbitration"

Okay I think you've told me everything I need to know to proceed, I'm scared but I'll read more, work out my finance spreadsheet and see what I can do.

Thanks

 

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1 hour ago, he_who_is_poor said:

Yeah I think I'm passed that unless the "moved to litigation" letters are a bluff until the point where you're actually sent lawsuit papers.

Litigation doesn't begin until they file a lawsuit.  Everything before that is done by minimum wage paper jockeys, or spit out by computer programs.  The only time the attorneys are on the clock are when they are actively working on an actual lawsuit.

1 hour ago, he_who_is_poor said:

I was thinking about that, mentioning the arbitration but wasn't sure if it would be a good move (gives them time to come up with a defense against that).

They don't need any time.  They already have a list of defenses as long as your arm.  And they're very good at making us believe they are legit.

1 hour ago, he_who_is_poor said:

Doesn't the attempt to settle/outcome determine what I file for an answer? 

The answer has nothing to do with settlement.  The answer is just your response to the claims they made in their complaint against you.  You either admit or deny for each one.  You can admit everything and then they file a motion for judgment on the pleadings and that's the end of the lawsuit.  You can deny everything throwing the ball back into their court to prove their claims (which they almost certainly will be able to do).  You can also admit some things and deny others. You can assert some affirmative defenses like 'lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the grounds that the subject matter of the lawsuit is subject to a private, contractual arbitration agreement.'  But there is no "settlement" answer.  If you come to a settlement, you file a joint settlement notice of stipulated settlement where both parties sign a notice to the court that a settlement has been reached.  They will draft this for you to sign, but don't sign anything they give you without running it by us first.

1 hour ago, he_who_is_poor said:

I don't even know how to bring up the arbitration like "by the way..." or "are you sure? I'm thinking of filing for arbitration"

You have to have the following conversation with the actual lawyer that will be handing the case.  Only he will understand the magnitude of your intent to take them to arbitration:

"I'm planning to take this case to arbitration in accordance with the applicable credit card agreement, but I'm calling to see if we can first come to some sort of 'no admission of liability' agreement before it comes to that.  What will you accept to settle this debt right now?"

And then you volley back and forth.  If they won't play ball, end the call and move on to arbitration.

I'm going to tell you right now that the phone call will be recorded on their end so don't agree to anything unless you can actually make it happen.

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I have 12 points for their claims, and all up to the 8th point are observations (stuff I don't think I can deny). The 8th one being I breached the agreement between PayPal and I by failing to make payments.

After that, they claim on number 9, Plaintiff is the holder of the valid assignment of the account.

This part I could potentially contest (though you've said before that they can easily prove) regarding not having a signed bill of sale/copy. What they attached is an affidavit regarding "date of sale" and two screenshots of a web page or scanning of a printout showing my account and current balance.

Another thing maybe I don't understand it is the affidavit is "subscribed/sworn" on a future date (four months later) from the date that the debt was bought. This doesn't matter right?

I suppose from what you said, this is the line that would apply to me regarding my answer based on intent (assuming brought up arbitration)

Quote

lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the grounds that the subject matter of the lawsuit is subject to a private, contractual arbitration agreement.

Then regarding a settlement if it happens

Quote

 file a joint settlement notice of stipulated settlement where both parties sign a notice to the court that a settlement has been reached.  They will draft this for you to sign

regarding this:

Quote

actual lawyer that will be handing the case

How do I know that? Would it be the person(s) who prepared the lawsuit? There are three names on mine I am assuming it's the first person. But all of their info I believe is from VA so does that mean they would not be the ones handling my case since I'm in another state?

Lastly

Quote

don't agree to anything unless you can actually make it happen

Good point about the recording, I am doing the same. You're talking here about being able to pay on an agreed date? This assumes I'm able to pay before the court date or can it be after as well?

I call first, talk, see what they say about arbitration/settlement. If the settlement is accepted, do I file an answer that denies anything (to prevent the default garnishment) or use the arbitration argument?

I know I keep saying it but thanks, I don't feel so clueless now/have some approach.

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36 minutes ago, he_who_is_poor said:

I have 12 points for their claims, and all up to the 8th point are observations (stuff I don't think I can deny). The 8th one being I breached the agreement between PayPal and I by failing to make payments.

After that, they claim on number 9, Plaintiff is the holder of the valid assignment of the account.

This part I could potentially contest (though you've said before that they can easily prove) regarding not having a signed bill of sale/copy. What they attached is an affidavit regarding "date of sale" and two screenshots of a web page or scanning of a printout showing my account and current balance.

I would be careful how you answer anything.  It may seem like observations, but I'm pretty sure they are claiming things happened.  For example, they probably alleged you opened and used a PayPal credit card.  This may be true, but how do you know for sure they are suing you on the correct account?  For things like this, you would respond with "Defendant lacks knowledge and information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Paragraph #4 [or whatever] and therefore denies same."

41 minutes ago, he_who_is_poor said:

Then regarding a settlement if it happens

A notice of settlement isn't something that's filed as part of your answer.  Your answer needs to be a separate filing.

42 minutes ago, he_who_is_poor said:

How do I know that? Would it be the person(s) who prepared the lawsuit? There are three names on mine I am assuming it's the first person. But all of their info I believe is from VA so does that mean they would not be the ones handling my case since I'm in another state?

Any of those names will do.  What I was getting at is you don't want to try negotiating a settlement with some part time debt collector schmoe that won't have any idea what arbitration means.  The actual lawyers will be the best people to have a grasp of what it means when you say "I'm planning on taking this to arbitration."

46 minutes ago, he_who_is_poor said:

You're talking here about being able to pay on an agreed date? This assumes I'm able to pay before the court date or can it be after as well?

Yes.  And as I said before, your payment date is whatever you work out as part of the settlement.  It can be 6 months from now, if both of you agree to it.  The court doesn't care.

48 minutes ago, he_who_is_poor said:

I call first, talk, see what they say about arbitration/settlement. If the settlement is accepted, do I file an answer that denies anything (to prevent the default garnishment) or use the arbitration argument?

File an answer no matter what.  Until you have a settlement agreement in writing, there is no agreement.  They can drag their feet on getting the agreement to you to sign until after your answer is due, and then they could move for default judgment if you haven't filed an answer.  Just file an answer.  It prevents a default judgment and doesn't change the trajectory anything else.

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Okay, sorry I know it seems like you're talking to a brick here.

I will file an answer. But what is my answer regarding denial. Do I use the arbitration, or what you just said about "how to prove that it's the right account"?

Or does filing a general denial work as well (deny everything except my name).

So far I believe I have "is it the correct account?" and "proof of ownership(lack of)".

I guess this is up to me to decide which one?

Quote

You can deny everything throwing the ball back into their court to prove their claims (which they almost certainly will be able to do).  You can also admit some things and deny others. You can assert some affirmative defenses like 'lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the grounds that the subject matter of the lawsuit is subject to a private, contractual arbitration agreement.'

I guess it would help if I actually understood what arbitration meant. I googled it before and there's a third party involved. You mentioned the high fees which is why they would avoid it. But the "arbitrating" part, is that like discovery? Trying to prove things on either side?

Yes I will definitely file as I do not want to get a default judgment. I will try to call tomorrow hopefully the time works out, I believe they're an hour ahead.

I'll also begin drafting my answer, I saw a form that I was going to use.

Edit: wow I just realized my scheduling was off. I have 1 week, court is by the 8th. The coming Monday of January 1st gives me 1 week to get my answers filed and the other things I need to send. The court I'll go to the location an drop off/file. Mail the copy by CMRRR. Will see how the call tomorrow goes.

Hoo man... this is a good read here

Wow I don't know how I completely miscalculated the time, guess I was looking at it by Fridays (pay days).

Hopefully I still have time to do things.

It doesn't seem like it (have enough time to file things. Can at least file an answer). But the general denial I saw can't use as they have that affidavit verified by someone (read this in another site).

I'll probably be using this line from you:

'lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the grounds that the subject matter of the lawsuit is subject to a private, contractual arbitration agreement.'

oh man... Unfortunately I generally have this pessimistic/defeatist mindset. I may be SOL haha. I may at least be able to add more time by filing the answer.

I think I will take care of that other debt just for peace of mind. At least I have some credit (irony?) pay it off by the end of the month/before statement they say.

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Holy crap I might have just dodged a bullet. I don't undertstand from the NOLO State SOL website it says SOL is 6 years in NY, I used to live there, but now in KS where it's even less (3).


But in my account on MCM's site I see this:

Quote

If you live in NY, this applies to you: The law limits how long you may be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, we will not sue you for it. If you do not pay the debt, we may continue to report it to the credit reporting agencies as unpaid. WE ARE REQUIRED BY LAW AND NEW YORK STATE REGULATIONS TO GIVE YOU THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ABOUT THIS DEBT. THIS INFORMATION IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE: The legal time limit (statute of limitations) for suing you to collect this debt has expired. It is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §1692 et seq., to sue to collect on a debt for which the statute of limitations has expired. However, if somebody sues you anyway to try to make you pay this debt, court rules REQUIRE YOU to tell the court that the statute of limitations has expired to prevent the creditor from obtaining a judgment. Even though the statute of limitations has expired, you may CHOOSE to make payments. However, BE AWARE: if you make a payment on the debt, admit to owing the debt, promise to pay the debt, or waive the statute of limitations on the debt, the creditor's right to sue you to make you pay the entire debt may START AGAIN. 

 

I billed myself 25% of my credit cards too getting ready to pay this wow... I do get calls every single day though. Whenever I look up the call (from random states) it appears to be from them.
 

Ahh... I don't understand though, I don't live in NY anymore. But NY has a longer SOL than KS? Hmm

I will laugh, by logging in I activated it somehow, though the way to login isn't exactly secure you could theoretically brute force it as it's based on a 10 digit mcm number and the last four of your social. Who would want to though.

Actually I see this part:

Quote

All other States, this applies to you: The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, we will not sue you for it. If you do not pay the debt, we may continue to report it to the credit reporting agencies as unpaid.

It seems I'm on their last effort at 40% off. Been on my account for 1 yr 8 mo.

Guess I will have as much money as I can to deal with PRA. I'm not in a good state of mind right now to make the call (extremely tired). I'm hoping I may get up in time before work to try and call them but the hour ahead. Also I'm not sure how the arbitration thing will go with 1 week before the court date.

At this point my ultimate goal is to prevent the garnishment (File an answer). I found an old piece of paper from Discover, man my credit score was 483 wow... I just broke 600, on one scoring level.

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I honestly don't think that I am competent enough to deal with the MTC arbitration, I don' know if I have enough time with a week. I work almost everyday right now, don't have a car and will have to take my one day off (hopefully) to travel by bus to file/mail.

 

I can eat this cost even full. I saw somewhere that they offered a person that lost 90% . I just really want to avoid another negative thing ob my credit. At the moment I'm unable to get accepted onto apartments. It is thanks to my friend that I have some place to live. Anyway I know this is all my fault I was a monumental dumbass. Everything handed to me in life at the start and I threw it away. But it's getting better. Hopefully I will get into the tech sector soon full time then dig myself out of this hole. Or go homeless who knows.

 

Sorry I am just rambling. I have received plenty of guidance to make a decision.

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Arbitration has nothing to do with discovery.  It's just a method of resolving disputes.  Think of it like another type of 'court'.  Instead of going to court, parties may mutually decide to go through an arbitration company to have an arbitrator hear the dispute and make a ruling.

As long as your answer is filed by the deadline, you can then take another week or two to put the Motion to Compel Arbitration together.

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5 minutes ago, Harry Seaward said:

Arbitration has nothing to do with discovery.  It's just a method of resolving disputes.  Think of it like another type of 'court'.  Instead of going to court, parties may mutually decide to go through an arbitration company to have an arbitrator hear the dispute and make a ruling.

As long as your answer is filed by the deadline, you can then take another week or two to put the Motion to Compel Arbitration together.

Okay thank you very much.

 

File, motion to compel arbitration, buys me time at least. I will not take up any more of your time.

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Cringe moment post haha

I can't handle stress apparently.

For those of you playing along at home... so I'm drafting my answer.

Using the site here:

http://skibalaw.com/how-to-draft-an-answer-to-a-debt-collection-lawsuit-in-3-steps/

I think on the right side of the header area it literally just says "ANSWER" in caps.

As Goody_Ouchless mentioned

Quote

Depends on what it's worth, at this point. If you can pay full amount, you should be able to call attorney and start bargaining. Do some back-and-forth, like you can't pay and then ask "what would you take in a lump sum to wrap this up?"

If you are up for filing a motion to compel arbitration and whatever nonsense follows (if they try to oppose with some lame argument) then you can make this all go away. Depends on what your time is worth.

I can afford to pay all of the amount (though I will be broke/may have trouble paying bills if it's immediately due). I was told again and again that by filing an answer I would prevent the default judgment. I don't really believe that I have an actual defense but the arbitration part is something to deny with. Along with "is it the actual account" I will re-read this entire thread again to get all the points.

This is the argument part of my response, an early draft at this stage, seems I can only deny one line. I can't use the fact that I tried to pay in the past but my accounts were non-transactional probably the same as using "too poor to pay" where as I could have used cashier's checks.

Green is the only potentially "good valid" argument, red is probably irrelevant/not correct interpretation on my part.

Quote

In response to Plaintiff’s complaint, Defendant responds as follows:

Plaintiff is an LLC…

1.       In response to paragraph one of Plaintiff’s complaint, Defendant admits the allegations contained therein.

Defendant is a resident in…

2.       In response to paragraph two of Plaintiff’s complaint, Defendant admits the allegations contained therein.

Synchrony bank and I entered into an agreement…

3.       In response to paragraph thre of Plaintiff’s complaint, Defendant admits the allegations contained therein.

In accordance, issued card account #...

4.       In response to paragraph four of Plaintiff’s complaint, Defendant admits the allegations contained therein.

I utilized this card…

 

5.       In response to paragraph five of Plaintiff’s complaint, Defendant admits the allegations contained therein.

In exchange for the account I agreed to pay it back

 

6.       In response to paragraph six of Plaintiff’s complaint, Defendant admits the allegations contained therein.

PayPal sent me statements…

 

7.       In response to paragraph seven of Plaintiff’s complaint, Defendant admits the allegations contained therein.

I breached the agreement by failing to pay…

 

8.       In response to paragraph eight of Plaintiff’s complaint, Defendant admits the allegations contained therein.

PRA is the holder of valid assignment of the account…

9.       In response to paragraph nine of Plaintiff’s complaint, Defendant denies the allegations contained therein. Plaintiff lacks subject matter jurisdiction on the grounds that the subject matter of the lawsuit is subject to a private, contractual arbitration agreement.

PRA and PayPal fully performed… I didn’t try to pay

10.   In response to paragraph ten of Plaintiff’s complaint, Defendant denies the allegations contained therein. Defendant has tried to pay/settle on multiple occasions however Plaintiff deemed payment unacceptable.

PRA and PayPal asked for the money back, but I didn’t pay (it all)

11.   In response to paragraph 11 of Plaintiff’s complaint, Defendant admits the allegations contained therein.

Balance due

12.   In response to paragraph 12 of Plaintiff’s complaint, Defendant admits the allegations contained therein. Although their current balance is a few cents less than former balance stated in documents that I have.

 

Found a good link here, but will have to find one for Kansas

http://carson.org/home/showdocument?id=30407

 

I realize too I can just do what other's have said and deny everything except my name. I still have to call as well and ask about settling. Probably going to try and do this Monday (scared to call). May not be worth it at this point.

I think ultimately my goal is to settle. I don't really want to deal with the dragged out thing, as it's a chore for me to travel (no car) and I work many days. But it would also be nice, to save potentially the $1,000+ as I'm practically living check to check at this time. The other concern is if they can turn around and sue me again but there's that with/without prejudice, get it off my credit report too. Therein lies the question, what is peace of mind/your own time worth to you? I am a bad businessman, good time to learn. I guess for me $1,000 is a price I can accept somewhat grudgingly.

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For paragraphs #1 and #3-12 - "Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the matters stated in Paragraph # of Plaintiff's Complaint and therefore denies same."
For paragraph #2 "Defendant admits he/she is a resident of XXXXXX.   Defendant is without knowledge or information suifficient to form a belief as to the truth of the remaining matters stated in Paragraph 2 of Plaintiff's Complaint and therefore denies same." (notice the addition of "remaining")

Then, in a section titled Affirmative Defenses:
"Defendant asserts this Court lacks Subject Matter Jurisdiction on the grounds that the underlying debt is subject to a binding private contractual arbitration agreement, and Defendant hereby gives notice of his/her desire to use said Arbitration to resolve all of Plaintiff's claims against Defendant."

That's it. You're not testifying under oath, and you aren't obligated to waive due process just because what they allege in the Complaint is 'probably' true.  The Synchrony agreement literally says your notice to PRA re: arbitration can be given in papers filed in the lawsuit.  If you have the least amount of desire to hold the upper hand in negotiation, you couldn't have been dealt a better hand.  More than any other agreement out there, the Synchrony agreement is the most advantageous to a consumer in your situation.

 

On 12/30/2017 at 7:23 AM, he_who_is_poor said:

May not be worth it at this point.

There's no wrong answer for what works for you, but you need to decide on a strategy.  You can (and should!) have several back-up plans, but you need a primary plan and then an ordered list of contingencies.  'If A doesn't work, I'll move on to B.  If B doesn't work, I'll move on to C' and so on.  You have 3 days of down time.  I would use this time to formulate a plan and then be ready to take action on it first thing Tuesday morning.  I get that addressing things head-on is not your normal way of dealing with things in general.  This is an opportunity to do something different and prove to yourself that you can be a 'take charge' kind of person.

(You seem really interested in paying back the money you owe but want it to be on your terms and don't want to get taken advantage of.  Here's a plan that might work for you.  First, get your answer ready.  Then call PRA on Tuesday morning and tell them how much you will pay, and not a penny more. (Get an agreement in writing before paying them!!!)  If they don't go for it, hang up and move on to filing your Answer and MTC for PRA to arbitrate.  In 2 or 3 months when PRA dismisses the case, call them back and offer to pay them the same amount you offered before.  That way you stay in full control and your conscience is clear.)

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Wow thank you so much. I actually work a double today/half day tomorrow but I agree that I have time.

 

I do want to take the proactive approach regarding the arbitration. I just get down I guess and assume I've lost.

 

I do have one question, in the top template section do you keep that right part to say "ANSWER"? Or does that say DENY or ADMIT. I think it is supposed to say answer. Then the series of denies in my response indicates my choice to deny.

Anyway thanks again this really makes me feel better. Though I'm still not great at confrontation (talking to the attorney) as I usually freeze in these situations.

 

Yeah back then I didn't understand credit, how great of a tool it is to have and actually had a high-ish limit (close to 10K) but I had my sob story and yeah.

 

I really appreciate this thank you.

 

I will retype my response.

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26 minutes ago, he_who_is_poor said:

I think it is supposed to say answer. Then the series of denies in my response indicates my choice to deny.

Yes. 

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If your court allows a general denial then that is the easiest route.  You simply state "I deny each and every allegation as set forth in Plaintiff's complaint".  That's essentially it.  If not, then you go line by line and deny everything.  Don't admit to anything other than your name and address (if 100% accurate on the complaint).  All the denial does is force them to have to prove their case.

The MTC is also fairly easy.  There are examples all over this site and all you have to do is tweak the language to fit what they Synchrony Card agreement says about arbitration.  If you intend to use arbitration, I would suggest adding to your answer a second section titled "affirmative defenses" and under that state that the defense of Improper Venue applies because the underlying contract contains a private arbitration agreement which Defendant's is exercising and, therefore, this court is the wrong venue.

 

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