Galaxabenu6

Attorney Placement Pending-Florida! HELP!

Recommended Posts

Good evening, I'm so glad I found this forum and hoping I can get some insight on how to handle this legal issue. 

I just received a priority letter (attached) from Discover stating that if I do not contact them by April 30th, they will obtain a lawyer to collect. The $3,000 debt has incurred fees and is now sitting at  $3,600.  Last year prior to having no choice but to let the debt go, I had an automatic payment plan setup for $60/month which was fine for a little over a year until I had medical problems. I knew that would be out of work soon so I picked my poisons and decided to pay off my smaller debt credit cards which are now in perfect standing, and let the larger Discover card debt go. Here it is a year later and I'm unemployed but going to college full-time. I have zero income and will need to take a student loan next semester to finish paying for my degree.

My question is, I've read a little bit on here about arbitration and curious what that is, how it could help and if it's a good option for me. If so, how do I begin that process? My next question is, I've read about them possibly garnishing my bank account for payment. Since I plan to take a student loan next semester (August), will they take my student loan money?? I really need to complete my degree so I can get back to work and earn income lol. 

Thank you in advance!

PicsArt_03-16-07.26.50.jpg

Edited by Galaxabenu6
Upload image of letter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most likely they will file a lawsuit against you, as that seems to be what they like to do.  With it being an original creditor and for the amount of debt it is, going the arbitration route once you are served with a lawsuit might be the best way.  The cardmember agreement will need to have an arbitration clause in it.  There are a lot of people on this forum experienced with using the arbitration method and can help with what you need to do in a general sense. 

Fighting an original creditor lawsuit in Florida in Court these days is almost always a losing battle.  If you can't use the arbitration method, you may be able to negotiate settlement terms with Discover but even if they agree to payments to settle the amount, if you fail to make payments they will still end up with a judgment.  If you're getting student loan money, you could also consider trying to do a lump sum settlement with them as sometimes they will discount the amount if you can pay a lump sum. You don't want a judgment because the judgment will follow you for many years and they could wait to come after you until you have a good job and some assets.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, LawKitty said:

You don't want a judgment because the judgment will follow you for many years and they could wait to come after you until you have a good job and some assets.

 

49 minutes ago, LawKitty said:

Most likely they will file a lawsuit against you, as that seems to be what they like to do.  With it being an original creditor and for the amount of debt it is, going the arbitration route once you are served with a lawsuit might be the best way.  The cardmember agreement will need to have an arbitration clause in it.  There are a lot of people on this forum experienced with using the arbitration method and can help with what you need to do in a general sense. 

Fighting an original creditor lawsuit in Florida in Court these days is almost always a losing battle.  If you can't use the arbitration method, you may be able to negotiate settlement terms with Discover but even if they agree to payments to settle the amount, if you fail to make payments they will still end up with a judgment.  If you're getting student loan money, you could also consider trying to do a lump sum settlement with them as sometimes they will discount the amount if you can pay a lump sum. You don't want a judgment because the judgment will follow you for many years and they could wait to come after you until you have a good job and some assets.

I don't mind settling the debt, I just can't do that right now and I know they don't care about my situation as their end game is to collect their debt, so I know making promises to pay once I get my degree and a good paying job will fall upon deaf ears. They want their money back asap and that's it. But will doing an arbitration help buy me time and then when I go to court, explain my situation to the judge in good faith? I don't know how that works. It would be great to wipe the debt away but I'd prefer to do it morally as I know it is my debt, I've just fallen on difficult times. I know there's nothing they can take from me as I have no income, the home I reside is in my boyfriends name and I have 1 financed vehicle in my name that he uses and pays for while I'm in college. So I'm not sure what they can get out of me other than a verbal promise for right now. I also have medical bills that have gone into collection which I can't do anything about either but Discover is the only creditor I'm worried about at the present moment since they're threatening judgment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arbitration only works if they don't follow you into arbitration.  It's expensive for them to arbitrate so they often drop the case instead of arbitrating.  If they follow you into arbitration, you will lose.  They aren't going to take a promise to pay later when you have a job.  They will get the judgment, sit on it, let it earn interest, and then wait until you have a job and garnish you.  By then, the judgment will have interest tacked onto it. 

If you can use arbitration, I'd suggest going that way in hopes they won't follow you into arbitration.  But if they are going to follow you in, you will need to try and settle if you can to avoid a judgment.  Even if you have to promise to pay $50/month or they get the judgment, that will at least keep you from having the judgment entered right away.  As long as you keep up the payments, you would be fine.  Better option if you have to settle is to use student loan money (if you can of course), or borrow it if needed and pay a lump sum because they often discount it.

If you have medical bills in collection (which could sue you too) or any other debts in collections, charged off, etc., you can also consider bankruptcy to get a fresh start. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@LawKitty gave you her usual excellent advice.  If you decide bankruptcy is best for you, you may want to send her a PM for a free consultation. Besides defending debt collection cases, she is also a licensed and experienced BK lawyer.  If you want to arbitrate this, there are members who can guide you such as @fisthardcheese

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are two caveats:

 

1.  You are in Florida.  Arbitration there is different.  That means either you arbitrate BEFORE they sue, or else the ONLY thing you do when sued is to file a MTC.  

2. Discover will almost always go to arbitration, spending large sums of money to chase small amounts of money.  HOWEVER, it could buy you some time, and it could give you the chance for a better settlement.  

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, debtzapper said:

BV, I actually live next door in AL

Oops.  Sorry about that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, debtzapper said:

We had a FL defendant who got her case dismissed with arbitration about 3 years ago.  Here is her thread:

 

Thank you so much for this information. I'm researching everything and trying to comprehend what everything means. A little overwhelming. So, what I'm gathering is that starting an arbitration with Discover is basically a hit or miss. I may get lucky and they drop it, or I may get reamed and end up in worse shape. I'm not sure I'm at an advantage to attempt fighting them especially if I lose and end up having to pay more. I'm wondering if bankruptcy then would be the better option for me since I also have medical bills in collection as well. Might be able to tackle all debt at once. My ex-husband and I filed chapter 7 back in early 2004 but the chapter 7 laws were much different back then. I really dislike the idea of possibly filing again but it may be a fit for me at the present time. *Sigh*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Galaxabenu6 said:

@LawKitty may I PM you to inquire further about this option?

Just go ahead and PM her. She takes all questions that come her way.  Very pleasant to  deal with. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, you can PM me about your situation.  I'm licensed in two districts in Florida, but not the third.  If necessary, I can refer out if I have to.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Galaxabenu6 said:

Thank you so much for this information. I'm researching everything and trying to comprehend what everything means. A little overwhelming. So, what I'm gathering is that starting an arbitration with Discover is basically a hit or miss. I may get lucky and they drop it, or I may get reamed and end up in worse shape. I'm not sure I'm at an advantage to attempt fighting them especially if I lose and end up having to pay more. I'm wondering if bankruptcy then would be the better option for me since I also have medical bills in collection as well. Might be able to tackle all debt at once. My ex-husband and I filed chapter 7 back in early 2004 but the chapter 7 laws were much different back then. I really dislike the idea of possibly filing again but it may be a fit for me at the present time. *Sigh*

Interesting.

 

Many times, people recommend not filing for BK unless absolutely necessary, because you won't be able to file for BK again for a while, and what happens if you have some big medical debts.

I have NO idea how big your medical debts are.  If they are large enough you would be filing BK anyway, might as well do everything in one fell swoop.  

Of course, you should discuss this with a competent BK attorney before making a decision.  In fact, I would STRONGLY recommend you discuss this matter with a competent BK attorney.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.