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1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? LVNV Funding LLC

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.) Stenger and Stenger P.C. , Grand Rapids, Michigan

3. How much are you being sued for? $563.01

4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff) Credit One (I know, I know)

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) In person by some random woman

7. Was the service legal as required by your state? - I am assuming so, I have never been served.

8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? None, I don't answer phone calls and never opened a letter.

9. What state and county do you live in?, Michigan, Eaton county

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations) 2016, it is definitely inside the SOL.

11. When did you open the account (looking to establish what card agreement may be applicable)? October 2nd 2016

12. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out: 4 or 6 years

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). The online country clerk lists nothing under my name and the "case number" shows nothing. I am calling Monday, I got served last night.

14. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?) - No

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

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? 21 days to respond. The didn't use the word "charges" or "allegations" on the paperwork, I have attached all three papers handed to me to this post.

17. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits. Absolutely NOTHING.

 

I will start my questions in the next post...

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Okay for starters, I did own the account. I can verify that both Credit One and LVNV show up on my credit report, showing a charge off date. I made a payment then realized after that they took a large chunk of the credit they offered me to pay an annual fee just to get it, which made me mad. Then life happened and I couldn't pay. I couldn't tell you who has been calling me or sending letters, none of which I kept but I do remember that none of them had a settlement offer for me to pay and be done. I am not immune to litigation, and realize I owed Credit One, but I am contesting the original credit amount they offered, it was only $200 not $300 as it states on my credit report and they took I am guessing $75 for the fee just to use it. I know I have to go find out just exactly how much that fee is but since it has been charged off, Credit One doesn't even have my records. The late fees and interest are what they are saying I owe.

Now here are my questions:

1. I don't have means to pay 500 to anyone for anything, I am unemployed, looking for work and taking care of the kids as my husband is an OTR truck driver. I COULD maybe pay them $200 or 300. And I was about to until I came to this site and heard what this company does. I realize my debt is smaller than most but I also have to face this again with Captial One later on when Portfolio Recovery tries to sue me. I would like them to settle that before it gets THIS far.

Basically, do I have a shot and sending them an answer asking them to prove that I owe them? I have no contract with LVNV, didn't even know who they were before this, and know damn well they paid maybe $5 for my debt. Like I said I am not denying the account, I just think the amounts are off. And to reference #8, I don't even know what they are saying. I am not hiring a lawyer for this. I will say something similar happened to my husband 10 years ago with a different company, same letters, everything. We did nothing and never heard from anyone and no garnishments. I want to stay on top of this because if they take money from my husband's check I will be ultra pissed.

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# 8 is legalese, account stated.

 

That means you and they had an agreement for you to pay whatever the account is, and you never disputed it.  That is to get around not having a contract.  

 

OK, you have a little homework to do, on this forum and elsewhere.  

 

This is originally a Credit One account.  I don't know anything about the user agreement.   Look it up online, the consumer protection board has the copies.  Google it.  

You can also search this forum for Credit One.

 

What you need to know at this point is:

1.  Is there an arbitration agreement.  Yes is good, no is bad.  I THINK they have one, but I've never had an account with them. 

IF the answer to #1 is no, stop now.

2.  Is there a small claims exclusion.  That means, does the agreement say it is not applicable to small claims court.  No is good, yes is bad.

If the answer to #2 is yes, stop now.  

3.  Does the agreement list JAMS, AAA or both?  AAA is good, JAMS is much better.  

Some people who know the answers may chime in.  Get the answers SOON, and then come back for your next steps.   If the answers are what you want, you can get them to go away.  

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I am attaching the arbitration agreement. I have never been to a court so I am not sure that this case would be small claims court, I suppose I could ask when I call on Monday to see if there is actually a case against me. I am new to all of this. It does list AAA though.

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Blah.  Not good.  There is a small claims exemption, and the amount you owe is almost certainly small claims.  

That means the arbitration strategy won't work.  

If this has already been filed, you will have to work it out in court.

There are two possible ways to do this, and you might try both at the same time:

1.  Attack their claims to own the account.  This is MUCH harder for you to do than in the old days, so this is a long shot.

2. Contest the case, and call them to negotiate a settlement.  If you are contesting the case, that means some work for them, so they might be willing to settle for a smaller amount.  That at least would avoid a judgment against you and garnishment of your husband's wages.  

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Thank you for your input, that is what I was afraid of. I really wanted them to threaten to pay a lawyer some crazy fees to fight this tiny amount. I don't have any interest in talking to a lawyer since I have little legal knowledge, so would I call LVNV? For instance let's say want to settle for 60% , or about $337, and want to set up 2 or 3 monthly payments for it, is that something they will even be able to do for me now since they hired a lawyer to serve me?

Another question, what happens if I call the court to verify that there is a case against me and they tell me they have no record of it?

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You can most likely go to your local courts website where the complaint derives from and find your case in the online docket. This firm is a pain to go against. Im still in litigation against them currently over a credit one account. They do make mistakes ans false accusations so look over your paperwork that you receive from them from here on out. My state works much different from yours so I cannot offer you accurate information as to your specific situation. But as others have stated do your homework. If you plan to face this pro se, it is a lot of work and time to invest.

Im not sure if making a payment to them will hinder your case, as you have already actively provided to them that this is your account. ( is this correct @Brotherskeeper)

For now, dont panic, get any information you can gathered, and keep your thread active for more incite from others in your state. They just may have the knowledge for you that you need.

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Thank you Mike. The first thing I did was panic. The second thing I did was say Eff you, try to take me to court for $500 bucks. Then I realized if I did nothing they could add on whatever fees they wanted. If I had the ability to pay it, even though the original credit limit was no more than $300, I honestly can't remember. I also don't remember any letters offering me to pay half and call it done before this happened. I planned on calling the court first thing in the morning on Monday but I will go in person if needed. None of my online seraches of the court database for my county shows anything for my name or LVNV, but it could be behind. Part of me thinks that there hasn't been a case opened against me. My hope is that it's true so that when I call LVNV I can bring up the false case and tell them my terms to pay them. It's more than what they deserve but even 60% of the full amount is far more than what they paid.

I got to reading so many success stories where people had cases dismissed with prej. because LVNV failed to prove the chain of ownership or the bill of sale. I am guessing my case is different because I admit that I had a debt with Credit One, I am within the SOL and possibly being in Michigan is not a great help to my case. If there is one that is.

 

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Another question, if I contact LVNV and ask about a settlement to avoid any further court action, does even making the call to them mean I admit to everything and give up my rights? I basically want to settle, but don't want to call them if it will take away my rights since they will probably record the call and ask me to confirm my information. I would hate to be told I can settle it only to have them continue to sue me.

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It may not be in your best interest to call LVNV or anyone for that matter at this time. I know that the shock has hit and your trying to stay afloat, however one wrong move from here on out could cost you. As I have been reminded in the past, slow down and breath. Walk away for a while and regain your composure, you need a fresh mind set and a new perspective before you dive into a deeper rabbit hole. Take a break (as my wife does and take a bath) then come back and look at other cases going on in this site. Explore and read some of the  problems people are facing as well as information they have gained. See if any of that new information will apply to your situation. Again, I cannot reiterate enough, for now dont panic.

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20 minutes ago, CandyCLC said:

I got to reading so many success stories where people had cases dismissed with prej. because LVNV failed to prove the chain of ownership or the bill of sale. I am guessing my case is different because I admit that I had a debt with Credit One, I am within the SOL and possibly being in Michigan is not a great help to my case. If there is one that is.

Those were different times, it is much easier to obtain the chain of title now after the JDB community has taken some serious blows to how they conduct business. They are a little better prepared when it comes to those arguments, when brought up.

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In Michigan small claims court is a division of the district court.

Attorneys aren't allowed in the small claims division.  So, this case isn't in the small claims division of district court, it is in regular district court.

Even if it were in the small claims division, either party can remove a small claims division case to regular district court.

So it may be possible to argue that this case has not been filed in small claims court.  One argument against this would be that the regular district court (the part separate from the small claims division) is an equivalent court to the small claims division of district court.  Search the forum to see if anyone has reported this happening before in Michigan.

For example, the topic thread linked here has some useful information about a Michigan case.

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Thanks Mike. I am going to step away, contact my court at the first chance to even see if this is really happening, and then go from there. If this is a real thing I have 20 days left to form some sort of answer. I just have to learn to speak legal instead of saying, "oh hey, I don't recall letters offering me to settle, I will settle for 60% in 3 equal payments. "

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1 minute ago, Xerxes said:

In Michigan small claims court is a division of the district court.

Attorneys aren't allowed in the small claims division.  So, this case isn't in the small claims division of district court, it is in regular district court.

Even if it were in the small claims division, either party can remove a small claims division case to regular district court.

So it may be possible to argue that this case has not been filed in small claims court.  One argument against this would be that the regular district court (the part separate from the small claims division) is an equivalent court to the small claims division of district court.  Search the forum to see if anyone has reported this happening before in Michigan.

Wait, let me see if I understand. You are saying that even if I had a lawyer, they couldn't represent me in this case anyway, basically meaning LVNV gets the leg up for not having to go through arbitration AND another leg up knowing that I can't use a lawyer? If that is the case then I am really glad I found this site because I would have wilted like a flower and started selling random things to just pay them off. I feel like they are backing me into a corner already and I can't even validate that they have opened a case against me. This is the part where I take MikeB35 advice and step away to breathe, maybe some yoga, and some wine.

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No, I'm not saying any of that.

What I'm saying is that this case is in regular district court, where all parties can have an attorney.

And because it is in regular district court, it may also be subject to arbitration because the small claims exception may not apply.

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1 hour ago, CandyCLC said:

Another question, if I contact LVNV and ask about a settlement to avoid any further court action, does even making the call to them mean I admit to everything and give up my rights?

NO it does not.  You can settle this ANY time prior to trial and all settlement talks are not admissible in court.  It is premature to consider settling.  Take a deep breath and calm down then look at ALL your options.  If settling is in your best interests you have time to do it and we can help you negotiate it.  Research arbitration strategy as well before you decide.

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1 hour ago, Xerxes said:

No, I'm not saying any of that.

What I'm saying is that this case is in regular district court, where all parties can have an attorney.

And because it is in regular district court, it may also be subject to arbitration because the small claims exception may not apply.

I would love to make them do arbitration. I think part of them thinks because it's a small amount and I live in a small town, and they have probably already seen that I don't own anything but a 20 year old car, that I will just not show up. I am not trying to run away from the debt completely but also don't want to have the full judgement against me and my husband's wages threatened just because we happen to be married, even though the debt is my name only.

 

Clydesmom: I would be willing to settle but only if they meet my stipulations of a reduced amount set in 3 equal payments and that they note on my credit report that is is paid and not settled. I don't need my credit report to be even worse for even longer. However, as soon as I research my county and my court and can confirm that this isn't small claims, my first course of action, after answering them with some help from the wonderful people here, will be a motion to arbitrate. I want them to start it though because they pay the fee. If I start the process, the terms say I would have to pay half of that fee. I want to take care of this for as little as possible. It does seem like I might have a chance to at least let them know that I know I have the right not to just take it up the rear.

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5 minutes ago, CandyCLC said:

Clydesmom: I would be willing to settle but only if they meet my stipulations of a reduced amount at that they note on my credit report that is is paid and not settled. I don't need my credit report to be even worse for even longer.

FORGET about your credit report right now you have much bigger problems and your credit is going to be toast for a few years.

6 minutes ago, CandyCLC said:

I want them to start it though because they pay the fee. If I start the process, the terms say I would have to pay half of that fee.

If you demand arbitration then YOU are initiating it not them.  The goal of arbitration is not to actually do it but to make it so expensive they drop the suit.  The problem you have is your arbitration clause only allows for AAA and also allows for fee splitting.  That may make it attractive to them to pursue it.  Second:  until a court actually compels them to arbitrate you also have to be prepared to litigate this matter.

 

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@CandyCLC Please take some time to get the correct answers to all of your questions before taking any action. If you haven't filed an answer yet, and haven't signed a settlement agreement with LVNV, you haven't "admitted" the debt. Please understand that many of the kind members jumping in to help are not from Michigan. Each state's rules of civil procedure can be very different, so it's critical to know the rules that you are expected to follow. I am not a lawyer, but this appears to be a summons from District Court. @Xerxes is correct. Here are the rules for small claims:

http://courts.mi.gov/Administration/SCAO/Forms/courtforms/dc84.pdf

You cannot use the small claims division of the district court if:
1) your case is against the State of Michigan or a state agency,
2) your case is against a local governmental unit that involves issues of governmental immunity,
3) you are an assignee or third-party beneficiary of the obligation, or
4) you have filed more than five small claims cases in the same week.

»» FILING A CLAIM

1. Can I have an attorney? If you decide to file a claim in the small claims division of the district court, an attorney cannot represent you. However, if the defendant wants an attorney, the defendant can demand that the claim be removed to the general civil division of the district court.

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Clydesmom, true, definitely. I don't want to poke the beast, but I would like to figure out my options that will lead them down an expensive road so that they offer an acceptable settlement or just back down completely. This is also why I was thinking about calling them with what I can offer them to make this lawsuit not happen. At this point I haven't confirmed with my court that there is actually a case against me in their records, and if I was a dishonest person, I would look at the 3 papers they gave me and think, gee, I see account number and an amount but nothing from Credit One that shows a payment, nor the bill of sale of my debt to LVNV. The only proof I have is that LVNV shows up on my credit report in collections, and that Credit One did a charge off for the amount. I just happen to know that I did in fact own that card and incurred some fees from not paying but someone else wouldn't accept the lack of affidavits and proof that should have come with the summons and complaint. I am not going to tell THEM any of that, I just don't want to get ran over by these people who obviously think I will just wilt like a flower and not raise any questions.

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Just now, Brotherskeeper said:

Where did you get this agreement? 

I did a google search and pulled it, I believe it was their website, as I don't have a paper agreement . Credit One offers several cards but they all have the same agreement but this agreement is dated for 2017, my card opened 10/16.

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5 minutes ago, Brotherskeeper said:

@CandyCLC Please take some time to get the correct answers to all of your questions before taking any action. If you haven't filed an answer yet, and haven't signed an settlement agreement LVNV, you haven't "admitted" the debt. with  Please understand that many of the kind members jumping in to help are not from Michigan. Each state's rules of civil procedure can be very different, so it's critical to know the rules that you are expected to follow. I am not a lawyer, but this appears to be a summons from District Court. @Xerxes is correct. Here are the rules for small claims:

http://courts.mi.gov/Administration/SCAO/Forms/courtforms/dc84.pdf

You cannot use the small claims division of the district court if:
1) your case is against the State of Michigan or a state agency,
2) your case is against a local governmental unit that involves issues of governmental immunity,
3) you are an assignee or third-party beneficiary of the obligation, or
4) you have filed more than five small claims cases in the same week.

»» FILING A CLAIM

1. Can I have an attorney? If you decide to file a claim in the small claims division of the district court, an attorney cannot represent you. However, if the defendant wants an attorney, the defendant can demand that the claim be removed to the general civil division of the district court.

I haven't done anything yet, I thought the papers were a scare tactic because this happened to my husband once and we did nothing and nothing ever happened, so i wanted to call the court on Monday since none of the online searches for my county shows a case with my name or LVNV. I also have never been served and I am still freaked out so I don't want to do anything until I learn more about my options.

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when did you receive the summons? If it was on Friday its more then likely your case docket has not been entered/updated yet. It can take a few days. If it hasn't been entered into the system yet its possible if you call they will not find any record of it.

Either way everyone thus far has given great advise stay calm. We are all here looking out for you in whatever choice you decide, however you cannot make rational decisions based off of emotion.

Best case you have 19 days to research, read, ask questions, make calls, draw up paperwork, etc..etc..

No need to jump the gun Monday with phone calls to the lawyer.

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24 minutes ago, CandyCLC said:

I did a google search and pulled it, I believe it was their website, as I don't have a paper agreement . Credit One offers several cards but they all have the same agreement but this agreement is dated for 2017, my card opened 10/16.

Credit One didn't remove JAMS until 2017.  If the account was opened in October 2016 and the account wasn't used or paid at any time during 2017, then there wasn't any assent to any 2017 version of the agreement.  Locate the best applicable version of the agreement.

According to The Internet Archive, Credit One was still providing the 04/30/2016 edition of the agreement on their website in the fall of 2016.

2016.04.30 Credit One Agreements (for all account types)

 

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