iddriscoll

Sued by Portfolio in Oregon

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Hi all,

Thank god for this forum. I received a summons from Portfolio (via bike messenger at 9pm) on behalf of my fiance in Oregon. She's being sued by PRA for 1500 dollars that she owed to Citibank. It does appear on her credit, and has for some time. At this point, she has 30 days to respond or they get a default judgment, which seems to be their entire business model. Here's my problem: we have no idea how to respond. Do we need to fill out standard forms/paperwork? Do we need to draft our own letter and file it with the county clerk? Do we need to copy the listed PRA attorney on said letter or form? And despite Googling madly, I've only got the vaguest of ideas how to fight this. It seems like JAMS is an option, but I've heard that Oregon has strange arbitration laws, so I'm unclear on that. It also seems that PRA has to validate the debt in order to legitimately collect, and I'm also unclear as to how to go about forcing them to do this. I've been looking for attorneys in OR, but at the rates most of them are charging, it seems more worthwhile for her to set up a payment plan with PRA than to fight it. I'm at a loss, and trying to help her out as best I can. Any information or guidance would be greatly appreciated, and I thank you in advance for responding!

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1 minute ago, iddriscoll said:

At this point, she has 30 days to respond or they get a default judgment, which seems to be their entire business model. Here's my problem: we have no idea how to respond. Do we need to fill out standard forms/paperwork? Do we need to draft our own letter and file it with the county clerk?

She needs to read the court's rules of civil procedure.  They will explain how to respond to a complaint.

A response to a complaint is called an "answer".  It's not a letter.

In order to raise the issue of arbitration, she needs to get a copy of the cardmember agreement that was in effect when the account went into default.  However, if she's being sued in small claims court, arbitration may not be an option because Citibank has a small claims exclusion.  But, PRA might not fight and will just fold.

https://www.creditinfocenter.com/community/topic/329436-arbitration-overview-and-strategy-2018-most-up-to-date-info/

Since she's already been served, PRA does NOT have to validate the debt.  Validation is an FDCPA term that refers to the first communication sent by a debt collector.  BUT, the FDCPA specifies that a summons and complaint is not an initial communication.  As a result, they don't have to validate the debt after filing a lawsuit.

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Okay, thank you. I appreciate that. So even if we'd never heard from Portfolio prior to the summons being delivered, it still doesn't count as initial communication?

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10 minutes ago, iddriscoll said:

Okay, thank you. I appreciate that. So even if we'd never heard from Portfolio prior to the summons being delivered, it still doesn't count as initial communication?

 Unfortunately, it doesn’t. 

15 U.S.C. 1692g -  Validation of  Debts

(d)Legal pleadings

A communication in the form of a formal pleading in a civil action shall not be treated as an initial communication for purposes of subsection (a).

 

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