Deadsnake

Received a lawsuit from JH portfolio in Arizona

32 posts in this topic

Hello,

 

I was aware that I had a debt due to a certain cradit card company but did not know they sold it off to a collection agency. I received a letter in the mail today stating as such. The letter also included the fact that it's now been filed as a lawsuit in the state of Arizona. Has anyone ever dealt with them? Is there some type of defense lawyer I can contact? What should I expect to pay monthly on a debt of $4,000?

 

Thank you so much for the help.

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18 minutes ago, Deadsnake said:

Is there some type of defense lawyer I can contact?

Consumer Attorneys is a good place to start looking for someone to consult.  First consult is typically free.

19 minutes ago, Deadsnake said:

What should I expect to pay monthly on a debt of $4,000?

If they garnish your wages up to 20% of your income per paycheck after mandated deductions like taxes and health insurance.  If they levy your bank accounts they can seize everything up to the amount of the debt there is no cap.  Unless you enter into a consent judgment there is no payment plan if you lose.

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Phew, this is a little heavier than I expected and totally a different language. What are my options at this point? I'd be willing to settle and pay monthly, just whatever is affordable of course. 

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Before you panic, read through this. 

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

As long as the original creditor isn't Cap1 (or some other small one-off bank that doesn't have arbitration in their agreements), JH will drop their lawsuit like a hot rock once the court orders them into arbitration. 

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4 minutes ago, Harry Seaward said:

Before you panic, read through this. 

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

As long as the original creditor isn't Cap1 (or some other small one-off bank that doesn't have arbitration in their agreements), JH will drop their lawsuit like a hot rock once the court orders them into arbitration. 

Harry, thank you so much this info is very helpful. The bank in question is Citi, do you have any experience with them? Should I worry? The lawsuit was filed on 7/18 so does that mean I have 30 days from the filing date to send a letter in requesting arbitration?

 

Thanks in advance 

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Don't make any contact with them or the court until you are officially served. There is a remote possibility they don't serve you and the suit would get dismissed that way. 

Citi has a 'small claims exemption' in their agreements. JDBs have tried to argue that Maricopa Justice Court is a "small claims court" and arbitration can't be used. The problems for JH is 1 ) Citi never defined "small claims court" in their agreements, and 2.) we actually have a "small claims" court here, and you weren't sued in that court. 

So just sit tight until you are served. When that happens:

 1. file an answer denying everything.

2. Send a letter to the lawyer for JH telling them you elect arbitration to settle their claims against you. 

3. File a MTC with the court. Include a copy of the letter you sent JH and the Citi agreement along with an affidavit swearing under oath (it must be a notarized "jurat" affidavit) that the attached agreement is the correct one for the account at issue. 

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1 minute ago, Harry Seaward said:

Don't make any contact with them or the court until you are officially served. There is a remote possibility they don't serve you and the suit would get dismissed that way. 

Citi has a 'small claims exemption' in their agreements. JDBs have tried to argue that Maricopa Justice Court is a "small claims court" and arbitration can't be used. The problems for JH is 1 ) Citi never defined "small claims court" in their agreements, and 2.) we actually have a "small claims" court here, and you weren't sued in that court. 

So just sit tight until you are served. When that happens:

 1. file an answer denying everything.

2. Send a letter to the lawyer for JH telling them you elect arbitration to settle their claims against you. 

3. File a MTC with the court. Include a copy of the letter you sent JH and the Citi agreement along with an affidavit swearing under oath (it must be a notarized "jurat" affidavit) that the attached agreement is the correct one for the account at issue. 

Thank you Harry, when you mean served, do you mean someone has to physically hand me paperwork or does mail suffice? If so, I haven't been served but only received a letter in the mail. I did check with the court and I saw that the lawsuit was filed. 

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In AZ they have to attempt 'in person' first. If that is unsuccessful, they then have to go back to the court for permission for "alternative service". This can take several forms, but in these cases it's almost always by mail. Keep an eye on the online docket. It will let you know when they are asking for alternative service. 

They have 120 days to serve you before the court dismisses the lawsuit. JDBs have been known to wait until the last few days before trying to serve you. It would make sense in your case because they sent a letter hoping you will contact them before they have to spend the money on service of process. 

But still check the docket a couple times a week. 

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If they just filed the lawsuit on 7/18 and plan to serve you without delay, then the first attempt at service still would usually be about two weeks away from the date of filing.  Or, in other words, right about now.  Most of the process servers that debt buyers use in AZ will make three to four attempts at personal service for the initial service fee.

Use this time before service to learn as much as you can because once service is complete you have 20 days to file a responsive pleading, and ideally the answer and motion to compel should be filed simultaneously.

It could be, as others have said, that they intend to delay service.  Did the letter that you received come from an attorney or directly from JH?

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25 minutes ago, Harry Seaward said:

In AZ they have to attempt 'in person' first. If that is unsuccessful, they then have to go back to the court for permission for "alternative service". This can take several forms, but in these cases it's almost always by mail. Keep an eye on the online docket. It will let you know when they are asking for alternative service. 

They have 120 days to serve you before the court dismisses the lawsuit. JDBs have been known to wait until the last few days before trying to serve you. It would make sense in your case because they sent a letter hoping you will contact them before they have to spend the money on service of process. 

But still check the docket a couple times a week. 

By docket do you mean the court filing online? Currently the info is extremely vague. 

 

I received a letter in the mail with intent from JH and then yesterday received another letter from an attorney. I contacted the attorney and they stated they could help, settle for $250 a month but quickly changed the story when I asked for how long, then she advised I call JH to work out a deal with them instead. Obviously I didn't do that because I'd like to learn about my other options first. I wouldn't mind making a monthly payment to get it settled, but at the same time I'd much more prefer to settle for less if possible or course.

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Yes, the online court info. It will be updated whenever there is a change.

Are you in Maricopa county? 

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Just now, Harry Seaward said:

Yes, the online court info. It will be updated whenever there is a change.

Are you in Maricopa county? 

 

4 hours ago, Harry Seaward said:

Before you panic, read through this. 

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

As long as the original creditor isn't Cap1 (or some other small one-off bank that doesn't have arbitration in their agreements), JH will drop their lawsuit like a hot rock once the court orders them into arbitration. 

Yes I am.

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Ok so the online Maricopa docket is pretty good. You'll see events show up at the bottom there as they take place. Just hang tight until you get served or see some movement on the case.

If you really want to try to make payment arrangements, you can call the attorney and tell him that you're going to be using private arbitration in this case, so they can accept your terms now or dismiss and get nothing later.

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Honestly, he probably won't know what you're talking about when you say private arbitration. These guys file these cases and 98% of them end in default judgment. 99% of the rest try to go to court and plead some sob story about their dying mother or something, which means nothing as far as a debt is concerned. In the cases where the defendant hits back with arbitration, it's not until the lawyers for the JDB get the $5,000 bill for arbitration that they fully grasp what's actually going on. It's happened enough times to Midland, Cavalry and PRA that they have started dismissing right after the court grants arbitration. JH is small time,  so you're probably going to be the one to introduce them to consumer-initiated arbitration. 

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1 hour ago, Deadsnake said:

Would it be smart to contact the courts now and ask about arbitration?

No.  There is no 'asking the court about arbitration'. For now just sit tight until you are served.  When that happens, you just follow the steps laid out in the arbitration link I provided earlier. 

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Good morning!

 

It's been two months now since it has been filed with the courts. There has been no movement and I have not been served yet. Should I be worried?

 

Thanks!

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They have 4 months from when they file to serve you. You have two more months before you're out of the woods. Keep watching the docket for activity. And don't do anything until you are served or see something about alternative service on the docket. 

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1 minute ago, Harry Seaward said:

They have 4 months from when they file to serve you. You have two more months before you're out of the woods. Keep watching the docket for activity. And don't do anything until you are served or see something about alternative service on the docket. 

Thank you so much for your continued advice!

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On 9/14/2018 at 11:40 AM, Harry Seaward said:

They have 4 months from when they file to serve you. You have two more months before you're out of the woods. Keep watching the docket for activity. And don't do anything until you are served or see something about alternative service on the docket. 

Hello Harry, looks like we have some movement. Can you shed some light on what's going on now?

 

Thanks!!!!

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They filed a motion for alternative service (i.e. they have been unable to personally serve you) which was granted, but then a day later the court sent a notice that the case would be dismissed for lack of service. 

My guess here is the two things crossed each other at the clerk's office, and they sent out the notice before realizing the court had granted alternative service. 

At any rate, consider yourself served now, and proceed accordingly. You'll probably get the summons and complaint in regular mail in the next day or so. 

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1 hour ago, Harry Seaward said:

They filed a motion for alternative service (i.e. they have been unable to personally serve you) which was granted, but then a day later the court sent a notice that the case would be dismissed for lack of service. 

My guess here is the two things crossed each other at the clerk's office, and they sent out the notice before realizing the court had granted alternative service. 

At any rate, consider yourself served now, and proceed accordingly. You'll probably get the summons and complaint in regular mail in the next day or so. 

Hmm, but how can I be served if they didn't actually serve me? What would the next step be? I'm sorry this is all pretty overwhelming.

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1 hour ago, Deadsnake said:

Hmm, but how can I be served if they didn't actually serve me?

They have gone to the court to say that they have tried to serve you, and have not been able to. The court gave them permission to use "alternative service", which usually means sending you the summons and complaint via regular mail. The court considers you "served" 5 days after the letter is sent, and your 20 days to respond begins at that time. I wouldn't wait the 20 + 5 though. No more than 20.

1 hour ago, Deadsnake said:

What would the next step be?

It depends on what you want to do based on what we have talked about earlier in this thread. 

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