williams4

Being sued Unifund

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17 hours ago, williams4 said:

Ok, I think I am putting way too much stress on myself about this conference hearing. I have noted everything you mentioned here in my notes for tomorrow. I am just confused and stressed about how “in detail” the conference will get. My fear is stuff being brought up about the 22k one and not being prepared to answer.  But will we even be going in detail about anything over either of these cases? Like specifics? Or just setting up due dates and stuff? 

No details at all will be asked or gotten into OTHER than perhaps what you have objected to.  The conference call is ONLY about scheduling and also where the arbitrator will ask for your specific claim other than your generalized "FDCPA violation".  He may ask you to submit a list of claim by a certain date where you will have to be specific.

All of the other stuff I have mentioned is only to notice the other side that you intent to take discovery and your hearing seriously - and also to support your objection on combining the cases.  You don't need to prepare anything, as this is not a hearing.  Any questions you don't know the answer to you simply answer that you don't know (and how could you if discovery has not even started), and ask for time to submit your response. (That will not be an issue, though)

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17 minutes ago, Harry Seaward said:

OPs pivotal issue is the the fact that the sales agreement between Citi and Pilot (presumably) says Pilot cannot resell the debt. That issue did not come up at all in the case you linked to. 

Yes, I know. In my albeit limited research I could not find any case of an assignment flow from Citi to Pilot to Unifund that raises the CFPB consent ban on the resale. There are several FDCPA cases against Unifund as successor to Citi accounts; none that I found allege Pilot's contractual ban to sell/assign its own accounts. I agree with your position on this issue. The Indiana case I linked to was in response to OP's point that "this doesn't really show an ownership of my account going from Citi to Unifund." That case includes a Unifund witness. 

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3 minutes ago, Brotherskeeper said:

That case includes a Unifund witness. 

Right. The court found the witness didn't lay sufficient foundation for introducing the records. A 'problem' Unifund has since corrected.

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22 minutes ago, Harry Seaward said:

Right. The court found the witness didn't lay sufficient foundation for introducing the records. A 'problem' Unifund has since corrected.

It'll be interesting to see if respondant Unifund will pop for a live witness who will demonstrate this correction.  If this seemingly inept lawyer is successful in getting the respondant's $22K counterclaim joined to the claimant's FDCPA claim against the $3K case, there might be enough incentive for Unifund to stay in this process for a while. I certainly hope this plays out as @fisthardcheese predicts. 

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36 minutes ago, Harry Seaward said:

Right. The court found the witness didn't lay sufficient foundation for introducing the records. A 'problem' Unifund has since corrected.

IF it gets to the point that we continue through the arbitration process (almost certain we won't, I am getting ready to type up the update on my phone hearing I just had) but I was going to use this approach, NOT the one we have been back and forth about with the bill of sale contract thing.  Up to this point (on the 22K) they have provided the exact same documentations that was submitted on the case @Brotherskeeper referenced.  They have an affidavit from an employee of Unifund that says they are familiar with the booking of Unifund.  They have an affidavit an employee of Citi saying she is familiar with the bookkeeping at Citi and familiar with the spreadsheet of accounts Citi prepared and sold  to Pilot.  The problem is there is not an affidavit that shows anyone is familiar with the bookkeeping of how the account got from Citi to Unifund.  Therefore, not a clear way to see Unifund actually owns this account.  

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@williams4 One case I read had an affidavit from Citi that states the account of the person's name with the account number and the balance due were included in the pool of accounts, and the (kept in normal course of business) data was transfered upon the sale. 

Another interesting tidbit I discovered was a judge rejected the evidence as untrustworthy because the documents referred to Citibank (South Dakota) and Citibank N.A. interchangeably when the judge said they're different entities. 

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Sounds like Pilot and Unifund are like Midland Funding and Midland Credit Management. Many crashed on the rocks of trying to put daylight between the two entities.

 

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Well, the phone conference with the arbitrator was interesting and we got NOTHING cleared up.  Here is a summary of events, warning, just as confusing as everything up to the point before the conference hearing.

She kept saying this case is for 22K and not the 3K and she was waiting to pay the 3K filing fee until after she saw how this one went. Of course, I said no, it's the other way around.  She was arguing stuff that didn't make any sense at all and I could tell we were getting no where.  Arbitrator said he would have to look further into it to see which account this AAA case was for (he said he glanced at the info but didn't review the exhibits that were submitted with her response).  Arbitrator asked me how long I needed to submit my summary.  I said it depends, are you asking how long for this 3K or since 3K & 22K? I brought up the fact that she is saying this is for the 22K and was waiting to pay the 3K (so she made it clear that there are two cases) her response has credit card statements in the exhibits from the 3K AND the 22K (hence my objection to combining cases). She kept saying no I didn't. This is JUST the 22K and I only have the documents for the 22K account and not the 3K account.  I was like but there are statements from two different accounts and she said objection your honor she is just trying to have you make a decision. (decision on what, I am not sure) I was still just trying to ask the arbitrator what my summary should include, the 3K or the 22K and 3K.  Poor arbitrator was probably like what the heck did I get myself into.  Conclusion, arbitrator simply said (because he was probably so confused) Submit summary for JUST case XXXX and he will have to look into the papers further to figure out what account number is with this case.  I did ask if I could include documents from the other case to show the other case is CLEARLY the 22K one because the letters from the case manager say this is a court order, and the 3K was never in court, he said yes.  I can submit anything that will make it clear as to which account belongs to which AAA case number.

She did at one point say (in a hateful annoyed way) Your honor, there is nothing in question here.  I submitted all my documents from court that clearly show she owes the 22K and I thought this was going to be a hearing for a judgement against her for the 22K. (which made me chuckle) 

Before getting off he asked if there was any other issues I wanted to address, which I brought up the fee thing (claiming it's frivolous) and mentioned the evidence in discovery will prove this claim to not be frivolous and the 22K account is coming from a claim SHE made against ME and I chose to be resolved in arbitration.  I can't remembered exactly how I said it, but along the lines of I am only paying the fees outlined in cc agreement and aaa rules which she interrupted me and said ha, we will let the judge decide.

So yeah, this was the confusing phone conference.  So now I pretty much just have to send a brief with my claim against her for the 3K account and including AAA documents from both cases to clearly show which account goes to which case number and she gets two weeks to respond then I get two weeks to respond then he is closing it and having a evidentiary hearing.

To sum up she is aware there are two cases, insists this case number is from the 22K one and her response was not trying to combine two cases and only included documents from the 22K one (even though I pointed this out to her MANY times during the hearing).

There were so many times I wanted to say "Pause, Ms. H, please just stop and look at your exhibits before saying NO I DIDN'T again.  You sound like an idiot right now" It was painful.

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26 minutes ago, Brotherskeeper said:

@williams4 One case I read had an affidavit from Citi that states the account of the person's name with the account number and the balance due were included in the pool of accounts, and the (kept in normal course of business) data was transfered upon the sale. 

Another interesting tidbit I discovered was a judge rejected the evidence as untrustworthy because the documents referred to Citibank (South Dakota) and Citibank N.A. interchangeably when the judge said they're different entities. 

Interesting!

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And just to let everyone know, once I got off the phone I pulled up the exhibits to “make sure” I wasn’t wrong about her submitting stuff from two different accounts (especially how adimate she was that she didn’t) but yes, definitely two different accounts. This is clearly not the 22k one. 83D1F587-95F8-4C71-8EE2-3A613DCCDE34.thumb.jpeg.646d9c27a703b47891cc1d37d23c0544.jpeg

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On 4/14/2019 at 7:40 AM, fisthardcheese said:

There is a lot of talk about a hearing that I don't think will even happen.  It is perfectly fine to prepare for that just in case, but don't lose sight of the things that must be accomplished before you even get there.

For the phone conference on Monday, here are the things I would make sure to cover:

1.  Notify the arbitrator about your pending objections

2. Ask that any information and evidence pertaining to your other AAA case be stricken and that this case only proceed with your FDCPA claims (they have offered no counter claim regarding this case, so I would ask that only my claims proceed)

3.  I would ask for permission to amend your claims to add your newly discovered TCPA claims (if those were for this case and not the 22k case)

4.  I would ask for an in-person hearing.  Unifund will object and ask for a phone hearing.  I would state that I should have the right to cross examine the witness from Unifund in person regrading their records and that a phone witness would prejudice you.  They again will object. They may even say they don't plan to have a witness.  If they do, I will state that a witness is needed to testify and cross examine about the mess of their record keeping and you will ask them to present a witness during discovery. (This is something you can get more into later during discovery, but it's good to put them on notice that you will be demanding a live witness - at their cost, of course).

5.  I would ask for at least 60 days for discovery

How many of Fist's list items did this hearing accomplish? 

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Also, during the conference hearing the arbiter scheduled due dates for brief, response, response and set a date in case arbiter feels the need to have an evidentiary hearing. But he just sent the order to us and it says he doesn’t expect an evidentiary hearing will be nessesary. (Not sure if that is a good or bad thing, initially I thought good? Because maybe he looked after the call and can clearly see two accounts or bad? Because I WANT hearings) Anyway, I am still confused how the arbitration process works. Since we never really got to our “initial conference hearing” part, does this mean once this briefing is over and he makes a decision and then we have the initial conference hearing?  When he says “make a decision” that means only to clear up the correct account is in the correct case and not “make a decision” on the entire case, correct?2363C484-A81D-42F5-98F0-B90662312C01.thumb.jpeg.2a2c20068f00bb00507b5fdb478494b1.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Brotherskeeper said:

How many of Fist's list items did this hearing accomplish? 

Three. We never made it to numbers 4 and 5 because everything was spinning out of control. Lol. The arbiter was clearly getting annoyed/ mad at unifunds lawyer. Every time I would start explaining anything about her including exhibits from 2 accounts or anything about this case being the 3k account she would interrupt and say no I didn’t/no it’s not. But I was able to get a few sentences in that made it very clear that I knew what I was talking about and I am aware of which case is which (and considering I filed them so should know) Which the arbiter at one point did say. He said these were both claims filed from the claimant, which I said yes. And he said so Respondent you are saying you ONLY submitted documents pertaining to the 22k? She said yes. One big clue I was able to finish explaining without interruption was the letter from aaa stating case xxx has a court order. And I was able to get in the full sentence that I paid my $200 filing fee for case yyy BEFORE we even had our motion to compel hearing in court. Which she started arguing about how aaa closed the case for non payment (referring to the case I filed and they closed because it took so long to get to my mtc hearing in court) which has no relevance whatsoever to what we were talking about. It was so confusing and her arguments made no sense. I just spoke when the arbiter told me to and let her run her mouth. The more she talked the bigger the hole got she was digging. 

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Wow. I stand fully and completely corrected. It's clear that she has no idea how this works, and seems to think it's some sort of "court ordered" mediation where Unifund will recoup costs - I'm sure she sees what they paid as a "filing fee" in court.

Since the facts are on your side, regarding which case this is, it shouldn't take arbiter long to rule that this is 3K case. 

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I apologize for having so many posts... 

Due to the fact that Unifund is bound and determined to slap a "frivolous claim" on me, I was looking and I don't think the initial paperwork for AAA is my actual "claim"  The form simply states: briefly explain the dispute.   As to which I put (on this $3K one) FDCPA violation.  I asked Unifund for proof they own my account and they failed to provide proof but continues to claim they own my account. But now we had the 'beginning' of our initial conference hearing and the arbitrator telling me to submit a brief with my claim against Unifund.   So this first brief is when the claim comes into the picture, right? Do I have to "ask" the arbitrator if I can withdrawal the FDCPA violation that is in the "briefly explain the dispute" box on my filing papers? Or is this even an actual "claim" yet.  I am confused.

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4 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

Wow. I stand fully and completely corrected. It's clear that she has no idea how this works, and seems to think it's some sort of "court ordered" mediation where Unifund will recoup costs - I'm sure she sees what they paid as a "filing fee" in court.

Since the facts are on your side, regarding which case this is, it shouldn't take arbiter long to rule that this is 3K case. 

At the very beginning of the hearing I honestly thought she was trying to play "dumb" and I was so annoyed.  But the more she talked I realized she has no clue what is going on, how it works, or even that she submitted exhibits on two different accounts.  I would like to point out that she also received my objections to her response last Thursday that I specifically, in detail, point out exhibit a b c and d are referencing account ending 1234 and are in AAA case#XXX and exhibits e f g h i are referencing account ending 5678 and are in AAA case#YYY.  I guess she still didn't think, oh maybe I should look at my exhibits and see what she is talking about in this objection saying these are referencing different accounts.  Instead she decided to just argue until she was blue in the face saying she DID NOT have two accounts in her exhibits.  And every time I mentioned anything about it, she would huff real loud for us to hear.  I am also feeling "confident" the arbitor will not let her combine these accounts.  lol  I know there is always a chance, but it was seriously the most bizarre thing listening to her bitch and moan that "I" am wrong and "she" is right on the question if there were two accounts in her exhibits.

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2 hours ago, williams4 said:

and I thought this was going to be a hearing for a judgement against her for the 22K. (which made me chuckle) 

🤣  These attorneys like her always get aggressive without ever reading the AAA rules and knowing how it actually works.  This is why being a stickler for the rules and methodically proceeding through arbitration is in your favor.

 

2 hours ago, williams4 said:

we will let the judge decide.

🤣  🤣  She thinks the court judge has the power to force AAA to reallocate their fees against the contract and the forum rules?  She's in for even more surprises.

2 hours ago, williams4 said:

then he is closing it and having a evidentiary hearing

A hearing just on this objection on combining cases issue, correct?  This is a great thing for you.  I like all of this arguing back and forth over THEIR OWN confusing the 2 different cases and then forcing the arbitrator to hold a hearing JUST to sort out what claims are under his case and which are under another arbiter's case.

 

2 hours ago, williams4 said:

There were so many times I wanted to say "Pause, Ms. H, please just stop and look at your exhibits before saying NO I DIDN'T again.  You sound like an idiot right now" It was painful.

When attorneys wish to make themselves look foolish in front of judges and arbitrators, let them.  Never stop them. :D   You did a very nice job during this phone conference.

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4 minutes ago, fisthardcheese said:

 

A hearing just on this objection on combining cases issue, correct?  This is a great thing for you.  I like all of this arguing back and forth over THEIR OWN confusing the 2 different cases and then forcing the arbitrator to hold a hearing JUST to sort out what claims are under his case and which are under another arbiter's case.

I think? It was seriously so bizarre and confusing because she kept interrupting. He said a brief with my claim for this case#. I “mistakenly” said for the 3k or the 3k and 22k since her response includes both accounts. (This led to her going on another rant about not having anything about the 3k) So once he was finally able to get back to me he said submit brief with account for this case number and he will sort through to see which account belongs to which case number.  And he told me I can include my proof that the other case is the court ordered one and this one is the 3k. Then he said Respondent can respond then I can respond then it’s over and he will have an evidentiary hearing. Which I assume is for just clearing up which account is with this case. But in his actual order he sent, I noticed he said “it is currently not anticipated we will need an evidentiary hearing” which I take as the arbiter looked at the exhibits when we got off the phone and saw there were two accounts in her reaponse. So I would assume just on combining the cases. We literally didn’t get to anything else in the conference hearing. Nothing! That’s why I am confused if we will finish out conference hearing or what. I am so confused. We couldn’t discuss anything without her going off on a rant. 

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25 minutes ago, williams4 said:

I apologize for having so many posts... 

Due to the fact that Unifund is bound and determined to slap a "frivolous claim" on me, I was looking and I don't think the initial paperwork for AAA is my actual "claim"  The form simply states: briefly explain the dispute.   As to which I put (on this $3K one) FDCPA violation.  I asked Unifund for proof they own my account and they failed to provide proof but continues to claim they own my account. But now we had the 'beginning' of our initial conference hearing and the arbitrator telling me to submit a brief with my claim against Unifund.   So this first brief is when the claim comes into the picture, right? Do I have to "ask" the arbitrator if I can withdrawal the FDCPA violation that is in the "briefly explain the dispute" box on my filing papers? Or is this even an actual "claim" yet.  I am confused.

If I were you, I would check the AAA rules (I don't have time to look it up right now) and find the rule on adding or amending your claims.  You may need to email the arbitrator and ask to add additional claims under rule XYZ.  Once granted, if I were you, I would add those TCPA claims you have from your phone's call log in addition to your FDCPA claim.  Those incoming calls after you sent a C&D letter are solid proof of their violations.  I would ask for $500 PER CALL you can show on your phone, plus the $1k FDCPA violation (for violating the C&D).  Hopefully you have enough that your claims meet or exceed $3k total.  This way, if this attorney is silly (a.k.a. stupid) enough to keep going, you have a good chance that if the arbitrator awards their $3k, he also awards you at least $3k and they offset for a net award of $0 or maybe slightly in your favor.

Also, it does sound like he wants your full briefs on all claims here, not just your objection issues.  I would wait to see how they respond to your claims and in your Sur-response, I would again object to anything they add in regarding the $22k account and in your conclusion I would ask for an in person hearing per AAA Rule ABC.

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7 minutes ago, fisthardcheese said:

If I were you, I would check the AAA rules (I don't have time to look it up right now) and find the rule on adding or amending your claims.  

This is as far as we made it before today in arbitration. (Below) And the arbitrator said today submit brief with your claim. I said are you talking the fdcpa claim? He said submit a brief with whatever your claim is for. Which is what makes me think I don’t even have a claim yet? Unifunds “response” was just going off the “demand for arbitration” paperwork I filled out and filed and it says “briefly explain your dispute” 

Which brings me to my next question, so it is ok to email the arbitrator directly with questions? (Copying unifund of course) Or do I go through the case manager? These are all things I wanted to ask today but clearly couldn’t even talk.

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Oh, I forgot the part when she said she didn’t pay the $3000 on the other one yet because she wanted to see how this went before she paid another $3000 for that other case😂. I don’t see this one going very far because I doubt she will fork up anymore money. 

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2 minutes ago, williams4 said:

This is as far as we made it before today in arbitration. (Below) And the arbitrator said today submit brief with your claim. I said are you talking the fdcpa claim? He said submit a brief with whatever your claim is for. Which is what makes me think I don’t even have a claim yet? Unifunds “response” was just going off the “demand for arbitration” paperwork I filled out and filed and it says “briefly explain your dispute” 

Which brings me to my next question, so it is ok to email the arbitrator directly with questions? (Copying unifund of course) Or do I go through the case manager? These are all things I wanted to ask today but clearly couldn’t even talk.

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Yes, your Demand IS your current claim.

Yes, you should email the arbitrator with any questions and include Unifund

Do not be afraid to ask for more time in order to file your new claims.  I.E., when you email the arb and state that you have newly discovered claims relating to this same account and would like to add them to your brief, ask for an additional 7 - 10 days (as needed).

Additionally,  I would wait a few days - perhaps immediately after filing your brief with your claims, and email the Unifund attorney ONLY and offer them a mutual release settlement offer on this case (the $3k account).

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2 minutes ago, williams4 said:

Oh, I forgot the part when she said she didn’t pay the $3000 on the other one yet because she wanted to see how this went before she paid another $3000 for that other case😂. I don’t see this one going very far because I doubt she will fork up anymore money. 

If the arbitrator is trying to rush this without a further hearing, however, they may not get another bill in this case.  So that is why I think it is important to add your claims and get your relief up beyond the $3k they can ask for in case the arbitrator all of a sudden decides to rule and get this mess out of his hair.  Also why I would send a settlement offer no later than the same day you submit your brief.

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3 minutes ago, fisthardcheese said:

If the arbitrator is trying to rush this without a further hearing, however, they may not get another bill in this case.  So that is why I think it is important to add your claims and get your relief up beyond the $3k they can ask for in case the arbitrator all of a sudden decides to rule and get this mess out of his hair.  Also why I would send a settlement offer no later than the same day you submit your brief.

I see what you are saying now. For the TCPA claim, I will be asking for phone log from unifund in discovery. I keep getting confused because unifund keeps rushing to summary judgement. But after I submit my claim, we DO have a discovery, correct? Her response is like a summary judgement, tons of exhibits attached and stuff. But does my brief have to have every little detail and proof of claim? Or is this just a detailed summary of what my claim is? I think I am getting thrown off and confused because unifund keeps trying to jump to summary judgement. 

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