williams4

Being sued Unifund

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2 minutes ago, williams4 said:

But after I submit my claim, we DO have a discovery, correct?

Not by the sound of this arbitrator.  But that CAN happen depending on how they respond to your TCPA claims.  Print screenshots of your call log and attach them to your brief as your exhibits.  Wait to see how Unifund responds to this and if they make a stink about your evidence, then you will ask the arbitrator for time to conduct discovery of those records.   This is the main reason I prefer JAMS over AAA, as JAMS automatically includes discovery, but AAA does not like to unless the arbitrator finds it absolutely necessary.

As of now, you are submitting detail of your claim only WITH EVIDENCE and case laws in support.  A full brief of your claims.

What happens next will depend on how they respond to it.  You may need to ask for discovery or submit objections or submit further evidence -- it's all going to determine what they submit after you.

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@williams4 I apologize if this is somewhere in your thread, but is the Citi cardholder agreement's terms for the $3K (never filed in court) identical to the Citi cardholder agreement's terms for the court ordered arb $22K case? And, were both of these accounts in the same pool purchased by Pilot? 

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2 hours ago, williams4 said:

Instead she decided to just argue until she was blue in the face saying she DID NOT have two accounts in her exhibits. 

I'll bet they use some kind of legal Case Management software that organizes things by Case Number. Even though everything got combined when it was sent to AAA (by a clerk, or whoever was filling in for her), shes' probably looking at a screen that only shows the 22K court case, which is what is making her crazy. Sure seems like there's enough here to "go slow" without fear of frivolity - like there should be hearings to go over all of the documents that she insists aren't there.

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6 minutes ago, Brotherskeeper said:

@williams4 I apologize if this is somewhere in your thread, but is the Citi cardholder agreement's terms for the $3K (never filed in court) identical to the Citi cardholder agreement's terms for the court ordered arb $22K case? And, were both of these accounts in the same pool purchased by Pilot? 

They are almost identical (one was citi simplicity and the other was citi diamond)  I do not have anything for the 3k one to compare. They only sent a few credit card statements. 

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3 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

I'll bet they use some kind of legal Case Management software that organizes things by Case Number. Even though everything got combined when it was sent to AAA (by a clerk, or whoever was filling in for her), shes' probably looking at a screen that only shows the 22K court case, which is what is making her crazy. Sure seems like there's enough here to "go slow" without fear of frivolity - like there should be hearings to go over all of the documents that she insists aren't there.

The other aaa case number has not been paid yet, so nothing can be filed into it yet. (I paid my 200 to initiate but they haven’t paid their part to actually get it started) and she told the arbitrator today that she was waiting to pay her part on the other one to see how this one turns out. BUT she sent an “answer” that pretty much looks like what a summary judgement looks like in court filing, and had exhibits that she referenced in that summary. So in one summary for the (22k) account she has the 22k AND 3k account statements in there. I told the arbitrator this and she kept saying she is lying there are only documents for the $22k account. But I even checked when I got off the phone to make sure I didn’t see it wrong and yup, they are in there🤷‍♀️  I don’t know how else to tell her, yes there is. I am kind of embarrassed for her (not really)  It was crazy how much she argued that they weren’t mixed. 

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6 minutes ago, williams4 said:

They are almost identical (one was citi simplicity and the other was citi diamond)

How are they different besides the card name? 

15 minutes ago, Brotherskeeper said:

And, were both of these accounts in the same pool purchased by Pilot? 

Do you mean that you don't know if the $3K account was included in the one sale you have documents for?

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8 minutes ago, williams4 said:

The other aaa case number has not been paid yet, so nothing can be filed into it yet.

Sorry, I wasn't clear, I suspect that they have a system that manages cases by court case number. That would explain why, when she looks at the "case," all she sees is the 22K Court Case. She has no way of looking at 3K case, except via email and her paper files. @fisthardcheese and @Harry Seaward are right - she thinks all of this is somehow part of the court case - like "AAA" is just the court's internal mediation service.

Once she realizes what happened, she's really gonna blow her stack!

 

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39 minutes ago, Brotherskeeper said:

How are they different besides the card name?

The arbitration clause is the same. But they are slightly different because on one the arbitration clause is listed under item 12 and the other under item 11. If that makes sense?

39 minutes ago, Brotherskeeper said:

 

Do you mean that you don't know if the $3K account was included in the one sale you have documents for?

The ones provided to me are 100% with the account that was in court (22k). I have not been sent the ones for the 3k one. There is a chance they may end up being in the same sale.  But the one in court (22K) the first dunning letter I received in 2017.  The first dunning letter I received for the 3K was December 2018.  But in her summary she sent to aaa trying to get a judgment for the 22k account goes as follows with attached exhibits that she provided

my debt validation letter unifund sent me 22k back in 2017

my letter to unifund asking for verification for 3k dated 2019

Letter with account statements for the 3k account dated 2019

then she asks for summary judgment saying it was a “frivolous claim” (when I sent letter asking for verification of 3k account) because I had it already  

then she proves I had it already by attaching exhibits for everything from court on the 22k account  

Even if she mistakenly thought this was aaa case was the 22k, she made a fool of herself because I kept saying there are statements for the 3k AND 22k in her response.  And kept telling the arbitrator that I was lying and there is nothing in there for the 3k account. When clearly there is🤷‍♀️

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

Sorry, I wasn't clear, I suspect that they have a system that manages cases by court case number. That would explain why, when she looks at the "case," all she sees is the 22K Court Case. She has no way of looking at 3K case, except via email and her paper files. @fisthardcheese and @Harry Seaward are right - she thinks all of this is somehow part of the court case - like "AAA" is just the court's internal mediation service.

Once she realizes what happened, she's really gonna blow her stack!

 

Which by her mixing documents from both account numbers in one summary to aaa helped my case. Had she not done that (or made a complete fool at the hearing by over and over saying I am lying and there aren’t statements for both cases) she pretty much ruined her chance of using the “I thought this was the 22k one” which may of worked to either get these combined or switched on which one she paid. 

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12 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

Sorry, I wasn't clear, I suspect that they have a system that manages cases by court case number. That would explain why, when she looks at the "case," all she sees is the 22K Court Case. She has no way of looking at 3K case, except via email and her paper files. @fisthardcheese and @Harry Seaward are right - she thinks all of this is somehow part of the court case - like "AAA" is just the court's internal mediation service.

Once she realizes what happened, she's really gonna blow her stack!

 

It took a complete turn when I said I object because Respondent is combining two seperate aaa cases without authorization to do so. That’s when the crazy came out and she was like I have proof from the court that this is the 22k one blah blah blah. At which the arbitrator said he will need to look further into to figure out which account is in this case. Then I said, but she is still combining two seperate aaa cases into one because her response references (with exhibits) two different account numbers and statements showing two different accounts. Then she went off again saying I am lying. Then the arbitrator said, so you are saying there are not exhibits of two different account numbers in your response. She said no these are all for the 22k one. (Which obviously is not true)

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3 hours ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

Sorry, I wasn't clear, I suspect that they have a system that manages cases by court case number. That would explain why, when she looks at the "case," all she sees is the 22K Court Case. She has no way of looking at 3K case, except via email and her paper files. @fisthardcheese and @Harry Seaward are right - she thinks all of this is somehow part of the court case - like "AAA" is just the court's internal mediation service.

Once she realizes what happened, she's really gonna blow her stack!

 

Ok, I think I figured it out. I think she definitely thinks AAA is court mediation.  Now it all makes sense as to why she got so hostile calling me a liar and stuff.  On one of her rants (saying this is the 22K one) she started spewing off the court case number and says it shows everything and has a motion for summary judgement (and this would also explain when she went off saying she thought she was phoning in today to get a judgement on me and not have to discuss this stuff)   So when I was saying there are account statements from 2 accounts and she was going crazy arguing with me, I bet she was thinking I was referring to her court motion for summary judgement but I wasn't and I was referring to her "answer" she submitted to AAA.  Huh, yeah if I was her in that situation I would probably be just as irate as she was today.  Lol.  Oh well, now I just need to send in my claims and documents showing this case is the 3K and the other is the 22K.  Which I am now 100% sure her response will once again make absolutely no sense at all.  The way I see it though, time is money.  She could simply take the time to read the AAA rules. She made a snarky comment when I said I object to paying her fees because xxxx and she interrupted saying, huh, we will see what the judge decides. Which when she said it I was like wow, that’s a stupid comment to say in such a snarky way in front of the arbitrator. But is even more funny that she probably didn’t realize she was saying it in front of the person making the final decision on this case😂

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It's astounding that she could be authorized to pay thousands of dollars on this, and have no idea what she's doing. You need to strenuously object to any effort to combine cases - since one is court ordered and the other isn't, they shouldn't be able to, anyway. Next call is going to be a doozy when arbiter sets her straight. 

If she's taking about their MSJ, then she is completely lost - she'll probably totally agree to hearings on every issue, since she has no idea that they are paying for all of it. She's convinced this a division of the court.

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14 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

 

If she's taking about their MSJ, then she is completely lost - she'll probably totally agree to hearings on every issue, since she has no idea that they are paying for all of it. She's convinced this a division of the court.

I sent the arbitrator an email with a couple questions to clarify what exactly he is wanting the brief on because I am confused if he was asking for claim for the account (as in a state your claim for this case) or just a brief on my claim of her combining cases and providing proof of which case is with what account. We haven’t even officially “started” the preliminary hearing. It blew up so big so fast that I am starting to think he meant brief on the claim of her combining cases and which account number this is for. So that we can have the preliminary hearing. I just don’t want to assume he meant my initial claim on top of all this in question, especially if it’s going to add more confusion. 

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12 hours ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

It's astounding that she could be authorized to pay thousands of dollars on this, and have no idea what she's doing.

I can't imagine she would have to get approval to spend money on a case. I'll bet anything the lawfirm gives each lawyer a corporate AMEX card. Everything just gets expensed out and I doubt anyone at the lawfirm will even give it a second look.

Lawyer is completely convinced 'costs' will be included with the judgment so she thinks her presentation to Unifund will be "yes, I spent this much, but right down here, you can see those fees are part of the judgment."

@williams4 I know it's fun to mock how "dumb" this lawyer is acting, but if she never 'gets it', she will take this thing all the way to judgment assuming costs will be awarded at the end. And if Fist is right that the arbitrator is itching to dump this hot mess ASAP, there's an even greater chance of that happening. The arbitrator has no real incentive to clarify anything with fees. 

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10 hours ago, Harry Seaward said:

I can't imagine she would have to get approval to spend money on a case. I'll bet anything the lawfirm gives each lawyer a corporate AMEX card. Everything just gets expensed out and I doubt anyone at the lawfirm will even give it a second look.

Lawyer is completely convinced 'costs' will be included with the judgment so her presentation to Unifund will be "yes, I spent this much, but right down here, you can see those fees are part of the judgment."

@williams4 I know it's fun to mock how "dumb" this lawyer is acting, but if she never 'gets it', she will take this thing all the way to judgment assuming costs will be awarded at the end. And if Fist is right that the arbitrator is itching to dump this hot mess ASAP, there's an even greater chance of that happening. The arbitrator has no real incentive to clarify anything with fees. 

Now I am completely confused.  I emailed the arbitrator to clarify things.  He said, I cannot add any claims since he filed saying this entire case will be resolved by June 20, the preliminary hearing has ended.  My "claim" never even entered the picture in the preliminary hearing because the first thing that happened was the explosion of my objections to combine cases and deciding whether this case is for 22K or 3K.  But my "objections" were in reference to her "answer" for my demand for arbitration.  We did not even discuss my actual claim on this account.  I thought the preliminary hearing was a chance to further explain your claim and a chance then the arbitrator would instruct me to write a brief of my claim and submit it.   I am so confused.  I did reply saying the confusion arises because my objections were to Respondents answer to my demand for arbitration.  I will see what he has to say.

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I guess worse case scenario, I just need to submit my brief with my FDCPA violation on 3K account, prove this account is with this AAA case number.  Since we cannot add any claims this also means she will not be able to counterclaim either (won't be able to try to get a "judgment" on this account) then when the case is closed.  So the "ruling" will be either yes of no on if I get $1000 for the FDCPA violation. Which I assume will be no since I didn't get the chance to ask for phone records or anything.  But does this mean she can try to "get me" on frivolous claim and make me pay her arbitration? 

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3 minutes ago, williams4 said:

But does this mean she can try to "get me" on frivolous claim and make me pay her arbitration? 

She can try. Very unlikely she'll be successful. The threshold of frivolity is very high. Especially since you have a legal theory for your claim (even though I don't happen to agree with it :-)). 

There is an administrator person at AAA you had been dealing with before the case was assigned to an arbitrator. I would reach out to him/her and express your concerns over the handling of the hearing. They are there to ensure things stay on track. 

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1 minute ago, Harry Seaward said:

She can try. Very unlikely she'll be successful. The threshold of frivolity is very high. Especially since you have a legal theory for your claim (even though I don't happen to agree with it :-)). 

There is an administrator person at AAA you had been dealing with before the case was assigned to an arbitrator. I would reach out to him/her and express your concerns over the handling of the hearing. They are there to ensure things stay on track. 

Well if the "briefly describe your dispute" box on my initial AAA filing paperwork counts as my "actual claim" then I can include that in my brief?  Which I put, "FDCPA violation.  Unifund failed to prove they own my account after I asked for it" Which is true. For the 3K account all they sent me was credit card statements.  So even if it's not an actual FDCPA violation BUT they really haven't proved they own my account, then my claim is not a "frivolous claim" correct? The fact still remains, they haven't showed me anything to prove they own my account.  So even if in their response to my brief, they provide bill of sales and stuff, it can't be "frivolous claim" because I didn't have those when I filed my demand for arbitration.  And in her answer/counterclaim she brings up another account asking judgment on that but all I have to do is prove this case is for the 3K account and not the 22K and get her "counterclaim" denied. (he did say in the preliminary hearing he is ONLY able to make a decision on the account in THIS case) 

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I am trying to make sense of all this.  So what the arbitrator is saying is no more claims/counterclaims allowed.  I submit my brief, she responds, I respond to her and its closed and he will make a decision.  So up to this point I have my claim (fdcpa/not showing ownership) her counterclaim (saying my claim is frivolous, asking for 22K judgement on a different account that is not in this case) 

My questions on when preparing my brief:

1. Do I need to prove MY original claim to not be frivolous or just do I ONLY need to prove the documents she provided and reason for saying my claim is frivolous is untrue (meaning is she able to come back with different reason why she thinks MY original claim is "frivolous" or would that be considered a new claim/counterclaim, and therefore not allowed?

2. Since the arbitrator said he is ONLY going to make a decision on the account in THIS case, I only need to prove the 3K belongs to this case and the 22K belongs to other case.  Do I not even need say anything about objecting to combining these or anything of that nature since we cannot have any new claims/counterclaims?

3. This leaves me with only MY FDCPA claim and claim that I never received anything showing they own my account.  So I just need to state the FDCPA rule of what they are in violation of and attach copies of my letters and their letters back and that's it? 

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Your claim isn't frivolous, and I think you need to quit worrying about that.

In my opinion, the much bigger problem you have right now is unifund's lawyer's ignorance. If you you don't find a way to make her understand what is going on, she is going to take this case all the way to a judgement against you.

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9 minutes ago, Harry Seaward said:

Your claim isn't frivolous, and I think you need to quit worrying about that.

In my opinion, the much bigger problem you have right now is unifund's lawyer's ignorance. If you you don't find a way to make her understand what is going on, she is going to take this case all the way to a judgement against you.

The thing is I 100% know this case is for the 3K one.  (because I filed it and have many documents to prove the other case number is the court ordered one)  The arbitrator is now telling us we CANNOT submit any additional claims.  She doesn't have a claim/counterclaim for that 3K account.  She does in her response ask for the 22K account judgment, but the arbitrator said he is ONLY making a decision for the account in THIS case, not the other one) So I don't think she can get a judgment against me for that 3K account, correct? This case took a leap to the end so fast, I am just so confused.  Because the arbitrator said his FINAL decision for the ENTIRE case is on June 20.  So if in her response to my brief, will she be allowed to say ok, here are the bill of sales that we own this 3K account, now we are asking for judgment on this 3K account.  This is the rule he referenced saying no more claims.

R-8. Changes of Claim
Once a Demand has been filed, any new claims or counterclaims, or changes
to the claim or counterclaim, must be made in writing and sent to the AAA. The
party making the new or different claim or counterclaim shall send a copy to the
opposing party. As with the original Demand or counterclaim, a party shall have
14 calendar days from the date the AAA notifies the parties it received the new
or different claim or counterclaim to file an answering statement with the AAA.
If an arbitrator has already been appointed, a new or different claim or counter-
claim may only be considered if the arbitrator allows it.

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12 hours ago, Harry Seaward said:

I can't imagine she would have to get approval to spend money on a case. I'll bet anything the lawfirm gives each lawyer a corporate AMEX card. Everything just gets expensed out and I doubt anyone at the lawfirm will even give it a second look.

Remember - she works ar Unifund - it's not like she's at Gurstel or Blatt. She probably has authority to pay things like filing fees, but I'll bet she got authorization for this by saying it's something like a new mediation charge from the court.

49 minutes ago, williams4 said:

This leaves me with only MY FDCPA claim and claim that I never received anything showing they own my account.  So I just need to state the FDCPA rule of what they are in violation of and attach copies of my letters and their letters back and that's it? 

Seems logical to me. Ideally all the arbiter is concerned with is the FDCPA claim on the 3K case. You could treat it like a court case, saying that in order to establish their liability, their ownership of the account needs to be determined. It's like this could go back-and-forth and the only outcome is going to be a ruling on FDCPA and a big bill to Unifund. Just keep objecting to (and having hearing over) the irrelevancy of anything having to do with another account (22k).

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6 minutes ago, williams4 said:

So if in her response to my brief, will she be allowed to say ok, here are the bill of sales that we own this 3K account, now we are asking for judgment on this 3K account. 

But this case has nothing to do with ownership or payment of a debt. Only your FDCPA claims. I think you're fine - goal, at this point, seems to be getting another bill sent to Unifund. Seems perfectly reasonable to request extensive hearings on the 22K documentation, by explaining that there is clearly a very large gap in both sides understanding of the case. (Of course that misunderstanding is only on one side, but if she's so adamant, then maybe everyone should come to your town to hash it out in person...)

 

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18 minutes ago, Brotherskeeper said:

@williams4 Have you read actual complaints for the specific FDCPA violations you're alleging were violated? Have you read court rulings on the same? 

I sent a letter stating this account is disputed and need validation and asked what information I need, which proof Unifund owns my account by sending bills of sales/assignments, anything to show they have a right to collect on this account they collecting on.  And they only sent back some credit card statements and a letter stating Citibank is the original owner and Unifund has acquired the account.  But that's it.  But I specifically said I need proof that this was sold/assigned to them.  So I need to research more because I can't figure out if this is ACTUALLY a FDCPA violation or not sense they did "say" Unifund acquired from Citi, but I asked for something to show they own it and they did not.

(b) Disputed debts

If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector. Collection activities and communications that do not otherwise violate this subchapter may continue during the 30-day period referred to in subsection (a) unless the consumer has notified the debt collector in writing that the debt, or any portion of the debt, is disputed or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor. Any collection activities and communication during the 30-day period may not overshadow or be inconsistent with the disclosure of the consumer’s right to dispute the debt or request the name and address of the original creditor.

 

 

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