williams4

Being sued Unifund

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Wonder what "out" she has planned - perhaps doing a V8 head-smack and saying "I see what happened - a clerk at our office reversed case numbers - our bad. Let's chalk it up to bonafide error."

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19 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

Wonder what "out" she has planned - perhaps doing a V8 head-smack and saying "I see what happened - a clerk at our office reversed case numbers - our bad. Let's chalk it up to bonafide error."

This is actually my biggest fear at this point. I was thinking about having a third file folder ready for the hearing. A file folder just in case she tries to say this because between me, the arbitrator and the case manager, there is plenty of evidence that shows exactly which case belonged to which account number and she is just now catching on that open case is the 3k case. 

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You are fine following @fisthardcheese advice. You are going to court for COURT22K and can show that court ordered AAA22K was closed for non-payment. End of story. Any talk of AAA3K should be shut down hard for bringing up an unrelated and confidential matter that is of no concern to the court.

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3 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

You are fine following @fisthardcheese advice. You are going to court for COURT22K and can show that court ordered AAA22K was closed for non-payment. End of story. Any talk of AAA3K should be shut down hard for bringing up an unrelated and confidential matter that is of no concern to the court.

I was thinking that too.  Because I will be objecting anytime she even tries to mention the AAA3K case, so I shouldn't need to worry.

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@fisthardcheese  Starting to freak out a bit again.  So she filed MTD my sanctions on 7/9 and the court went in on 7/12 and filed the order for the hearing date (8/12)  But reading my local rules, I have 7 days to reply to her MTD.  I am assuming 7 days from 7/12 since her certificate of service said she mailed first class.  But I still haven't received it and my reply (opposition) is due Friday.  I can't see everything online since some is confidential.  Should I just send my opposition anyway? Or do I need to do something different since I still don't have a copy of everything?

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Ok @fisthardcheese now I am REALLY freaking out.  The arbitrator granted her summery judgement on the 22K account! She kept using the AAA case number on the very first demand.  The arbitrator said since Claimant never paid the filing fee on the 22K demand, Respondent was allowed to counterclaim with the 22K.  BUT AAA told me to reference the case closed case number when I paid the filing and sent in the court order, which generated the other case number for 22K that she didn't pay and AAA closed.

Edit: In her answer/counterclaim she attached all the court documents.  Which the last one of course was her reply to my opposition to her motion for summary judgement which she argues that I never paid my $200 filing fee.  So in the arbitrators order he keeps mentioning the "since AAA case was dismissed due to Claimants failure to pay filing fee". 

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So they added 22K dispute to existing 3K case? Well that explains why arbiter didn't immediately rule in your favor, and why Unifund lawyer kept insisting you were the only one confused. Well that is, to quote a friend, "a real kick in the junk." Stunning.

 

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8 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

So they added 22K dispute to existing 3K case? Well that explains why arbiter didn't immediately rule in your favor, and why Unifund lawyer kept insisting you were the only one confused. Well is, to quote a friend, "a real kick in the junk." Stunning.

 

Not only added, but awarded the 22k. The case is closed. So I didn’t even get a chance to to argue anything on the 22k case! In court she ignored my mtc and kept proceeding all the way to msj and she attached all the documents from court in the aaa case and the last thing from the court documents says something about me not paying the filing fee and aaa dismissing the case. So I didn’t even have a chance to argue it in arbitration either!

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Surely I can appeal or something to show she frivolously added the 22k. The email that I have that said “aaa3k has never been in court. I have another case number xxx that was closed and I was waiting for my mtc to be granted to pay the filing fee and to submit the court order” Which two days later is when she filed her answer/counterclaim and didn’t send me the documents. And showing the arbitrator that the other case WAS still pending and she even said at the initial conference hearing she was waiting to pay that other one until this case was closed. 

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4 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

Odd that you not paying fees on one case would allow arbiter to move those claims to another, unrelated, case.

I just objected all her documents she was submitting in the 22k saying they are irrelevant and they reference a different account number for a different arbitration case. But the arbitrator in his award said since I never paid the filing fee on that case he is allowing them and said that I never came forward and disputed the 22k debt. 

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I am not sure how the appeal process works.   But in the arbitrators award it states

"When Respondent filed an Answer, they included an avalanche of documents. These documents included copies of a small claims court filing arising out of a credit card account in Claimant’s name with an identification number of “2457”. Among the small claims court filing documents, is a pleading filed in the small claims court seeking to compel arbitration of the dispute, and attaching a Demand for Arbitration through the AAA for a debt in the amount of $22,773.70. There are also interrogatories propounded by the Respondent that suggests that the subject of the small claims court actions in an account identified as “2457”. The filings with the small claims court seem to indicate that at that time, the Demand for Arbitration of that “2457” account dispute had been dismissed by the AAA for failure of Claimant to provide necessary filing fee."

Then in the footnote the arbitrator adds "The documents presented to the Small claims court did not include a AAA case number, and therefore it is not completely clear that the AAA case dismissed was docketed as case number AAA22K."

Could this just be an easy fix if I prove that AAA22K case IS from this lawsuit?  I don't know how in depth or what is entailed in an appeal.

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Another thing that has me shocked and confused is at the initial hearing he said he is only making a decision on AAA3k case.  When I sent a motion to add the TCPA claim he granted it and said as long as it was for the account in AAA3k case.  Then he makes a decision on the AAA3K and AAA22K accounts. 

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6 hours ago, williams4 said:

Another thing that has me shocked and confused is at the initial hearing he said he is only making a decision on AAA3k case.  When I sent a motion to add the TCPA claim he granted it and said as long as it was for the account in AAA3k case.  Then he makes a decision on the AAA3K and AAA22K accounts. 

So the question is, did AAA ask YOU to pay your $200 and you never paid it for the AAA22K?  Because if that is true, it would have saved a ton of time on this issue.

Second, I see several inconsistencies with the arbitrator's statements in this case.  So in the meantime, for your court hearing, I re-work your response to her MTD your Sanctions and show the court that SHE is the one who wrongly co-mingled the cases in AAA and refused to keep them as separate cases intentionally and caused confusion and frivolous issues to arise because of it.  I also would use the language in the Card Agreement arbitration clause that says arbitration should only be on an individual basis and show that she disregarded this by forcing the combination of two cases in AAA.

As for AAA, there is no right to an appeal, but they do have an OPTION, which often they will say requires consent of both parties.  It is unlikely the attorney will consent, BUT I would send an email to the case manager and explain that the other side attempted to combine two seperate cases, that the arbitrator told you that he is only hearing case#X and therefore you never rebutted info about case #Y yet the arbitrator allowed the other side to present Y AND he ruled in their favor on Y.  I would tell them that the arbitrator erred by telling you he was only looking at one case, but instead ruled on 2 cases and also I would point out to them that the combination of the cases by the arbitrator is counter to the contract agreement to arbitrate (show the same line from the card agreement as above).  It's a long shot, but I would be at least raising a stink to AAA about the arbitrators inconsistency on this issue.

And lastly, since this is in small claims court, I would check on your ability to appeal.  If the judge allows this convoluted thing to stand and accepts the arbitrators award, then I would file an appeal and then perhaps do an MTC all over again in the higher court.

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18 minutes ago, fisthardcheese said:

So the question is, did AAA ask YOU to pay your $200 and you never paid it for the AAA22K?  Because if that is true, it would have saved a ton of time on this issue.

 

When I initially filed my AAA22K back in September, I did not pay my filing fee as I was waiting for my MTC to be granted to pay.  AAA administratively closed that AAA22K and said they will reopen a file when they receive omitted item (my $200 filing fee) and to kindly reference this case number (we will call it AAA22K#1)  My motion got granted on January 28.  I did exactly what AAA told me to do to reopen the file by paying my $200 filing fee, referencing the administratively closed AAA22K#1 case number and attached the court order for the COURT22K, which they opened a file with the AAA case number AAA22K.  Which is the one that she did not pay and they closed.  This is the "instant case" with the COURT22K attached.

 

25 minutes ago, fisthardcheese said:

 

Second, I see several inconsistencies with the arbitrator's statements in this case. 

He was going off all the court papers that she attached.  He said it looks like in the court I did file a MTC for that case (which she attached) and she attached her motion for summary judgement that she argued that I never paid the $200 filing fee.  That's why the arbitrator said he cannot tell if the COURT22K was docketed into AAA22K.  Which of course all the court papers she attached did not include the granted MTC.

 

30 minutes ago, fisthardcheese said:

And lastly, since this is in small claims court, I would check on your ability to appeal.  If the judge allows this convoluted thing to stand and accepts the arbitrators award, then I would file an appeal and then perhaps do an MTC all over again in the higher court.

The arbitrator kept saying the small claim case, but the court case is not in small claims.  It is in Superior court.

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1 hour ago, fisthardcheese said:

As for AAA, there is no right to an appeal, but they do have an OPTION, which often they will say requires consent of both parties.  It is unlikely the attorney will consent, BUT I would send an email to the case manager and explain that the other side attempted to combine two seperate cases, that the arbitrator told you that he is only hearing case#X and therefore you never rebutted info about case #Y yet the arbitrator allowed the other side to present Y AND he ruled in their favor on Y.  I would tell them that the arbitrator erred by telling you he was only looking at one case, but instead ruled on 2 cases and also I would point out to them that the combination of the cases by the arbitrator is counter to the contract agreement to arbitrate (show the same line from the card agreement as above).  It's a long shot, but I would be at least raising a stink to AAA about the arbitrators inconsistency on this issue.

 

Should I go into great detail with the case manager? Like including the email from 3/4/19 (between case manager, myself and unifund) that said this case (AAA3K) was never in court and was waiting to hear back from AAA filing department because my MTC was granted and need to open AAA22K#1 case back up (I have proof from the filing department that this was sent in and that the court order is for case AAA22K but the case manager does not have access to that case since he was not assigned since she never filed her fees) Then of course her refusing to send me her counterclaim and the case manager sending it to me and said she did not send it to them but went online and uploaded herself. And the email from just a month ago when she filed her reply to my brief and said this is for arbitration case AAA22K#1 and I asked if this was her reply to AAA3K even though she referenced the other case number.  To which she replied " We mailed a letter to the judge explaining the status of the case and mailed a copy to you as well. That letter should answer your questions along with the email sent from the arbitrator on April 16, 2019. "  I was frustrated and since the case manager has to be copied in all our communication I sent a reply email that said "Case Manager, I am confused by Bernice Harris's answer to my question and was going to see if you could help shed light on this.  The arbitrator's order says I need to have my reply to Unifund's response by July 1, so I just need to know if the response sent from Bernice that referenced case#01-19-0003-3861 was sent to the arbitrator and filed for case# 01-19-0000-1521.  With my reply for case#01-19-0000-1521 being due on July 1, I was just needing clarification so I know how to proceed with this case."  To which the case manager replied "Dear Parties: This will confirm receipt of Ms. William’s email. Please note that since Case #01-19-0003-3861 is not assigned to me, I do not have access to the case file and its documents.  Ms. Harris, I did receive an email from you on June 14 that was encrypted. However, for security reasons I cannot open it. If the email contained your response, please email it to me as a PDF. Since I haven’t seen Respondent’s response, I cannot verify what case number it has. However, since the arbitrations are separate, any reply should only be for this case. "

Edit: which case 01-19-0003-3861 that she put in her response brief is the case number from the 3/4 email exchange between myself, case manager and unifund when I said I was waiting for my mtc to be granted and has now been granted and was waiting on filing department to tell me what I need to do to open this file back up. 

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@fisthardcheese This is my thinking on what to do.  Since it's pretty much my last chance in the arbitration case anyway.  I am typing up pretty much a timeline of events for AAA3K, attaching exhibits including the emails and stuff to show she was being deceptive, how the arbitrator said he was only making a decision on this case, only letting me add a claim in reference to AAA3K, the email asking about the case number she referenced and how she made me wait for the letter to arrive 7 days later (which I have in my "timeline" that she said the letter to the judge will answer your question and how it still didn't clarify which case because she was in violation of a court order for case AAA22K) then attach the letter she mailed the judge that clearly shows she was well aware that AAA3K was the pending and told the judge that she did not pay the AAA22K because she was waiting for the resolution of the AAA3K case and that AAA3K was for COURT22K even though she shows she received my demand on 1/21 and the court order was granted on 1/28.  Point out that I didn't want to waive my right to arbitration by answering interrogatories (which he does mention the entire court case and was well aware of MTC, Objecting because I didn't want to waive my right to arbitration, but since the last thing in the court documents she submitted was the AAA closing the file back in October he wasn't completely clear the AAA22K case number I referenced in my objections were for this COURT22K documents) and say something along the lines of her since she got this COURT22K added to AAA3K AND ruled in her favor, it waived my right to defend myself in arbitration as well.  But obviously it will be way more organized than what I just put here.  I am hoping there might be a chance the case manager will forward it to the arbitrator.  The award he sent said he was hesitant to count her counterclaim as an actual counterclaim but since she brought up the AAA22K he feels he should address the issue.  But I feel like explaining all this stuff he will realize that he made an award on an account that has a court order and he wasn't assigned to that case, and waived my right to defend myself the COURT22K account or assert the AAA claim for COURT22K against her by saying he was only making a decision on AAA3K.

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At this point it seems like the absolute best-case-scenario is that an appeal is granted (by court and/or AAA), the arb cases get untangled, Unifund pays AAA another 3K and you still end up with a judgement for > 22K. One of the few pearls of wisdom from the defunct site was "a bad case in court is a bad case in arbitration," meaning that the arbitration strategy goes right in the dumpster when a plaintiff decides to follow.

The take away, for future travelers, is think twice before messing with preemptive arbitration.

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41 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

At this point it seems like the absolute best-case-scenario is that an appeal is granted (by court and/or AAA)

I am going to start with aaa since the arbitrator unknowingly made a award on a compelled court case that went to another instant case and see what happens. As for court, she filed her motion to dismiss my sanctions which I plan to oppose. I still didn’t receive the papers in the mail and the documents online say she mailed them to me on July 9. I have a feeling she did not mail them. Should I just oppose with what I can see online or is there another way to delay my opposition until she actually mails them to me?

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10 minutes ago, williams4 said:

Should I just oppose with what I can see online or is there another way to delay my opposition until she actually mails them to me?

Go to the courthouse and get a copy of what she filed.

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1 minute ago, fisthardcheese said:

Go to the courthouse and get a copy of what she filed.

Didn't think of that.  Thanks!

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59 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

At this point it seems like the absolute best-case-scenario is that an appeal is granted (by court and/or AAA), the arb cases get untangled, Unifund pays AAA another 3K and you still end up with a judgement for > 22K. One of the few pearls of wisdom from the defunct site was "a bad case in court is a bad case in arbitration," meaning that the arbitration strategy goes right in the dumpster when a plaintiff decides to follow.

The take away, for future travelers, is think twice before messing with preemptive arbitration.

There is no way the 22K case should have been a documents only desk arb.  It should have been an in-person hearing with discovery.  Additionally, if OP has proof they paid the filing fee for the AAA22K, then the arbitrator's award is in error by saying they did not pay, thus allowing him to rule on it (in addition to never having it filed as a counter claim allowing op to ask for that in-person hearing in addition to refuting the claim).  This thing seems to be a Benny Hill episode with the worst attorney and arbitrator combo you could ever imagine.

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6 hours ago, williams4 said:

The award he sent said he was hesitant to count her counterclaim as an actual counterclaim but since she brought up the AAA22K he feels he should address the issue.  

Yea - this is where is went off the rails. How do they even try to confirm that award? They can't very well go back to court, since the court-ordered AAA case was closed after you paid to reopen it and Unifund let it close due to non-payment.

 

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A question for @fisthardcheese : is it too late for OP to follow your advice (from many pages ago) and move court for sanctions due to plaintiff's failure to follow a court order (pointing to reopened and closed AAA22K case) and try to get a dismissal with prejudice? Wouldn't that make the bogus 22K award from AAA3K essentially non-collectible?

 

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10 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

A question for @fisthardcheese : is it too late for OP to follow your advice (from many pages ago) and move court for sanctions due to plaintiff's failure to follow a court order (pointing to reopened and closed AAA22K case) and try to get a dismissal with prejudice? Wouldn't that make the bogus 22K award from AAA3K essentially non-collectible?

 

I did file my Sanctions in court.  Which she then filed MTD my MFS now saying Defendant is using a court order instant case to argue my 3K which is not allowed.  This was after our argument on the update phone hearing with the court when I said AAA closed the AAA22K for non payment and she said no that was on a different account and the case for this court order is pending.  And I said no, the case pending is on a different credit card account that has nothing to do with this lawsuit. 

Edit: oh and I forgot to mention, in her MTD my sanctions she said At all times she has been forthright in the arbitration process and it's the defendant that is clearly confused.

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