Thebookmark

Gurstel Law Firm is being used by Calvary to come after me.

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Hi, all! I’m new here and so I’m sorry if this has been answered indirectly already. So many of these are case by case scenarios so I didn’t want to assume that all the answers were relevant to me. 

Calvary SPV has been coming after me for what they say is a 2k debt. They have retained Gurstel Law Firm to try and collect. I received the 30 debt validation letter and in response I have sent them a certified letter stating that I dispute their claim. I fear litigation is inevitable. 

It is stated on their original letter that Comenity is the original creditor. Is arbitration the best way to go about this? Is there anyone with enough legal vocabulary to tell me if this would be a safe route? 

Thank you in advance. This community has already been so helpful. :)

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1 hour ago, Thebookmark said:

Forgive me for asking...what is a JDB? I’m new to this. 

It means Junk Debt Buyer. It is a bit of a misnomer, these days, as what they buy is anything but "junk." These debts are as fully documented and legitimate as if they still belonged to Original Creditor.

The reason arbitration works against Debt Buyers is that they are in the business of making money on volume and arbitration, for them, is a money-losing proposition that also takes up time and resources. If the court approved your motion to have a case arbitrated (per the CC Agreement), a Debt Buyer will dismiss and move on to the next debt in their portfolio. Original Creditors - especially Amex, Discover and Cap 1 - have made it a corporate policy to not allow debtors to skate on loopholes. They will spend many thousands of dollars to collect a $300 debt in arbitration, as part of a zero-tolerance policy.

(Theory behind Arbitration is that the rules are interpreted as saying that the debtor is not responsible for the costs of arbitration, which can be substantial. Even though you would still lose in Arbitration, a Debt Buyer doesn't care, because they are not in the business of spending more money to collect a debt than the debt is worth. Also, the time a lawyer spent on a single Arbitration case could be better spent getting Default Judgments against dozens of other people.)

 

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31 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

It means Junk Debt Buyer. It is a bit of a misnomer, these days, as what they buy is anything but "junk." These debts are as fully documented and legitimate as if they still belonged to Original Creditor.

The reason arbitration works against Debt Buyers is that they are in the business of making money on volume and arbitration, for them, is a money-losing proposition that also takes up time and resources. If the court approved your motion to have a case arbitrated (per the CC Agreement), a Debt Buyer will dismiss and move on to the next debt in their portfolio. Original Creditors - especially Amex, Discover and Cap 1 - have made it a corporate policy to not allow debtors to skate on loopholes. They will spend many thousands of dollars to collect a $300 debt in arbitration, as part of a zero-tolerance policy.

(Theory behind Arbitration is that the rules are interpreted as saying that the debtor is not responsible for the costs of arbitration, which can be substantial. Even though you would still lose in Arbitration, a Debt Buyer doesn't care, because they are not in the business of spending more money to collect a debt than the debt is worth. Also, the time a lawyer spent on a single Arbitration case could be better spent getting Default Judgments against dozens of other people.)

 

Thank you! I appreciate the thorough response. I’m a bit nervous for a lawsuit. I haven’t been inside a courtroom since my high school field trip many, many years ago. 

Did you get a chance to look at the link I provided? Do you think that arbitration clause is good for me?

Also, would it be wise to preemptively file for arbitration before having a summons sent my way?

Thank you for your time!

Edited by Thebookmark
What I’m also trying to ask is: is it wise to threaten arbitration?

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It looks like a good arb clause.  It has JAMS and AAA as arb forum choices.

I would not preemptively file arbitration.  I would wait until you are sued, and then file a Motion to Compel Arbitration with the court.

See this for the best overview on arbitration:

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

 

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1 hour ago, nobk4me said:

It looks like a good arb clause.  It has JAMS and AAA as arb forum choices.

I would not preemptively file arbitration.  I would wait until you are sued, and then file a Motion to Compel Arbitration with the court.

See this for the best overview on arbitration:

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

 

Thank you for the response!

Is there a reason to not file arbitration prematurely? Is there a downside to it?

Is it good that I sent a request for validation letter their way within their 30 day asking time? 

Does Clavary ALWAYS sue when they retain a firm like Gurstel Law? Or is there a chance that I slide by with no summons?

Sorry for all the questions. :)

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We have seen cases where things get confused when you initiate arb without a court order. The "Gold Standard" seems to be answer the lawsuit with a "General Denial," mentioning "Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction," as Arbitration is the "correct" forum, not court. You then follow that up with a Motion to Compel (MTC) Arbitration - if the court grants the motion, the Debt Buyer will drop the case. If it's denied, then you appeal (assuming your state follows the Federal standard that arbitration, if offered in a contract, is the preferred method of dispute resolution.) We have seen a few judges deny an MTC, but those get reversed on appeal if the judge messed up. There was a post yesterday, in another thread, where a member posted his appellate ruling reversing a judge's decision to continue the case in court because arbitration hadn't concluded yet.

My experience has been that they sue once a law firm is involved. We were sued by Gurstel on a couple Cavalry debts and ended up coming out ahead, because Cavalry was reporting inconsistent numbers to credit bureaus.

I tend to be alone on the subject of debt validation. Most people say to send one, as it gives them a chance to violate FDCPA. I feel that they don't make those mistakes anymore, so all a DV letter does is let them know that they reached the right person - in other words, now they know they have the correct person/address to sue.

 

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46 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:
 

We have seen cases where things get confused when you initiate arb without a court order. The "Gold Standard" seems to be answer the lawsuit with a "General Denial," mentioning "Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction," as Arbitration is the "correct" forum, not court. You then follow that up with a Motion to Compel (MTC) Arbitration - if the court grants the motion, the Debt Buyer will drop the case. If it's denied, then you appeal (assuming your state follows the Federal standard that arbitration, if offered in a contract, is the preferred method of dispute resolution.) We have seen a few judges deny an MTC, but those get reversed on appeal if the judge messed up. There was a post yesterday, in another thread, where a member posted his appellate ruling reversing a judge's decision to continue the case in court because arbitration hadn't concluded yet.

My experience has been that they sue once a law firm is involved. We were sued by Gurstel on a couple Cavalry debts and ended up coming out ahead, because Cavalry was reporting inconsistent numbers to credit bureaus.

I tend to be alone on the subject of debt validation. Most people say to send one, as it gives them a chance to violate FDCPA. I feel that they don't make those mistakes anymore, so all a DV letter does is let them know that they reached the right person - in other words, now they know they have the correct person/address to sue.

 

Once again, thank you. 

Im nervous to be in court because I feel like the judge will just give me a look for asking for arbitration. Are judges pretty understanding when it comes to these things? They must know that we’re just working a loophole, right?

Not even just mentioning that you’ll file for arbitration in a letter will get them to back off?

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Also, is it bad that the language in the card agreement says that they will never file for arbitration in small claims? Or is that common in arbitration clauses? Does that language hurt my chances?

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1 hour ago, Thebookmark said:

Also, is it bad that the language in the card agreement says that they will never file for arbitration in small claims? Or is that common in arbitration clauses? Does that language hurt my chances?

 That language is common in arbitration provisions. It simply means that they will not motion to compel arbitration in small claims court. It does not prevent you from filing a motion to compel. 

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40 minutes ago, BV80 said:

 That language is common in arbitration provisions. It simply means that they will not motion to compel arbitration in small claims court. It does not prevent you from filing a motion to compel. 

That makes sense. Thanks!!

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On 9/26/2018 at 6:12 AM, Thebookmark said:

Calvary SPV has been coming after me for what they say is a 2k debt. They have retained Gurstel Law Firm to try and collect. I received the 30 debt validation letter and in response I have sent them a certified letter stating that I dispute their claim. I fear litigation is inevitable.

Litigation is inevitable short of paying them.  Gurstel is a lawsuit factory.

On 9/26/2018 at 6:12 AM, Thebookmark said:

It is stated on their original letter that Comenity is the original creditor. Is arbitration the best way to go about this?

Yes.

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On 9/28/2018 at 6:56 PM, Thebookmark said:

Once again, thank you. 

Im nervous to be in court because I feel like the judge will just give me a look for asking for arbitration. Are judges pretty understanding when it comes to these things? They must know that we’re just working a loophole, right?

Not even just mentioning that you’ll file for arbitration in a letter will get them to back off?

No they will not back off just saying the word arbitration.  Their job is to get a default judgement against you.  They will hope you get a flat tire or a panic attack and don't show up to court so they can get a default judgement in 2 minutes and be done.  You will have to do the work and show up and then follow through if you want this to go away for $0.

Judges follow the written law (and if they don't, then the appeals court will - that's why they exist).  Judge's don't care about you personally or have time to surmise your motives.  You have a written contract, you have the Federal and State laws regarding arbitration, and you have a motion pointing to these instruments which give you the absolute right to have your case heard in arbitration and not court.  Those are the facts, and that is all that matters.

Terms like "loopholes" are silly, because ALL laws are essentially a loop hole for someone or something.   The entire credit card agreement is a "loophole" for the credit card company to increase your rates and charge extra fees for anything they deem "necessary" among other things.  The Arbitration clause itself is a "loophole" for those banks to avoid class action lawsuits.  So, use that "loophole" as written to your advantage just like any company would do, without hesitation, against you.

You must go into this as a business matter, not an emotional or personal matter.  Proceed just as the opposing attorney, their billion dollar company client, and the judge all do;  As a job and nothing more.

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Thank you!

If I sent a certified Request for Validation letter that stated Gurstel had 30 days to send me supporting documents or delete my file and send verification of my file being deleted, is that arguable in court?

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2 hours ago, Thebookmark said:

Thank you!

If I sent a certified Request for Validation letter that stated Gurstel had 30 days to send me supporting documents or delete my file and send verification of my file being deleted, is that arguable in court?

No.

1.   A validation request must be sent within 30 days after the consumer receives the initial communication made by the debt collector that informs the consumer of the right to request validation.   You stated that you’ve already sent a letter disputing the debt. Did you request validation? 

2.   The 30 day requirement only applies to consumers/debtors when sending a request for validation. The debt collector can take as long as it chooses to vallidate.   But it cannot attempt to collect again until it validates the debt.

 

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53 minutes ago, BV80 said:

No.

1.   A validation request must be sent within 30 days after the consumer receives the initial communication made by the debt collector that informs the consumer of the right to request validation.   You stated that you’ve already sent a letter disputing the debt. Did you request validation? 

2.   The 30 day requirement only applies to consumers/debtors when sending a request for validation. The debt collector can take as long as it chooses to vallidate.   But it cannot attempt to collect again until it validates the debt.

 

I did dispute and request validation. 

Part of me is thinking that I just made myself more noticible by doing so. 😂

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39 minutes ago, Thebookmark said:

Part of me is thinking that I just made myself more noticible by doing so.

I wouldn't worry - as @Clydesmom said, they are/were probably going to sue, anyway. We can help with arbitration - as I recall, we had a MN case relatively recently, so there should be a good template for how to proceed when the time comes.

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Just one thing to note, in Minnesota a lawsuit is started when you are served, not when the case is filed in the court so you will probably get a summons and complaint without a court case number on it. You will still need to answer that or they will get a default judgement. From there, it will be back and forth where you send your answer and then you send them a copy of the MTC Arb you plan to file with the court and let them decide if they want to go to the courthouse and pay the fees or not. Realize if they do file a case, you will have to pay fees for the MTC and maybe the answer and they are pretty high in Minnesota.

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13 hours ago, Thebookmark said:

I did dispute and request validation. 

Part of me is thinking that I just made myself more noticible by doing so.

Depending on what that letter said you may have.  If you used one of those cut and paste letters from the internet demanding a long list of stuff then you screwed up.  That letter template (and it is on this site sadly) is RIDDLED with errors.  They do not have to send you any documentation and they do not have to delete the trade line if they refuse to send the list of demands.  MOST of that list is not required under the FDCPA.  Nor does it require they delete if they don't validate.

Basically what you may have done is let them know you can cut and paste and don't know the laws.  They see that as an advantage if they are going to sue you.

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4 hours ago, WhoCares1000 said:

Just one thing to note, in Minnesota a lawsuit is started when you are served, not when the case is filed in the court so you will probably get a summons and complaint without a court case number on it. You will still need to answer that or they will get a default judgement. From there, it will be back and forth where you send your answer and then you send them a copy of the MTC Arb you plan to file with the court and let them decide if they want to go to the courthouse and pay the fees or not. Realize if they do file a case, you will have to pay fees for the MTC and maybe the answer and they are pretty high in Minnesota.

How high are we talking?

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11 minutes ago, Clydesmom said:

Depending on what that letter said you may have.  If you used one of those cut and paste letters from the internet demanding a long list of stuff then you screwed up.  That letter template (and it is on this site sadly) is RIDDLED with errors.  They do not have to send you any documentation and they do not have to delete the trade line if they refuse to send the list of demands.  MOST of that list is not required under the FDCPA.  Nor does it require they delete if they don't validate.

Basically what you may have done is let them know you can cut and paste and don't know the laws.  They see that as an advantage if they are going to sue you.

I found one on a forum that I copy and pasted. It had a list of requests. 

I understood that maybe a few of them would be met when I sent it. I just wanted to show that I’m willing to show a long letter. 

At least I sent it certified!

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I really think the whole DV thing is over blown. They have this stuff distilled to the point where they don't violate anymore and all they see is a request (no one is looking at it and thinking "they copy/pasted, they must be easy marks!") As @Clydesmom said, they are a lawsuit mill and don't have the time to care what someone put in a DV - I suspect the only box that get's checked in their system is that DV verifies that they have the right person and right address.

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2 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

I really think the whole DV thing is over blown. They have this stuff distilled to the point where they don't violate anymore and all they see is a request (no one is looking at it and thinking "they copy/pasted, they must be easy marks!") As @Clydesmom said, they are a lawsuit mill and don't have the time to care what someone put in a DV - I suspect the only box that get's checked in their system is that DV verifies that they have the right person and right address.

I think it does more good than that, such as establishing an early notice and pattern of disputing the alleged debt. And the notion that "AHAH! We found the right person!!" is silly too because, they will already assume they have the correct information and just get a default judgement with your correct name and address whether you respond with a DV or not.

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