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AAA rejects Citi Arb... Now what...?


olvrtw
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Well looks like citi paid their deposit. Now they got another bill of $1400. Shame, that they are going to pay more to go through arbitration than the debt is worth.

I filed counterclaims, but I could use assistance with how to file motions and other stuff to defend my claims. Citi blocked my online account access while my cards were still active. I did call them but they demanded full payment on my accounts to get access back, the csr was very rude and pretty much refused to do anything for me. I also stopped getting paper statements as soon as I was late the first month. Also they called my cell phone at all hours of the day/night and they were relentless, my phone pretty much became useless, cancelled that number like a year later. They call all my family members, and even distant family members and tell them I owe Citi money, the family members tell them not to call and they call again anyway. They had multiple data breaches while my accounts were open, my personal information had been compromised, and because they stopped sending me statements I do not know what the charges were and how the balances became as high as they are now.

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1 hour ago, olvrtw said:

They had multiple data breaches while my accounts were open, my personal information had been compromised, and because they stopped sending me statements I do not know what the charges were and how the balances became as high as they are now.

The balance escalates quickly because once you are late there are late fees and the interest rate sky rockets to almost 30%.  The longer no payments come in the balance can almost double.  

1 hour ago, olvrtw said:

I filed counterclaims

What did you counter claim?

1 hour ago, olvrtw said:

I could use assistance with how to file motions and other stuff to defend my claims.

You need to research every thread on arbitration on this site.

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3 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

The balance escalates quickly because once you are late there are late fees and the interest rate sky rockets to almost 30%.  The longer no payments come in the balance can almost double.  

What did you counter claim?

You need to research every thread on arbitration on this site.

I counterclaimed everything I put in the post above yours. I just put TBD in the claim $ amount though... I should probably also add that I would like an arbitrator who was previously aware of "Pro se pleadings are to be liberally construed. See Martin v. Overton"...

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6 hours ago, olvrtw said:

I should probably also add that I would like an arbitrator who was previously aware of "Pro se pleadings are to be liberally construed. See Martin v. Overton"...

You can also like to be Pope but that isn't how arbitration works.  

6 hours ago, olvrtw said:

I counterclaimed everything I put in the post above yours.

What do you mean you counter claimed everything?  You have to list actual claims not the rambling nonsense of your interpretation of what happened to the account.

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Oyy you're being hard on me. I wasn't really planning on trying too hard this go, I really want to just get to the appeal stage so they will finally not pay and the case gets completely dismissed... If they actually do pay for the appeal, then heck they deserve to win, heh.

 

But honestly, my baby is teething now, my toddler is a handful, I have health issues and life is short...

There is not much on these forums or other ones on how to actually defend your case in arbitration, nor any counterclaims, etc... The only person I have read about is where he claimed damages for the data breach...

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18 hours ago, olvrtw said:

There is not much on these forums or other ones on how to actually defend your case in arbitration, nor any counterclaims, etc...

There's a ton of info for people that have legitimate defenses and counterclaims. The only possible two you could have is them not sending billing statements the first month you were late,  and your data being breached. You have to prove both actually happened, and, in order to recover monetary compensation, that you sustained damages as a result. 

They are allowed to call you and everyone you know as much as they want. They also don't have to provide online access because you can always send your payment in the mail. 

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On 1/24/2019 at 2:02 PM, Goody_Ouchless said:

No that sounds interesting...

 

This rule has been in place for years.  It just sounds like Citi failed to include the court's order granting the MTC with their filing.  AAA will not take a company's claim against a consumer unless it is court ordered. Once they sent the granted MTC, AAA reopened the case.

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On 1/31/2019 at 8:01 PM, olvrtw said:

There is not much on these forums or other ones on how to actually defend your case in arbitration, nor any counterclaims, etc... The only person I have read about is where he claimed damages for the data breach...

This is because the purpose of the arbitration strategy is to make it too expensive for the creditor to litigate in that forum and voluntarily decide to give up. Once the creditor goes to arbitration, it is essentially the same as a regular court case. If you have bona fide defenses you should win, if you do not really have a defense to the merits you should lose. 

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On 1/31/2019 at 8:01 PM, olvrtw said:

There is not much on these forums or other ones on how to actually defend your case in arbitration, nor any counterclaims, etc... The only person I have read about is where he claimed damages for the data breach...

Then you aren't reading much about arbitration. You use the same arguments you would in court regarding assignment and accuracy of accounting.  Almost all of my threads suggest having a counterclaim because in Arbitration it isn't technically a counter claim, it is just YOUR claim against them.  When YOU file arbitration, you are starting the case, so YOU are the Claimant (same as the Plaintiff in court).  It is another way that arbitration can flip things on them.  THEY are the ones that have to file a counter claim for the alleged debt.  Sometimes they don't, because they don't fully understand the arbitration process and they end up paying for a full arb case without ever having the alleged debt brought up at all. 

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  • 1 month later...

So the arbitrator was selected and we had the preliminary hearing. During the hearing the lawyer for Citi talked about filing an amendment and if they did that we may need to adjust the schedule to allow for more time to deal with the amendment. After the hearing the Citi lawyer emails everyone and pretty much says the Arbitrator agreed to allow the amendment. (I responded and objected because that never happened, we only agreed to adjust the schedule if we had to deal with an amendment.) The arbitrator replied that he will agree to see the amendment and decide on it when he gets it. So Citi sent their amendment with an additional claim, another card that is totally seperate. I objected of course and the arbitrator did not side with me. My objection is because the card agreement states (see bold section below):

 

Arbitration limits

• Individual Claims filed in a small claims court are not subject to arbitration, as long as the matter stays in small claims court.

• We won’t initiate arbitration to collect a debt from you unless you choose to arbitrate or assert a Claim against us. If you assert a Claim against us, we can choose to arbitrate, including actions to collect a debt from you. You may arbitrate on an individual basis Claims brought against you, including Claims to collect a debt.

• Claims brought as part of a class action, private attorney general or other representative action can be arbitrated only on an individual basis. The arbitrator has no authority to arbitrate any claim on a class or representative basis and may award relief only on an individual basis. If arbitration is chosen by any party, neither you nor we may pursue a Claim as part of a class action or other representative action. Claims of 2 or more persons may not be combined in the same arbitration. However, applicants, co-applicants, Authorized Users on a single Account and/or related Accounts, or corporate affiliates are here considered as one person. 

 

The arbitrator states that individual basis means: ""individual basis" in the Card Agreement means a one-on-one dispute between a cardholder and Citibank - as opposed to a class action dispute in which the cardholder is one of many class action members. It does not mean that each dispute between the single cardholder and Citibank must be individually disputed in court or arbitration."

 

Am I the dumb one or is this arbitrator wrong?

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2 hours ago, olvrtw said:

Am I the dumb one or is this arbitrator wrong?

He's right.  "Individual basis" in terms of a lawsuit never means individual claims.  In any event, they (Citi) use the same "individual basis" language in that same section when talking about class action lawsuits (so they effectively define the term even if there were any ambiguity) and class actions are about multiple plaintiffs with identical claims; not multiple claims from the same plaintiff.   

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You may arbitrate on an individual basis Claims brought against you, including Claims to collect a debt.

 

So i am having an extremely hard time understanding this sentence. Are you telling me that multiple banks can file a claim against me? Or what exactly, because if you are saying "individual basis" means something other than individual basis (seperately), i dont know what you are saying... or how that sentence would make any logical or meaninful sense... why would it be in there?

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Its getting even harder for me to understand now. I am starting to think I may not be competent, and I likely have not been a competent party when I entered into this contract if I cannot understand that sentence. Im pretty sure a non-competent party cannot enter into a binding contract. Or am I wrong about that as well?

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5 hours ago, olvrtw said:

That sentence is about claims against me. It has nothing to do with counterclaims. The paragraph is only about claims between the bank and me. The next paragraph discusses class action.

You can't look at one sentence in a vacuum and apply a meaning.  The rest of the agreement makes clear what they mean by "individual basis", and furthermore, it's an 'industry term' that means exactly what the arbitrator said.  Plus, if they meant individual claims, why wouldn't they say that (like they did in the paragraph right above) instead of "individual basis" which means something else?

If you think the arbitrator is wrong, appeal it.

 

6 hours ago, olvrtw said:

Im pretty sure a non-competent party cannot enter into a binding contract.

Not understanding the meaning of a phrase doesn't make you incompetent.

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1st paragraph of arbitration limits, is about small claims, not about class action.

2nd paragraph is about claims against me, how is it possible to have class action claims against me?

3rd paragraph is about class action, against the bank.

So you are telling me that all 3 paragraphs are about class action?

 

How in the world could a party not part of this contract arbitrate a claim against me if they are not part of this contract? How can a term in a contract between Citi and me, be applied to someone not part of this contract?

Ok 1 more thing, again : COMMA including Claims to collect a debt.

So you are telling me that multiple people can have the same claim to collect a debt from me, and I would be able to arbitrate them on an individual basis? So, I owe Jack and Jill $1. I decide to arbitrate their claim on an individual basis. Their claim is I owe them $1. So, now that I decided to arbitrate, I owe Jack $1 and Jill $1. So effectively I owe them $2 now huh? How can a person owe multiple people the same money?

 

Give me an example of non-"individual basis" claims against a consumer, or tell me exactly how you would phrase the paragraph if the meaning was supposed to be as I am thinking it should be (which is that each claim Citi has against me can be arbitrated seperately)?

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1 hour ago, olvrtw said:

2nd paragraph is about claims against me

...as well as claims you may bring against Citi.  In fact, the first 2 of the 3 sentences (majority) of the paragraph expressly discuss you bringing counterclaims against Citi.  The 3rd sentence must be examined in the light of the previous two sentences, the context of the agreement as a whole and customary definitions for phrases being used.

1 hour ago, olvrtw said:

So you are telling me that all 3 paragraphs are about class action?

No, just part of #2 and most of #3.  #1 is about "individual claims" in small claims court.

1 hour ago, olvrtw said:

tell me exactly how you would phrase the paragraph if the meaning was supposed to be as I am thinking it should be

"• We won’t initiate arbitration to collect a debt from you unless you choose to arbitrate or assert a Claim against us. If you assert a Claim against us, we can choose to arbitrate, including actions to collect a debt from you. You may arbitrate on an individual basis individual Claims brought against you, including Claims to collect a debt. We will not join multiple claims we may have against you into a single arbitration action."

The problem with that version is that every single claim they have must be individually brought against you in separate arbitration actions.  That would be incredibly unfair if you had 5 accounts with them that you defaulted on at the same time, and you had no way to join all of their claims into a single arbitration action.

(By the way, you said "which is that each claim Citi has against me can be arbitrated seperately".  The current wording of the agreement doesn't prohibit them from arbitrating each claim separately, but if you did have 5 accounts, and they initiated 5 separate arbitration actions, you know as well as I do that you would be demanding all of their claims be joined into a single arbitration action.  Under your interpretation of the agreement, they would be prohibited from doing that.)

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7 hours ago, olvrtw said:

I am starting to think I may not be competent

No you are desperate and grasping at straws.  CITI made a bold move. They noticed you had more than one card in default and put them together in one arbitration hearing to save time and money.  Doing so does not violate that term in the card agreement. The statements in the agreement are meant to address class action claims and you KNOW IT.  Even if this were in court CITI could petition the court to amend the complaint to include both accounts in default because the Plaintiff is still ONE and the same:  CITI; and the Defendant is still ONE and the same:  YOU.  Those are both individuals from a legal perspective which is an individual basis even if there are more than one allegation/account in the complaint.  

Another way to look at it:  if you were not in default but alleged CITI violated the card agreement and your rights as a consumer you could file for arbitration for breach of contract, TCPA violations, and deceptive business  practices on both your accounts but CITI could not require you to do 6 separate arbitration claims one for each.

1 hour ago, olvrtw said:

Give me an example of non-"individual basis" claims against a consumer

We have seen it in court not arbitration.  Typically it involves junk debt buyers and their debt collection lawsuit mill attorney.  A large JDB will own several defaulted accounts from 3 different creditors for consumer Jack Spratt.  They sue on one of the accounts and when the records reveal the JDB owns 2 more ask the court to amend the complaint to include all 3 because while the original creditors were all different the assignee is the same entity and they can be put together.  We have yet to see a court deny the request at least here on the boards.  

The bottom line is CITI called your bluff.  Not only that they doubled down on their chances of winning.  Arbitration with an original creditor is not about winning but getting a better settlement.  You have no valid defenses to the default or counter claims. A bad case in court is equally bad in arbitration.  Your options are settlement, bankruptcy, or judgment when the arbitration award is confirmed.  

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4 minutes ago, Clydesmom said:

Arbitration with an original creditor is not about winning but getting a better settlement.

He's trying to increase the leverage by trying to force them to spend more money.  I get the strategy.  I tried the same exact thing with Citi 10 years ago.  It didn't work then either.

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13 hours ago, olvrtw said:

You may arbitrate on an individual basis Claims brought against you, including Claims to collect a debt.

The other thing is this sentence is talking about what you can do.  Not what Citi can do.  So even if your interpretation is correct that "individual basis" means "individual claims", it only prohibits you from bringing multiple claims in a single arbitration action.  It doesn't stop them from doing it.

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38 minutes ago, Harry Seaward said:

He's trying to increase the leverage by trying to force them to spend more money.

I get that.  Clearly CITI called his bluff.  They didn't fall for it and it makes me wonder if they saw what Discover and AMEX were doing with arb and got their advice on how to use it to their advantage when defaulted consumers choose it.  They certainly don't seem to be phased by this and have maximized their results so far.

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