helpinWI

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Court commissioner would not even look at my MTC or answer. I admitted service before seeing her to have a hearing today, where I thought I would be able to present my MTC. No, she scheduled an evidentiary hearing for two months from now. I am trying to file my MTC and answer now that I’ve been served. I’ve been sent to two different windows and the clerks are confused and seem as if they won’t accept my documents. What should I do?

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Just now, helpinWI said:
 

Court commissioner would not even look at my MTC or answer. I admitted service before seeing her to have a hearing today, where I thought I would be able to present my MTC. No, she scheduled an evidentiary hearing for two months from now. I am trying to file my MTC and answer now that I’ve been served. I’ve been sent to two different windows and the clerks are confused and seem as if they won’t accept my documents. What should I do?

Do I appeal to a circuit judge? I think what she did was completely out of WI law.

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On 5/5/2019 at 4:34 PM, BackFromTheDebt said:

Interesting plan, and not a bad one. 

If they filed an affidavit of non-service, there is a chance the date of the hearing will be postponed.  Check CCAP before you go for last minute changes.  

When you are there, if you have an MTC ready, that is not a bad thing.  Decide for yourself if you want them to dismiss the case without prejudice for non-service.  Maybe they will, maybe they won't, and if they do, they can always file again.  Small claims can be really weird.  An MTC, however, can end things once and for all.  

After they got their heads together they sent me back up to the commissioners clerk. MTC and answer are filed. Do I wait for the hearing two months from now? Or take action with a judge? 

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Just now, helpinWI said:

After they got their heads together they sent me back up to the commissioners clerk. MTC and answer are filed. Do I wait for the hearing two months from now? Or take action with a judge? 

Or should I file JAMS and send the attorney a letter? 

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Wait 

 

As far as the appeal process goes, you have nothing to appeal unless and until there is a ruling against you. 

As for filing in JAMS, I have seen two sets of advice.  One is to go ahead and file in JAMS before the hearing to prove you are serious.  The other is to wait until after the judge rules on the MTC.  

I can see the argument on both sides.  I have personally always waited until after the judge’s order.  The judge always gave xxx days for me to file in JAMS and to prove I did so.  

It may be a good idea to at least prepare a draft of the filing before the court date. 

Also, what do you do if the magistrate rejects your MTC?   Wasted a JAMS filing then. 

 

If the magistrate rejects your JAMS filing and rules against you, then immediately appeal to Circuit Court as is your right.  

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@BackFromTheDebt @fisthardcheese 

Wait for two months and do not contact the attorney (beside serving the MTC and answer of course)? Only concentrate on my MTC at the evidentiary hearing? 

What if the commissioner is as ridiculous as the one I saw today? I tried to tell her that the court did not have jurisdiction and I had a motion to compel arbitration. She was pissed, literally pissed and then was all puffy to me ("the is a COURT") and said we are through here, and insisted on an evidentiary hearing and I would have to get a summary judgement.

I wanted to say to her so bad, yes, this is a court, let's follow procedure, shall we? It cracks me up that they file judgements without service in this state and county, all, the, time. It is a mill and she did not like me being a cog today, one bit!

Could you help me out a little more please? This is not how I thought today would go and by no means am ready to give up this fight. But I need a plan.

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, helpinWI said:

@BackFromTheDebt @fisthardcheese 

Wait for two months and do not contact the attorney (beside serving the MTC and answer of course)? Only concentrate on my MTC at the evidentiary hearing? 

What if the commissioner is as ridiculous as the one I saw today? I tried to tell her that the court did not have jurisdiction and I had a motion to compel arbitration. She was pissed, literally pissed and then was all puffy to me ("the is a COURT") and said we are through here, and insisted on an evidentiary hearing and I would have to get a summary judgement.

I wanted to say to her so bad, yes, this is a court, let's follow procedure, shall we? It cracks me up that they file judgements without service in this state and county, all, the, time. It is a mill and she did not like me being a cog today, one bit!

Could you help me out a little more please? This is not how I thought today would go and by no means am ready to give up this fight. But I need a plan.

 

 

 

I added more to my comments above. 

Mistake on your part to piss off the magistrate. 

Hopefully either someone else runs the hearing for you or else she has calmed down by then.  

If she rules in your favor, fine. 

Else, appeal. 

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Let me add a couple of things —

I heard that the top consumer attorney in Wisconsin advises his clients to assume they will lose in small claims court, and appeal to Circuit Court where they can get a real judge.  

 

The other thing is — remember who your audience is right now.  It is not me or anyone else on this forum.  It is the magistrate who will hear your case.  Even if the magistrate is a total idiot and a complete jerk, your job is to make sure you don’t anger the magistrate.  Getting a judge or magistrate angry at you can have serious repercussions.  I once inadvertently got a judge pissed off at me, not by design at all.  I faced between $1000 and $2000 in sanctions loss of my case.  

 

It could have been worse.  

One time on the other board a fellow in Arkansas went out of his way to piss everyone off and got about $60,000 in sanctions.  

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Thanks, I will do that. I think she was born pissed. I'm not sure I did anything but try to present that I had papers to file.

I am assuming, she was mad because I didn't whimper down to the attorney when he tried to slime his way into a "pre-hearing" talk. I saw so many people giving into them at court this morning, making deals, getting their paperwork. She clearly was mad because I had other plans.  I wish this could have been a pleasant hearing but the cards were not falling that way this morning. I will appeal it if whoever sees my case, denies it. And what exactly could I be given sancttions for? Wouldn't I have to not follow her orders or court rules? Are you trying to say they can make offenses up and assign me damages? That seems a bit rash.

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10 minutes ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

Let me add a couple of things —

I heard that the top consumer attorney in Wisconsin advises his clients to assume they will lose in small claims court, and appeal to Circuit Court where they can get a real judge.  

 

The other thing is — remember who your audience is right now.  It is not me or anyone else on this forum.  It is the magistrate who will hear your case.  Even if the magistrate is a total idiot and a complete jerk, your job is to make sure you don’t anger the magistrate.  Getting a judge or magistrate angry at you can have serious repercussions.  I once inadvertently got a judge pissed off at me, not by design at all.  I faced between $1000 and $2000 in sanctions loss of my case.  

 

It could have been worse.  

One time on the other board a fellow in Arkansas went out of his way to piss everyone off and got about $60,000 in sanctions.  

What is his/her name. At this point I am willing to pay someone to finish this once and for all. Even it is more than the debt.

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Why would the mag mention summary judgement... I found this poking around quoted from the Consumer Arbitration Agreements publication. I'm thinking she just isn't familiar with arbitration? 

I guess I will just let this be for two months, not much I can do now. I will go in expecting to be denied in July. I'll get my JAMS ready and look into appeal process too.

Defendant’s Conduct in the Court Proceeding Defendants initially may proceed with court litigation before raising the arbitration requirement—either because they thought (mistakenly) they could win in court quickly or were initially unaware of the arbitration requirement. Courts will look at the totality of circumstances to see if this conduct waives the right to require arbitration, particularly where the conduct prejudices the consumer. Id. § 8.3.2.1.

Conduct that may amount to waiver includes:

  • • Filing pleadings in a case, such as a complaint or counterclaim, Id. § 8.3.2.3; 
  • • Bringing a motion on the merits, such as a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment,  Id. § 8.3.2.4; 
  • • Litigating on the merits almost to the point of trial or filing numerous motions, Id.;
  • • Conducting extensive discovery, Id. § 8.3.2.5;
  • • Excessively delaying a request to compel arbitration,  Id. § 8.3.2.6.

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Am I allowed to do that in this forum?

i think I am. In any case, this could be that I am just mentioning his name and not giving a reference.   I never hired him but I know several former CIC posters in the Milwaukee area  who had excellent results with him.  

 

Briane Pagel. 

 

Trouble is, he is in Madison.  The Milwaukee folks who used him were for very complicated cases in which it made sense to pay the big bucks  

 

I think you have this under control better than you think.  

Here is what to expect:

1. Hearing in 2 months.  Either you get the MTC or else you lose the case.  If you win step 3 and if you lose step 2. 

2. Appeal.  You will see a real judge in Circuit Court.  File your MTC

3.  File in JAMS

4. They walk away and you win

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3 minutes ago, helpinWI said:

Why would the mag mention summary judgement... I found this poking around quoted from the Consumer Arbitration Agreements publication. I'm thinking she just isn't familiar with arbitration? 

I guess I will just let this be for two months, not much I can do now. I will go in expecting to be denied in July. I'll get my JAMS ready and look into appeal process too.

Defendant’s Conduct in the Court Proceeding Defendants initially may proceed with court litigation before raising the arbitration requirement—either because they thought (mistakenly) they could win in court quickly or were initially unaware of the arbitration requirement. Courts will look at the totality of circumstances to see if this conduct waives the right to require arbitration, particularly where the conduct prejudices the consumer. Id. § 8.3.2.1.

Conduct that may amount to waiver includes:

  • • Filing pleadings in a case, such as a complaint or counterclaim, Id. § 8.3.2.3; 
  • • Bringing a motion on the merits, such as a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment,  Id. § 8.3.2.4; 
  • • Litigating on the merits almost to the point of trial or filing numerous motions, Id.;
  • • Conducting extensive discovery, Id. § 8.3.2.5;
  • • Excessively delaying a request to compel arbitration,  Id. § 8.3.2.6.

She either isn’t familiar with arbitration or else doesn’t give a shoot.  

Either you get a magistrate who will give a proper ruling or else appeal.  

 

In Wisconsin it isn’t easy to waive arbitration rights.  At least not in Circuit Court with a real judge. 

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Thank you for all your knowledge and replies today! I do appreciate it. I know no one here has to help anyone and I am grateful. 

I am thinking it is both, no shoots and isn't familiar. Sigh. Onward and upward.

Again, thank you for keeping it simple, it really will be or will not be at this next hearing. 

And if not, I am hoping Circuit Court won't  be too annoyed I am coming up from SC. :) 

Putting it to rest for a couple months.

 

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11 minutes ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

Am I allowed to do that in this forum?

i think I am. In any case, this could be that I am just mentioning his name and not giving a reference.   I never hired him but I know several former CIC posters in the Milwaukee area  who had excellent results with him.  

 

Briane Pagel. 

 

Trouble is, he is in Madison.  The Milwaukee folks who used him were for very complicated cases in which it made sense to pay the big bucks  

 

I think you have this under control better than you think.  

Here is what to expect:

1. Hearing in 2 months.  Either you get the MTC or else you lose the case.  If you win step 3 and if you lose step 2. 

2. Appeal.  You will see a real judge in Circuit Court.  File your MTC

3.  File in JAMS

4. They walk away and you win

Ah, yes, mine is too simple for this attorney, but thank you.

I would file my MTC again with the appeal? I filed it today with my simple answer. I will also be researching court rules, procedures, etc for appeal just in case.

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Sorry to hear you got a bad magistrate.  Sounds like one of those who thinks it's his/her job to advocate for the creditor plaintiff.  Yes, I have encountered that type too.

Follow the advice from BackFromTheDebt.   Eventually you will get to a real judge who understands the law and will grant the MTC.

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On 5/8/2019 at 1:43 PM, helpinWI said:

Thanks, I will do that. I think she was born pissed. I'm not sure I did anything but try to present that I had papers to file.

I am assuming, she was mad because I didn't whimper down to the attorney when he tried to slime his way into a "pre-hearing" talk. I saw so many people giving into them at court this morning, making deals, getting their paperwork. She clearly was mad because I had other plans.  I wish this could have been a pleasant hearing but the cards were not falling that way this morning. I will appeal it if whoever sees my case, denies it. And what exactly could I be given sancttions for? Wouldn't I have to not follow her orders or court rules? Are you trying to say they can make offenses up and assign me damages? That seems a bit rash.

It's possible she wasn't really pissed at you, but was putting on an act, a bullying act, in the hope of scaring you into settling or taking a judgment.  I have seen this behavior.

Or maybe she was pissed because you didn't act like a scared sheep like the rest of the defendants.  Maybe she sees this as a challenge to her authority.

I'm not sure what motivates this behavior, maybe contempt for "deadbeats", or for pro se's, or, as mentioned,  a challenge to her authority.  Or, I suspect there may even be corruption involved.  Maybe these biased magistrates and judges are getting kickbacks from creditors.  Shouldn't happen, but corruption sometimes does.

Whatever the motive, IMO. this unprofessional, biased behavior is UNETHICAL.  It violates the codes of professional and judicial conduct.  All parties appearing before the court are to be treated with respect.  Courts are supposed to be neutral and should not show bias for or against any party.

If it happens again, I would object to this behavior.  I know that's tough, as you are in a stressful situation where it seems like they have power and you don't.   But I think it's important to get your objection on the record.  Speaking of the record, was this hearing transcribed or recorded?  If not, it's just your word vs. theirs that it even happened.

For future hearings, could you ask that it be recorded or transcribed?  Maybe record it yourself, if they let you?  I find people behave better when their behavior is documented.

Are you able to ask this person to recuse herself from your case, due to demonstrated bias and hostility?  Check your state's rules of civil procedures and local rules of court.

And, assuming she's an attorney, you could file a bar complaint against her.

Just some ideas here.  You are not as powerless as you may feel you are.

I doubt very much that you would face sanctions for advocating for your rights, as long as you actions are civil, polite, and professional.  She won't go that far because it would expose HER behavior.

 

 

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3 hours ago, nobk4me said:
 

It's possible she wasn't really pissed at you, but was putting on an act, a bullying act, in the hope of scaring you into settling or taking a judgment.  I have seen this behavior.

Or maybe she was pissed because you didn't act like a scared sheep like the rest of the defendants.  Maybe she sees this as a challenge to her authority.

I'm not sure what motivates this behavior, maybe contempt for "deadbeats", or for pro se's, or, as mentioned,  a challenge to her authority.  Or, I suspect there may even be corruption involved.  Maybe these biased magistrates and judges are getting kickbacks from creditors.  Shouldn't happen, but corruption sometimes does.

Whatever the motive, IMO. this unprofessional, biased behavior is UNETHICAL.  It violates the codes of professional and judicial conduct.  All parties appearing before the court are to be treated with respect.  Courts are supposed to be neutral and should not show bias for or against any party.

If it happens again, I would object to this behavior.  I know that's tough, as you are in a stressful situation where it seems like they have power and you don't.   But I think it's important to get your objection on the record.  Speaking of the record, was this hearing transcribed or recorded?  If not, it's just your word vs. theirs that it even happened.

For future hearings, could you ask that it be recorded or transcribed?  Maybe record it yourself, if they let you?  I find people behave better when their behavior is documented.

Are you able to ask this person to recuse herself from your case, due to demonstrated bias and hostility?  Check your state's rules of civil procedures and local rules of court.

And, assuming she's an attorney, you could file a bar complaint against her.

Just some ideas here.  You are not as powerless as you may feel you are.

I doubt very much that you would face sanctions for advocating for your rights, as long as you actions are civil, polite, and professional.  She won't go that far because it would expose HER behavior.

 

 

Now that I have a little retrospective, I'm not sure why this happened. It very well could be a personality issue. Speaking of corruption, I saw this article yesterday from my city:  https://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/former-milwaukee-alderman-charged-in-case-allegedly-involving-strip-clubs/article_e4026725-a429-52e9-a5eb-aea3bbbb83fd.html 

Yes, corruption in government happens. 

This SC court really is a mill, one large room with clerks, 4 side chambers for hearing, no clerks in the back chambers, no reporters, no recording, seems very backwards to me. More of waiting in a DMV line feel to the whole process. I’ll look into all of your suggestions, I hadn’t even thought of these options. In black and white terms this is all about money and power. 

It does feel like something off was going on, even with me being over-stressed and not all smiles. I would say I was business like but not disrespectful. I was shocked when she wouldn’t let me speak on jurisdiction at all. I think she said something like this court does have jurisdiction... I got a few words out but she cut me off, asked if I accepted service today, agree or disagree with the complaint and then she said I could get a summary judgement in the next hearing, ended it and walked out, I was a bit in awe and in disbelief, I walked out with the attorney to the scheduling desk made the next court date, mag left no other option. I did take note that the sheriffs who did the scheduling asked the attorney what date he was available without even looking at me or considering my availability, that seemed a bit biased, I politely said I’m free any day as I work from home. I know that is just a little thing but it felt pretty much like a good ole boy thing going on. Probably to be expected as they are all the same players every week. I honestly left with the feeling I should call the local news and have an investigative report done. But who knows all the players in this or if this is just bad government vs. corrupt government. 

The attorney had over 20 cases that did not show up, I saw the clerk call all his cases in order, two of us showed up, I would imagine they are not used to the defendant taking charge of her case and actually wanting to have it heard.

Im going to let all of this sink in and decide how far I want to go and where to push.

My eyes are open to how things are run in SC and I expect nothing to go my way at the next court date. I’m prepared to even have the mag give attorney judgement. It’s that bad here. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Thank you for thoughtful reply! 

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Yes, it sounds like a pro-creditor court.  One thing I thought might be going on in my case, where the magistrate was a POS jerk, was that they had some kind of deal going with the collection attorneys. The magistrate, who is not subject to the FDCPA, plays the bad guy, being rude and abusive, instead of the attorney, who is subject to the FDCPA.  The magistrate does his dirty work for him.

In fact, when I was called into the back room for the pre-trial, the attorney was already there, perhaps meeting with the magistrate beforehand, probably complaining that my discovery was killing their profits.  (Which was the purpose.)  Despite the magistrate's tirade, I filed some more discovery.  Nothing wrong with that; when the creditor chose to use the courts, the rules apply to both parties.  The plaintiff eventually dropped  the case.

So be aware of the bias, but don't let it get to you.  I don't know Wisconsin law, but it sounds like, if you lose here, you can appeal and essentially get a do-over, with a real judge.

And be aware that, if the magistrate is doing something unethical or illegal, there has to be some fear of exposure on their part.  Sunshine is always the best moral disinfectant.  I would push for recording or transcribing the next hearing.

 

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Another thought: I don't know how small claims in WI works; maybe @BackFromTheDebt can help here?  

But, now that you have had the first hearing, could you just go to the court clerk and file the MTC Arb now, instead of waiting for the next hearing?

Maybe, in the future, in arguing the MTC, focus on the arb clause in the cardmember agreement, and that you elect arbitration, and all the case law (including the Supreme Court) that favors arb.  Maybe challenging the court's jurisdiction (although a proper argument) is what ticked the magistrate off?  Maybe made it seem too personal?  

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1 hour ago, nobk4me said:
 

Another thought: I don't know how small claims in WI works; maybe @BackFromTheDebt can help here?  

But, now that you have had the first hearing, could you just go to the court clerk and file the MTC Arb now, instead of waiting for the next hearing?

Maybe, in the future, in arguing the MTC, focus on the arb clause in the cardmember agreement, and that you elect arbitration, and all the case law (including the Supreme Court) that favors arb.  Maybe challenging the court's jurisdiction (although a proper argument) is what ticked the magistrate off?  Maybe made it seem too personal?  

My impression is the OP already filed the MTC. 

And yes, in Wisconsin small claims court the loser of the case has 100% right to appeal to a real judge in Circuit Court.  No reason need be given for the appeal.  

 

Milwaukee County is probably the second most consumer friendly court in the state of Wisconsin. 

There was a case on CIC in which a magistrate in Dane County ruled against the MTC but the judge in Circuit Court ruled in favor.  Dane County is the most consumer friendly court in the state.  

 

Basically going through small claims is a no-lose situation.  If the magistrate rules correctly, OP wins. If not, automatic appeal to a much better judge. 

One more interesting court rule in Wisconsin Circuit Court:  either party can reject the judge.  I have never done this.  There used to be a poster from a smaller County in Wisconsin with only 4 judges.  There was a poster with a TON of cases.  One of the judges really didn’t like him, so whenever a case was assigned to that judge he would switch judges.  

I would recommend to the OP to find out if there are any particularly bad judges in Milwaukee County.  If the OP happens to get one of those judges, ask for a new one.  This can only be done once, before any papers are filed, so only do this if there is a really bad judge.  

Milwaukee County might not have any bad judges.  

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On 5/9/2019 at 9:22 PM, helpinWI said:

Now that I have a little retrospective, I'm not sure why this happened. It very well could be a personality issue. Speaking of corruption, I saw this article yesterday from my city:  https://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/former-milwaukee-alderman-charged-in-case-allegedly-involving-strip-clubs/article_e4026725-a429-52e9-a5eb-aea3bbbb83fd.html 

Yes, corruption in government happens. 

This SC court really is a mill, one large room with clerks, 4 side chambers for hearing, no clerks in the back chambers, no reporters, no recording, seems very backwards to me. More of waiting in a DMV line feel to the whole process. I’ll look into all of your suggestions, I hadn’t even thought of these options. In black and white terms this is all about money and power. 

It does feel like something off was going on, even with me being over-stressed and not all smiles. I would say I was business like but not disrespectful. I was shocked when she wouldn’t let me speak on jurisdiction at all. I think she said something like this court does have jurisdiction... I got a few words out but she cut me off, asked if I accepted service today, agree or disagree with the complaint and then she said I could get a summary judgement in the next hearing, ended it and walked out, I was a bit in awe and in disbelief, I walked out with the attorney to the scheduling desk made the next court date, mag left no other option. I did take note that the sheriffs who did the scheduling asked the attorney what date he was available without even looking at me or considering my availability, that seemed a bit biased, I politely said I’m free any day as I work from home. I know that is just a little thing but it felt pretty much like a good ole boy thing going on. Probably to be expected as they are all the same players every week. I honestly left with the feeling I should call the local news and have an investigative report done. But who knows all the players in this or if this is just bad government vs. corrupt government. 

The attorney had over 20 cases that did not show up, I saw the clerk call all his cases in order, two of us showed up, I would imagine they are not used to the defendant taking charge of her case and actually wanting to have it heard.

Im going to let all of this sink in and decide how far I want to go and where to push.

My eyes are open to how things are run in SC and I expect nothing to go my way at the next court date. I’m prepared to even have the mag give attorney judgement. It’s that bad here. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Thank you for thoughtful reply! 

You just described the typical small claims court anywhere.  The exact same thing goes down in GA Magistrate courts down to the court room set up with conference rooms off to the side for attorneys to intimidate unknowledgeable and scared consumers into consent judgements.  We are used to this. It's how it goes.  Just show up to your next hearing and try to push the MTC.  Now that you have actually filed it, that should at least be something the judge will look at.

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Filed my MTC the day of last court date, yes. @nobk4me @BackFromTheDebt

Letter from atty came today with stipulation and order for dismissal. WIHOUT prejudice.

Anyone want to give me an idea on what my reply should be?

I know I want with prejudice, them to take it off all three credit reports and not have the ability to sell the debt.

Should I just blatantly write a short letter that states my terms?

 

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And thank you to everyone on this forum! Without any of these topics and threads, I could never have gotten this far! 

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