LilBoricua103

Help! Being sued by Portfolio Recovery Associates in TX

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Hi there,

I was hoping you could help me with this lawsuit.  It's from a credit card I had with a credit union that was owned by US National Bank and it was bought out by PRA.  They didn't supply supporting docs with the small claims suit.

1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit?

Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC assignee of U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.)

PORTFOLIO RECOVERY ASSOCIATES

3. How much are you being sued for?

They are requesting monetary relief of $100k but it's small claims.  It should only say $10k, right?  The actual amount is $3.5kIMG_9754.thumb.jpg.206928a5c74b1e3da0f9de8729a28080.jpg

4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff)

U.S. Bank National Association (via Members Choice Credit Union of Texas) 

5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?)
We were on an international mission trip with our church and noticed via the Ring doorbell a constable left paperwork at my door on Thursday, March 14, 2019.  We discovered the paperwork on our doorstep the day we came home about 4 days later.

6. How were you served? (Mail, In person, Notice on door)

Envelope on floor of front door.

7. Was the service legal as required by your state? 

Unknown. Constable dropped paperwork and left.  I live in TX.

8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued?

I’ve never had any communications with them until sometime last year I did a payment plan of $30 a month and then stopped due to hardship about 7 months ago.

9. What state and county do you live in?

Harris County, Texas

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations)

We are within statute of limitations due to making payments last year to PRA

11. What is the SOL on the debt?

4 years in Texas I believe

12. What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed? You can find this by a) calling the court or B) looking it up online (many states have this information posted - when you find the online court site, search by case number or your name).

I need to file an answer by Thursday, March 28, 2019.

13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?)

No 

14. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? Note: if you haven't sent a debt validation request, don't bother doing this now - it's too late.
Yes, right before I started a payment plan.  I can't recall them replying.

 

15. How long do you have to respond to the suit? (This should be in your paperwork). If you don't respond to the lawsuit notice you will lose automatically. In 99% of the cases, they will require you to answer the summons, and each point they are claiming. We need to know what the "charges" are. Please post what they are claiming. Did you receive an interrogatory (questionnaire) regarding the lawsuit.

I have 14 days to respond.  What I find odd is they wouldn't give me proof of the debt.  Do I have any chances get this case dismissed?  Is there a sample answer I can go by?  I'm so worried because we owe so much thanks to my wife losing her job 3 years ago and having a special needs child.  We can't file bankruptcy because I made the stupid mistake of putting a house (which is and has always been paid current FYI) under my name that my elderly parents live in but pay for themselves.  I don't want them in the streets due to our financial issues (that's a whole other topic).

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7 minutes ago, LilBoricua103 said:

What I find odd is they wouldn't give me proof of the debt. 

Texas does not require that they attach that to the complaint.  In order to get that for cases in Justice Court you have to get the permission of the court to do discovery.

8 minutes ago, LilBoricua103 said:

Do I have any chances get this case dismissed?

There are a couple of possibilities but based on no evidence attached to the complaint:  no.

You need the card agreement for the account with the terms of service to see if arbitration is an option.  That is the best way with PRA.

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15 minutes ago, Clydesmom said:

Texas does not require that they attach that to the complaint.  In order to get that for cases in Justice Court you have to get the permission of the court to do discovery.

There are a couple of possibilities but based on no evidence attached to the complaint:  no.

You need the card agreement for the account with the terms of service to see if arbitration is an option.  That is the best way with PRA.

Thank you for your prompt reply!  Means a lot.  How can I go about requesting the card agreement?  What's the best way?  Also, I looked thru all my ring videos from that week I was out of town and was served and it seems like they only came once and didn't even bother ringing the doorbell and just dropped the paperwork at my doorstep on the floor.  That's what video shows.  Is that considered acceptable service of process?  Thanks in advance for your assistance.

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3 minutes ago, LilBoricua103 said:

How can I go about requesting the card agreement?  What's the best way?

The archives at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau CFPB website.  You need the one that was in force when you defaulted on the account.

5 minutes ago, LilBoricua103 said:

Also, I looked thru all my ring videos from that week I was out of town and was served and it seems like they only came once and didn't even bother ringing the doorbell and just dropped the paperwork at my doorstep on the floor.  That's what video shows.  Is that considered acceptable service of process?

Yes.  Few states require that they put it directly in your hands.  

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I looked up the arbitration clause for USBANCORP and arbitration is only possible when it's not in small claims and this suit is in small claims.  Is there a place on this site where I can get help on filing an answer for this suit?  I need to turn it in in a couple of days tops.  Thank you!

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29 minutes ago, LilBoricua103 said:

Is there a place on this site where I can get help on filing an answer for this suit?

Yes.  You can do a search for Texas threads.  The answer should be in the same format as the suit they sent you with regards to spacing etc.  

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On 10/29/2019 at 10:34 AM, Impress said:

I'm curious how this turned out.  Any update OP?

 

Hi there.  I know this is super late, but pretty much thanks to the pandemic, the case drag on with no court date.  Once the court tried to dismiss it, Portfolio filed a motion to retain the case and I got a court date in the mail a whopping nearly 2 years after they file suit (the court date is for Feb 19, 2021!).  I'm on the fence on what to do next.  Since I can't do arbitration, I guess I'll just show up to court and see if they give me a settlement.  I prefer it get dismissed but I doubt it will.  The statute of limitations ended on this case already but since they filed before it expired, I think this is still valid.  If I'm wrong, someone please correct me?

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12 hours ago, LilBoricua103 said:

Hi there.  I know this is super late, but pretty much thanks to the pandemic, the case drag on with no court date.  Once the court tried to dismiss it, Portfolio filed a motion to retain the case and I got a court date in the mail a whopping nearly 2 years after they file suit (the court date is for Feb 19, 2021!).  I'm on the fence on what to do next.  Since I can't do arbitration, I guess I'll just show up to court and see if they give me a settlement.  I prefer it get dismissed but I doubt it will.  The statute of limitations ended on this case already but since they filed before it expired, I think this is still valid.  If I'm wrong, someone please correct me?

Arbitration should still be an option for you.  Does your arbitration clause say small claims or small claims court?  Texas no longer has small claims court which you can argue if the other side objects.

Btw,  Texas requires service be in person or by registered mail, unless given special permission by the court.  Since you filed an answer, you can't challenge this based on proper service.  Just wanted you to know for future reference.

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18 hours ago, LilBoricua103 said:

The statute of limitations ended on this case already but since they filed before it expired, I think this is still valid.  If I'm wrong, someone please correct me?

You reset the SOL when you entered into the payment agreement with PRA prior to suit.  Even so, they filed suit prior to it expiring and it remains tolled as long as the case is active in the courts.  Using the SOL as a defense is not an option.  Unfortunately the payment agreement hurts as well because what ever you signed likely has a statement in it that you are acknowledging the debt is yours and you owe it.

6 hours ago, Impress said:

Arbitration should still be an option for you.

Maybe.  I would file the MTC and hope they don't read the card agreement and argue the small claims court clause applies to the case.  If they don't you could get them to back down.  If they do and you lose the MTC you are right back where you started.  I would then ask the Judge for permission to do discovery and an continuance to do so.  You need to be prepared to defend yourself.

Keep in mind that TX is very consumer friendly and their resources to collect are limited.  They cannot garnish your wages.  The exemptions for homestead and household goods are so high that a lien on the home isn't likely to be possible either.  If you live "unbanked" then there is not much they can do.  This could give you some time to save a lump sum payment and settle a judgment for less at some point down the road if you do lose.

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