bentdiver

Being Sued by JDB Second Round SUB, LLC

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Edit: I posted here because I was looking for case law that may establish whether the proposed evidence listed in my post is sufficient. I did not find what I was looking for. If this post would fit better somewhere else, I apologize and take no objection whatsover to a moderator moving it.

 

Hello, All. New here and need a little help. This is going to be a long first post, but I am going to dump all the relevent (and perhaps some not) info I have here in the hopes that someone can shed some light not otherwise found on the internet on my situation. I want to fight the following case if at all possible, and I'm pretty sure I already know their hand. I just need to know if what they're holding can be beat. I hate the JDB industry, and if I was a rich man, I'd gladly pay twice what theyre asking to an attorney just to not give it to the JDB. Alas, I am not a rich man. I am, however, not afraid to face them in a cort room. Thanks in advance for your help!!!

I'm being sued by Second Round Sub, LLC in the Superior Court for the State of Washington in Pierce County (where I live). They are a JDB headquartered in Austin, TX. They are affiliated with Second Round LP, and also Third Round.  I was pocket served (No case number, not yet filed in court and legal in WA) in person by hand-delivered Summons and Complaint, last Sunday, 3/31/19, alleging Breach of Contract, Account Stated, and Unjust Enrichment. They are represented by Machol & Johannes, LLC out of Bellvue, WA. Their primary attorney for Second Round cases in this venue is Ashley Bittner. They are seeking $2,2xx.xx and costs of this action, plus any other relief deemed equitable and just by the court for a Care Credit debt they purchased from Synchrony Bank (Formerly GE Capital Retail Bank). The amount listed as charged off on my credit report is $2,2xx (matches, minus the change which is not listed) and was charged off in March of 2015 with a last payment date of Sep. 2014. According to Synchrony Bank, the account was sold to Second Round LP on 12/16/2017.

The original account is still listed on my credit report and was updated to transfered or sold status, with an updated $0 balance in Jan of 2018, which is the date of last report. I was alerted of Second Round reporting the debt to Experian on 3/20/2018. I opened a dispute with Experian challenging ownership of the account the following day 3/21. On 3/31, the results of the dispute were returned by Experian as "Updated." The collection was still on my report, but Second Round had added a line stating that I disputed the account. On 4/16/18, the collection account was removed by Experian at the request of Second Round. I do not recall if I sent a DV letter to Second Round, so I will assume at this time I did not.

I am aware of my 20 day clock to answer the complaint that started on 4/1. To date, I have not sent Notice of Appearance in the lawsuit nor my answer to the complaint. I am trying to determine my strategy before doing so,

I have pulled several case documents from their similar suits in the same venue. I saw a few Motions for Dismissals followed by Dismissal with Prejudice, so I thought I might get to see what was used as defense in those cases. Unfortunately, every motion for dismissal was filed by the plaintiff, which leads me to believe the defendant paid up before the trial on merit. All of their wins come from default judgements, or stipulated judgements, in which a payment arrangement was made and not adhered to by the defendant thereby envoking the clause of the agreement that allows for automatic judgement in that event. I have not yet find an instance where a defendant's answer was even documented.

The complaint in my case, and every other complaint by them I've researched thus far, reads as follows:

The Plaintiff, SECOND ROUND SUB, LLC., as purchaser or assignee of the Defendants' credit account with Synchrony Bank/Care Credit, or any other asignee that may have or have had interest in the Defendants' said credit account, or any interest in any obligation relating to such credit account alleges:

  1. The Plaintiff, SECOND ROUND SUB, LLC is duly qualified to bring this action.
  2. That the Defendants named above reside or do business within the jurisdiction of this Court.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION: BREACH OF CONTRACT

      3. That the Defendants made purchases of goods or services on credit on an account with Synchrony Bank/Care Credit (Plaintiff's Assignor).

      4. That the defendants made payments for the purchasesmade on crediton the account with the Plaintiff's Assignor.

      5. That the defendants are indebted to the Plaintiff for the balance owed on the account with Plantiff's Assignor.

      6. By using said account, the Defendants became bound to the duties and obligations as set forth in the terms and                    conditions of the account.

      7. That although the demand for payment has been made, payment has not been forthcoming, the Defendants are in default, and there is now die and owing the sum of $2,2xx.xx as of July 12, 2018

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION: ACCOUNT STATED

      8. As a result of services provided by the Plaintiff's Assignor at the Defendants request, the Defendants established an account with the Plaintiff's Assignor.

      9. The Plaintiff's Assignor sent statements to the Defendants which set forth the activity on this account and the balance owed.

     10. The Defendants made payments on the account but they are now in default for failing to make those payments as they became due and qwing.

     11. The Plaintiff's Assignor accelerated the amounts due and owing on the account and the amount owing from the Defendant's is set forth in paragraph 7 above.

THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION: UNJUST ENRICHMENT

     12. The Defendants have failed to pay for the services they requested and recieved from the Plaintiff's Assignor and as a result they have been unjustly enriched.

     13. The amount of this unjust enrichment is as set forth in paragraph 7 which is the reasonable value of the services provided.

     14. The Defendants, in equity, should be required to pay the Plaintiff the sum set forth in paragraph 7 above.

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff prays for Judgment against the Defendants, ME, in the sum of $22xx.xx and costs of this action, plus any other relief deemed equitable and just by the court.

 

In all of their filed Motions for Default Judgement in other cases they have filed, they include the following:

  • They include Relief Requested, in which they ask for the charged off amount, plus $240 filing fee, plus $50 fee for process service, plus $40 for Ex parte filing fee. They do not seek attorney fees or interest.
  • They include the typical statement of facts stating that the defendant was served and failed to respond, alomg with the Statement of Issues, Evidence Relied Upon (Records and files herein, including Affidavit of Service), and Authority (Civil Rule 55).
  • They include a notarized Affidavit of Account Balance, almost (if not) alwayssigned by Larry C. Vasbinder, sometimes with the title of Manager and sometimes with the title of CEO for Second Round, Affiant and Agent for the plaintiff. This is the familiar affidavit that isn't worth the paper its printed on. They are always signed by Larry and the same notary public in TX. I'm no handwriting expert, but I have noticed Larry's signature varies greatly across each affidavit he supposedly signs. Either way, It is my understanding that the only time this affidavit flies is when it is not objected to.
  • In Some cases, (not present in all filed motions) they include a notarized Affidavit of Sale from the original creditor, including in some cases where that creditor is Care Credit/Synchrony Bank. The affidavit states the following:                   The affiant is an Affidavit Documentation Specialist at Synchrony Bank, formerly known as GE Capital Retail Bank. On June 2nd 2014 GE Capital Retail Bank formally changed its name to Synchrony Bank ("Bank"). Bank is the issuer of the relevent transaction/credit card. I have reviewed the information regarding the debt [last 4 of account] (the "Account") made by [Name] (the "Debtor") made payable to Synchrony Bank and subsequently sold to Second Round Limited Partnership. The amount owed on the account on 12/16/2017, $Amount, was sold to Second Round Limited Partnership and is reflected in the system of Synchrony Bank formerly known as GE Capital Retail Bank. It is then signed by Shannon Freeman, with the title Media Representative as well as the notary public and dated 12/28 2018. I used this as an example becasue the 12/16/17 date matches when my debt was sold.
  • They include a Bill of Sale titled BILL of SALE, Second Round (SCRC) - Cease and Decist Bulk - December 2017. This bill of sale reads: For value recieved and in further consideration set forth in the Accounts Purchase Agreement (the "Agreement) dated as December 4th, 2017, by and between Synchrony Bank formerly known as GE Capital Retail Bank, RFS Holding LLC and Retail Finance Credit Services, LLC., ("Seller") and Second Round Limited PArtnership ("Buyer"), Seller hereby transfers, sells, conveys, grants, and delivers to Buyer, its successors and assigns, without recourse escept as set forth in the Agreement, to the extent of its ownership, the Accounts as set forth in the Notification File (as defined in the Agreement), delivered by Seller to Buyer prior to such Purchase Date, and as further described in the Agreement.  ----- No individual accounts are listed anywhere and the "Agreement" is not attached. There are three signature lines, one for Synchrony Bank, one for RFS Holdings LLC, and the last for Retail Finance Credit Services. All three are signed by Ken Wojcik, listing his titles as SVP Collections and Recovery under the Synchrony line, and Attorney in Fact for the other two.
  • They include another Bill of Sale between themselves (Second Round LP and Second round Sub) titled Bill of Sale and Assignment and it reads: Second Round Limited Partnership of Austin, Texas ("Seller"), for value recieved and pursuant to the terms and conditions of Account Purchase Agreement dated December 16, 2017 between Seller and Second Round Sub, LLC of Austin, Texas ("Purchaser"), hereby assigns, effective as of this date, December 16,2017, all rights to purchaser, title and interest of Seller in and to those Accounts described herein, attached hereto, and made part hereof for all purposes.  Description of portfolio or package:  [No description is given and nothing is attached. There is no page number indication anything should follow or is missing, just a blank space]. There are two signature lines, one for Buyer and one for Seller. It appears Larry C. Vasbinder signs as Manager for Second Round Sub on the buyer line and on the seller line is an unknown signature (there are no printed names for either signature) with a title of Second Round LP Treasurer.
  • They include a one page charge off statement.
  • They include a one page last payment statement.
  • They include their WA State business license info
  • They include the Affidavit of Service

I am not in posession of the original signed contract (and Im sure they are not either), but I have been able to locate several revisions of the Care Credit contract between 10/2011 and present and all of them include an arbitration clause. Again, I'd much rather beat them in the courtroom if I have a shot.

The different revisions of the Care Credit contract can be found by searching 182-077-00. I learned that in this forum, so thanks for that!

 

 

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11 hours ago, Harry Seaward said:

Just assume they have enough to win (they almost always do these days) and use the arbitration strategy to make them dismiss the lawsuit. 

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

 

This is tried and true advice based on over a decade of what has actually worked.  

I have had good results in arbitration, and was actually one of the original guinea pigs.  I did things that worked back then that would not work anymore, and there is stuff people know now I wish I knew back in the old days.  

This is the current 2019 results.  You can beat a JDB with an account from Synchronicity, because they will almost always walk away from arbitration.  

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Thanks guys. Looks like the arbitration route is the way to go. I really wanted to pick them apart in the court room, but I can't end up with a judgement so I don't want to gamble there if the odds are against me.

I am able to pay the debt, if I absolutely have to, and I would as a last resort to avoid the ding in my file. It would hurt a bit and of course I don't want to on principal. Like I mentioned in my report, I challenged ownership of the collection account (not the OC reporting that still exists) on my CRA a year ago the day after they listed it and they removed it. I guess I'm a dummy, but I thought they had walked away then. They never sent me anything else after that first letter until this summons.

In arbitration, do I have the ability, even with a loss if they saw it through, to pay up and stop any type of judgement from hitting my report? My credit is finally turning around and I'll be looking to use it to buy a house in the next couple of years. Keeping this off of my reports is the most important priority to me now. Not spending over $2k unexpectedly on a 5 year old debt is a very close second.

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1 hour ago, bentdiver said:

I am able to pay the debt... and of course I don't want to on principal.

I'm curious what "principals" dictate your unwillingness to pay your debts, especially when you are able?

 

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16 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

I'm curious what "principals" dictate your unwillingness to pay your debts, especially when you are able?

 

Goody, that's a fair question. It's not about an unwillingness to pay my debts. It's about not wanting to pay a JDB. It's an industry that largely preys on the weak and the wounded, and I can't get behind that.

I went through some hard times, like many who end up on these forums. Things are slowly but surely improving, and over the years I've paid most of my debts from that struggle in full. The only reason I have the cash available to pay this one is because of a larger than expected tax return this year, and I'm sure it's no coincidence that the JDB chose to sue when they did. And actually, I have a large amount of student loan (and other) debt in good standing that could chew up that tax return and ten more just like it in a second, so it's nowhere near "extra" money. In fact, if I had been served any later it would have already been spent. 

I would be much more open to paying an original creditor, despite their predatory lending practices and ~29% interest rates (for emergency dental services), but that is no longer an option once they've written it off and sold it to a  bottom feeding JDB for a few bucks.

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1 hour ago, bentdiver said:

It's an industry that largely preys on the weak and the wounded

So does the entire medical industry....

But I beg to differ that the JDB industry "largely" preys on the disadvantaged. Using this site as anecdotal evidence, most people are just like you. They can (or could have, anyway) pay their debts but refuse to. And in fact, Midland openly declares that they will not pursue debts of people that are unable to pay. They're one of the biggest out there. 

despite their predatory lending practices and ~29% interest rates

C'mon, man. Who do you think you're talking to? CareCredit doesn't start at 29%. I have an account. 29% is the default rate. ~18% is 'good standing' rate. And why are you pissed at a creditor for giving you an opportunity to have a medical procedure that you wouldn't otherwise have access to? What would you have done if carecredit wasn't an option? 

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I strongly dislike the JDB industry and the business model, but I'm not really here to argue that opinion.

Because the money is currently "in the bank" does not mean paying over $2k right now wouldn't hurt. Had this suit had come before last month, I'd have said there's no way I can pay this right now. Had the suit come any later it would have been spent on a "new" used minivan to replace one of our 200k mile vehicles that is on it's last leg with the remainder, if any, paying down some loans. I have 3 kids, one in college, I'm back in school in my midlife, and my wife is about to embark on her Master's in hers.

We get by, but we do it modestly and we do it paycheck to paycheck. We drive 15-20 year old vehicles and most of our wardrobes are purchased second hand. We had a rough go for a bit. Some obstacles from poor choices, some not. Regardless, we are working hard to change our situation and do our best to teach our kids to avoid our mistakes.

All that said, I'm not here to cry or seek sympathy, or to debate the validity or ethics of the debt. I came here simply to learn from others who have gone before me how to strategically avoid giving the money to the JDB who is attempting to sue me for it, and I absolutely appreciate all the help I can get with that issue.

I mentioned my "ability to pay" and last ditch willingness to do so in avoidance of re-tainting the credit I've been working to rebuild only to be thorough in the overall picture of my situation. I by no means meant to strike up a sidebar on the ethics of myself or the industry, and I'd prefer to keep the discussion to how to legally beat the JDB and keep my credit in tact.

Again, thanks for the help.

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The options remain the same. Best option, if available, is arbitration. It is 100% effective against Midland. Others are a wash - you can try to settle for whatever Midland will take. Since these debts are anything but "junk," their discounts are typically in 20% - 30% range. Or you can fight it court. The only glimmer of hope there is that the business model seems to have changed to where they spend no money on these case - unless it's a default judgement, they may not even show up to court. This really depending on your state - some places they fold if you answer, other places they will file an MSJ and win that way.

As for the rest, I was just struck by your use of the word "principal." I don't like Midland, either, but I never felt like it was matter of principal when I left them holding the bag. Then again, I am a Communist.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, bentdiver said:

I strongly dislike the JDB industry and the business model, but I'm not really here to argue that opinion.

Then why did you bring it up and do you keep arguing it? We told you how to beat it, but that's just not enough for you. No one said a word to you about 'ethics' until you stood up on your soapbox. 

 

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Perhaps principal was a poor choice of wording on my part. Let's just leave it at I don't have much money and for a number of irrelevant reasons, I'd prefer not to give it to Second Round, who I am dealing with, not Midland. Maybe you're just using Midland as an example?

I really wish I could see how these cases were being handled when challenged here (in the court I'm being sued in and by Second Round).

I know the state and jurisdiction and even the relationship between the plaintiff's attorney and the judge all matter when taking your chances in the courtroom. I'm just not seeing anything on record in this court other than primarily default judgements due to no response, stipulated judgements due to failed payment arrangement, or motion to dismiss with prejudice filed by the Plaintiff. There is no explanation in the motion with the latter, nor is there ever an answer to the complaint from the defendant on file in those few cases.

So, I can only deduce that those dismissals with prejudice filings must be coming from a paid in full agreement. Based on public record of lawsuits filed here by Second Round, it would appear that absolutely no one is taking their chance in the court room with them.Unfortunately, I can't tell if that's because they do or don't know any better and it sort of drives me nuts. 

I really want to know if this court is accepting these affidavits when they are actually objected to and not just included in an uncontested default motion. I just really would prefer to boldly go where at least one man has gone before and left me with an idea of what he encountered. I'd also like to know if they'd back down simply with an answer, but I don't want to waive my arbitration rights with an answer geared for litigation in court. I'm just not feeling quite up to guinea pigging, as selfish as that may be. 

I can't get much out of any local attorneys, who all say I should just call and strike a settlement starting at 40% and probably ending at 60-70%. This is probably because the amount is neither large enough for them to take me on as a chapter 13 or justify their cost to fight it for me. One did tell me that the last thing I wanted was arbitration because I'd lose and they'd just ask for the costs to be awarded them when I did.  That contradicts the popular arbitration strategy here, likely because arbitration in general is a losing battle for the consumer vs creditor and I don't think he understood, or even tried to, the particulars of strategy as it used against the JDB.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Harry Seaward said:

Then why did you bring it up and do you keep arguing it? We told you how to beat it, but that's just not enough for you. No one said a word to you about 'ethics' until you stood up on your soapbox. 

 

I think you're reading me all wrong here, Harry. No one is on a soap box here. At least I'm not. I'm onboard with the arbitration strategy you suggested, and I'm grateful for the help. I just would like to know how to start the arbitration process with pocket service where nothing is filed with the court but the suit is still in action. Is it any different? 

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3 hours ago, Harry Seaward said:

And why are you pissed at a creditor for giving you an opportunity to have a medical procedure that you wouldn't otherwise have access to?

I didn't mean to upset anyone. I can see I really rubbed you the wrong way. I'll keep my opinions to myself from now on. 

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1 hour ago, bentdiver said:

I can't get much out of any local attorneys, who all say I should just call and strike a settlement

I don't think there can be a more stark answer to your original question. Folks that handle such cases for a living don't want them because they are unwinnable. The problem with thinking that there is some angle of attack with things like affidavits, is that 10 years ago the industry was very lazy and brought cases with insufficient evidence. Since sites like this came into being, things have drastically changed and the so-called  flimsy affidavit is no less substantial than the receipt you use to return a product to Home Depot.

1 hour ago, bentdiver said:

I don't think he understood, or even tried to, the particulars of strategy as it used against the JDB.

Most of them don't, which is bad business on their parts. There is an attorney in AZ that understands and applies the arbitration strategy - I suspect he does quite well on word-of-mouth volume when he never loses.

I understand that you may think arbitration is "too good to be true," but a perusal of this site should show that it is as simple and effective as advertised.

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22 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

I understand that you may think arbitration is "too good to be true," but a perusal of this site should show that it is as simple and effective as advertised.

No, I get it. It makes sense. I think I just got a lot of old and apparently bad info all over the internet and had already played out beating them in the courtroom in my head. Wasn't ready to let that go yet. I think that they removed it from my report led me to falsley believe that they couldn't prove it too.

Now I just want to make sure I can't make it worse in the long run. Can I be certain the cost of arbitration cannot come back to me. Also, am I correct that arbitration results won't be part of my public record? As in, if they don't dismiss and I lose (I know this is unlikely), can I pay up (the original amount) and not ding my credit like I would in a paid judgement?

One of the reasons I don't want to just settle is that they are not currently reporting and have not since I disputed it last year. If I paid them in full and they reported that, it would actually hurt my score as a recent collection. Maybe they wouldn't do that, but the fact that they could scares me. I'd be more inclined to discuss settlement options if it were on my report and the agreement included a deletion. This is a little different though. Any thoughts on that?

I'm also not quite sure how to answer them to start the arbitration process since the court is not yet involved and I can't file anything there until they do. I don't want to mess that up. 

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I think you have your options.  Like it or not, there are only four.

1.  Arbitration, assuming that is an available option.  This almost always wins against Midland.  

2.  Settle the debt.

3. Fight it out in court.  If they join the fight, you will lose.  If they walk away, you may win.  A somewhat riskier strategy than #1.  If they want to win, they will.  I don't have a crystal ball, so I can't tell you if they will fight it out or not.  If they do, you are spinning your wheels, and any legal theories you may have just won't work anymore.

4. Don't fight and get a judgment against you.  

 

That's it.  Those are your options.  I know which one I would choose.  You choose the one you like the best.  

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Y

6 minutes ago, bentdiver said:

No, I get it. It makes sense. I think I just got a lot of old and apparently bad info all over the internet and had already played out beating them in the courtroom in my head. Wasn't ready to let that go yet. I think that they removed it from my report led me to falsley believe that they couldn't prove it too.

Now I just want to make sure I can't make it worse in the long run. Can I be certain the cost of arbitration cannot come back to me. Also, am I correct that arbitration results won't be part of my public record? As in, if they don't dismiss and I lose (I know this is unlikely), can I pay up (the original amount) and not ding my credit like I would in a paid judgement?

One of the reasons I don't want to just settle is that they are not currently reporting and have not since I disputed it last year. If I paid them in full and they reported that, it would actually hurt my score as a recent collection. Maybe they wouldn't do that, but the fact that they could scares me. I'd be more inclined to discuss settlement options if it were on my report and the agreement included a deletion. This is a little different though. Any thoughts on that?

I'm also not quite sure how to answer them to start the arbitration process since the court is not yet involved and I can't file anything there until they do. I don't want to mess that up. 

The court and the arbitration forum are two different things.  

If you so desire, you can file in arb any time you want.  There were even a few times when I filed in JAMS before the case went to court, and once even before the other side had a lawyer to sue me.  I know people here don't recommend that, but those were special cases.  As people have said, things were different a decade ago. In some cases I used strategies that no longer work.

As for when to file in arb, you have three choices.  #3 is a little risky if you might have anything to take up your time.

1.  File now.  When the court is involved, file an MTC before the deadline, and use the fact you have filed in arb as part of your MTC.

2.  Prepare the filing now.  When the court is involved, file in arbitration and also file an MTC, saying you have already filed in arb.

3.  Wait.  When the court is involved, file an MTC.  Be prepared to file in arbitration within XXX days.  (The judge or whomever decides what XXX days means).

 

Choose the option you are most comfortable with.  Preparing the filing before you need it would take a burden off of you if you are in a rush to file later.

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7 minutes ago, bentdiver said:

Can I be certain the cost of arbitration cannot come back to me.

Nothing is certain except the fact that we've never seen Midland do anything other than dismiss a granted motion to compel. @Harry Seaward reads the AAA rules to say there is zero percent chance that consumer can be dinged. JAMS probably means the same thing, but they word it such a way that it could mean that the business has to pay all of the costs of the arbitration, but that the arbiter could award costs and fees, if justified. 

There is a recent thread of someone that went the distance with AMEX. AMEX argued that the debtor was liable for appeal costs, since first round was frivolous, but JAMS disagreed, so I think you are as safe as can be.

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54 minutes ago, bentdiver said:

One of the reasons I don't want to just settle is that they are not currently reporting and have not since I disputed it last year.

They didn't stop reporting because they couldn't prove the debt.  They stopped because they were getting ready to sue you. We have seen trade lines disappear more often right before suit because this eliminates FCRA and FDCPA counter claims to their lawsuit.

56 minutes ago, bentdiver said:

I'd be more inclined to discuss settlement options if it were on my report and the agreement included a deletion. This is a little different though. Any thoughts on that?

Or you could discuss settlement options that include they never report it.

 

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1 hour ago, bentdiver said:

I didn't mean to upset anyone. I can see I really rubbed you the wrong way. I'll keep my opinions to myself from now on.

I'm not upset. I just want people to be honest with themselves about what brought them here. And really, it doesn't matter to any one else but you.  I offer the same advice if you tell me your debts are a result of a terminal cancer diagnosis or you just wanted to party extra hard in your 20's.  But if you're going to learn from your mistakes, you're doing yourself a disservice by blaming your debts on the creditor or debt collector. 

I did it, so I understand. At the time I was sued, I was not in a position to pay, so, like you, I came here to learn my options. There was no shortage of negativity here toward debt collectors at that time, so it was very easy to jump on that bandwagon.  It took a while to get real with myself, but I eventually faced the reality that no one made me open a dozen credit cards and max them out. I could still today justify it 6 ways to Sunday, but if everything is always someone else's fault, I'll never have control of my life.  Part of what I want to accomplish here is keeping people from coming back. 

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31 minutes ago, Harry Seaward said:

I'm not upset. I just want people to be honest with themselves about what brought them here. And really, it doesn't matter to any one else but you.  I offer the same advice if you tell me your debts are a result of a terminal cancer diagnosis or you just wanted to party extra hard in your 20's.  But if you're going to learn from your mistakes, you're doing yourself a disservice by blaming your debts on the creditor or debt collector. 

I did it, so I understand. At the time I was sued, I was not in a position to pay, so, like you, I came here to learn my options. There was no shortage of negativity here toward debt collectors at that time, so it was very easy to jump on that bandwagon.  It took a while to get real with myself, but I eventually faced the reality that no one made me open a dozen credit cards and max them out. I could still today justify it 6 ways to Sunday, but if everything is always someone else's fault, I'll never have control of my life.  Part of what I want to accomplish here is keeping people from coming back. 

To be fair, at least in the old days, there was a LOT of reason for hostility towards debt collectors, and debt collection attorneys.  Many of them used to play fast and loose with the law, at best.  Especially the Buffalo NY crowd, or places like Mitchel N. Kay.  I have no idea how good a governor the current NY governor is, nor do I want to get into politics at all, but when he was NY AG he cleaned up the debt collection business quite a bit.  

I mean, when you have your phone ringing off the hook constantly, or keep getting called at work after sending a letter CMRRR telling them NOT to, one tends to have a rather negative attitude.

I don't know if they have cleaned up their act or not.  Some, I assume, are good people.  

Their antics made it easier to beat them in those days.  Come in with a ton of counter claims and they were more willing to walk away from the debt.  If they have cleaned up their act, it has probably been more because their old tactics were hurting them financially. 

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12 minutes ago, Harry Seaward said:

But if you're going to learn from your mistakes, you're doing yourself a disservice by blaming your debts on the creditor or debt collector.

Thanks, I can absolutely appreciate where you're coming from. I don't live the way I used to, and I can confidently say I've made the appropriate changes to avoid these issues in the future. Ultimately, I don't deny responsibility and I don't blame the creditor or the debt buyer for my actions. I'm very  well aware of how I got here. I also don't like or support either of their practices, but that's not relevant here and, you're right, I shouldn't have went there to begin with.

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I'm ready to commit to the arbitration strategy and respond to this suit. Would any of you mind looking over the arbitration clause from the contract to make sure there isn't anything in it that would bar me from this route? To be clear, I only have contracts pulled from the web spanning the timeframe of the account, but they all have arbitration causes. 

My choice of action based on everything I've learned here so far would be to be a file a MTC in lieu of answer if allowed, or with it if not, but I'm not sure that's an option and haven't figured out all the rules of the venue yet. Also, even if it is, I have to respond to Plaintiff's attorneys because of the pocket service. The suit is valid and the 20 day clock is real,  but it has not been filed in court yet.

Because there is no case number until it is filed, I can't file in court and can only, but still must, respond to Plaintiff's counsel. I can of course file anything in court after they file it and there is a case number. That won't happen though until either I answer or 20 days passes and they add the motion for default and file it along with the summons for the easy win. Obviously I'm not going that route.

So, what is the suggested answer to their 14 allegations at this stage, considering I'm pursuing arbitration? Should I just object to all of them, rather than deny them, based on the lack of jurisdiction? Do I treat it like it was staying in court and deny everything but my name and address and the obvious and add arbitration as an affirmative defense?  

Thank you to everyone who has offered advice so damn much!! It's nice to have people who understand what you're going through, and bonus when they actually know how to deal with it too!

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Being that it's Synchrony, you've got it about as good as it gets. Just use the arbitration thread as your guide and you'll be fine.

Send a letter to opposing letting them know you want to use arbitration from the card agreement. 

File an answer, then a separate MTC with card agreement and letter attached. 

Sit back and wait for an objection from opposing, or for the court to grant the MTC.

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Bottom line, use that arbitration agreement they put into their contracts to make the JDB run away.  Learning lessons is great, but with a little work it doesn't have to be an expensive one.  $0 lessons are just as good.

By the way this Complaint reads, and that I have not seen this JDB name around here before, my initial guess is that these guys won't have a clue how arbitration works.  This COULD be one of those cases where they accept your MTC and start off gun-ho in arbitration only to be hit with that second larger bill halfway through and have a sudden change of heart (after a short meltdown).  So, do not get discouraged if they initially pay the first JAMS filing fee after your MTC is granted by the court.  Prepare to use all the arguments you would have in court, but in arbitration (and hopefully find a claim of your own to assert as well - as many points of leverage you can gain on them, the easier it will be to settle for a mutual dismissal with prejudice).

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