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freud198

Colling and winter

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Just got a dunning letter from Cooling & Winter. They claim they are representing BofA ( original creditor) How to proceed? Is Arb my best bet, or do I hire someone in Atlanta to fight. Balance 10k

 

Thanks,

Been a lurker for years, so somewhat familiar with the conversations here

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15 minutes ago, freud198 said:

Just got a dunning letter from Cooling & Winter.

Cooling and Winter are well versed in how to defeat a MTC arbitration because they lost several thanks to this site.  Chances of succeeding with a MTC are not good against them.

16 minutes ago, freud198 said:

Is Arb my best bet, or do I hire someone in Atlanta to fight.

Arbitration works best against a JDB.  The only thing a granted MTC does against an OC is potentially get a better settlement.  There is a good chance for that amount of money that BoA follows you in.  As for hiring a lawyer you can certainly do that but the reality is there are only 2 defenses to a suit by an original creditor:  identity theft (if the account is yours this is not an option) and the SOL having expired.  BoA has been very aggressive in pursuing claims quickly in the past few years so with a 6 year SOL in GA it in unlikely that has expired.  When did you default?  

19 minutes ago, freud198 said:

How to proceed?

If you have a lot of debt a consultation with a BK attorney or two is probably in order.  If this is the only debt or you do not qualify for BK then settling is the best option with an OC.  Chances of winning a lawsuit against one is slim to none even with an attorney.

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Thanks for the quick response.

Whats the best I could hope to settle for? Total amount is 14k

Do I have a better chance for a favorable settlement with a lawyer?

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It is hard to say what they would settle for.  

Usually, the earlier you settle the better a deal you can get.  For example, people who settled with BoA early on used to get amazingly good settlements. This was to save BoA the trouble of using debt collectors and attorneys to collect the debt.  They already have, so the settlement won’t be as good, unless you have very strong claims against them.   

 

Also, things change.  In the old days BoA was not aggressive at all.  I got them to walk away from a huge debt by just threatening arbitration.  Now they are jumping into arbitration. 

 

In other words what worked in the past won’t work anymore, and the situation now could be different next year

 

As far as settlement now: 

You have at least two windows for which a decent settlement is possible  

 

1.  Between the time you file and when they pay the initial fees is your next window  

2.  Between the time they get the bill for the hearing and when they pay is probably your best chance.  I got Discover to accept a settlement during this window they had rejected in the first window, YMMV.

If there is an appeal clause in the contract, repeat these for the appeal   

 

I don’t know what they will settle for.  

It depends on a lot of things  

Do you have legitimate counter claims against BoA or their debt collectors or attorneys?  

What is your financial situation?  Are you “judgment proof “ or do you have nice wages that can be garnished 

Do you own a home?

If you are dead broke and have strong counterclaims you can get a great settlement  

If you have no claims against them and a decent paying job with wages they can garnish, the settlement won’t be as good  

As soon as you have filed in JAMS, but before anything has been paid, contact their office and see what kind of settlement you can negotiate.   

 

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39 minutes ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

Do you have legitimate counter claims against BoA or their debt collectors or attorneys?

What counter claims?  The FDCPA does not apply to an original creditor.  An FDCPA violation against the law firm only means that BoA would drop the firm forcing the OP to pursue that claim separate from any lawsuit not as a counter claim.  This path is a waste of time and effort.

9 hours ago, freud198 said:

Do I have a better chance for a favorable settlement with a lawyer?

Maybe.  Most Consumer Attorneys do an initial consult for free.  They can assess your situation and advise if using them to negotiate a settlement is the better option. They will tell you realistically if you can and should handle it on your own.  Skaar and Feagle is a great firm.  CALL do not email they are busy.

Just remember:  settling is about leverage.  You have none.  GA is a creditor friendly state.  They allow wage garnishment and the courts grant it easily.  If the law firm knows you are employed, have a house they can put a lien on or a bank account your settlement options are not as favorable.  Unemployed with no assets it is possible to settle for less but my educated guess is you are looking at 50-60% minimum.   Settlement talks are NOT admissible in court.  You can make a low ball offer and see if they counter.  Each side can continue making offers until a mutually agreeable amount is reached.  Just remember to get ALL terms in writing BEFORE you pay.  Pay by cashier's check and be done with it.  Never EVER get rid of that signed settlement agreement.

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2 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

What counter claims?  The FDCPA does not apply to an original creditor.  An FDCPA violation against the law firm only means that BoA would drop the firm forcing the OP to pursue that claim separate from any lawsuit not as a counter claim.  This path is a waste of time and effort.

Not always.  

I had a few arbitration cases in which I also had claims against the law firm, and in these arbitration agreements the law firm could be a party to the arbitration agreement.  

In one case I worked out an agreement to drop my case against the law firm in exchange for the OC dropping the case against me.  Another CIC poster had exactly the same result a few weeks before I did, and we kept in touch until the NDAs. 

In another case the cases were kept in arbitration but settled separately.  I got some $ from the law firm and then a long slog with the OC.  

I did have claims against the OC as well, both state and federal.   Not FDCPA, but the state equivalent (not all states have this) and some federal banking law violations   Rare,  but it happens occasionally.  Great settlement for me.  I wound up making money off that arbitration.  

 

Depends on the arbitration agreement, depends on the OC, depends on the law firm.  

 

That is why I said counter claims can give some leverage.  More leverage in some situations than others.   But the counter claims have to be real, and enough to scare the lawyers.  

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1 hour ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

Depends on the arbitration agreement, depends on the OC, depends on the law firm.

Most OCs these days just dump the 'violating' lawfirm and hire new counsel to represent them for the arbitration action. 

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