PleaseHelpConfused

Please Help I’m Being sued by UNIFUND in California

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If you’re taking the time to read this I would like to thank you for any and all interest and help, I struggle with a reading and learning disability making this paperwork very hard for me to understand I am very unknowledgeable in a lot of subject matter.

I am very scared and don’t know how to proceed, I have reached out in private messages and was asked to fill out this list of questions and post on this main board so that I may get help from a few different people who understand this. 

I did also search a few of these boards that had great information on it however I don’t understand most of it, I did see that it looks like I should file a general denial form, but also it says that’s only if I’m being sued for $1000 or less… So I’m confused as to whether I should fill out that form.

It looks like the case was open on December 16 of this year but I was served on December 21 of this year so I’m not sure if the calendar days starts from December 16 or from the 21st.

I also have no idea exactly what to do or how to proceed. I make a little money working with children of special needs under 30 hours a week, I never wanted to not pay this or any other credit card but I had a cut in my hours and I did what I had to do to survive, I am afraid also that any other credit cards that might have gone and paid will now also try and sue me as this company is trying.

I appreciate any help anyone can offer me, I am so sorry that I am extremely knowledgeable, and I have a hard time retaining and understanding information because of my learning disability, therefore I am beyond grateful to anybody who is willing to give me advice and direction.

 

 

1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit?

UNIFUND CCR LLC 

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

RESURGENCE LEGAL GROUP, PC 

3. How much are you being sued for?  $ 3k 

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

5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?)

I was served 

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

Served in person 

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

I believe so

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

They may have sent me letters in the mail, I am unsure 

9. What state and county do you live in? 

Orange County, California 

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

Looks like 11/07/2016

11. When did you open the account (looking to establish what card agreement may be applicable)?

I believe it was online 

12. What is the SOL on the debt?  

Looks like 4 years 

13. 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).

Not sure what I’m looking for specifically but if shows that a case was opened (electronically) and that I was served 

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

No

15. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? Note: if you haven't sent a debt validation request before being sued, it likely won't help create FDCPA violations, but disputing after being sued could be useful to show the court that you dispute the debt ('account stated' vs. 'breach of contract').

No 

16. 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?

It says 30 days after the summons, which is dated 12/16/2019 but I was served on 12/21/2019 , I’m not sure which date I would go by for the 30 days

17. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits. 

They included 3 Exhibits. Exhibit A is a copy of my last bill from the original creditor, Exhibit B is a “bill of sale and assignment” dated 3/29/2018 by Citibank to Distressed Asset Portfolio III , there’s a few different dates on this paper, something about an “addendum” and it lists Distressed Asset portfolio III and Distressed Asset portfolio IV ... its very confusing for me, the  Exhibit C is 21 pages of mostly blank paper with the exception of a column  on the top of each page that says something different on each page, the first page being the last 4 digits of the credit card number, the second page being the sale amount and principal amount, the third page being charge of interest and fees. It looks like maybe this is some sort of spreadsheet printout 

18.  How did you find out about this site?

Google search 

 

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Hi PleaseHelpConfused,

We understand your fear of this situation - we have all been through it. You'll find a lot of help here. I noticed you started this thread on Dec 27 - sometimes it takes awhile for us to reply but please don't be afraid to bump your thread if you don't get a response within a few days... sometimes we overlook new posts.

Let's get to some of your questions:

Quote

I did also search a few of these boards that had great information on it however I don’t understand most of it, I did see that it looks like I should file a general denial form, but also it says that’s only if I’m being sued for $1000 or less… So I’m confused as to whether I should fill out that form.

The General Denial is the most commonly used form. To use it one of the following two options must apply:

1. The complaint is not verified; or

2. The complaint is verified and the case is a limited civil case (the amount in controversy is $25,000 or less), BUT NOT if the complaint involves a claim for more than $1,000 that has been assigned to a third party for collection.

The exception you are worried about is in option #2 (that the amount needs to less than $1,000) - but that exception also requires that the complaint be Verified. Option #1 states that you can use the General Denial if the complaint is not Verified. Most of these complaints are actually not verified... so let's confirm this for you. A verified complaint will include a page where the Plaintiff or attorney states (more or less) that "the facts set forth in the complaint are true". Do you have such a page? If no, then it is not verified and you can use the General Denial under Option #1. *Please note that there is often a page that has a verification of VENUE - that is not the one we are talking about.

Quote

It looks like the case was open on December 16 of this year but I was served on December 21 of this year so I’m not sure if the calendar days starts from December 16 or from the 21st.

Your timeline to respond starts on the date you were served: Dec 21st. Since you were personally served, you get 30 calendar days to respond which is Jan 20th. There is a specific process for filing your answer at your courthouse & serving a copy of that answer to the plaintiff. Let us know once you have confirmed the question of verification and we'll guide you through that.

Welcome to the board :)

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@RyanEX Thank you for your response, on the advice of a fellow member who has been so gracious in responding to my private messages, Especially during the holidays, I went ahead and filed the General Denial and also requested a Bill of Particulars. 
I did not see a paper in all this paperwork that says the facts set forth in the complaint are true. Aside from the summons and complaint 
Exhibit A was a copy of my last statement from the original creditor, Exhibit B is a few pages of “bill is sales and assignments” from looks like the origina creditor to a few different debt buyers and Exhibit C is 21 pages of mostly just blank pages w different headers (account number, name, my address, etc)  it does say this account was charged off in June of 2017, I don’t know if that makes a difference. 
I did have the law firm served with the general denial and demand for BOP, which they received by certified mail on 1/2/2020. 
The court had sent me two hearing dates, one for my fee waiver application, and the other for “case management conference” .... moving forward I am very scared/ nervous because I do not understand a lot of this. 
I have been reading through a lot of these threads and trying to learn and understand, but it is all very confusing to me. 

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16 hours ago, PleaseHelpConfused said:

@RyanEX Thank you for your response, on the advice of a fellow member who has been so gracious in responding to my private messages, Especially during the holidays, I went ahead and filed the General Denial and also requested a Bill of Particulars. 
I did not see a paper in all this paperwork that says the facts set forth in the complaint are true. Aside from the summons and complaint 
Exhibit A was a copy of my last statement from the original creditor, Exhibit B is a few pages of “bill is sales and assignments” from looks like the origina creditor to a few different debt buyers and Exhibit C is 21 pages of mostly just blank pages w different headers (account number, name, my address, etc)  it does say this account was charged off in June of 2017, I don’t know if that makes a difference. 
I did have the law firm served with the general denial and demand for BOP, which they received by certified mail on 1/2/2020. 
The court had sent me two hearing dates, one for my fee waiver application, and the other for “case management conference” .... moving forward I am very scared/ nervous because I do not understand a lot of this. 
I have been reading through a lot of these threads and trying to learn and understand, but it is all very confusing to me. 

Since this is very confusing for you, I would not suggest that you fight this in court. 

Did you check your see if your Citibank agreement includes an arbitration clause?

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Hello @Dgree thank you for your response, there is an arbitration clause in Citibank’s agreement and it says to use the either AAA or JAMS.  I’ve done a little reading trying to learn more about this, and will continue to do so. 
I don’t know if that is something I can pursue now since I’ve already filed a GD as a response and have a scheduled case management conference.  Either way I do need to fight this because I cannot afford to have a judgement taken out against me and have my wages garnished. 
I am trying to learn and understand as I go 

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Hi @PleaseHelpConfused!  Glad that you found the board!  You are in great hands!

The arbitration strategy is shown in amazing detail here:

Hopefully @fisthardcheese can chime in and answer your question regarding "arbitration in California" and whether in California you have to do something specific after you submit your Answer/General denial, if you have to write down something specific in your General Denial, or if you already submitted your Answer/General denial, if you can amend it to include the arbitration statement.

Here is another thread. This one is by @NetworkEngineer, who is currently pursuing arbitration in California.  Perhaps he can chime in also.

I keep hearing that arbitration is a lot easier than the regular "court" route, so it is definitely worth a shot.  All my experience is through the regular route.  I am sure some of our regular experts can give you some guidance!

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In my particular case, I filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration (MTC) instead of an answer or general denial. From reading thru the California Code of Civil procedure (1281.2), I don't see anything that would prevent you from filing a MTC. I'm going to be posting all of the paperwork I used to get my MTC granted by the court (will post tomorrow evening 1/14/20), but you shouldn't simply cut and paste my motion - you will need to alter it a little for your situation. 

Since you had mentioned you applied for a fee waiver, have you considered contacting a lawyer referral service in Orange County ? Many of them offer "Pro Bono" (free) services to low income persons. This will get you started: https://www.justia.com/lawyers/california/orange-county/legal-aid-and-pro-bono-services

That said, I'll post a redacted copy of my paperwork and I can answer any questions you may have on it. It seems like a lot to learn, but myself and others here have been thru this process. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, NetworkEngineer said:

In my particular case, I filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration (MTC) instead of an answer or general denial. From reading thru the California Code of Civil procedure (1281.2), I don't see anything that would prevent you from filing a MTC. I'm going to be posting all of the paperwork I used to get my MTC granted by the court (will post tomorrow evening 1/14/20), but you shouldn't simply cut and paste my motion - you will need to alter it a little for your situation. 

Since you had mentioned you applied for a fee waiver, have you considered contacting a lawyer referral service in Orange County ? Many of them offer "Pro Bono" (free) services to low income persons. This will get you started: https://www.justia.com/lawyers/california/orange-county/legal-aid-and-pro-bono-services

That said, I'll post a redacted copy of my paperwork and I can answer any questions you may have on it. It seems like a lot to learn, but myself and others here have been thru this process. 

 

 

Thanks, @NetworkEngineer!

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Thank you @NetworkEngineerand @LoveIsPower I decided to stick with the trial route mostly because I’m not entirely clear on the terms of arbitration in regards to my original credit agreement, and since I had filed a general denial already I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to start an arbitration. 
Thank you for all the helpful info and for the link on the pro bono lawyers, I will be looking into them this week! I did have a hearing for my fee waiver and it was approved by the judge. I now have CMC scheduled in March, and the law firm did respond to request for the BOP with what looks like all my billing statements. 

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21 hours ago, PleaseHelpConfused said:

Hello all, I have my CMC coming up, and I’m wondering if there is any advice any of you can give me, or is there anything I should bring. 
Thanks in advance 🙏🏼 

Pasting this from another thread asking close to same question:)

Case management conferences (CMC) are pretty simple.; usually they last 5 minutes or so. Judge just wants to make sure things are going okay (no discovery problems, etc), then potentially set a trial date if both parties intend to go all the way to trial. Judge may ask you if that's what you want. Know what dates over the next 6 months or year that you cannot attend trial, so that the judge doesn't schedule on those days.

Case management conferences are NOT the time to argue your case, only to discuss the issues above.

There is a case management statement (here: CM-110) that you need to fill out, file & serve to plaintiff ahead of the CMC. It's not a big deal and I think most judges don't even read them, but good to complete anyway.

Dress professionally to the CMC - that always impresses the judges.

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Hi,

How is it going for you? My mom got served with almost the exact same case info. I am trying to fight it on her behalf. She is widowed, unemployed, and does not speak English very well. Any advice would be appreciated.

 

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On 10/15/2020 at 9:05 PM, psz3s2143 said:

Hi,

How is it going for you? My mom got served with almost the exact same case info. I am trying to fight it on her behalf. She is widowed, unemployed, and does not speak English very well. Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Hi psz3s2143,

We can definitely help you out. CA laws are favorable to us in these types of cases. I recommend you start your own thread & keep everything regarding your case in that thread. Start by answering these questions regarding your mom's case. You can keep some details vague.

https://www.creditinfocenter.com/community/topic/242744-qs-to-answer-when-posting-in-this-forum-please-read/

And you should also read this thread as it will give you an overview of how we deal with these cases in CA. It's quite a few years old but everything still applies.

https://www.creditinfocenter.com/community/topic/317277-how-i-beat-midland-in-california/

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On 10/15/2020 at 9:05 PM, psz3s2143 said:

Hi,

How is it going for you? My mom got served with almost the exact same case info. I am trying to fight it on her behalf. She is widowed, unemployed, and does not speak English very well. Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Hello, I will send you a DM. I am still in the process of working through this, however with lots of help from some wonderful members of this community I am working through it. I started by responding to the lawsuit with what is called a General Denial. 

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