gamom

Getting sued by Portfolio Recovery Associates in Georgia

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Hello, I am currently being sued by Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC assignee of Synchrony Bank.  I got the summons on 02/20/20.  I am unsure what to do.  I am a single mom of a child with disabilities and cannot pay the $8833.22.  I wish I could, i really do.  Do i have any options?  I read something about Arbitration but I don't have the original credit card contract.  I would very much appreciate any help.  Thank you in advance.

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1 hour ago, gamom said:

I am a single mom of a child with disabilities and cannot pay the $8833.22.  I wish I could, i really do. 

Unfortunately it isn't a defense to not paying from a legal perspective.  If this goes to trial the court will not consider this.

1 hour ago, gamom said:

I read something about Arbitration but I don't have the original credit card contract. 

The CFPB archives have them.  You need the one for the year you defaulted or the most recent one prior.  If you defaulted in 2017 and the last updated agreement prior to that was 2016 you use that one.  Agreements are typically updated every couple of years not annually.

1 hour ago, gamom said:

Do i have any options?

What county is the suit in?  What law firm is handling this?

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1 minute ago, Clydesmom said:

Unfortunately it isn't a defense to not paying from a legal perspective.  If this goes to trial the court will not consider this.

The CFPB archives have them.  You need the one for the year you defaulted or the most recent one prior.  If you defaulted in 2017 and the last updated agreement prior to that was 2016 you use that one.  Agreements are typically updated every couple of years not annually.

What county is the suit in?  What law firm is handling this?

Thank you for replying.  I will look up the CFPB, i stopped paying in 2018.  Thank you for letting me know about this, i was afraid I was doomed because i didn't have the contract. 

I am in Columbia County. 

I don't know which law firm is handling it.  All it says is Plaintiff/Petitioner: Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC. 

Would they ever take a lesser amount of say 2K ?  That's all I will be able to pay in the near future. 

I also had a friend say he got summed by PRA and he never went to court or responded and nothing happened to him.  His check wasn't garnished or anything.  How can that be possible?

 

Thank you again.

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1 hour ago, gamom said:
 

Hello, I am currently being sued by Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC assignee of Synchrony Bank.  I got the summons on 02/20/20.  I am unsure what to do.  I am a single mom of a child with disabilities and cannot pay the $8833.22.  I wish I could, i really do.  Do i have any options?  I read something about Arbitration but I don't have the original credit card contract.  I would very much appreciate any help.  Thank you in advance.

Arbitration can usually win.  Synchrony Bank has a great arbitration provision.  PRA almost always folds in arbitration.

!. Get the CC agreement from the CFPB site.  @Clydesmom mentioned how to do that in her reply.

2. File an MTC.  Look up the arbitration threads to see how that is done.  Normally, you answer with arbitration as an affirmative defense, and file a Motion To Compel arbitration.  

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10 minutes ago, gamom said:
 
 

Thank you for replying.  I will look up the CFPB, i stopped paying in 2018.  Thank you for letting me know about this, i was afraid I was doomed because i didn't have the contract. 

I am in Columbia County. 

I don't know which law firm is handling it.  All it says is Plaintiff/Petitioner: Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC. 

Would they ever take a lesser amount of say 2K ?  That's all I will be able to pay in the near future. 

They might or might not.  If you file an MTC, you can almost certainly get away with paying a lot less, although you may or may not have to pay arbitration fees.  

10 minutes ago, gamom said:

I also had a friend say he got summed by PRA and he never went to court or responded and nothing happened to him.  His check wasn't garnished or anything.  How can that be possible?

 

Thank you again.

How is that possible?  Well, anything can happen, but I wouldn't count of that happening to you.

There are three possibilities:

1. PRA forgot about it.  Not very likely.

2. PRA got a default judgment against your friend, and they haven't got around to doing anything yet, but they might do something about it later.  They have years to do something.  Very possible.

3. PRA got a default judgment, and decided your friend has nothing worth going after.  However, if in the future your friend is in a better financial position, they will go after him.  Very possible.  

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2 minutes ago, BackFromTheDebt said:
 

Arbitration can usually win.  Synchrony Bank has a great arbitration provision.  PRA almost always folds in arbitration.

!. Get the CC agreement from the CFPB site.  @Clydesmom mentioned how to do that in her reply.

2. File an MTC.  Look up the arbitration threads to see how that is done.  Normally, you answer with arbitration as an affirmative defense, and file a Motion To Compel arbitration.  

Thank you!  I will do these and hope it works.  I'm afraid that PRA will not fold this time.  But in arbitration, PRA would try to settle right?  I apologize for my lack of knowledge in this field.  I have tried my best to do research and still am very lost.

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28 minutes ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

They might or might not.  If you file an MTC, you can almost certainly get away with paying a lot less, although you may or may not have to pay arbitration fees.  

How is that possible?  Well, anything can happen, but I wouldn't count of that happening to you.

There are three possibilities:

1. PRA forgot about it.  Not very likely.

2. PRA got a default judgment against your friend, and they haven't got around to doing anything yet, but they might do something about it later.  They have years to do something.  Very possible.

3. PRA got a default judgment, and decided your friend has nothing worth going after.  However, if in the future your friend is in a better financial position, they will go after him.  Very possible.  

Oh yikes.  I hope this doesn't come to bite him in the butt later on.  I definitely plan on responding.  I don't like being in trouble and this has rattled my peace.  I also don't get any child support and cannot work a second job to save up money to pay this.  I know they won't care about it, but i just don't have the money and can't do anything about it. 

I do have an additional question. What exactly am I responding to ?  I have attached my Summons here.  I think I'm supposed to respond to #2, right? 

Thank you.

 

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5 minutes ago, gamom said:

I'm afraid that PRA will not fold this time.  But in arbitration, PRA would try to settle right?

This is why I asked what law firm.  There is one particular firm that got defeated a half dozen times or so by arbitration motions and now is very skilled at fighting them. 

You can look at the court papers and who ever signed the forms for PRA will have the law firm listed they work for.

Settling is about leverage.  If you get a motion to compel granted the leverage shifts to you because arbitration is very expensive for them.  Typically once the motion is granted they ask what you want to settle it and the answer is always "mutual walk away."  If you settle prior to the motion there is a small chance they take a lump sum settlement of 25% of the debt.  No guarantees.  You NEVER EVER tell them you have the money.  You always state a relative has that amount and nothing more to assist you but it has to be settled in full to agree.  ALL settlements must be in writing for your protection.  DO NOT pay until you have all the terms in writing.

If they won't take that amount and want payments then they will want the full amount and a consent judgment.  What that means is if you default again they do not have to sue you.  They just file that consent judgment with the courts and then can garnish or levy.  DO NOT do this unless you are absolutely positively certain you can make all payments on time.  Miss even one and you are done.

21 minutes ago, gamom said:

I also had a friend say he got summed by PRA and he never went to court or responded and nothing happened to him.  His check wasn't garnished or anything.  How can that be possible?

All of the reasons @BackFromTheDebt said.  Your friend is also playing Russian Roulette.  In most states there is post judgment interest which can average around 10% annually.  In a few short years that can double the amount owed.  Worse many states allow a judgment to be renewed eternally.  So they never go away.  Just as a consumer is rebuilding they will come out of the woodwork and start collecting.  They may never try and collect on your friend but if they do it will be at the worst possible time for him for sure.

And they DO know when a consumer is rebuilding.  They pay the bureaus for a list of consumers who apply for auto loans and mortgages.  Then they compare the list to those names they have judgments on.  THAT is when they will pounce.  Also keep in mind that while they may not collect on the judgment immediately; with that post judgment interest ballooning the debt they know many consumers will want or need new credit somewhere down the line and will have to deal with that judgment.  They may have to wait but they are willing to take the chance.

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1 minute ago, gamom said:

What exactly am I responding to ?  I have attached my Summons here.  I think I'm supposed to respond to #2, right? 

Pull that document down.  You did not redact all your personal information.

You do not need a formal response in GA Magistrate Court.  They have pre-printed forms.  Check off deny and hand it to the clerk.  They will stamp it and give you a copy back.  Within 30 days they will set a trial date.  You do NOT file a MTC in advance.  You have 3 copies ready to go on the day of trial.  

I did see who the firm is and it is not the one I was concerned about.  In fact from what I remember they are kind of sloppy and tend to not show up so you could get lucky on that.  Fingers crossed.

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4 minutes ago, Clydesmom said:

This is why I asked what law firm.  There is one particular firm that got defeated a half dozen times or so by arbitration motions and now is very skilled at fighting them. 

You can look at the court papers and who ever signed the forms for PRA will have the law firm listed they work for.

Settling is about leverage.  If you get a motion to compel granted the leverage shifts to you because arbitration is very expensive for them.  Typically once the motion is granted they ask what you want to settle it and the answer is always "mutual walk away."  If you settle prior to the motion there is a small chance they take a lump sum settlement of 25% of the debt.  No guarantees.  You NEVER EVER tell them you have the money.  You always state a relative has that amount and nothing more to assist you but it has to be settled in full to agree.  ALL settlements must be in writing for your protection.  DO NOT pay until you have all the terms in writing.

If they won't take that amount and want payments then they will want the full amount and a consent judgment.  What that means is if you default again they do not have to sue you.  They just file that consent judgment with the courts and then can garnish or levy.  DO NOT do this unless you are absolutely positively certain you can make all payments on time.  Miss even one and you are done.

Wow, thank you for this information.  I was going to go in there saying  "i have this much".  Which i don't.  I would need to borrow this from somewhere. 

The names listed below the signature are:

Tracy H. Reese GA Bar #323913

Tamara Dr. Starks GA Bar #349907

Bryan D. Thompson GA Bar # 940670

Brian M. Bilodeau GA Bar # 521191

120 Corporate Blvd

Norfold, VA 23502

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4 minutes ago, Clydesmom said:

Pull that document down.  You did not redact all your personal information.

You do not need a formal response in GA Magistrate Court.  They have pre-printed forms.  Check off deny and hand it to the clerk.  They will stamp it and give you a copy back.  Within 30 days they will set a trial date.  You do NOT file a MTC in advance.  You have 3 copies ready to go on the day of trial.  

I did see who the firm is and it is not the one I was concerned about.  In fact from what I remember they are kind of sloppy and tend to not show up so you could get lucky on that.  Fingers crossed.

Oops my bad.  Thank you a million times.  I will take it down. 

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@Clydesmom @BackFromTheDebtI was doing some further reading on the lawyers on this case and found this Topic .

I was looking at his case and it was similar to mine.  They had the summons uploaded and their response which i will attach here.  In that thread, they suggest that he counterclaim.  Is that something i should do or just deny the  claim and as for arbitration?  Can i do both?

For example deny and have the reason be : Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction – The underlying contract contains a private arbitration clause which the Defendant has elected to exercise. Therefore, This Court does not have jurisdiction to hear this matter.

And also counterclaim? 

I have attached his response, would this help me any?

 

Thank you in advance.

ANSWER2_Redacted.pdf

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2 hours ago, gamom said:

Is that something i should do or just deny the  claim and as for arbitration?  Can i do both?

You can do both but you need to have a valid counter claim.  You cannot just say you have one.  You can follow his steps.  He did defeat them as I recall.  

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@gamom Here is the link to the archives of the CFPB credit card agreement database. From the Complaint's Exhibit B CareCredit/Synchrony Bank account statements, it appears the last payment on this account was in 3/2018, with first missed payment in 4/2018. You can search the archived agreements for the Synchrony file. Once you open the Synchrony file, look for the Care Credit agreement. 

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/credit-cards/agreements/

Here is an exerpt from the CareCredit/Synchrony agreement dated 6/18. I've highlighted where it states that they won't require you to arbitrate a claim brought in small claims, but this is sometimes twisted by the debt buyer's attorney to state that you can't require them to arbitrate their small claims court claim, either. It does not state that. 

"RESOLVING A DISPUTE WITH ARBITRATION PLEASE READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY. IF YOU DO NOT REJECT IT, THIS SECTION WILL APPLY TO YOUR ACCOUNT, AND MOST DISPUTES BETWEEN YOU AND US WILL BE SUBJECT TO INDIVIDUAL ARBITRATION. THIS MEANS THAT: (1) NEITHER A COURT NOR A JURY WILL RESOLVE ANY SUCH DISPUTE; (2) YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION OR SIMILAR PROCEEDING; (3) LESS INFORMATION WILL BE AVAILABLE; AND (4) APPEAL RIGHTS WILL BE LIMITED.

• What claims are subject to arbitration 1. If either you or we make a demand for arbitration, you and we must arbitrate any dispute or claim between you or any other user of your account, and us, our affiliates, agents and/or providers that accept the card or program sponsors if it relates to your account, except as noted below.

2. We will not require you to arbitrate: (1) any individual case in small claims court or your state’s equivalent court, so long as it remains an individual case in that court; or (2) a case we file to collect money you owe us. However, if you respond to the collection lawsuit by claiming any wrongdoing, we may require you to arbitrate.

3. Notwithstanding any other language in this section, only a court, not an arbitrator, will decide disputes about the validity, enforceability, coverage or scope of this section or any part thereof (including, without limitation, the next paragraph of this section and/or this sentence). However, any dispute or argument that concerns the validity or enforceability of the Agreement as a whole is for the arbitrator, not a court, to decide."

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