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Fightinglawsuits

Sued by PRA - Rausch Sturm in TEXAS! PLEASE HELP ME!!!

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I really need all the information and advice I can get! This is the first time I've ever been sued and it is stressing me out quite a bit. I was served the lawsuit. I have filed a "General Denial" answer letter with the Justice Court, and now I am awaiting a trial/pre-trial date.

I guess what I really want to know is: How does a Rausch Sturm trial usually go here in Texas? I've read in other posts that they are generally kind of lazy, disorganized with their paperwork (evidence) and that a lot of times they don't even show up to trial. Is this just wishful thinking on my part, or is there any truth to that?

I have chosen not to ask for Discovery (Request for Production) because I've read in numerous places that a lot of times it hurts more than it helps. If you ask for discovery, JBDs that might not have any documentation might be compelled, by law, to go back to the original creditor and get the documentation, basically arming them with ammunition to take me out. I'd rather just take the risk, show up on trial date and hope that they don't have many relevant documents to present.

Also,  I know that Texas is a very friendly state when it comes to debtors. In my situation, I do not own real estate, I do not own my car, my wages cannot be garnished in Texas, I have about $300 bucks in my bank account, and I own no other assets. Do you guys think I can use this argument with the Rausch lawyers to try and get the lawsuit dismissed, or maybe get a good settlement deal?

Plus, I found it curious that, although in Justice Court they are not obligated to, they didn't include a single piece of evidence/affidavit in my original lawsuit complaint. Do you all think that is a sign that maybe they just don't have enough paperwork to prove that I owe the debt (or that they own the debt)?

Here is the basic information

1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? Rausch Sturm LLP

3. How much are you being sued for? $4,200.00

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

5. How do you know you are being sued? Served.

6. How were you served? In person.

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

8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? None.

9. What state and county do you live in? Dallas 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) September 2016

11. When did you open the account (looking to establish what card agreement may be applicable)? April 2016

12. What is the SOL on the debt? 4 years

13. What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed? Lawsuit served, Answer filed, awaiting trial date.

14. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus? No.

15. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed?  No.

16. How long do you have to respond to the suit? 14 days, already filed a "General Denial" answer at the courthouse.

17. What evidence did they send with the summons? None.

18.  How did you find out about this site? Google search

Any help would be much appreciated! :)

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Rausch, Sturm, Israel, Enerson & Hornik is historically the laziest law firm in Texas.  In the vast majority of cases they completely stop doing anything upon receipt of discovery.  It is highly unlikely that it will ever get to the point of an actual trial.   They do not need to enclose any "evidence" when they file the law suit. 

It is good that you filed your general denial but don't just sit and wait for something to come to you.  You need to decide if you want to fight them in court or go through arbitration and immediately get the upper hand and get things rolling.  

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Thanks for the reply texasrocker! Please provide me with more insight!!

What do you think of my decision to not do discovery (as I mentioned in the original post)? Does it make sense that asking PRA/Rausch to present documentation could make the case more difficult for me to beat?

I don't think I'll be doing arbitration. Not even sure my original Citibank credit agreement allows it, plus I wouldn't know where to start searching for it. Plus, I've read in other posts that PRA gets a bit aggressive if you drag them to arbitration recently. Going to trial is stressful enough for me without having to deal with all the work involved in asking/going to arbitration. 

Do you think I have a chance of winning if I just go to trial and see what they have and try to argue my case with the judge?

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3 hours ago, Fightinglawsuits said:

Thanks for the reply texasrocker! Please provide me with more insight!!

What do you think of my decision to not do discovery (as I mentioned in the original post)? Does it make sense that asking PRA/Rausch to present documentation could make the case more difficult for me to beat?

I don't think I'll be doing arbitration. Not even sure my original Citibank credit agreement allows it, plus I wouldn't know where to start searching for it. Plus, I've read in other posts that PRA gets a bit aggressive if you drag them to arbitration recently. Going to trial is stressful enough for me without having to deal with all the work involved in asking/going to arbitration. 

Do you think I have a chance of winning if I just go to trial and see what they have and try to argue my case with the judge?

You have a very good chance of winning with this law firm whether you choose to fight it in court or to use arbitration.  Again, there is almost zero chance that it will ever get to trial.  As soon as they see that they are not going to get a default judgment they are notorious for not saying another word.   It does not matter if PRA gets more aggressive when it costs them more to go through arbitration than they filed the lawsuit for to begin with. 

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On the day of my trial in Justice Court, if I talk to the PRA lawyer in the hallway before trial begins, can I ask that he show me the documents he plans to present as evidence before offering a settlement value?

Also, if we proceed to trial in front of the judge, and the attorney starts presenting the evidence, can I ask for a moment to look over the documents?

Can I even ask the judge for a continuance so I can have time to examine the evidence that was presented?

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6 hours ago, Fightinglawsuits said:

On the day of my trial in Justice Court, if I talk to the PRA lawyer in the hallway before trial begins, can I ask that he show me the documents he plans to present as evidence before offering a settlement value?

Also, if we proceed to trial in front of the judge, and the attorney starts presenting the evidence, can I ask for a moment to look over the documents?

Can I even ask the judge for a continuance so I can have time to examine the evidence that was presented?

You have failed to comprehend anything I said.  There is about a 98% chance that this will not proceed to trial if you fight them either through the court or with arbitration.  If you just sit idle and wait for your trial then there is about a 98% chance that you will lose.

 

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As @texasrockersaid, you will lose if you are unprepared at trial.  Asking to look at the documents the day of trial makes no sense.  That is why you ask for discovery.  You want to see what they have so you can be prepared.   

Try the arbitration route.  Here is the link to the arb thread.  You lose nothing but a bit of time. 

 

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4 hours ago, Impress said:

As @texasrockersaid, you will lose if you are unprepared at trial.  Asking to look at the documents the day of trial makes no sense.  That is why you ask for discovery.  You want to see what they have so you can be prepared.   

Try the arbitration route.  Here is the link to the arb thread.  You lose nothing but a bit of time. 

 

You cannot do both discovery and arbitration.

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On 7/6/2020 at 4:45 PM, texasrocker said:

You cannot do both discovery and arbitration.

There are arb clauses that specifically state that arbitration can be invoked anytime prior to final judgement.  However, I was under the impression OP hadn't engaged in discovery and wasn't planning on asking for any.  So wouldn't she/he be able to at least try for arbitration?  And if it didn't work out, ask for a discovery and a continuance to conduct it?

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2 hours ago, Impress said:

There are arb clauses that specifically state that arbitration can be invoked anytime prior to final judgement.  However, I was under the impression OP hadn't engaged in discovery and wasn't planning on asking for any.  So wouldn't she/he be able to at least try for arbitration?  And if it didn't work out, ask for a discovery and a continuance to conduct it?

A clause in the credit card agreement is trumped by state law and court rules. I didn't think they had already begun discovery,  I was just clarifying it because the wording in your post could have easily been misunderstood  by a "newbie." 

All I know about arbitration is what I have overheard here so whether or not they can start that process and then elect to abandon it and instead push for discovery should be directed to @fisthardcheese  Regardless, one can motion for a continuance for any reason they so desire but it is up to the judge to decide to grant or deny it.

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