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Followed Into Arbitration by Velocity


Xtreme98
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I am starting a new thread since the MTC was granted and moved into arbitration. The court case has been closed (without) prejudice.

Here is the original thread:

Need some ideas and opinions from the veterans of the site.

@fisthardcheese@BV80@BackFromTheDebt@Clydesmom

So Velocity decided to follow and pay the $1500 to start arbitration.

What is ideal moving forward? I have read the Arbitration section that @fisthardcheese posted. I have followed it up to this point and so far everything has went relatively smooth. With a little help from the community along the way of course. I am very thankful for all that have helped and taken time to give guidance to this point.

We are at the point of picking an arbiter. Four days remain before the deadline which is Oct 1st. The JAMS case manager send a list of 5. Two of them are hourly and three of them are flat daily rates. We have to agree on one or JAMS will pick for us.

After the arbiter is chosen and (if) they chose to pay the arbiter fee, what suggestions do you have to make this hard for them to stay and see this thru. @fisthardcheesehas good info in the arb section but is there any other advice or anything i should be looking for?

According to JAMS, this is their attorney's first time at JAMS (or at least in the last 5 years). So considering they are possibly new to this maybe that could be helpful. I am assuming they think that the fees will be passed back to me or maybe they know the rules but I'm not to confident in that.

So we want to make this painful and a huge pill to swallow. Lend me your thoughts and opinions if you have time.

*I have not nor have they asked/sent a settlement offer.

Thanks and look forward to hearing what you guys/gals have to say.

 

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Stay the course.  It's not uncommon for them to pay the initial $1,500 because they get a good chunk of that back if the case settles before arbitrator spends any time on it.  They will also have to pay another $2,500 or something for the arbitrator retainer.  They will walk away before dropping that kind of money on trying to collect a $1,000 debt.

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@Xtreme98

As I've said many times, my entire knowledge of arb could fit in a thimble!  But, always wanting to help a fellow Arkansan (as the forum has ALWAYS helped me), it may be best to focus on the immediate need (with thought of overall strategy in back of mind), by finding out more about your FIVE arbitrator choices.

I don't know any 'rules-of-thumb' on this, but would think others would opine as to whether it's better to choose a former judge, as opposed to a former lawyer, for example.  Maybe if you can find cases a former judge presided on to see if there is ANYTHING at all that might provide a 'tell' as to being consumer-friendly or not.  Or, this may not matter at all -- I just don't know.  In the little bit of looking at the JAMS site, it looks like you can get a 'bio' on all the arbitrators.  See what you can find.

Is the arbitrator that charges $7000 per day better, or the one who charges $550 per hour the best choice??  Clearly you want to have JDB pay as much as possible by taking as long as possible, withOUT being considered as being frivolous.  It seems as long as your ultimate arbitrator thinks you're playing fair, it is less likely you would have to pay THEIR fees.

Hope others can give more and better opinions than I!  I'm reading-up a bit more on arb.  If anything useful stands out, I'll certainly post.  Good luck!

Jimmy

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2 hours ago, Xtreme98 said:

@Harry Seaward Thanks for the reply. The original debt is just over 10k. I do apologize for not putting that in the new thread.

I pulled up the thread you linked to and just saw the $1k.  The only case I know of where a JDB didn't walk away was the one from 2 or 3 years ago with the obnoxious lawyer that apparently went rogue and wasted a s-ton of her client's money.  As for the rest, they have been debts as high as $30k; several of those I was pretty sure would go all the way and none did.  I really doubt they will see it through on $10k.  The fact of the matter is you really don't have any options other than to offer a settlement.  I personally wouldn't do that until I see them pay the $2,500 arbitrator deposit.  The caveat with that is they will be that much more invested by that point.  The odds are on your side, so if it were me, I'd keep it going.

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@BackFromTheDebt I feel you may be right in this case. Just a feeling I have had for a while.

@Jimmy E As always, I very much appreciate all the time you have taken and all of the info you have provided. I do understand what you are saying about the arbiter as well. Obviously we want to make it cost as much as possible but need to make the right choice on arbiter too.

@Harry SeawardI have really been contemplating a settlement. I know at the end of the day $0 is the best out come but i am ready to get this behind me too. I feel like Today just before the arbiter selection is the perfect time. I realize everyone (me included) wants to really stick it to them but this is a heavy weight on my shoulders right now. While it seems like the best option is to keep moving forward and just ride this out I'm not sure i feel that.

I am going to send my top 2 arbiters to them. I will hold as long as i can before submitting an offer. I know there is no easy way out unfortunately.

I have said this many times and i wanna say it again, THANKS to everyone that has been here to help me through this.

I will keep everyone updated.

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@Xtreme98

It is easy to 'armchair quarterback' what someone else is going through.  In the end, it's all on your shoulders, and you have to decide what is best for YOU -- and your health!

Having said that, imo, you've come a long way!  If you can I say stick with it to see if the JDB forks over the next several thousand (or more).  At this point I'm pretty sure they can still get 100% of their initial fee refunded -- losing nothing whatsoever!  

If you decide to hold on for a bit longer, I'm sure a lot of people on the forum will be as helpful as possible.

Best,

Jimmy

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*Update*

The arbiter has been agreed upon.


What are the next steps I should be looking at?

I understand that the roles have been reversed so if and when they pay the arbiter fee what is my next move?

It seems as if its a preliminary hearing. What will that entail exactly and what case am i pleading. I want to be as ready as possible for this in case they pay the fee.

On my initial filing i just used a basic consumer debt dispute. I know that can be changed i'm just unsure what we are shooting for at this stage.

Any help, comment, advice would be greatly appreciated.

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3 minutes ago, boilrroom said:

Velocity was coming after me for an alleged 16k. I came up with counter claims/ violations against them and their law firm. They still wanted a piece of me. I elected arb, they said they were game for it. I asked for the names and addresses of their witnesses, and also filed complaints with the CFPB, attorney general etc...they dropped it and closed the case.

I also left bad reviews on google / yelp for velocity and their lawfirm, I have removed them now since they dropped this alleged account.

My mindset is that no one will get a penny from me. Worst case I rack up a 20k bill for them. And if I lose I will just file chapter 7. I filed chapter 7 , 11 years, ago, super easy and stress free. Within 2 years I have a 720 credit score. I would rather pay $1500 to file, than pay any lawyer or garnishment.

That strategy tends to work best when one has bona fide counter claims.  
 

I got Cap 1 to walk away from arbitration with that strategy.  Also some other big name OCs I am not permitted to name. 
 

But, I had real, bona fide counter claims.  In one case I sent the new attorney my proof during discovery (I had already settled with the original attorney). As soon as the new attorney saw my evidence, he was quite ready to come to an agreement to close the case.  

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55 minutes ago, Xtreme98 said:

*Update*

The arbiter has been agreed upon.


What are the next steps I should be looking at?

I understand that the roles have been reversed so if and when they pay the arbiter fee what is my next move?

It seems as if its a preliminary hearing. What will that entail exactly and what case am i pleading. I want to be as ready as possible for this in case they pay the fee.

On my initial filing i just used a basic consumer debt dispute. I know that can be changed i'm just unsure what we are shooting for at this stage.

Any help, comment, advice would be greatly appreciated.

Another poster mentioned counter claims, which are a potent weapon if they are bona fide counter claims.  Don’t just make s*** up.  
 

Discovery is a big thing.  Make sure you use discovery to get all their evidence against you. 
 

This is also a good time to go over their accounting with a fine tooth comb.  I got the accounting for Cap 1 thrown out of court even before arbitration because their affiant wasn’t qualified.  
 

I found some possible discrepancies with the statements from another OC I can’t mention.  Things that cast doubt on the validity of the statements.  For example, a statement from one year would have an ad with a date from a later year.  

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@Xtreme98

I remember the Plaintiff lawyer SAT on your court case for more than a year.  When you filed to have it dismissed for lack of prosecution, that lawyer gave a lot of 'cry baby' excuses as to why she was delayed, and the judge bought it and let her continue.  It was during that year that she ignored your case, but had time to file and adjudicate literally THOUSANDS of JDB cases in Arkansas ALONE (and she's in Missouri)!

Velocity has the 'affiant' who CANNOT attest to how the OC handles business records.  Velocity can't grab OC records, drop them into their own filing cabinets and call them THEIR OWN BUSINESS RECORDS.  Can you say HEARSAY?!  Maybe this affiant can be called as witness?

Bill of Sale mentions "another agreement" many times, but never mentions you, your account number, or your alleged debt.  What is in that "sales agreement" from a block of accounts they purchased??  Perhaps the OC clearly stated that Velocity bought a block of accounts AS-IS and OC cannot guarantee the amounts are correct or even OWED!

They have all of this disconnected information they are trying to put together as fact.  While a lot of judges let them get by with this, maybe these can be real questions to have answered in arb.

There's a few things to take a look at!

Jimmy

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2 hours ago, Velocity Slayer said:

I also posted that if their lawyers lie or misrepresent that I would file an ethics violation against them. And I let Velocity know, that per the alleged contract, even if I lost arb, I would appeal it and rack up another 20k debt. 

 

Within 30 days of a final award by the arbitrator, any party may appeal the award for reconsideration by a three-arbitrator panel. 

Any of the documents they sent you, did the bill of sale list your name and alleged account? Did the contract have any blanks spaces? If so 
15 USC 1692e 807
 
10) The use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer.

Uh, telling them you are going to rack up their bill may be a bad idea.  
 

If they win the case, they may claim you are acting in bad faith.  That may give them an opportunity to force you to pay their fees.  This has been seen rarely, but it has been done.   One of Judge Susan Weber Wright’s last cases she put about $60,000 in sanctions against a guy for acting in bad faith.  The fellow who was sanctioned posted here and the deduct “other “ board under the name ColtFan.  


We have also seen this in JAMS a few times. 

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46 minutes ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

Uh, telling them you are going to rack up their bill may be a bad idea.  
 

If they win the case, they may claim you are acting in bad faith.  That may give them an opportunity to force you to pay their fees.  This has been seen rarely, but it has been done.   One of Judge Susan Weber Wright’s last cases she put about $60,000 in sanctions against a guy for acting in bad faith.  The fellow who was sanctioned posted here and the deduct “other “ board under the name ColtFan.  


We have also seen this in JAMS a few times. 

@BackFromTheDebt

I remember that one.  If I remember though, ColtFan VERY CLEARLY tossed in all he could -- and that was a COURT case.  I certainly bow to your superior knowledge of arbitration, but if I'm not mistaken, ColtFan tricked a collection firm/attorney into leaving a message on his cell phone voicemail.  He later claimed his roommate heard it, thus violating privacy concerns, etc.  In other words, imo, he was REALLY OUT THERE on his legal claims.  His opposing atty also kept an eagle-eye on each and every braggadocios post he made on this forum (and others) -- to the point the atty printed them out as evidence as to his "shenanigans."  I don't think @Xtreme98 would employ such tactics -- but who knows!!  Lol

Just saying / asking.... would it be considered frivolous or bad faith by asking about these two things in arbitration?:

1.  Deposing the "affiant" who claims to know everything about OP's account, but NOTHING about how OC maintained its business records?  JAMS clearly says the consumer is entitled to this at a location nearby the consumer.

2. Asking for the (what some here call) "Forward-Flow Agreement" between OC and Velocity?  I've seen other FF agreements, and every single time a part of the language from on the agreement is the OC is selling accounts 'as-is,' and do not guarantee their accuracy or if they are even owed.  IMO, this is clearly why JDBs never show this kind of agreement.

That's not to mention there were no statements attached when the case was in court.  Actually don't know if it would be a good idea to ask for them in arb.  What kinds of positive, proactive moves, if any, could OP make at this point? 

Bottom line is, at this point:  Xtreme98 and 'opponent' have agreed to an arbitrator.  It's the 'opponent's' first time in arb (dunno if that's good or bad).  What's the next, best step??

I mostly lurk on the forum and appreciate reading opinions from you, BV80, fisthardcheese, Harry Seaward, and others.  I've just been following Xtreme98's case as a fellow Arkansas Razorback, LOL, and have seen the court filings....going on two years now!

Best,

Jimmy

 

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1 hour ago, Velocity Slayer said:

force them to disclose the terms, conditions , and price for the alleged agreement, they wont do that. Just like Jimmy stated, they cant afford to fly in actual witnesses from the OC. they will try to use their people though. and their bill of sale and other doc's won't wont mention the poster and or the amount paid. its all garbage.

 

Not one court has required a debt buyer to disclose the price it paid for a portfolio of debts.  It is not relevant to the existence or validity of an account.

If you have court precedent which required a debt buyer to disclose the amount it paid for a debt, please provide it.

 

1 hour ago, Velocity Slayer said:

people say that violations are tough now, and they were easy back in the day. thats not true. you need to look up active class action lawsuits for all the big companies. And you will find a similar violation that fits you.

 

An active class-action means the court has not made a ruling.  Unless a court has made a ruling on the merits of the claims in a class-action lawsuit, the allegations have not been deemed to have merit.  A court must rule that the alleged violations are, in fact, violations.

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1 hour ago, Velocity Slayer said:

QR codes are a violation if they can be seen on a letter window. i just got one 5 months ago, and beat the JDB with it.  3rd party mailing vendor, the list goes on and on.

https://consumerfsblog.com/2019/09/3rd-cir-holds-qr-code-on-envelope-violates-fdcpa/

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently held that a debt collector violated the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) when the envelope it sent to a debtor displayed an unencrypted code that revealed the debtor’s account number when scanned.

A copy of the opinion in DiNaples v. MRS BPO, LLC is available at:  Link to Opinion.

Violation of subsection 1692f(8) of the FDCPA, which prohibits debt collectors from “[u]sing any language or symbol other than the debt collector’s address, on any envelope when communicating with a consumer by use of the mails.”(FDCPA)

 

This is a common mailing practice and nice to know as it's overlooked even though its five years old.

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25 minutes ago, Velocity Slayer said:
 
Carmen M Pagan v PRA  , 
 
Richard Hunstein v Preferred Collection
 
Marisol Valentin v PRA
 
 Alejandro Morales v Healthcare Revenue Recovery Group LLC
 
DiNaples v Mrs BPO, LLC
 
Douglass/ Douglas v Convergent Outsourcing
 
Michael v Hovg, LLC

In which one of the above has a decision been rendered by a court that ruled a debt buyer must provide the price it paid for a debt?

 

31 minutes ago, Velocity Slayer said:

Illinois law requires the price paid,   The consideration for the assignment (225 ILCS  425/8b)  


According to Illinois Courts of Appeals, the section you cited does not apply to the sale of a debt (debt buyers).

Unifund CCR Partners v. Shah (Illinois Court of Appeals, 1st Dist., 2nd Div. 2013)

“By referring specifically to assignments for collection, the plain language of section 8b indicates that the legislature intended to exclude sales of an account to a debt buyer from the section's reach. “

 

LVNV Funding, LLC v. Davis. (Illinois Appellate Court, 5th Dist. 2020)

“Based on the foregoing, we agree with the conclusion in Shah that "[b]y referring specifically to assignments for collection, the plain language of section 8b indicates that the legislature intended to exclude sales of an account to a debt buyer from the section's reach." Accordingly, while a debt buyer is required to meet the requirements of section 2-403(a) of the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2-403(a) (West 2018)), which requires that the assignee and owner of a cause of action allege on oath in the pleading that he or she is the actual bona fideowner thereof, and set forth how and when he or she acquired title, a debt buyer is not subject to the requirements of section 8b of the Act.”

 

25 minutes ago, Velocity Slayer said:

BV, relax, take a deep breathe.  maybe u dont get it. if you come at a jdb with counter claims, even if they arent perfect...they back down and run...they arent going to spend thousands debating you. and if it wasnt in arb, you can get a free lawyer. these counter claims are valid though. and i have made Portfolio recovery run for the hills.  I had multiple violations on every jdb buyer i have come across. so i dont care about this or that. or this violation or this etc...i have all the violations.

Please don’t tell me to take a breath.  And, yes, I do get it.  You think I’m here for no reason?  I’ve been on this site for over 10 years precisely because I was sued by debt buyers.  I won, by the way.  I have also sued and won for FDCPA claims.

The majority of regular posters on this site have also been sued and won.  So please do not think you are providing information we are not aware of and have not commented on.

I’m glad you have defeated debt buyers.  That’s great.  But anyone who has researched enough will know that what is required by a court in one state may not be required by a court in another state.  He/She will also know to refer to court decisions that are precedent in the state courts in his state of residence.  

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Anything with Cavalry Portfolio - Citibank

 

29 minutes ago, Velocity Slayer said:

the initial dispute letter should be so strong that 85% of jdb's respond like this,  the top 5 jdb's, may need 2-3 emails, and i always use a free lawyer when its time to get paid.  I have backed down or been paid by every big JDB in the last 1.5 years.                                                                 

What would be a sample of your initial dispute letter causing these kind of walk aways.

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So there is a lot of interesting things that have been said since I last checked. I appreciate everyone for the help and guidance.

We are at the point where the Arbiter has been chosen and I am damn nervous at this point. Not sure if I thought I would have felt different at this stage but ... I am a nervous wreck to say the least.

I have looked through everything that was sent and I have yet to come up with violations. I'm damn sure I still have no real clue what I am actually looking for. LOL

So moving forward.

I am going to ask about the witness from the OC and for him/her to testify to the validity of the contract and my account standing?

@BV80You are saying that there is no reason to ask them to show/prove the debt amount? That they do not have to do this and that it has no validity to the case.

I just want to make sure I understand exactly what i need to do. If i get a little off course it will throw me for a loop and could make or break everything.

I made into arbitration but i am still new to all this. My first time here in this situation. I am unfamiliar with court rules and even more so arbitration. There is so much information out there and so many if's,ands and buts i get lost sometimes to be real honest.

I guess where i'm really lost is that since filing in arbitration I am practically suing them. Reversed roles.  That kinda confuses me a bit. I mean it totally makes sense but before i could respond to them. I'm assuming they have to respond just the opposite. 😵

@Ghost in the DarknessI am happy you have had great success! Some good strategy none the less. I'm not in court anymore so i'm not sure what i can do to make these things work in arb.

I am not looking for someone to do this for me but .... a lot of guidance is needed.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Xtreme98 said:

BV80You are saying that there is no reason to ask them to show/prove the debt amount? That they do not have to do this and that it has no validity to the case.

No, I didn’t say that.  In response to the poster that was posting some incorrect information, I said that they are not required to “prove” the amount of a debt when a consumer requests validation.  Note he said, “i have never even been to court out of 15 or more jdb's”.  Therefore, he doesn’t know if his “strategy” would work in court.

While debt collectors do have to show something that verifies the amount when sending validation to a consumer (such as a charge-off statement showing the balance, for example), they don’t have to prove it’s correct.

Proof in validation and proof in court/arbitration are 2 different things.

In court, proving the amount is correct depends on one’s court rulings.  Also, disputing the amount owed and citing specifics such as providing proof that a payment wasn’t credited to the account or that late fees were added when they shouldn’t have been cast doubt on a plaintiff’s claim.

You need to see how your courts have ruled on what is necessary for creditors to prove a debt in court.  Then try to apply that standard in arbitration.  

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