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Should I move forward with arbitration or reach out to the lawyer?


Stevevil
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Hi All,

I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who has posted about arbitration and collections processes. I got my case dismissed but it was without prejudice. However, the judge has ordered me to file for arbitration within 30 days. 

My question is what should I do next? The plaintiff is PRA and the claim is less than $1,000. Should I reach out to the plaintiff's lawyer and see if we can stop arbitration all together and they dismiss the claim fully? Also, can we stop arbitration if it's ordered by the court? Or should I file for arbitration and pay the fee but watch the bills pile up for PRA? 

Thanks again you guys have been a lifesaver to say the least.

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My arbitration cases were all in the early days, but the strategy may still work. 
 

What I did:

I would fill out the forms, mail the forms to JAMS, with a copy to the opposing attorney. I wouldn’t pay the filing fees yet.  I would then contact the opposing attorney and offer a mutual dismissal of all claims in both the court and arbitration.  If they agree, no fees need to be paid by anyone. 
 

That sometimes worked.  In another case I waited until the case was closed by their non-payment. Then one has to pay the fees, but it is still a victory. 
 

In some other cases I was able to get a settlement with NDA much later in the process, but those were OCs. 

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Are you aware of the Ohio case, Capital One v. Rotman, in which the court ruled that it is the plaintiff's responsibility, not the defendant's, to initiate arbitration?  I know, it's a little late now to raise that, given that the judge has ordered you to initiate.    It also seems strange that the court has dismissed the case, but still ordered you to file the arbitration.  Usually the case is stayed pending arbitration.  How can the judge have jurisdiction over you when the case was dismissed?  It's like them having their cake and eating it too.

I know, this doesn't answer your question, but I am providing it for reference.  That said, I think you have to follow the advice given above, from @BackFromTheDebt.

 

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2 hours ago, Robby8900 said:

Maybe, file an objection to the order or motion to reconsider raising the the Capital One v. rotman case.

How do you propose to file a motion on a dismissed case? I think you would have to file a new case pay filing fees $300 with service to PRA. 

you ask "Should I reach out to the plaintiff's lawyer and see if we can stop arbitration all together and they dismiss the claim fully?"  Yes but they may not agree for free as they can still sell debt. 

They can't go back and dismiss with prejudice. But it would be more of like settling when not in court you get letter agreeing account has been settled no party will file a claim against either party, the collection will be remove or remain removed for credit reports etc... signed by both parties. 

if that does not pan out then file arbitration as noted above.  

 

 

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23 hours ago, Stevevil said:

I got my case dismissed but it was without prejudice. However, the judge has ordered me to file for arbitration within 30 days. 

Did the Court actually send you a prepared Order from the Judge that says you must file for arbitration within 30-days?  If not, how was this order conveyed to you?

We're only talking about $1,000.  PRA's first check to the arbitration company would end up being much more than this.  What does the arbitration agreement say about who pays for arbitration?

15 hours ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

What I did:

I would fill out the forms, mail the forms to JAMS, with a copy to the opposing attorney. I wouldn’t pay the filing fees yet.  I would then contact the opposing attorney and offer a mutual dismissal of all claims in both the court and arbitration.  If they agree, no fees need to be paid by anyone. 

I like BackFromTheDebt's suggestion (above).  JAMS doesn't require you to pay the filing fees at the time you submit your demand for arbitration.  Therefore, you've complied with the Judge's order.  The chances of PRA following you into arbitration for $1,000 is pretty slim.

 

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4 hours ago, Bulldoger said:

How do you propose to file a motion on a dismissed case? I think you would have to file a new case pay filing fees $300 with service to PRA. 

you ask "Should I reach out to the plaintiff's lawyer and see if we can stop arbitration all together and they dismiss the claim fully?"  Yes but they may not agree for free as they can still sell debt. 

They can't go back and dismiss with prejudice. But it would be more of like settling when not in court you get letter agreeing account has been settled no party will file a claim against either party, the collection will be remove or remain removed for credit reports etc... signed by both parties. 

if that does not pan out then file arbitration as noted above.  

 

 

This is a bit off topic but, Monday i have a motion hearing in a speeding case that is now closed after we had trial on September 21 2021. You can file a motion in a dismissed case.

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2 hours ago, Robby8900 said:

This is a bit off topic but, Monday i have a motion hearing in a speeding case that is now closed after we had trial on September 21 2021. You can file a motion in a dismissed case.

That's not a civil case but you against the state speeding is more criminal court. What was the basis of your motion .  ?

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10 hours ago, Bulldoger said:

That's not a civil case but you against the state speeding is more criminal court. What was the basis of your motion .  ?

A request for finding of facts and conclusions of law. I just drafted an appellate brief, but cant file notice of appeal until after this motion hearing is resolved.  It doesn't matter if its criminal or civil, documents can be filed even after a dismissal or closed case and hearings can be conducted post.

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If this occurred this past Friday and the claim is really less than $1000, I would call PRA and offer them the $250 filing fee in return for settling the case. Give them a week to think it over. If they don't bite, then file arbitration. Use the week to work up the papers. I think they will take the $250 however as that is still a good return on investment for them as they stare down the black hole of arbitration fees.

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Hi All,

Well, you guys are an amazing group most of the time when I post in a discussion board I may get one reply weeks later. 

I thought it might help to provide the document and maybe a little bit more detail. The judge in this case is actually an acting judge because our regular one is under suspension for some let's just say unusual judgments. When I filed for arbitration the clerk of court was very confused and said that they had never had anyone do this. So I'm assuming the court is probably unfamiliar as we live in a small town. I was checking my credit report and it looks like PRA has closed my account and I assume will be selling it on. This account was for Synchrony Bank and it was a Sam's Club card.

I'm uploading a copy of the decision and order. After reading it over several times there are many contradictions about who is to cover the cost of arbitration. In one section it says that it is to be determined by the arbitrator and in another section it indicates it's to be determined by the agreement. In the agreement it does indicate that Synchrony/PRA would be responsible for the cost of arbitration.

The court order just says I have to file four arbitration, but does not say I have to pay the filing fee. So I'm leaning towards filing with JAMS and sending a copy to the lawyer and court. Then just not filing the fee. Sounds like a good option?

The Capital One v. Rotman case does sound like a good option but honestly it might be a little bit out of my league. I'm not really sure how I would go about filing this type of motion. If you can treat me like a elementary school kid and give me steps that would be awesome.

Again I would not have gotten this far without you guys. To be honest one of you definitely needs to put together a course or at least some kind of Skillshare thing and get a few bucks off your skills.

Steve

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Odds are, you probably have to pay the fees so you are going to spend $250 on this. The question is, who does the $250 go to. Before filing for JAMS, I would contact the attorney and offer them the $250 stating that you are going to have to spend it anyways on this case so either they can take is and go away or JAMS gets the fee and they will be responsible for fees well in excess of the debt. Since PRA probably paid between $50 and $100 for the debt, the $250 will give them a nice profit and I cannot see why they would not take that considering the alternative at this point.

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Strangely worded order . . . 

 

The judge ordered you to CONTACT an arb forum.   (Which I would interpret as filing in JAMS.)   Not to pay the fees.  The fees are to be determined later, in accordance with the agreement and arb forum rules.

 

So I would concur with the advice given above.  You need to file with JAMS, then see if the JDB will settle for $250.  

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