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You Can Beat Credit Card Debt Collectors

Updated on August 3, 2017
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Brian Gray obtained his degree in Language from Lee University, and has been a published author and professional writer since 1985.

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You just received a certified letter in the mail from a law firm, you have a sinking feeling as you sign for this unwanted piece of mail, and when you open the envelope, your fears are confirmed. You are being sued by a credit card company that has come to collect what you left off owing them. All is lost, your world goes into a tailspin, and images of lost wages, raids on your little bank account, and possibly losing everything flash through your mind. Hopeless! You just want to find a hole and drop in it. But, guess what, you are very wrong. You don’t have to lose a thing, and my article will explain why.

In the past several years, most people who live on this planet have come to experience and feel the deleterious effects of the greatest recession in history. In January of 1990, credit card debt was at $214 billion, but by January of 2009, it had grown to $964 billion. As the recession began, people were rapidly losing their jobs, and thus, their ability to keep up with the payments on that debt. Good people were being forced into default on their accounts. So, what did the credit card companies do? They kept on lending, they kept on raking in profits, and they kept engaging in a relatively unknown practice of selling those defaulted debts to companies that had no connection to your original debt. This line alone should raise your eyebrows and cause you to say, “What?” Yes, the credit card company whose card you had been using sold your debt to someone else...and they, the credit card company, promptly washed their hands of your old debt. Stunning, isn’t it?

In 2008 alone, over $123 billion in charged-off debts were sold to companies that then pursued those debts as if they owned them. They don’t...at least not until you make a fatal mistake and give them the right. You see, when you signed the original agreement with your credit card company, you signed a contract with your original credit card company. Think about what I just said, because this is where winning your battle begins. Yes, you signed an agreement with your credit card company, but you did not sign one with the companies that bought your debt from the credit card company. Sound crazy? If they don’t have a right to your debt, then why are they coming after you? Because you don’t know your rights, they know this, and they collect billions of dollars every year at massive profits.

Say your original credit card had a final balance of $1,000. The credit card company sells that off to a collection company for $100. Say the collection company only manages to collect $500 from that debt. Not a bad profit. Understand why, then, they pursue these collections? And if I told you that these collection companies have no right to that debt, would that shock you? I mean, they all seem to be following legal procedures when they come after you, don’t they? Yes and no. Yes, they are following legal procedures to trap you in a debt you no longer owe, and no, they do not have any right to that debt...that is, they have no right to that debt until you give them that right. And, yes, millions of Americans make serious mistakes every year and end up owing a debt all over again, a debt that was written off long ago.

What to Do

So, let’s first look at what NOT to do. Do NOT ignore the certified letter. Do NOT miss the court date. You will win if you follow what I am going to outline here, however, the clock begins ticking the minute you sign for that certified letter. Sign it, then begin acting on your rights immediately.

Answer the Summons

Read the letter that comes from the court. It will state how many days you have to file an answer. Your answer, meaning that, yes, you plan to defend yourself in court. You must do this immediately.

If it is a magisterial court, you can defend yourself. If it is a higher court, then you need to retain a lawyer. If you opt to retain a lawyer, you do not need a high-priced one. After you have read my article, you can tell any lawyer exactly how to proceed, although he or she should already know this.

Once you have answered the court summons, and you have told them that you definitely intend to defend yourself, the court will set a date for the hearing. Mark that date on your calendar as the day you will walk out of court a winner. Above all, do not miss that court date! If you do not show up in court, you will lose by default, which means that the collection company that is coming after you now owns the debt that was otherwise written off and had become worthless. Miss the court date, lose by default, and you owe money to blood-suckers who will garnish your wages and attach your bank accounts. Attend that court date!

File a Request for Production

Next, and this is very important, you need to file a “Request For Production.” Use the form I have outlined below.

Use this form for Request For Production
Use this form for Request For Production

Mail a copy of this request to the judge in whose court the hearing will be held, and mail a copy to the lawyer who is representing the collection company. Make sure that you send the letter to the lawyer at the collection company via certified mail, return receipt requested. By sending this to the lawyer at the collection company, you are telling him several things. The first thing you are telling him is that you may just know your rights, that he is going to have a battle on his hands, and most of all, it is telling him that he may just want to let this one go, because he knows that until you make a mistake, he has no right to the money he is claiming. And, in most cases, when this request for documentation is filed with the plaintiff, they go away and give up. They would rather concentrate on the easy wins, the ones where the person does not respond to the certified letter and, especially, the ones who do not show up in court. By filing the request for documentation, you have already begun to win, and they know this. If you follow through, you will win.

Why You File a Request for Production

Now, let’s look at what you just requested. You have demanded that the lawyer representing the collection company produce ( and they are required by law to do so ) the original agreement with your signature. You have also requested that they produce all of the receipts for every transaction that you engaged in during the entire life of the use of that credit card. You have requested that they show what you purchased in each of those transactions, and you have requested that they produce your payment record. All of this is legal, and all of it is required in order for them to properly enter the court. Guess what? They do not have this documentation.

Because the original credit card company does not keep this information, they do not sell it to the collection agency. Shocking information, isn’t it? All the collection company has is your name, last known address, the amount you “supposedly” owed when you made your last payment, and the account number. That’s it. So, without a signed agreement with your signature, how can they collect on that contract? They can’t...unless you let them, and if you do not know your rights, you will let them. When the collection company filed suit, they did not attach a copy of the original contract with your credit card company, and this is required by law. The judge knows this, but he cannot act as your attorney, so he has to sit on the bench and watch you sink yourself if you do not follow your legal rights. So, here they are.

What to Say on the Day of the Hearing

On the day of the court hearing, the first thing you want to have in front of you is this statement:

1. Defendant is without information or knowledge sufficient to form an opinion as to the truth or accuracy of Plaintiff’s claim, and based on that denies generally and specifically Plaintiff’s claim.

This statement tells the court that you cannot claim to know whether or not this is actually your debt, because no proof of that ownership has been provided by the collection company, Plaintiff. Read, or quote, this statement, and add nothing further to what it says.

Now, a trick here is used when a plaintiff does show up in court in an attempt to trip you up and win through trickery alone. They will call you to the witness stand, brandish a copy of the original contract issued by the credit card company and ask you, under oath, if you are denying that you signed this agreement with the credit card company. If you say that you are not denying that you signed the agreement, you lose. You simply state that you are without knowledge sufficient to form an opinion as to the accuracy of the Plaintiff’s claim, and add nothing more. You can repeat this as often as you need to until the judge loses his patience and orders the plaintiff to sit down. The plaintiff is waving a blank piece of paper in front of you. It does not contain your signature, and it is not the original signed agreement. It is worthless.

For your next step, you state the following:

2. Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

Either no statute was cited, or the complaint fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action against you, the defendant. Listing the facts of the case may be enough to file a claim, but the plaintiff merely says the defendant owes the money, and this is not enough.

You want to state this:

"Plaintiff’s claim demands monies for an alleged debt for which no proof of said debt, nor proof of ownership of said debt, has been verified and exhibited."

3. Defendant demands for proof of Plaintiff’s ownership of alleged debt.

The law is very clear that the plaintiff has a legal duty to attach any necessary documentation to everything he has filed in court, including in the original certified letter that was sent to you. Did you see any documentation in that letter? No. Why? Because the plaintiff has none. He knows that, the court knows that, and now, you know that, too. Legally, the plaintiff lacks capacity to sue. At this point, you may read the following statement to the court:

The plaintiff is required, by law, to trace in his statement of claim the derivation of his cause of action from his assignor so that the defendant may challenge the plaintiff’s claim that he is the present owner of the cause of action.”

What you just told the judge is that the plaintiff, in this case, the lawyer representing the collection company, has not presented proof that he, or his company, owns the debt. Why does he own it? Did you sign an agreement with him? Is he a credit card company? The answer is, no. You do not owe him, or his company, anything. He is required, by law, to show why you owe him, or his company. He will not be able to prove this...unless you have made one fatal mistake. If you have been scared into making any payment arrangements and have already made payments to his company, then I would seek legal help in unraveling their tentacles. Cardinal rule - do not make payments, or agreements to make payments, to any company that is calling about a debt that you owed someone else. Doing so creates a contract that may be binding.

As in most credit card cases (depending on your state), when a claim is “based upon a written agreement, the pleading shall state specifically if the agreement is oral or written.” If the credit cardclaim is based upon a writing, then the plaintiff must “attach a copy of the writing.” This means that, once again, the law requires that the plaintiff produce the original contract with the credit card company bearing your original signature. No blank contracts, no “supposed or forged” copies. The original, and only the original, will do.

Also, in most states, if the lawyer filing the claim for the collection company knowingly files a suit without having that original contract in hand, he is in violation of the law. He has to either have that contract, or he has to have someone with him coming to court who has personal knowledge of that signed contract, and he has neither. When he signed the suit papers, he stated that he had these proofs by his signature. A lawyer filing such a claim should be prosecuted, he deserves to be sued, and you can do so if you have a lawyer representing you.

Next, we come to:

4. Insufficient specificity in a pleading.

When the lawyer for the collection company seeks damages based on a contractual relationship, an agreement or contract, and these damages are ascertainable based on that contract or agreement, then the lawyer is required to plead those damages with specificity. What this means is that the court is going to require that lawyer to include facts concerning when you engaged in purchases that led to that debt, the amount of those purchases, and what those purchases were. You can cite the following in court:

Citing Marine Bank, 25 Pa. D. & C.3d at 267-69. A “defendant is entitled to know the dates on which individual transactions were made, the amounts therefore and the items purchased to be able to answer intelligently and determine what items he can admit and what items he can contest.

Next on the list:

5. Defendant cites Failure of Consideration:

Whereas no exchange of money or goods occurred between the plaintiff and the defendant, therefore, defendant cites Failure of Consideration.”

What you are saying here is that there was never any exchange of money or items of value between you and the collection company, between Plaintiff and Defendant. You tell the court that you never entered into any contractual or debtor/creditor arrangements with Plaintiff. Consideration is a necessary fact that the plaintiff is required to show in order to prove that you and the collection company had a valid, binding and enforceable agreement or contract. Consideration means that the collection company was giving you a service in exchange for your money. Were they a credit card company? Were they giving you credit? Not likely. Therefore, they were not giving you any “consideration,” and you, therefore, do not have a contract with them.

Furthermore, the collection company would be required to show the terms of that agreement in court. Where is their contract with you? There is none. Because they cannot produce any such agreement or contract, this is “failure of consideration.” They have no case, just one more reason they knew that they should not come to court, one more reason the judge is compelled to dismiss the case against you.

Next, we come to:

6. Repudiation. Plaintiff is not named in any alleged agreement that is purported to have been entered into between Defendant and Plaintiff.

Here, you state that the plaintiff has not produced any contract between Defendant and (your collection company), naming Plaintiff as party to such contract. Defendant repudiates any claim to such a contract existing. As there was no “meeting of the minds,” a necessary element of a valid contract, no contract exists. The plaintiff is not an assignee for the purported agreement, and the plaintiff has not produced any evidence that supports any related claims or assumptions. The lawyer for the collection company has failed to produce any document that shows that your original credit card company has named him, or his collection company, as assignees, nor has he even shown that the original credit card company has any knowledge of his actions, or that the original credit card company has even given this lawyer, or collection company, all rights and control.

If a credit card company did assign the debt to a third party, the creditor would then lose his rights to collect later. This means that your credit card company probably took a tax credit, an insurance write-off, or some such action that makes the credit card company unable to collect the debt after that point. They destroyed their records, and they moved on. The collection company does not have the original agreement with your signature, and they know that they have no case against you...unless you make the mistake of making an agreement with the collection company and then making a payment on it. Since there was no “meeting of the minds” between you and the collection company, a necessary element required to create a legal and binding contract between the two of you, their claim is repudiated.

If your original credit card company had made an agreement with the collection company, you were not a party to those terms. Just because an assignment clause exists in a credit agreement does not mean that it is sufficient to create a new obligation with the collection company. The assignment clause merely takes away the rights of your original credit card company to collect if they decide to assign it to another company, in this case the collection company. The collection company would then have to offer you a new contract, you would have to agree to its terms, and you would finally have to sign this new contract. If you have not signed a contract with the collection company, you owe them nothing.

In court, if you had to argue this, you would simply state:

"Plaintiff is not an assignee for the purported agreement, and Plaintiff has not offered any evidence to the contrary. As there is no proof offered, assuming that it exists would create an unfair prejudice against the Defendant."

Now, we move to:

7. Defendant claims Lack of Privity as Defendant has never entered into any contractual or debtor/creditor arrangements with Plaintiff.

You can simply state,

“Whereas no relationship exists between Plaintiff and Defendant, and whereas Defendant never signed a contract or agreement with Plaintiff, Defendant cites Lack of Privity.”

Privity is the legal term for a close, mutual, or successive relationship to the same right of property, or the power to enforce a promise or warranty. No relationship exists between the collection agency (Plaintiff) and Defendant. Defendant never signed a contract or agreement with the collection agency. A collection company cannot collect any amount of money that is not permitted by law or by agreement. Here is the law:

It further states that the debt collector cannot collect any amount of money that is not permitted by law or by the agreement.

Because there is no agreement between the collector and the alleged debtor, no collection can be sustained.” (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act)

Nearing the end of our list, we come to:

8. Plaintiff's complaint violates the Statute of Frauds.

Plaintiff claims to have a contract with you; thus, Plaintiff has to produce it, because such a contract falls within a class of contracts or agreements required to be in writing. The purported contract or agreement alleged in the complaint was not in writing and signed by Defendant or by some other person authorized by Defendant and who was to answer for the debt, default, or miscarriage of another person.

In order for the collection company to state that it had an agreement with you, it has to show how it was going to benefit you. For example, was the collection company going to issue you credit like a credit card company? Highly unlikely. Therefore, to say that it had a contract with you is fraudulent, because the collection company cannot provide the same services as the credit card company did. It would be like the credit card company selling your contract to another company that required you to sell your house to them at the end of one year. This new requirement would not be something that you agreed to in the original contract, and since there was no “meeting of the minds,” you did not come to any agreement with the collection company.

Here, then, you simply cite statute of frauds. Research your state’s case law to see how your state stands on this point. Nonetheless, because the collection company cannot provide the same services as the original credit card company, it is breach of contract, thus, we invoke “statute of frauds.”

Lastly, we come to:

9. Scienti et volenti non fit injuria: “An injury is not done to one who knows and wills it.”

The laws in this country do not provide a remedy for a collection company that knowingly and voluntarily takes on a bad debt and then goes after the debtor in an attempt to collect that alleged debt. What the law says is that an entity cannot place itself in harm’s way and then sue for damages. Thus, “scienti et volenti non fit injuria.” That would be like you standing in front of a speeding car, then suing the driver for damages. You put yourself in harm’s way, you deserve no damages. The collection company bought a debt that was bad, then wanted it paid. Just cite scienti et volenti non fit injuria, and the judge will know what you mean.

More Things You Should Know

Statute of Limitations

Most collection companies know not to go after debts that are past the statute of limitations, but, there are still those who do, so you should know that most states will not allow claims on debts that are more than three years old. In some states, that statute of limitations is four years. You want to research this so that you know what your state allows, because the collection company pursuing you may have waited too long, and you may just have a right to have the suit thrown out on this technicality alone.

Is the Debt Satisfied?

As I stated earlier, quite often, the credit card company has made an insurance claim, or taken a tax deduction, and this is known as accord and satisfaction. This renders the debt satisfied, and, legally, no one can attempt any further to collect this debt. Your collection company knows this, yet they are still trying to take you to court, because they know that if you do not show up, the law then reverses everything, and you end up owing them. So, go to court. Just the fact that you file an intent to defend yourself lets them know that you are aware of your rights, that their best bet is to call off the bluff, and that they should go find some other person to try to fool into entering a contract with them for a debt that is otherwise uncollectible.

Debt Collectors Need To Validate the Debt

Remember that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires all debt collectors to validate the collection upon request of the purported debtor. The collection company will not be able to, so, stand your ground with everything that I have written in this article. They deserve to lose, because they know they are acting illegally, yet they use all kinds of trickery and deceit to win. You can fight back by simply using the law and your legal rights.

Check Every Rule, and Good Luck

Make sure that you check every rule that I have quoted to make sure that there are not any deviations in your state. State laws will vary, and State laws vary from Federal laws, so do your homework. I am not a lawyer, but I used everything I have written herein to defend myself against a collection company, and you can already guess what happened. They did not show up in court, and the judge dismissed the case against me. It worked for me, it will work for you. And just in case you are not comfortable arguing in a court of law, if you can afford it, obtain the services of an attorney who is not too expensive.

You have a right to win. Good luck to you.

Brian Gray

Additional Materials For Your Help

Here is a very valuable quote I found some time ago, and if someone could tell me who the author is, I would gladly note it.

"In the end, this article contends that plaintiff-creditors file improper complaints as part of a pecuniary calculus in the collection industry:

Original and secondary creditors file objectionable complaints (and cannot amend those complaints when challenged) since original creditors do not maintain the credit card debtor’s account documents at the outset of the creditor-debtor relationship (which means that secondary creditors cannot receive account records as part of an assignment);

and, necessary account records are not retained because it is more economically efficient to file many unsupported claims than it is to expend resources in document retention and to file fewer substantiated claims.

Unlike federal courts, which require notice pleading, Pennsylvania courts demand fact specific pleading from both plaintiffs and defendants. At the outset, a pleading must set forth the “material facts” of the cause of action in a “concise and summary form.”

As in most credit card cases, when a claim is “based upon a written agreement, the pleading shall state specifically if the agreement is oral or written.”

If the credit card claim is based upon a writing, then the plaintiff must “attach a copy of the writing.”

Finally, “[a]verments of time, place, and items of special damage,” such as credit card charges, must be “specifically stated.”

Some More Valuable Information

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/c...

http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2016/04/nj_law_...

Pressler and Pressler have been ordered to stop filing law suits and still they are doing it.

Some More Valuable Information

Here is some relative information from www.nolo.com :

"If a debt collector sues you, most state and local procedural rules put even heavier documentation requirements on both the debt collector and creditor. In many states, a creditor or debt collector that is suing for collection of an account must:

attach to the complaint a copy of the account or written contract or agreement, or

state in the complaint why the account or document is not attached.

This is often referred to as the “attachment rule.”

If the creditor or debt collector doesn’t do this, you may be able to get the lawsuit dismissed. Or, you can ask the court to require the creditor or debt collector to provide the missing documentation and information. This is often called “requesting a more definite statement.” In either case, you’ll have to prepare and file a formal motion with the court.

What Documentation Must the Creditor Provide?

But what must the creditor provide by way of documentation? At a minimum, it must produce:

A copy of the original written agreement between the parties, such as the loan note or credit card agreement, preferably signed by you.

If the account has been sold to another creditor, then that creditor must prove that it has the right to sue to collect the debt. This usually means producing proof that the debt was assigned to it. Often such proof will be a bill of sale, an “assignment”, or a receipt between the last creditor holding the debt and the entity suing you."

Further:

What If the Collector Cannot Produce the Assignment?

If the creditor or collector suing you fails to produce proof of the assignment, then you can ask the court to dismiss the lawsuit. Again, you’ll have to prepare and file a formal motion with the court.

Counterclaims if the Collector Did Not Previously Verify the Debt

If the debt collector suing you previously did not verify the debt after you timely requested debt verification, you may file a counterclaim against that debt collector within the same lawsuit, requesting your own damages. Some states also allow you to countersue for damages against the creditor itself for failure to verify the debt.

Research the rules pertinent to this in your State, since the rules do vary from State to State. However, do not forget the very valuable tool, and that is to request proof of the plaintiff's legal right of subrogation of the debt. In the vast majority of cases, these out-of-control blood suckers do NOT have legal right of subrogation of the debt, and it is illegal for them to pursue it. So research the term "subrogation of debt," understand how it operates so that you can argue your point, and by all means, send a request for proof of legal right of subrogation of the alleged debt to the plaintiff as soon as possible.

6 Charged In Debt Collection Fraud Scheme

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/crime/article120903803.html


Bad News For Pressler & Pressler

http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2016/04/nj_law_firm_debt_collector_fined_ordered_to_stop_a.html

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/cfpb-takes-action-halt-illegal-debt-collection-practices-lawsuit-mill-and-debt-buyer/


Please Do NOT Send Me Private Emails - Here's Why

I understand that some people think that they need to keep their information private for whatever fears they may have about a creditor, but those fears are unfounded when you are on this blog anonymously in the first place. When you send me a private email, I cannot simply hit reply. Doing so sends my reply somewhere into the ether, and I get a response that the message failed. So, I end up wasting my time, and you end up without a response. Please do not send me private emails with your requests for an answer. I simply cannot afford the lengthy time and effort it takes to figure out how to jump through all of the hoops necessary to make sure that a reply gets to you. If you cannot post your question here, it will not get answered. I hope you can understand. I wrote this article to help others, but the amount of time it takes to continue helping everybody (for free) means that I cannot triple that workload so that people can get a private response. it is simply impossible. I appreciate your understanding.

To Read More By Author Brian Gray

Brian Gray has been a prolific writer for many years, and has written on a variety of subjects. If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more by this author, simply click on the name "Brian Gray" next to the author's photo above, then click on "Profile" in the box that appears, and you will see a list of his current writings. A number of people have suggested that Brian should charge a fee for the information in this article, but he has repeatedly said that he shares this information and this hub freely so that others may be helped. If you wish to return the favor, Brian would be happy if you read one of his other articles and forwarded them to friends to read.

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    • profile image

      Bill Haubrich 10 minutes ago

      Thank you for the information. I do not recall getting a certified letter but my mother was given a summons for me to appear in court in Philadelphia, PA.. I would assume I should immediately tell them I will be there & also fill out the request for production form. On the form itself should I replace the word defendant everywhere with my name or just where it said to insert my name. Also i see some other documents online that are also request for production that have many more items listed. Should I consider this document instead. Time important so please reply asap. Sincerely, Bill

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 2 days ago from Pennsylvania

      RT Red,

      I will take a look at it.

      Brian

    • profile image

      RT Red 3 days ago

      May I send you an email with with an attachment of the summons?

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 3 days ago from Pennsylvania

      RT Red,

      Once you know that you are being sued, send a letter requesting validation of the debt. Separately, send a letter requesting that the plaintiff produce legal proof that they have legal right of subrogation of the debt. Always send everything via certified mail, return receipt requested.

      Ad study, study, study. This is your free library. Good luck to you,

      Brian

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 3 days ago from Pennsylvania

      RT Red,

      As I mentioned in your earlier request, I have never heard of a summons requesting this information. Contact the clerk of the court and ask the clerk what this is. I am suspicious, because it seems like some antic concocted by the plaintiff.

      Brian

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 3 days ago from Pennsylvania

      RT Red,

      You are not entering any plea of "guilty." Your answer is contained in my article. Here it is: Defendant is without information or knowledge sufficient to form an opinion as to the truth or accuracy of Plaintiff’s claim, and based on that denies generally and specifically Plaintiff’s claim.

      Brian

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 3 days ago from Pennsylvania

      RT Red,

      If this is a summons, then it will have the particulars mentioning the court in which the trial is to be held. It should have a deadline for you to file that you are going to appear. I have never heard of a summons asking for the other items you listed, such as employer address, weekly take home pay, etc. For this reason, I would contact the clerk of the court and ask if you are indeed being sued, and if so, what you need to do to satisfy the court; then, do what the clerk tells you.

      Brian

    • profile image

      RT Red 3 days ago

      Sorry for the scatterbrained questions. Which would you file first, a motion to dismiss or a motion to produce?

    • profile image

      RT Red 3 days ago

      So I think I must've messed up my first post since I don't see it.

      Maybe I can remember.

      On our summons, it doesn't give me an option to say I am going to Ct. I checked that I am not responsible.

      Then it asks for name of employer and their info and weekly take come pay. Do I HAVE to answer this? And then it wants an answer of WHY I chose to deny that I am responsible. As well as it wants the name and number of an attorney, which I don't have. Nor can I afford one. Can I list myself or should I leave it blank??

    • profile image

      RT Red 4 days ago

      I forgot to add.. I have to explain why I deny.

      I'll be honest. I am guilty, just not in the position to pay.

    • profile image

      RT Red 4 days ago

      Hi Brian, thank you so much for helping everyone. I hope you can help me, because I am a nervous wreck. And my health just can't take this. My summons doesn't have: a Ct date, an option to choose the if I will be at Ct date. It wants name of employer, address of said employer and biz phone and weekly take home pay.

      ????

      Do I have to fill that in?? As well as the name and phone number of attorney. Should I just put my name? And what happens if I leave the employer blank?

      Thank you and hoping you can answer ASAP!

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 7 days ago from Pennsylvania

      Elisabete,

      There is no form, per se, just the example that I created for the readers.

      Brian

    • profile image

      Marlene 7 days ago

      Brian,

      Sorry, I just noticed your forum is now reversed, so the latest contributors are now at the beginning, and not at the end. Great idea!! Please ignore my previous message to you.

    • profile image

      Marlene 7 days ago

      Brian,

      Your site has changed, can no longer get to end of forum to read the latest contributors and your response. Previously, could skip 500 contributors at a time to get to end of forum, now can only skip 100 at a time, which takes forever, then it suddenly starts all over so cannot get to end of forum. Please see if this can be corrected. Thanks

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 10 days ago from Pennsylvania

      CourtneHauser,

      Here is a valuable link for you regarding "Warrant in Debt" : http://www.brandtlawfirm.com/lawsuits/what-is-a-wa...

      On the upper right corner of this notice, there should be a date for you to appear in court. You want to appear in court on that date and tell the judge that you deny this debt, and that you want to go to trial. The judge will then set a date for a trial, and you will argue your case at that time. Once you have a court date set, study hard and prepare your defense.

      All those affidavits that Midland Funding sent over do not establish one very important item, and that is, where is their legal proof that they have legal right of subrogation of the debt? They can say that they bought the debt, but where is their proof that the original creditor did not receive either an insurance payoff, or a tax credit, either of which would prevent the original creditor from selling or pursuing the debt. This also prevents anyone from purchasing the debt, or pursuing it, unless they have settled the amount by paying the account in full to the original creditor, thus making them the subrogee. The original creditor and the collection company that "bought" the debt are committing fraud, but most people do not have the money and legal resources to go after these creeps, so the myth continues that what they are doing is perfectly fine.

      Study the internet cases where Midland Funding has gotten into trouble with the government. You will love the reading material.

      Brian

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      CourtneHauser 10 days ago

      I received a Warrant in Debt from Midland Funding LLC. It was taped to my door. I received a letter from them and sent them a letter to validate the debt and within 30 days I received this Warrant in Debt that states a hearing time and date and tell me to dispute this claim I must show up to the hearing. Attached are several are a Nov 16 and May 16 statement. Also a Bill of Sale and Assignment from Citibank to Midland Funding LLC, Affadavit of Sale of Account, Certificate of Conformity, Affadavit of Sale of Account by Original Creditor, Certificate of Conformity again, A printout of the date fields that were sent over, and an Affadavit from an employee of Midland Credit Management. Do I need to file the Request for Production? If so how do I make it look like the one you provided in the article as I don't have a court name, docket number or any of that because I didn't receive a summons per se.

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      Brian Gray 12 days ago from Pennsylvania

      nmup,

      You're welcome, and good luck.

      Brian

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      nmup 12 days ago

      Thank you Brian!

    • Hanavee profile image
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      Brian Gray 12 days ago from Pennsylvania

      nmup,

      Some rules are slightly different from Civil Court, and this is one of them. But, if you sent a request for production to the plaintiff, as well as a letter requesting validation of the debt, you at least let them know that they are in for a war with someone who believes in their rights. So, they may either vacate, or they will shoot for a motion for summary judgment. Be prepared for a summary judgment request, and once they do so, file a motion to deny based on the fact that a.) Plaintiff has not demonstrated legal right of standing (since they have offered no proof that they have legal right of subrogation of the debt), and b.) You can list all the points in my article.

      Brian

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      nmup 12 days ago

      Brian - So, I filed a motion to dismiss, and I received this back from the Magistrate: Plaintiff is not required to offer proof or evidence of the claim until trial or in response to motion for summary judgement. Each party is granted leave to Sept 12 to file a motion for summary judgement.

      So, do I file for production of documents now? Do I wait until they file a motion for summary judgement (assuming they will) Not sure how to proceed at this point.

    • Hanavee profile image
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      Brian Gray 13 days ago from Pennsylvania

      Kaitlin,

      When a credit card company writes off a debt, they can report that to the credit reporting agencies, like Transunion, and that report stays on there unless it is disputed successfully. So, if Synchrony reported the debt as unpaid and delinquent, unless you can prove otherwise, it will stay on the report until the time limit expires, which in most cases is several years.

      Brian

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      Kaitlin 13 days ago

      Great article. Question for you- if a creditor (Synchrony bank/care credit) has sold your account to a collection agency then a law firm then both the collection agency and law firm has stopped reporting on your report since they can't "validate" the debt. What type of letter do you write to Synchrony to get them to stop reporting on your CB since they've already given up the rights and sold it (which I have in writing)

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      nmup 2 weeks ago

      It did Brian, thanks. I am filing motion to dismiss tomorow.

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      Brian Gray 2 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      nmup,

      I hope that link I provided is of some assistance.

      Brian

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      nmup 2 weeks ago

      We're a pretty small town. :) There are some documents on their site but none for motions. She said I could write my own. Thank you, I am working on it.

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      Brian Gray 2 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      nmup,

      I am surprised that the clerk of the court does not have a form for filing a motion to dismiss. Here is a link: http://www.northwestregisteredagent.com/pdf/Motion...

      Brian

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      nmup 2 weeks ago

      Brian - I had mediation today; and did not settle. I told the mediator I paid the debt. He asked the Plaintiff to leave the room; at first he said for me to subpoena the bank for the canceled check; but then said I should file a motion to dismiss as I showed him the local rule that states the Plaintiff needs to attach proof of assignment. He said now I'm not offering legal advice but you need to file the motion. He called them back in, I left the room for a minute, and we agreed to not settle. I asked the court if there is a form they have for the motion to dismiss, there isn't one. Can you direct me to a site that has a good example? I don't see any on here; I am googling without a lot of luck. Thank you.

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      Brian Gray 3 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      Debra Murphy,

      I would not pay any more to them until I spoke with a competent attorney. Call around to see which ones will give you a free consultation. At this point, I would seek legal advice before doing anything else.

      Brian

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      Brian Gray 3 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      Patricia Jordan,

      I hope that life is better for you now.

      Brian

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      Brian Gray 3 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      nmup,

      Having read what you stated here, I would certainly use that tactic. You would want to attack their submissions as lacking proof, such as the fact that the papers that they are presenting as evidence do not contain your name, account number, or amount owed. I would also throw a jam in the works by asking that they show proof of legal right of subrogation of the alleged debt. I would also ask for verification that the alleged CFO is indeed representative of the original creditor and is knowledgeable of the facts regarding this alleged account (what knowledge does this "CFO" have regarding this account, the amount alleged, and the veracity of the claims made by the plaintiff?). And as far as the attached statement serving as proof of anything, no, proof is proof, and simply having someone sign something to verify it does not finish the question begged, which is: how did this amount come to be? In other words, validate the debt and provide production, which means, plaintiff, show that you own it, and show how you arrived at the amount you allege defendant owes.

      Brian

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      nmup 3 weeks ago

      Brian - I had a thought, as I am reading through and prepping for mediation. Should I file a motion to dismiss? The bill of sale that Portfolio Recovery included in the complaint has no information on it identifying me or my account, amount owed, etc. It is literally blank next to: Number of Accounts, Total Unpaid Balanaces, Premium, Due Seller. It is signed by people supposedly the CFO of the original company dated Sept 30, 2015, and then signed by someone from Portfolio Recovery on Nov 10, 2015. They attached a copy of my last statement from May 2015. According to my local municipal court rules they state this: "Upon filing and where appropriate, complaints must have attached proof of assignment to the plaintiff from the original creditor or original party-in-interest to establish the plaintiff’s standing and the jurisdiction of the court. The court may dismiss the complaint without prejudice if the proof of assignment is not attached to the complaint."

      Does the attached statement to the blank exhibit serve as enough proof?

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      Patricia A Jordan 3 weeks ago

      Thank for your info I will purchase your book bc when I lost my husband of 33 years we were about to buy a new home my income I took on one more job credit when to hell. I never had to go to court thank God

    • Hanavee profile image
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      Brian Gray 3 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      Tommy,

      I always tell people that, if they can afford an attorney, by all means retain one, and if they cannot, at least try to pay for a one-hour private consultation with one. But, if you can't afford any of these options, then the go-it-alone approach is what most people on here have done...and they have won their cases. So, don't be scared, just do your homework and study hard. You can win, if you don't let the blood suckers scare you. Call their bluff, study all of the posts on here, and prepare for court.

      Good luck and best wishes,

      Brian

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      Tommy 3 weeks ago

      Hi Brian,

      I am getting sued by Capital one i read your article but i am worried about messing it up. I am going to request the documents that you have outlined and go from there. Any advise

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      VRSL 4 weeks ago

      A correction and addition in regard to my previous post.

      "If Capital One alleged that you owed money and and failed to allege the reason you owed money, its claim"

      "may have failed" should have been included after "claim".

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      VRSL 4 weeks ago

      Tiffani,

      Capital One was correct. Complaints and counter complaints or counterclaims can be tricky. You have to make proper allegations.

      If Capital One alleged that you owed money and and failed to allege the reason you owed money, its claim

      According the 1681s-2(b), in order to have a private right of action for inaccurate reporting of information on a credit report, you must send a notice of dispute for the incorrect information to the credit reporting agencies. See 1681s-2(b).

      In a counterclaim for the FCRA, you would have to state that you sent a dispute to the credit reporting agencies according to 1682s-2(b) and have the proof to back it up.

      In the event that the furnisher verified the disputed information, you'd have to show that it was incorrect.

    • Hanavee profile image
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      Brian Gray 5 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      DeeceeV,

      Take it one step at a time. Study my article, and study the many posts that have followed. It's a free library. People have asked questions, organized their strategies and posted their victories, so you can see how it is done.

      Make sure that you notify the court that you intend to defend yourself, and when you go to mediation, prepare the same as you would for trial, in other words, know your defense and don't give in.

      There is nothing to be afraid of. Just study everything that has been posted here.

      Brian

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      nmup 5 weeks ago

      Thanks Brian. I'll post about mediation in a couple of weeks.

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      DeeceeV 5 weeks ago

      Hello, Brian!

      Just read this, and I have a pre trial on the 19th of this month(July), Capital one is suing me for $1994. Please advise, I am kind a scary. The pre trial mention we'll have mediation to settle! Please advise, don't know what to do!

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      Brian Gray 5 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      Nmup,

      No need to file anything else at this time. Looks like you are on the ball. Good luck.

      Brian

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      nmup 5 weeks ago

      That made me laugh! I have not filed a formal request for production, I just stated in my answer to the court (I'll paraphrase) 1) that I denied PRA owns the debt for lack of standing. Bill of Sale has no identifying information on it that it is my debt. 2)I also denied owing PRA as to the best of my recollection I paid it off in June 2015. Plaintiff is not the original owner and has not included a signed copy of the original credit card agreement. Do I need to file something else prior to mediation?

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      Brian Gray 5 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      Mnup,

      Think of the mediator as the village idiot. They always want you to settle, because they never read my article, and they think that the collection company is an angel. The mediator will almost always be on the side of the blood suckers. Consider them the enemy.

      Brian

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      nmup 5 weeks ago

      Thank you, Brian. Will the mediator be beneficial in making them come up with the proof of those documents and ownership of it; or will they just be there to try to get us to come to a monetary settlement? If the Plaintiff is not able to produce documents, what happens?

    • Hanavee profile image
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      Brian Gray 5 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      Nmup,

      Yes, by all means go to mediation and stick to your defense. You are not required to maintain past records, and the burden of proof for allegations made rests upon the plaintiff. They allege you owe them, they have to prove why, and I would force them to come up with the items listed in the request for production as well as show that they have legal right of subrogation of the debt.

      Brian

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      nmup 5 weeks ago

      Thanks Brian. I am being sued by Portfolio Recovery for $551.84. I filed an answer to the complaint denying I owed them anything as I believe I paid this off in 2015 to the original credit card company. I have changed banks because the bank I would have paid from was bought out so I do not have record of it to show a canceled check, etc. The "bill of sale" included in the complaint had no identifying information to me, no account number, no name, no SS#, etc; they just attached a copy of a statement from the original creditor. The court came back and referred to mediation. I am not hiring a lawyer because of the amount of the suit. I have contacted a mediator, and the Plaintiff agrees, we are working on a time to get together. (the lawyer for the Plaintiff is 2 hours away. I am amazed they would bother to travel 2 hours for a couple hundred bucks at best) My husband strongly suggests that I go into mediation and stick with having paid it off as the burden of proof is on the Plaintiff. Is this the right course of action? I really just want this to be done with.

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      Brian Gray 5 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      Nmup,

      I'm still here.

      Brian

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      nmup 5 weeks ago

      Brian - Are you still available to answer questions on this topic?

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      Brian Gray 5 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      Jessica,

      If it were me, to shake their cage a bit, I would send the request for production now. In a separate letter, I would also send the request for proof of legal right of subrogation of the debt.

      Brian

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      Jessica 5 weeks ago

      So I'm dealing with a law firm who represents a creditor who purchased my charged off credit account. I received a summons, answered the complaint. Now I await the pre-trail conference. At what point do I send the request for production?

    • Hanavee profile image
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      Brian Gray 6 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      Tiffani,

      Two things to keep in mind: when you are accused, you are the defendant, and the burden of proof always rests with the plaintiff, but when you make an accusation, you are the plaintiff for that accusation, and the burden of proof rests upon you. Thus, if you make an accusation against the plaintiff, be ready to show proof. I'm not saying don't make counterclaims, but if you use that tactic, have your proofs ready. When you accuse the plaintiff, they do not have to show proof that your claim is false, you do.

      As for Capital One showing the dates when the account was opened and closed, that is not proof that the amount they claim is owed is correct. This is why the request for production that I showed at the end of my article lists the items that they need to show how they arrived at the amount they say is owed. One thing to keep in mind - you say that Capital One is suing you, but if the account was written off more than a year ago, it would be highly unusual for Capital One to actually be the plaintiff in this, since they usually take an insurance payoff or a tax credit. Once any creditor takes either of these, they can no longer pursue the debt, nor can they sell it, as doing so would be highly illegal. If the account was only recently closed, then maybe Capital One has engaged collections against you, but one way to assume that it was charged off and that it is a collection company posing as Capital One is to simply check when the last time was that you made a payment on the account. If it has been close to a year, chances are pretty good that you are being pursued by a collection company that bought the debt at auction. In this case, I would push for three requests: validation of the debt, production, and proof for legal right of subrogation of the debt.

      Brian

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      tiffani 6 weeks ago

      Thank you for sharing this information. Capital One filed a lawsuit against me. I filed my answer and counter claim against them. They motioned to throw out counter claim because I stated they violated FCRA, and when I filed my answer I didn't state that I first disputed with credit bureaus.

      I disputed with credit bureaus and Capital One. Results were "verified" Capital One would send me statements and a letter when account opened, when it was charged off. At last court date, their sent me identity theft affidavit. I received letter that identity theft is not valid. I will be going to court again soon, can you offer any advice that can help me?

      Thanks for your time

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      Brian Gray 6 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      Jojo,

      I'm glad you found my information, and I hope it helps you win your case.

      Good luck and best wishes to you,

      Brian

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      Jojo 6 weeks ago

      Hi Brian.......thank you for this gold mine of information! I don't even think an actual lawyer can do a good of a job as this article. I'm studying this like it's my final exam.

      I have a jury trial with capital one next month and will use this. Thanks! You're a saint!

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      Brian Gray 7 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      Jay Eme,

      I am not sure that I understand your question, but I am going to assume that you are asking about the possibility of the original credit card company being the same entity that is filing for collection. First, a credit card company cannot serve as a collection company. They can hire a collection company to go after the debt, but they are never one and the same. Secondly, it is rare that a credit card company goes after the debtor. They usually write off the debt and collect from their insurance, or take a tax write off. In most cases, the collection company is an entity that bought the debt at a debt auction.

      Brian

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      Brian Gray 7 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      Glenn,

      When a company hires a debt collection company to collect a debt for them, and the debt has not been written off, you are fighting the original creditor. But, when the debt has been written off, and the original creditor has taken either an insurance payoff or a tax credit, then what usually happens is that the debt gets sold, illegally, in a debt auction for pennies on the dollar, and the collection company that bought the debt at auction pretends that they are harmed and must collect damages. Any debt that has been written off by the original creditor, and has been satisfied by either an insurance payoff or a tax credit, cannot be legally sold or pursued by anyone other than the entity that satisfied the debt. This is called legal right of subrogation of the debt.

      Brian

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      Brian Gray 7 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      Bklynny,

      As I stated in my article, sometimes good people just don't get a break, and these blood suckers will come calling. I think in your situation the best route may just be bankruptcy, because the amount owed is never going to go away. Even though the debt will eventually be written off once the dunning letters and demands from the original creditors stop, there is usually a lull following this, then, just before the statute of limitations kicks in, the blood suckers show up knocking on your door. So, you have two choices - declare bankruptcy and start over, wiping out all the debts at once, or waiting a few years until the battle starts with the blood suckers and fight them in court.

      Brian

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      Turtletech 7 weeks ago

      Hey Brian Thanks a ton for the article you wrote!! It is very educational. I have a question regarding a debt lawsuit that a creditor might assign a debt collection company to go after. Specifically old medical bills. This companies website says it goes after debts and just takes commission on what they can get back. Would this legal defense still have any chance of holding up against that kind of scenario? Would that make them an assignee? The plaintiff name would show up as the debt collection company. My question to that is how can they represent the original creditor if the plaintiff is the debt collection company?

      Thanks for your time

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      bklynny 7 weeks ago

      Hello Brian,

      I read your post yesterday, and quite frankly was blown away by the information! I could not stop reading Q&As after finishing the main article. Every instance was made so, so much informative by your clear, articulate, and above all, patient response. (I bet Mike King had something to do with that... :) I read that article today and, I'm not ashamed to admit, I cried.)

      Here's my current situation: I have been unemployed, not by choice, for a while - over a year to be accurate, and up until 3 month ago, I was making minimum monthly payments on my, as well as my wife's, credit cards. I stopped making payments when I could no longer pay for the necessities - mortgage, car payments, utilities, etc. - as well as credit cards. Currently, I am not making any payments on both our (wife and I) credit cards. We have, obviously, started receiving phone calls and regular first class mail from all credit card companies.

      I know I cannot work with these companies since I do not have the kind of cash needed to bring my account back to a so called "current" status at their end. However, my concern is, if I don't reach out to them, some of these companies (like Capital One and Citi) will end up suing me. I am also concerned they may end up garnishing my wife's pay, which to start with, is barely above the minimum wage.

      Also, a relative has been helping for the last 5 months with our mortgage payment, but starting in August, that will not be available, and no matter how much I am hating to do this, I will have to apply for a reduced social security payments (I will be turning 62 soon.) to help with the mortgage.

      My apologies for throwing my problem-filled kitchen sink at you, but any advice you can give me will be greatly, greatly appreciated!!

      Thank you in advance!

    • Hanavee profile image
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      Brian Gray 7 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      Dave White,

      If the plaintiff produces a signed copy of the original agreement, that still does nothing to show legal right of subrogation of the debt. The request for production lists all of the items needed to verify the amount alleged, and having a signed copy of the original contract is merely the beginning, not the end. Really research the phrase "legal right of subrogation of the debt," because this is vital information. You will be glad that you did.

      Brian

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      Dave White 7 weeks ago

      Hi Brian, thank you for the helpful information. What if the plaintiff attaches a copy of the original signed credit card agreement but does not attach anything that verifies the balance owed, such as the most recent statement?

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      Brian Gray 2 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Paulo,

      Congratulations! Time to celebrate. You did your homework, applied what you learned and won your case. Well done. Thanks for sharing.

      Brian

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      Paulo 2 months ago

      Like to say thank you very much for the information had two cases With third-party debt collector plaintiff was awarded the judgment but I had to appeal it and both cases were dismissed with prejudice after I read your information and put it to use

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      Brian Gray 2 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Tuclov13,

      If the plaintiff is asking for a summary judgment again, yes, I would point out to the court that this motion from the plaintiff has already been denied once. And give the judge all the particulars that are relevant to that statement.

      As for statute of limitations, that is not really going to matter here, in my opinion, because this is not the original creditor pursuing you, no matter what the plaintiff tries to make it seem. I would push for the plaintiff to show proof of legal right of subrogation of the debt. I have mentioned before that this is their Achilles heel. You should go for that point and hammer it hard.

      Brian

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      Tuclovi3 2 months ago

      Thank you for the advice Brian? Do you think it's okay for me in my answer to the motion to highlight to the court there's already a case open for this alleged credit card debt that they denied a summary judgement on and now they're opening another motion with a different court case number for the exact same case? And I just learned through my research last evening that Arizona as of March 2017 have changed there statute of limitations from three years to six years and it doesn't start until the Creditor requests payment in full.

    • Hanavee profile image
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      Brian Gray 2 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Tuclovi3,

      I would fight them the same way this time as you did last time. However, I would also pay for a one-hour, private consultation with a local attorney who could look at your filings and see why your motion was denied. There is much that seems wrong with this case, such as the amount of time that has passed, then suddenly this re-attempt to pursue this alleged debt by the plaintiff. I am bothered by their having not answered your legal requests for production and proof of legal right of subrogation of the debt. I would re-open these requests, give them thirty days to comply, and push the issue. But, still, get in touch with a local attorney and ask them to review your filings.

      Brian

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      Tuclovi3 2 months ago

      Hello Brian,

      My last email to you was in April of 2016 at which time Bureaus Investment Group filed a motion for summary judgement and I filed a motion objecting the summary judgement on the basis that the Bureaus Investment Group failed to respond to my requests for production and right of subrogation of debt and that that they have exceeded time limits for prosecution of their case. I also requested that the court dismiss the case with prejudice. Their motion was denied as was mine. Until today I have heard nothing from Bureaus Investment. Today I was served with a new complaint from Bureaus Investment for the same account with a different case number stating breach of contract and account stated. I have 20 days to file an answer. Im confused as to why they would open a complete new case? Any suggestions as to where I should go from here?

      Thank you

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      Brian Gray 2 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Marie,

      I always say, if you can afford an attorney, by all means do so. However, if you can't do that, then try to at least pay for a one-hour private consultation with one. And, as a last resort, study hard, prepare like you are going in for a college exam, and put up a good fight. You can still win. Many have.

      Since the judge has postponed the case, I would immediately send the plaintiff a request for production, as shown at the bottom of my article. Send it certified mail, return receipt requested, and give them 30 days to respond. Next, and separately, send the plaintiff a request that they show legal right of subrogation of the debt. They will know what that means, and I would bet good money that they do not have legal right of subrogation of the debt. What this means is simple. When the original creditor writes off the debt, they typically receive either an insurance payoff or a tax credit. Once they receive either of these, they cannot legally pursue the debt, nor can they legally sell the debt. The only entity that can legally pursue this debt once that happens is the insurance company, because they paid off the debt, so they have "legal right of subrogation of the debt." Your plaintiff undoubtedly purchased this debt illegally through an auction for pennies on the dollar. Ask them to show that they have legal right of subrogation of the debt. This is their Achilles heel. If they do not have legal right of subrogation of the debt, any action on their part to pursue this alleged debt is illegal.

      Good luck to you and best wishes,

      Brian

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      Marie 2 months ago

      I used the information from this very informative post and the plaintiff showed up with transactions and payment made on the account. The judge postponed the case. How wouldn't you suggest I proceed?

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      Brian Gray 2 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Amanda,

      I personally do not know of any way to have a collection company remove a deleterious listing unless you can prove that it is in error, such as by winning in court.

      Brian

    • profile image

      Amanda Schroeder 2 months ago

      My question is, is there a way for me to send a letter now, asking a collection agency to remove a collection off my credit report before it goes to court? Can i have it removed now? Since it was bought by a collection agency? I'm not sure what to do at this point. Thx

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      Brian Gray 2 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Tasha,

      To answer a summons to appear in court, all you have to do is contact the court and let them know that you are planning to appear. You want to do that immediately, since there are time limits, and these time limits will be stated on your summons. Once that is done, the form letter that I believe you are referring to is called the letter requesting production. You want to send that to the plaintiff, and you want to send it certified mail, return receipt requested. You want to specify that you would like the answers within 30 days.

      Brian

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      Tasha 2 months ago

      Question: the example letter above is this the same as an answer to the court in regards to the summons?

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      Brian Gray 2 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Smilysoliz,

      Not sure what your question is.

      Brian

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      Brian Gray 2 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Ruth,

      An extension would be granted if a lawyer had helped you prepare your motion. Judges act on legal technicalities, and a motion to grant an extension would have had to have a compelling argument for winning the request. Nonetheless, your lawyer may be correct in that, if the judgment is granted, then the bankruptcy wipes it out. The choice is yours, fight and win, or simply take the judgment to your attorney and let him wipe it out with the bankruptcy.

      Brian

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      Ruth 2 months ago

      Hi I am starting to go through the procedure of bankruptcy. I have turned in paper work to get the ball rolling with my lawyer. I have a hearing tomorrow because I was sued. I asked my lawyer what I should do. He told me that I could try to extend my hearing date which I did but the judge totally ignored my letter. My lawyer also told me that I could do nothing and get a judgment. He said the judgment can be wiped clean with the bankruptcy. The lawsuit is from a credit card debt of $500. I don't know what to do. I was going to appear at the trial tomorrow but I am nervous. I am really disappointed that the judge could not grant me an extension and this tells me what kind of person she is.

    • profile image

      Smilysoliz 2 months ago

      Hi your article has help me alot in knowing my rights, I got served on May 30th in The Justice Court Precinct 1 place 1 and i send my original answer for Plaintiff to Produce record and now the Plaintiff filed it to a second Precinct 2 place 1 , they send me the affidavit where The original credicard gives Midland the loan its the Bill of sale,

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      Brian Gray 2 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Tippysweet,

      Well, you don't need to run and hide Doing that only gets you into trouble. Take the bull by the horns and wrestle it to the ground. The fact that you have not responded in time to their office does not establish the debt as valid in law. It only says that they will now assume that it is valid and will proceed to court. I would send them a letter requesting validation of the debt. If you research the many posts on my article site, you will find some very good examples of the best request for validation of the debt letter. Once that letter is sent, they cannot go forward with a suit until that letter has been satisfied. However, they may go ahead and file anyway, because most of these blood suckers are arrogant. So, prepare to fight them in court, if they choose to go that route. If the amount is higher than $1,000, they may pursue it. Less than that, they may just choose to harass you, but not go to court, because it would cost them too much money to pursue.

      I always say, if you can afford an attorney, hire one, but if you can't afford one, then prepare to defend yourself using my article. Study the many posts on here, and take note of all the defenses that various people have used successfully. Think positive and keep hope. You can win. Many have.

      Good luck to you, and best wishes,

      Brian

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      tippysweet 2 months ago

      I am asking for help please, as I am rather confused.

      I received a letter from "Ratchford Law Group P.C", based in Scranton, PA.....hand signed by "Michael F. Ratchford, Esq."

      The letter states---" Please be advised that this office has been retained by Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC to collect. "

      "Unless you notify this office within 30 days after receiving this notice that you dispute validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will assume this debt is valid.

      Welp, I am at the 30 day limit pretty much (June 1st, 2017).

      Not sure if it's too late to sent letter of validation. The more I read to try to help myself, the more confused I become. : /

      Thank you in advance!

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      Brian Gray 3 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Tosha,

      A request for production is usually sent when the trial date has been set, but there is no harm in sending it earlier to shake up the plaintiff. It tends to rattle their cage.

      Brian

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      Tosha 3 months ago

      Thank you so much for this information. I had a case today that was dismissed with prejudice and I did not have this information.!!! I have another case I must respond to by tomorrow. This will be helpful. When do you recommend submitting the request for production? Should I submit that now with my first responde or wait until I have a court date?

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      Brian Gray 3 months ago from Pennsylvania

      GWJ,

      The reason I always suggest an attorney is to permanently end the pursuit by these debt collectors and to keep them from re-selling them. I know, however, that many people feel that they cannot afford an attorney, so my article is to help them who have to represent themselves. In your case, I was suggesting a lawyer because of the way they were pursuing your alleged debt. Often, if a person cannot afford an attorney, they at least can pay for a one-hour private consultation with an attorney, which is a great help. The choices are yours.

      Brian

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      YMF 3 months ago

      Thank you Brian for your reply.

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      gwj 3 months ago

      Thanks, Brian. I can send the letter as you advise, but I wonder about the part about obtaining a lawyer. Since the debt is small and I could probably negotiate to $400-500 if I was so inclined (I'd prefer not to), that presumably has to be compared against the cost of an attorney.

      Could you elaborate a little on why you think I need an attorney? My guess is that even if I send the cease and desist and they don't pursue things, I need to actively sue or threaten to do so - with an attorney - to compel the three credit agencies to stop reporting the debt? I guess this is a hard process then, if I need a lawyer. Is it also costly?

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      Brian Gray 3 months ago from Pennsylvania

      GWJ,

      It sounds to me like the amount is small enough, $1,100, that it is not worth the legal fees for a collection company to sue in court. Nonetheless, I would send a cease and desist letter to the collection company and tell them that this is not a legal debt, that it is in dispute, and that any attempt on their part to collect will be considered in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. I would also recommend obtaining an attorney and going after the party that is attempting to collect on you from the original alleged debt.

      One note, it is always wise to read every word in any contract that you are signing. If you were rushed and not permitted to do so, this should be explained to the attorney, because it appears that there is "fine print" that you missed.

      Brian

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      gwj 3 months ago

      Thanks for your excellent article, Brian.

      My situation is a little different. Someone hit my car. I took it into the shop and was given a rental car. I signed some form, they made sure I was insured (I have good insurance through Geico). The day before I returned it a thief broke into the car and stole my GPS, and damaged the door and window of the car. Long story short my insurance company paid for the main damages, but refused to pay about $1,100 for "Anticipated Loss of Use", "Diminution in Value", and "Administrative Fees".

      They claimed that I agreed to pay these if my insurance company did not, and Geico said they would pay if the car rental company could prove in detail that they suffered the above losses. Anyway, Geico was a tougher target so they focused on me. I talked to them once and told them to talk to Geico, they said they would months ago, but I just found out today that instead they just sold the debt to another party, asking for the 1,100. I haven't spoken to the rep yet, but I am about to.

      Is there anything different about my situation? I think the original contract said explicitly that they could pass the debt to a third party. But I am pretty sure it would have been hard enough for the original company to prove the damages, let alone a debt collector.

      My plan is to call the new collector and get the address info, tell them that I dispute the charges and would prefer to go to court and see the proof, and follow the process in the meanwhile to dispute the charge.

      Am I missing anything? Thanks!

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      Brian Gray 3 months ago from Pennsylvania

      One of the best things anyone can do is to pay for a one-hour, private consultation with a lawyer from their jurisdiction and State. Barring that, if you cannot afford to do so, research the laws in your State regarding statute of limitations. The clock on all limitations begins ticking on the date of the last payment on the alleged account, so most debt collectors know to get their suits filed before the clock strikes midnight. Where it gets murky is, when they have filed, in your State, the clock may stop until the final trial is over, and if a judgment is rendered against you, the clock begins anew. Check with a local attorney to see how your local laws are written pertaining to this. No matter what, if you were not properly served, the judgment against you has to be set aside and a new trial ordered.

      Brian

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      YMF 3 months ago

      Also, debt collection agency never reported the "judgment" to any of the three credit reporting agencies, so there was no way of me finding out about the "judgment", only for it to accrue interest as it sits in the court for years. CROOKED!!!

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      YMF 3 months ago

      When do I need to send to plaintiff, debt credit collection agency, a Request for production?

      I filed with the courts yesterday: a Motion to Quash service of summons and complaint (I was NEVER SERVED and have proof as Exhibits), and a Motion to Vacate Default (Void) Judgment, (I was never served and thus, the court has no personal jurisdiction over me). When, if ever, do I need to send a Request for Production? Along with the service of the filed documents?

      This case was filed back in 2008, and fraudulent service papers were filed in 2009. I was never served.

      Cal. statute of limitations for filing a case against a "debtor" is 4 years.

      I just discovered the (void) default judgment in Nov 2016 via a levy. Surprise!

      Also, I want my expenses and time reimbursed. Any thoughts on that?

      Thank you again, YMF

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      Brian Gray 3 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Kimberly Green,

      There is no blank template anywhere on the internet that I know of. My example at the bottom of my article was merely a suggestion on how to write one.

      Brian

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      Kimberly Green 3 months ago

      Where can I find a blank template form for the request for production? I have looked all over the internet and at the bottom of your article. I can print it out but the words are still there and I can't right over them.

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      Brian Gray 3 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Alicia White,

      Whenever you are in front of the opposing team, you want to always guard your conduct and words. Basically, mediation is an attempt to settle out of court, so prepare as if this were a court room. Lawyers hope that, while they have you in a mediation room, they can wear you down with intimidating tactics that would not be permitted in court, so study well, and be ready.

      Brian

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      Alicia white 3 months ago

      I have a mediation date, should I act the same way as if it was in front of the judge?

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      Brian Gray 3 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Kim Brooks,

      I sent you a private reply. Let me know if you did not receive it.

      Brian

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      Kim Brooks 3 months ago

      I'm being sued by Midland Funding who has obtained an Attorney through Scott & Associates. I have done my research and I am confident I can win this case. I have one question of concern. Midland Funding is suing me on a charged off personal loan from Citi Financial; however on all of their documents they are referring to this debt as a credit card debt. I never had a credit card with Citi Financial. They provided me a personal check in which I deposited in my checking out. Can they still try this as a credit card debt vs a personal loan?

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      Brian Gray 3 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Jason Puehler,

      I know that it can seem daunting to have to go to court against these professional blood suckers, but it is possible to do, especially if you just take it one step at a time. Follow the formula that you see written in these many posts that have been placed here over the years. It's all here.

      As for the lawyers who told you to settle, it would seem that they are lazy, uninformed, or both. Obviously, if people on here are posting their winning results, we must be doing something right. I would continue to look for the right lawyer. Persistence pays big dividends.

      As for the Request for Production, no, there is no State-specific formula. What I showed at the end of my article is pretty much universal. And as for the affirmative defenses, study the various posts on here. People have been through this, and they have posted their answers. This is a free library. Use it wisely. Spend the time to study, lengthy as that may be, because the alternative is to lose due to not caring enough. Basically, affirmative answers do not need to do the homework of the plaintiff, because it is up to them to prove their accusations, not you. Provide what is required, nothing more. You are not required to keep records, so if you don't have records that they request, oh well. And remember the line about the defendant not having sufficient knowledge to formulate an opinion and therefore denying all claims.

      Brian

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      Brian Gray 3 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Mike F,

      Glad you were able to put this information to good use. Best wishes,

      Brian

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      Mike F 3 months ago

      This Was a very helpful tool against a credit card company third-party thank you very much I appreciate your services and time it took to post

      Once again

      Thank You from Oregon

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      Jason Puehler 3 months ago

      Hi Brian,

      I really do appreciate you spending your time providing this information, as well as answering our questions.

      I contacted the court and so far there is no default judgement against me for either case.

      The judge is not listed on either of the Summons and Complaint. The court clerk informed me that they do not assign a judge at the time.

      For the Request for Production, do know if there is a state-specific format that needs to be followed?

      I talked to five lawyers, via email. They all say to settle or file bankruptcy. I really want to try and fight this, but I am a complete novice when it comes to this kind of stuff. Even the answer form looks like it is written in favor of the Plaintiff. You have to offer up all Affirmative defenses when you answer. Please see below for the answer form:

       http://courts.mi.gov/Administration/SCAO/Forms/cou...

      Do you know of any way to find the legal assitance I would need?

      Thank you again for this valuable information!

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      Brian Gray 3 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Jason Puehler,

      Taping the summons to your door is no proof that they had the correct address, or that the wind didn't carry it away, however, I would not run from these morons, I would stand up to them and cause them heartburn. Ignoring this summons is only going to embolden them, and their next steps are predictable. Send notice to the court that you intend to appear and defend yourself, then prepare your battle plans. Send them the request for production, and in a separate letter, send them a request that they show that they have legal right of subrogation of the debt. Those two, especially the latter, will cause their hair to ignite. And if you are unsure of what to do, scrape the money together and pay for a one-hour, private consultation with an attorney who specializes in debt relief cases and bankruptcies. It will be money well spent.

      Brian

      P.S. You have the sample form letter for the letter requesting production. For the request for legal proof of right of subrogation of the debt, keep it simple. Just write: "Please supply all forms and evidence showing that plaintiff has obtained legal right of subrogation of the alleged debt. Please supply defendant with this requested material within thirty days." That is all. Do not embellish. Send it certified mail, return receipt requested, and keep a copy for the court room.

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      Jason Puehler 3 months ago

      I understand you are not a lawyer and are not offering legal advice. That said, I live in Michigan. I received two Summons and Complaint from the same lawyer's office and debt collector, Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC. The first I received two weeks ago, on 04/14/2017. The second I received on 04/28/2017. Both claim that I avoided service. They both have a Motion and Verification for Alternate Service, Order Regarding Alternate Service, Motion for Second Summons and Order, Second Summons and Complaint, and Summons and Complaint. Both of these were taped to my front door. They state, " YOU HAVE 21 DAYS to file a written answer with the court and serve a copy on the other party or take other lawful action with the court(28 days if you were served by mail or you were served outside this state). (MCR2.111[C]).

      What proof is there to which day I received the Summons and Complaint?

      How do I know how long I have to file?

      Will my defense work for both if they are debt collector and law firm? Will they have a better defense against me?

      Thank you for your time and expertise.