My experience in court. (civil lawsuit against me)

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by TITAN308, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. TITAN308

    TITAN308 :) :) :)

    First off I don't advocate not paying your bills. It is what it is in this case. It was an old account (still within 7 years though) I completely forgot about and next I know a few months back I get served at my doorstep for a court appearance. Yes fully admit I generally trash spam mail. I've gotten so many "TIME SENSITIVE OPEN NOW" documents that end up being nothing than cleverly disguised credit card offers. Of course it is one of those companies that collects these types of accounts by the thousands for what we all know are literal pennies on the dollar.

    This morning was the hearing.

    So after a brief introduction in court the bailiff instructs the parties to meet outside and try and reach an agreement. Settle or go to court in a nut shell.

    The local lawyer hired by this non-Georgia company pulls me into a side room.

    Now lets establish what "Evidence" they have provided:

    - Two statements
    - One buyers agreement from the main holder to the third party holder (people suing me)

    That is it.

    Conversation as follows:

    Lawyer: Well do you want to set up a payment plan?

    Me: No.

    Lawyer: Are you sure?

    Me: Can you provide a contractual agreement between myself, the primary company, and your company?

    Lawyer: The law says we don't need to do that.

    Me: I see two statements. How do I know this is accurate, where is the entire payment history?

    Lawyer: The law says we don't need to do that.

    Me: Can you even provide the contractual agreement between myself and the primary company?

    Lawyer: The law says we don't need to do that.

    Me: See you in court.

    I return to court room and sit down while she (lawyer) deals with another defendant there on what I am assuming is the same issue. She returns a bit after that and informs the court they are dismissing my case.

    What really irks me is this lawyer lied bold faced to me and knew it. Look I get it, you are a lawyer and you do lawyer things, and even these types of lawyers have a job to do, but I mean really, to just outright lie about what the law requires just left me with an egotistical (eat ****, haha I win you lose) taste in my mouth.

    So while laws vary by state just a heads up:

    1.) Generally about 95% of people served with these lawsuits don't even show up to court. Its free money via judgments to the plaintiff. People get too scared, or think because they can't find a lawyer they shouldn't bother. When I first got the evidence packet in the summons about one hour on Google revealed they didn't have a snowball chance in hell of winning.

    2.) "Prove it" Now repeat it again. "Prove it" Guess what? Repeat it a third time! "Prove it". The burden is on them to PROVE they can legally collect this money. Keep in mind they often buy these accounts by the THOUSANDS and almost never have any original documentation.

    I am aware they can-refile with new proof, but from what I am reading they only bother with huge debts worth pursing. This account wasn't for very much. If they want it they can earn it.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  2. atlsrt44

    atlsrt44 Well-Known Member

    Congratulations. Thanks for the info

  3. TITAN308

    TITAN308 :) :) :)

    I am a bit curious in hindsight if the lawyer did anything ethically wrong. I should have taken a voice recorder.

    The meeting we had was technically the "negotiation" part of the hearing and from what I have read that lying to someone during this process is a big no-no. Maybe not legally, but from a ethics stand point in regards to them being a lawyer.

    I'm sure one of the many lawyers on this board can answer that.
  4. jsaund22

    jsaund22 Ninjaneering Computers

    My wife got the same kind of letter a few years ago about an old college credit card. We asked my cousin, who happens to work for the court where it would be heard, about hiring a lawyer and she basically told us to just show up to court - that most times the lawyers for the plaintiff didn't even show up. And if they did show up, they most likely would just dismiss since we were actually there in person.

    She got a notice about a week before her court date that her case had been dismissed.
  5. TITAN308

    TITAN308 :) :) :)

    Yea, every website I researched all pin pointed the 95% that no one even bothers to show up and that is how they win full judgment payouts. Something like a fraction of the remaining 5% they even bother to pursue. (it REALLY has to be worth their time).

    Imagine this, you have a credit card debt of $1000 and they buy it for literally $100 or less. If they can even negotiate $500 to settle out of someone that is 400% profit. If no one shows up to court they get the full $1000.

    Now imagine one single company alone is buying these accounts 1,000's at a time.

    Last I read that industry makes like 162 billion dollars a year...

    As I said, I don't advocate not paying your debt, but these guys are bottom feeders.
  6. EJR914

    EJR914 Cheezburger Operator

    Some things are even blatant theft sometimes too. I have no problem paying for services I use. When they hit you with $250 in fees before they even alerted you to a problem, fugg 'em.

    Good on you for being smart and questioning, then not backing down to BS. Proud of you.
  7. Whitewolf

    Whitewolf Member

    It's also pretty easy for the debt collectors to run afoul of the FDCPA, FCRA, or TCPA when trying to collect. A tactic used by some is to countersue hoping that worst case the case gets dropped and best case they make a little money. Another one, buried in most older credit card contracts is an arbitration clause. Most of those specify all issues to be settled in arbitration, paid for by the CC company and it gets expensive fast. So, debt collector sues, debtor files a motion to compel arbitration under terms of the contract (Since they don't just buy the debt they also must abide by all terms of the original contract), debt collector goes away.
  8. rmodel65

    rmodel65 Yukon Cornelius

    Did you have it asked to be dismissed with prejudice? Of not I wouldn't be surprised if this pops back up
  9. Craftsman

    Craftsman Well-Known Member

    Technically the lawyer is correct. The law does not require them to provide that evidence. A judge won't find in their favor without such evidence unless it is a default judgement, but they don' HAVE to provide evidence. You are correct in that they are only interested in the default wins. Put up any resistance, including "prove it", and they fold. That is the business model.
  10. TITAN308

    TITAN308 :) :) :)

    That was my only logical thought on it as well.

    Disingenuous would probably be a better term than lying. :lol:

    No. I'll cross that bridge if it comes to it.
  11. cartman

    cartman Member

    A very quick review of the state ethics rules tells me she did not violate any ethics rules. The rules are more focused on truthfulness of FACTS, not a lawyers opinion/interpretation of the law (with exceptions, of course). Had she lied to you about a fact, an outright lie and not mere "puffing," that would be an ethical violation. But she merely tired to pressure you by voicing her interpretation of the law. In some ways, she may be right about the law, in that if the defendant doesn't appear and defend the court might enter judgment (even without appropriate evidence; I've seen it go both ways, very judge dependent). This is, of course, a gross generalization of the situation.
  12. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    Titan, the way I read your version of the conversation with the debt collection agency's contract attorney, that attorney was only saying that he does not have to show you any evidence AT THAT STAGE, meaning the pre-trial negotiation stage, aiming for an out-of-court settlement.
    I didn't think the lawyer was saying that his side, the Plaintiff's side, would not ultimately have to prove the debt with contracts (or your own admissions) and other legal evidence AT TRIAL. But your conversation with him happened out of court (even if it was on the day of a court hearing).
  13. TITAN308

    TITAN308 :) :) :)

    I was paraphrasing to keep my typing short. Her exact words is that Georgia law they only had to provide partial payment history and they were not required to show any original contracts and that their agreement to simply BUY the account as a third party was sufficient to prove they could legally collect. (which isn't untrue, its just disingenuous half truth)

    Now I'm sure these words could be twisted in any manner to present the "bluff", but man what a shyster thing to do. Basically a person with less intelligence could be led by this bull crap to an incorrect conclusion.

    The tone in her voice changed quick from "Hi, how are you? Good morning!" to "We don't have to do that!" as soon as I asked the magic questions ("Can you prove it?"). All smiles to a straight line mouth after that. :lol:
  14. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

    I must have missed something... the lawyer is a shyster for trying to collect on a debt legitimately owed?

    A person with less intellegence would be tricked into paying back a debt they actually did enter into and should have paid back to begin with.

    This is supposed to be a victory?
  15. TITAN308

    TITAN308 :) :) :)

    I'm sorry that is all you gathered.

    They provided no proof the amount they were demanding was even accurate. Am I suppose to just blindly pay what a third party asks?

    Edit: To clarify this is something I will be resolving as future employment will run a credit check. However I'm not going to be bullied or duped into paying an incorrect amount.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  16. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    I wonder whether the party that purchased the debt has the power to clean up your credit report?

    Have you run a credit check on yourself? Is this reported?

    It should disappear from your credit report in 7 years.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  17. NTA

    NTA Well-Known Member

    7 years - yes if you carefully refrain from any contact with the creditor (it restarts the clock)
  18. AtlPhilip

    AtlPhilip Proud GCO member.

    How are all 3 parties connected?
  19. TITAN308

    TITAN308 :) :) :)

    Main company sells account off to third party collection company (non-local), then i guess they hire a local lawyer to represent them at court. It only cost them $45 to file the lawsuit in Columbia County. :lol:

    Is that what you are asking?
  20. AtlPhilip

    AtlPhilip Proud GCO member.

    Yes. If it were a 3 party contract, you would have legal remedies. It's not, it's an asset that was sold.