: My wife had an agreement to repay a credit card debit to an attorney group that was planning to take her to court, an agreement was set up and the payments were made on time, except for one, which was caught up the following month. last month they sent her financial forms to fill out and return to them, but they also want my personal info. we completed the form for my wife and returned it. in the mean time they went back to cournt and had the judge add another $250.00 plus post cournt fees of $50.00. what is going on< I think the entire legal system stinks and a $1,00 bill has turned to $3500 and probably more. What do you suggest. Thanks Ken
Answer: No, I am proving all the time that the entire legal system does not "stink". That statement does pretty well apply to the local court systems but when you get them to federal court it all changes very quickly if you have one or more causes of action and those are not hard to find.
Local courts are almost universally stacked against debtors but when the tables turn and the defendant becomes the plaintiff the whole ball game becomes very different. It does take work and study to learn how to get the job done. You need the help of people who know what they are doing and have won cases themselves. Take a recent case.
Mark had been sued in a local court and had a huge judgment against him. He was in deep trouble and didn't know what to do. He came to me for help and I looked his case over and the first thing I know I found his "ace in the hole" in the fact that the law firm of Howard Lee Schiff had presented an affidavit to the court in which a woman named Davis claimed to work for the Plaintiff which was Capital One. The affidavit was notarized by a Mr. Dudley Turner of Dekalb County Georgia. Now that was strange because Capital One has no offices in Atlanta Georgia.
So Mark did a bit of investigative work and found out that Dudley Turner works for a company called TSYS. So he called up TSYS and asked to speak to M. Davis and is transferred to her. She answers the phone as National Attorney Network. Mark just hung up and called back and asked to speak to Dudley Turner and he also answered the phone. Mark was taping all the time and had them both admitting they worked for TSYS. So he checks out TSYS on the net and finds that the National Attorney Network is an invention of TSYS. So Davis and Turner conspired to produce a false and fraudulent affidavit and provided it to Howard Lee Shiff who then introduced it into evidence in the local court to help get their judgment.
Mark then filed a federal case against Howard Lee Schiff whose only defense so far has been to claim that the case ought to be dismissed under Federal Rules of Civil Proceedure 12(b)(6) but fails to explain why in a memorandum of law and also complains that Mark owes them money which is not the issue before the court. They have another lawyer make up another phony affidavit in which he supports the motion to dismiss under the same rule, calls himself a Commissioner of the Court to add some seeming officiality to the useless affidavit. All Notary Publics in Connecticut are called Commissioners of the Court. So that just makes the affidavit laughable.
Then the 11 page document filled with nonsense and legal mumbo jumbo is ostensibly notarized by a notary whose name is illegible and no actual seal is present. More obfuscation and pettifoggery. We were discussing his case on our friday night conference call last night and we pointed out the things he should be doing. One of the things he will want to do now is to make a clear and concise statement of the facts in the case and move the court to order the case to the Rule 26(f) meeting stage which is where discovery starts to take place.
The defendant is not likely to want to go there. So what did it cost Mark to learn how to do all of that? Less than $1,000 including the $350.00 filing fee in federal court.
He will probably end up forcing them to get rid of the judgment at the local level and paying him handsomely for their violations because Mark also has some FCRA violations they aren't going to be able to explain either and sure won't want to try to do so in front of a federal judge and jury.
Obviously getting Mark from point A. to where he is now has taken work, knowledge and experience but now he is well on the way to getting them off his back and making a nice profit for his time and trouble. Almost anybody can do it.
I have many students who can tell you pretty much the same story. What do I suggest? I'll answer that by asking you whether you want to pay them at least $3500 or more and live with the judgment or learn how to fight back? You tell me.