Author Topic: Mediation w/Capitol One, First Source Advantage, Shermetta Law Group  (Read 1660 times)

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Hi...I am new to this board and looking for any help I can get please. I am counter suing Cap One, First Source Advantage and Shermetta Law Group for a multitude of FDCPA violations (and a whole host of other things). I have been court ordered to go to mediation with all three in a few months before our jury trial that is scheduled for the end of February. Has anyone here ever dealt with any of their lawyers in a facilitated Mediation? Thank you.


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Re: Mediation w/Capitol One, First Source Advantage, Shermetta Law Group
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2015 12:12:30 PM »
Mediation is a place where your opponent and the mediator will be working hard to wear you down and settle.

The mediator is like a baseball player. Always trying to keep their batting average up. Expect them to work hard to get your case to settle. They know you will be the easiest person to break in the room. Expect them to pressure you to see your opponent's side of things.

Know that, going into the mediation, you cannot be forced to settle at that hearing, even though there will be a great deal of pressure from everyone in the room to do so. If you don't like what's happening, just draw things out until the required amount of mediation time has passed and you are free to go. Most courts require you to spend a certain amount of time mediating -- or until the mediator says you can go.

Your opponent may bring several attorneys to the mediation to intimidate you.

Have your key points written down. Stay focused, expect your opponent to try to distract you with non-issues. Did you get a speeding ticket last year? What's up with that picture you posted on Facebook in 2011? Don't let anything surprise you.

I like to bring cookies to mediations. I think it's fun to watch everyone refuse them because I supplied them. They are really good cookies, but I never eat one at the mediation -- which distracts my opponents a little. A full plate of cookies gets inside everyone's mind at the table. If someone does eat one, get an excited look on your face.   

If you know the attorneys' names in advance, research them. A little information in advance can be helpful to thrown them off balance. When you greet them, ask them how their spouse is doing -- by first name. "Nice to meet you Mary! How is Jim?"

Make them never want to see you again.

Don't be creepy, don't be threatening. Be knowledgeable and outgoing, and odd.   


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Re: Mediation w/Capitol One, First Source Advantage, Shermetta Law Group
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2015 04:35:56 PM »
The purpose of mediation is to narrow the differences between the two parties and to clarify the legal and factual issues to present to the court.

It is not a settlement conference, and while Kevinmanheim is correct in stating that there will be pressure to settle, it will be because the facts of the case are such that the plaintiff has the upper hand.

I would be as prepared as I would be for a trial before the court, would decline to agree to anything the plaintiff presents; and would press the arguments for contractual arbitration, authenticity of the plaintiffs evidence, and any counterclaims that might be available.

A mediator is supposed to be neutral, and he has no authority to force the admission of facts or to compel settlement.

Mediation sessions can be fun if you are prepared...

...And you while you cannot walk as you can in a negotiation session, you are fully entitled to say "no" to any suggestion with which you are uncomfortable and stick to your position.

But, note too, the mediator will inform the court of the narrowed issues.

« Last Edit: November 13, 2015 04:45:33 PM by CleaningUp »


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Re: Mediation w/Capitol One, First Source Advantage, Shermetta Law Group
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2015 08:44:52 PM »
Thank you both, for your words of wisdom. I am not at all excited at the idea of going to mediation with these jerks. It is just another opportunity for them to bring us to more unhealthy stress levels through fear, intimidation, harassment, and bullying. We realize that they will be making every effort, and use every tactic they can, to break us down.

Our case is pretty complex and the thought of going up against three powerhouse corporations and their hired goons, is going to prove to be interesting for sure. They have already tried to make a ridiculous attempt to validate their behavior and shift the blame on us. Did not work.

I assumed that we needed to be prepared as if we were going to the actual trial. I also assume that we need to just stick to the facts of the case and the law...correct? Would you suggest that I have a summary statement to read from or should I just stick to bullet points? We do have an attorney representing us, but I do not want to take any chances of not being fully prepared on my end.

I expected that they would have already offered a settlement amount, but that did not happen. From both of your comments, am I understanding that you think its better to go to trial, than to settle? 

I will share my story if it helps, I so appreciate any advice I can get in preparation for this mediation.



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Re: Mediation w/Capitol One, First Source Advantage, Shermetta Law Group
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2015 09:07:49 AM »
Always appear willing to go to trial.

They will use the mediation to size you up -- to see if you are the type of opponent they don't want to see at trial. They will also use it as a chance to find weakness in your case -- see what unsettles you, see where your weakness is.

They also want to see how prepared your attorney is.

Most cases settle.

Keep your expectations realistic and you will probably settle before trial.

They are putting on a brave face for one reason -- settling too soon after being sued will show other plaintiffs that they are an easy target.

They don't want to pay to drag the case out, but they must so other plaintiffs are deterred from filing suit for an easy payday. 


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Re: Mediation w/Capitol One, First Source Advantage, Shermetta Law Group
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2015 01:21:10 AM »
Thank you! I am curious if you could describe what may be considered a weakness on our part?

These defendants sued us for a debt that was settled and paid in full-not owed. We disputed the debt and provided them with proof (copy of the settlement agreement and copies of all of the automatic withdraws from our account on the specified dates agreed to).

They ignored the proof and sent back old credit card statements and said these documents were considered to validate the debt. They continued to dun us for an additional 6 months and then filed a law suit against us. 

None of the defendants to date have supplied a validation of debt, Cap One has tried to collect on it three times, First Source Advantage collected 23 of the 24 payments of the settlement agreement due by way of automatic withdraw.

Capital One is claiming we didn't make the last payment of the settlement agreement so the account automatically reverts back to the original amount due. We rebutted with the fact that we had no further involvement after the authorization was given to First Source Advantage, and if the last payment wasn't collected, it was at the fault of First Source Advantage. Sure is convenient that 23 of the 24 payments were taken but some how the last payment mysteriously doesn't.

The account then gets forwarded to the law firm where they don't properly validate the debt, never make mention of the last payment not being made, ignore the settlement agreement and are suing for an amount that is not even the original amount of the settled debt.

The amount they were suing for was an amount that was being incorrectly reported as the past due balance on the credit report for the same debt that had been settled 2 years prior (they obtained that number by making an impermissible credit pull on us). Do you see a conspiracy to commit fraud here?

Capitol One charged the account off in October of 2011. By the time this is all said and done, it will be an almost a 6 year ordeal....

We hired an attorney and we are counter suing.