Author Topic: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance  (Read 8593 times)

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TM97

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Re: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance
« Reply #165 on: August 11, 2017 10:03:27 AM »
Yes, Discover will almost certainly get their money. 

I am one of the OLD guys who got an agreeable outcome in JAMS with a Discover arbitration back in the OLD days.  Even then, it went almost to the hearing before they settled to my satisfaction. 

But remember a few things:

First, back in the old days, Discover used to do some weird stuff with their printouts.  For example, they would print out a bill from 2009 and it would have an ad on with copyright 2012, or something like that.  Different people will tell you that will or will not work, and that no arbitrator will buy it.  All I can say is it put some pressure on Discover as to the validity of their debt.

Second, there were a few weird things about the statements.  For example, it would show me in two places on the same day in ways that seemed really weird.  It might show me in Wisconsin on Monday, then some other state on Monday, and then Wisconsin again on Tuesday.  Even if the charges were legit, there were enough of those to question the records.

Third, I had genuine claims against them.  In the old days, many attorneys didn't want to handle a case if the prospective defendant elected arbitration, and at one point the file sat in an attorney's office for a year after she quit before someone else found it right before SOL.  Or another attorney walked away because they had lost to me in arb twice.  Or another case they had an old address in another state, and so an out-of-state attorney threatened to sue on the account, using my Wisconsin address.  Also, the last attorney responded to my election of arbitration with a threat to sue if I didn't personally start the arbitraiton, so I used that as a violation of the FDCPA and the Wisconsin Consumer Act. 

In other words, the account was old enough, and the records weren't complete and looked shady whether or not they were shady, and there were several claims against them.  That was what got them to settle for what I had offered at the beginning.  It just took them a LONG time to settle.

So be patient.  If you have real claims, and can throw some doubt on their evidence, and it gets to be really expensive for them, at some point they might settle, esp. if they think you are insolvent. 

Or, they might not ever settle.  Whatever you read today won't necessarily work tomorrow, or next month, or next year.  Every case is different, every OC is different, and the way they handle things this year may be different from their strategy next year.


As it is, having BK as your ace in the hole makes life a lot better for you.

Thanks.  Yes, I believe we have some claims.  If I think it will be helpful to get input, I will post the formal complaint for feedback.  We are just getting by - rent paid, food on the table, etc. but basically not in a position where a judgement would do them any good.  BK is on the table, and we are looking into it.  There are costs involved and we are saving as much and as fast as we can towards it. 

TM97

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Re: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance
« Reply #166 on: August 11, 2017 10:19:19 AM »
Here's the thing.  Most arbitrators are reasonable people and are willing to work with participants to get the job done.  Your partner needs to negotiate a mutually agreeable time.  Conferences and hearings are rather informal affairs, conducted to achieve the objective of getting the need facts on the table for the arbitrator to make his decision.  They require preparation and focus; no "special sauce" is required.

But remember.  There is a limit to their willingness particularly when an uncooperative participant jerks them and the process around.  And while it may not change how the process proceeds, it could well mean that t he uncooperative participant loses the benefits of the doubts, particularly when the uncooperative participant is the one that chose arbitration in the first place.

As Klaxon says, they are going to get their money sooner or later.

Your partner needs to be smart, not insistent on her personal preferences.  But given some of the things that you have said over the many posts you have offered, TM97, I am not sure that "smart" is one of the more prominent talents that are at work here.  You and she seem to be far more interested in finding the "special sauce" than is good for your prospects.

You know your post might have been more helpful if you dropped the insults at the end. 

Of course, we are looking for a positive outcome.  We went from a very bad place to a furry of creditor law suits and very little knowledge of how to deal with them.  These boards are sometimes quite helpful and at other times frustratingly not so much. 

Obviously, she is not trying to be uncooperative.  She emailed the arbitrator's case manager, detailed the situation, and requested a slight delay in getting started.  From September on, we have no conflicts on the books.  Even in a court of law, one can request extra time politely.  And given that Gurstel has been rather blasse having not submitted a strike list, paying for each step after reminder letters from JAMS, and basically stating today that any day at any time works for them, I hardly expect them to put up a fight over a one month delay.   As you all say, they expect to follow through on this and get their money. 

I was not asking for 'special sauce' but rather 'smart' advise though really, they are pretty much synonymous.   Thankfully I do have a 'smart' partner and she spent hours here searching for answers to the specific questions.  This post was most helpful. 

http://www.debtorboards.com/index.php/topic,28736.0.html

It seems we need to make sure to request in person hearing here.  We need to request at our expense a court reporter.  We need to deny the debt and since no debt validation was provided, we need to done in discovery.  We need to confirm the formal complaint.  We need to request subpoena's of phone records.  We need to request possible depositions from those who are validating the debt and so forth. 

This was all I was asking for assistance with.   

delandra

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Re: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance
« Reply #167 on: August 11, 2017 04:47:36 PM »
OP: Are you worried about incurring more medical debts?  If not, why are you waiting on the bankruptcy filing?  Seems like an awful lot of work to put into this endeavor just to buy yourself some time.  Might be different if you had FDCPA claims and stood to get some money and/or a favorable settlement but I don't see any of that from my read through this thread.

Bankruptcy filing fee is $335.  You can pay it in installments (Form 3A) or request a waiver (Form 3B) if your income is below 150% of the poverty line.  Four installments would be $83.75/ea.

Don't normally recommend a pro-se bankruptcy, but you're putting all this effort into pro-se legal work anyway, and assuming a no-asset Chapter 7 it would be fairly straightforward......

Food for thought.

Jane007

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Re: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance
« Reply #168 on: August 11, 2017 05:01:28 PM »
Discover will get their money - it's just a matter of when.

Are you sure that you mean to say "money" and not "award" and/or "judgment"?

Jane007

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Re: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance
« Reply #169 on: August 11, 2017 05:44:45 PM »
It is just frustrating that direct questions rarely seem to get direct answers.

Thankfully I do have a 'smart' partner and she spent hours here searching for answers to the specific questions.  This post was most helpful. 

http://www.debtorboards.com/index.php/topic,28736.0.html

You've got the right idea in searching the forum.  Some idea of the stepwise process of going through an arbitration is present here on the forum, it is just scattered all over in different posts.  Also, the search terms that will yield the best information for some particular question are not always obvious, so it might take lots of time searching and reading.

Also, have you read this thread from the beginning in awhile?  Some of your recent posts express surprise about issues that you were explicitly warned about towards the very beginning of the thread.

It seems we need to make sure to request in person hearing here.  We need to request at our expense a court reporter.  We need to deny the debt and since no debt validation was provided, we need to done in discovery.  We need to confirm the formal complaint.  We need to request subpoena's of phone records.  We need to request possible depositions from those who are validating the debt and so forth. 

Some have suggested that the in-person hearing date not be scheduled until discovery is complete, otherwise OC might stall discovery to get to the in-person hearing date without providing any discovery.

The appropriate types of objections and motions that might be necessary as a reactive response during arbitration will take experience to learn.  Arbitration is secret so there is no public record.  Many lawyers don't understand the process.  Specifics are hard to find anywhere, but to the extent that they can be found at all - this forum is one of the few sources.

As was stated several times earlier in the thread; Discover will likely go to end of the initial arbitration and the appeal arbitration.  If you go along the whole way, you will learn a lot, but it will be exhausting (unless you enjoy this sort of thing) and it will take up years of your life.   It requires a subjective evaluation of cost vs. benefit.  Only you can decide if it is worth it to you.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017 05:59:01 PM by Jane007 »

Jane007

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Re: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance
« Reply #170 on: August 11, 2017 06:27:02 PM »
OP: Are you worried about incurring more medical debts?  If not, why are you waiting on the bankruptcy filing?  Seems like an awful lot of work to put into this endeavor just to buy yourself some time.  Might be different if you had FDCPA claims and stood to get some money and/or a favorable settlement but I don't see any of that from my read through this thread.

Bankruptcy filing fee is $335.  You can pay it in installments (Form 3A) or request a waiver (Form 3B) if your income is below 150% of the poverty line.  Four installments would be $83.75/ea.

Don't normally recommend a pro-se bankruptcy, but you're putting all this effort into pro-se legal work anyway, and assuming a no-asset Chapter 7 it would be fairly straightforward......

Food for thought.
+1
The above advice is worth considering.  Just be sure to understand the implications of having a bankruptcy in the public record for the rest of your life.  If you become fully informed and can live with the implications, you can end all of this right away.

Some here have spent years beating back legal action and have come out on the other side without having to file bankruptcy and are glad that they didn't have to file, but it can take a lot of work and time.

If you have low assets and low income and no credentials that would be impacted by having a bankruptcy record, then it might be worth asking what is stopping you from filing.

Of course, if you have low assets and low income, any judgments will go unsatisfied anyway so maybe there is no immediate reason to be hasty with your decision.

CleaningUp

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Re: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance
« Reply #171 on: August 11, 2017 07:29:16 PM »

OP: Are you worried about incurring more medical debts?  If not, why are you waiting on the bankruptcy filing?  Seems like an awful lot of work to put into this endeavor just to buy yourself some time.  Might be different if you had FDCPA claims and stood to get some money and/or a favorable settlement but I don't see any of that from my read through this thread.



A fine example of looking for the special sauce.

delandra

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Re: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance
« Reply #172 on: August 11, 2017 07:44:02 PM »
Of course, if you have low assets and low income, any judgments will go unsatisfied anyway so maybe there is no immediate reason to be hasty with your decision.

I can only speak for myself....

Bankruptcy #1, I didn't know any better, debts were only 12-18 months from SOL and another 12 months from SOLR, and I hadn't been sued.  Had I known about the "FlyingIFR Method" I would have considered continuing to lay low and run out the clock.  I had already frustrated the skip tracer; nobody had anything on me other than a PO Box, which I "forgot" to update when my physical address changed, which is probably why I was never sued.

That said, I don't regret the filing.  Got me a fresh start 12 to 30 months sooner than I otherwise would have had it.

Bankruptcy #2, Debts were all fresh, not even 30 days late yet, but I was well and truly buried, and the process wasn't remotely intimidating since I had already gone through it.  Knew about "FlyingIFR method" by now, but I was easy to find, facing at least six years of battles, and more to the point mentally exhausted from my life situation and pending divorce.  Didn't have it in me to fight.  Easiest decision I ever made.

Nobody can make the decision for you; all I can say is I've never known anyone that regretted it.

Be strategic about it, don't do it if you see more medical bills on the horizon, because you'll be stuck for eight years.   Just keep in mind that three or four months from the day you file you'll be free and clear.  What you do at that point is up to you.

Jane007

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Re: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance
« Reply #173 on: August 11, 2017 08:05:01 PM »

OP: Are you worried about incurring more medical debts?  If not, why are you waiting on the bankruptcy filing?  Seems like an awful lot of work to put into this endeavor just to buy yourself some time.  Might be different if you had FDCPA claims and stood to get some money and/or a favorable settlement but I don't see any of that from my read through this thread.



A fine example of looking for the special sauce.

What is the example and how is it a fine one?

CleaningUp

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Re: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance
« Reply #174 on: August 11, 2017 10:45:12 PM »

OP: Are you worried about incurring more medical debts?  If not, why are you waiting on the bankruptcy filing?  Seems like an awful lot of work to put into this endeavor just to buy yourself some time.  Might be different if you had FDCPA claims and stood to get some money and/or a favorable settlement but I don't see any of that from my read through this thread....


He seems to forget that if one has a bad case in court, one is going to have a bad case in arbitration.

There appears to be no coherent strategy other than kicking the can down the road since bankruptcy tears up the road and starts laying down a new one.

There are times when one is only electrocuting oneself if one doesn't pull the plug.  Life's too short to muddle around while choosing the road to go down when it is obvious that that is the road to take.  But muddle the OP is doing.

As is often said in the military...make a decision...Make a good decision or a bad decision, but make a decision and get on with the task.

« Last Edit: August 11, 2017 10:55:08 PM by CleaningUp »

TM97

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Re: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance
« Reply #175 on: August 13, 2017 01:47:47 PM »
OP: Are you worried about incurring more medical debts?  If not, why are you waiting on the bankruptcy filing?  Seems like an awful lot of work to put into this endeavor just to buy yourself some time.  Might be different if you had FDCPA claims and stood to get some money and/or a favorable settlement but I don't see any of that from my read through this thread.

Bankruptcy filing fee is $335.  You can pay it in installments (Form 3A) or request a waiver (Form 3B) if your income is below 150% of the poverty line.  Four installments would be $83.75/ea.

Don't normally recommend a pro-se bankruptcy, but you're putting all this effort into pro-se legal work anyway, and assuming a no-asset Chapter 7 it would be fairly straightforward......

Food for thought.

My girlfriend and I are not married.  We both have creditors suing us for defaulted debt from last year when my health was bad and her work was insufficient to support us both.  I have started working again about part time but may indeed have more medical debts.  She started exploring the process of bankruptcy but the lawyers she talked to started at over $1000.00 and some were pushing Chapter 13 instead of 7. 

I went through a bankruptcy almost 20 years ago with an ex-wife.  Even then without assets and such, we used a lawyer.  I suppose we could look into doing it pro se but I know much has changed since the 2004 changes to bankruptcy filing. 

I am trying to avoid us both filing bankruptcy because that will severely hamper our plans for several years.  We are not 'young' and 10 years for one to fall off is bad enough but for two when we marry may be even more difficult to deal with especially as we would like to buy a house in the not too distant future after we are married.  My debt is much less and I am trying to get things into reasonable settlement territory. 

If we can do the same with her and avoid bankruptcy all the better.  Some have said even in this thread that they were able to get such a thing.  I don't think I am being particularly unreasonable to attempt the same.  And we all are saving towards a bankruptcy even as we go through this process. 

Thanks for the input and I will look into what is necessary for her to do a pro se bankruptcy.  :)

TM97

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Re: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance
« Reply #176 on: August 13, 2017 02:00:37 PM »
You've got the right idea in searching the forum.  Some idea of the stepwise process of going through an arbitration is present here on the forum, it is just scattered all over in different posts.  Also, the search terms that will yield the best information for some particular question are not always obvious, so it might take lots of time searching and reading.

Also, have you read this thread from the beginning in awhile?  Some of your recent posts express surprise about issues that you were explicitly warned about towards the very beginning of the thread.

Some have suggested that the in-person hearing date not be scheduled until discovery is complete, otherwise OC might stall discovery to get to the in-person hearing date without providing any discovery.

The appropriate types of objections and motions that might be necessary as a reactive response during arbitration will take experience to learn.  Arbitration is secret so there is no public record.  Many lawyers don't understand the process.  Specifics are hard to find anywhere, but to the extent that they can be found at all - this forum is one of the few sources.

As was stated several times earlier in the thread; Discover will likely go to end of the initial arbitration and the appeal arbitration.  If you go along the whole way, you will learn a lot, but it will be exhausting (unless you enjoy this sort of thing) and it will take up years of your life.   It requires a subjective evaluation of cost vs. benefit.  Only you can decide if it is worth it to you.

Thanks.  From the schedule thus far, it looks like a 20 minute or so pre-conference call, then the initial conference call to set up things like Discovery and depositions, then the Discovery, then in person hearing, and so forth. 

We are indeed researching as much as we can here and elsewhere.  And yes, I get it.  Discover and Gurstel are not going to drop this.  They may offer a settlement and then again they may not.  I know it could take a long time and be stressful.  For now, it is the best option given the costs of a lawyer assisting her with bankruptcy.  We are also waiting to see how many of these lawsuits may be coming our way.  She has one and now possibly a pending second with Capital One.  And I have two now with JDB's for right around $1000.00 each.  I am hoping to get reasonable settlement terms with those, pay those, and continue to save towards bankruptcy.  We are getting by but not by much given I am still only working part time. 

The CM was, however, extremely pleasant with her when she called.  The dates were proposals but not set in stone.  They had no problem offering up a few dates in mid-September which worked no problem for us.  Gurstel, as I predicted, had no problems with the choice either.  So we have a month now to finish the formal complaint, prepare for the initial pre-conference call, and I can finish two filings myself.  I have to have one in for LVNV/Credit One by Monday and I expect soon to be filing with AAA for the Midland (we discussed these in my other threads). 

No, I don't 'enjoy' doing this but I must balance what is occurring, time, our income as it is, and some thing as big as bankruptcy with our future hopeful plans for a life together.  My health is better, and I still don't know where it will be moving forward.  We don't have any assets, savings, etc.  Her one car is paid off and almost 8 years old.  We rent.  And I think the most expensive item I own is a 10 year old digital piano and an 8 year old computer I am typing this on.   :vbsmile:

TM97

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Re: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance
« Reply #177 on: August 13, 2017 02:06:06 PM »
I can only speak for myself....

Bankruptcy #1, I didn't know any better, debts were only 12-18 months from SOL and another 12 months from SOLR, and I hadn't been sued.  Had I known about the "FlyingIFR Method" I would have considered continuing to lay low and run out the clock.  I had already frustrated the skip tracer; nobody had anything on me other than a PO Box, which I "forgot" to update when my physical address changed, which is probably why I was never sued.

That said, I don't regret the filing.  Got me a fresh start 12 to 30 months sooner than I otherwise would have had it.

Bankruptcy #2, Debts were all fresh, not even 30 days late yet, but I was well and truly buried, and the process wasn't remotely intimidating since I had already gone through it.  Knew about "FlyingIFR method" by now, but I was easy to find, facing at least six years of battles, and more to the point mentally exhausted from my life situation and pending divorce.  Didn't have it in me to fight.  Easiest decision I ever made.

Nobody can make the decision for you; all I can say is I've never known anyone that regretted it.

Be strategic about it, don't do it if you see more medical bills on the horizon, because you'll be stuck for eight years.   Just keep in mind that three or four months from the day you file you'll be free and clear.  What you do at that point is up to you.

I understand.  My first bankruptcy was with that ex-wife who ran up huge amounts of debt as an alcoholic.  When she refused to get treatment and I saw the possibility of future such financial crises, we divorced.  I was fine for 10 years not even having credit.   

As I said and you know, each situation is unique.  She is ready to file bankruptcy but it is a financial hurdle right now unless she goes pro se.  I hope not to do so given we would then when we got married have two bankruptcies on our immediate record.  That wouldn't be a good thing trying to get a house, a new car, etc.  She did take on much more debt so it makes sense if it continues to head to court to do so.  I have far less, and if I can get reasonable settlements, I can avoid bankruptcy. 

Jane007

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Re: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance
« Reply #178 on: August 13, 2017 03:46:49 PM »
And yes, I get it.  Discover and Gurstel are not going to drop this.  They may offer a settlement and then again they may not.  I know it could take a long time and be stressful.  For now, it is the best option given the costs of a lawyer assisting her with bankruptcy.
It does seem that you are proceeding from an informed position with regard to the realistic expectations about the probability of the various outcomes weighed against the time and effort that will be required.

A first arbitration against Discover is not ideal, but as long as you are informed, choosing to go ahead is not necessarily irrational.  Will Discover offer a settlement during either the initial arbitration or the appeal arbitration in your particular case (5k debt)?  From a purely game-theoretical analysis, the JAMS Q1-2016 Consumer Case Information shows that during about the proceeding 18 months, just under 25% of consumer Discover cases went to an award, nearly 50% ended in settlement, 8% were withdrawn, and the remainder were abandoned or some other designation.

25% going to an award is a lot, more than amex and just slightly less than citi.  But 50% ending in settlement is also a lot.  There is no way to know the terms of the settlements.  There may also be a trend that is not reflected in this data (Q1-2016) where more Discover consumer arbitrations are going to an award, based on recent anecdotal reports.

TM97

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Re: Summons by Gurstel in Arizona Asking for Assistance
« Reply #179 on: August 13, 2017 04:27:21 PM »
It does seem that you are proceeding from an informed position with regard to the realistic expectations about the probability of the various outcomes weighed against the time and effort that will be required.

A first arbitration against Discover is not ideal, but as long as you are informed, choosing to go ahead is not necessarily irrational.  Will Discover offer a settlement during either the initial arbitration or the appeal arbitration in your particular case (5k debt)?  From a purely game-theoretical analysis, the JAMS Q1-2016 Consumer Case Information shows that during about the proceeding 18 months, just under 25% of consumer Discover cases went to an award, nearly 50% ended in settlement, 8% were withdrawn, and the remainder were abandoned or some other designation.

25% going to an award is a lot, more than amex and just slightly less than citi.  But 50% ending in settlement is also a lot.  There is no way to know the terms of the settlements.  There may also be a trend that is not reflected in this data (Q1-2016) where more Discover consumer arbitrations are going to an award, based on recent anecdotal reports.

Thank you.  Despite accusation to the contrary, we do get it.  50% ending in settlement is a lot.  That is the best case scenario with BK be the last resort.  If we are truly blessed, then maybe, just maybe, we will be in that 8%.  The lawyer for Gurstel appears to be young, rather inexperienced, and blasse about the proceedings.  That may work to our advantage if we have accessed him properly.  But yes, we are prepared for the worst case and are trying to get more stable financially to deal with any outcome.  :)