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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Unfair Collection Practices

    I am looking for some legal advice on how to deal with Wolpoff & Abramson. A few months ago, they began calling my job and demanding payment for an old credit card account. I was unable to pay and they told me that it would go into arbitration. A few days later, they called and said that they received a judgement against me and that I must make payment arrangements to avoid garnishment. I reluctantly did so, but agreed to pay a certain amount per month. I have been paying and making sure to contact them and make alternate arrangments if I could not make the payment date and it seems that they have been working with me. This morning, on my way out, I had a summons in my mail box that was dated for 12/5/07 (today's date is 1/28/08). I tried calling Wolpoff to have them explain but have not yet received a call back. The paperwork is unclear to me and has no date as to when I should be appearing. The only thing it says is that I had 30 days from the date of the summons to respond to the plaintiff or court in writing. However, I just received the paperwork today!!! I am not sure what to do now, I am not even sure if the court date was missed. I did not sign for the paperwork. Please Advise.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Unfair Collection Practices

    It sounds like the letter was a summons from a court. They filed a complaint. The court gave you 30 days to response with an answer to the complaint. If you did not answer, they probably received a default judgment.

    You starting to pay the debt back also limited your options as to a defense. I believe doing so, you can no longer claim a statue of limitations defense on the debt.

    Wolpoff & Abramson probably wonít help you by explaining what the summons is and what you should do, etc. They already received their judgment against you and if you donít pay on your own they could certainly garnish your wages.

    You really only have two options. One, keep paying as agreed. Two, you can attempt to get the judgment set aside because you didnít get the summons on time. If you go with option two, you should contact an attorney to discuss your case. I suspect getting a judgment set aside wouldnít be an easy thing. Also, it may not even be worth it to try since you started paying back the debt. (Again, this may limit what type of defenses you could claim should you dispute the debt)

    So, one keep paying as agreed, or two seek the advice of an attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    811

    Default Re: Unfair Collection Practices

    #s 1 and 2 I agree with
    Third, write your senators regarding arbitration.

    Basically Wolpoff pays a few hundred bucks to get a default judgement and disallows you any rights to even be present at the arbitration. A "judge" usually rubber stamps these cases at $50-$100 per case for them and $150 per case for the arbitration company. Rumor is that Wolpoff has a parent that owns the arbitration company according to information on the Caveatemptor blog and Bud Hibb's website.

    Consumers are getting effed by the loss use of this "binding arbitration" which denies people the procedure that they are supposed to have.

    If your senator is friendly to these folks then work with your friends to start a grass roots campaign to get a "people friendly" sentator in office. If you (legally) threaten their cushy job it will get their attention.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    755

    Default Re: Unfair Collection Practices

    You can contact as many senators as you want, but by agreeing to pay them in the first place, you have basically admitted that, yeah, you owe them. Without asking for anything for proof. Alot of times, these big companies can't provide the proof they legally need to provide to prove the debt is actually yours.
    If you agreed to pay xxx every month, and you were 1 day late, they will take you to court, and ask for the full amount. It ill be up to you to prove what you already have paid them. They sure as hell won't admit it.
    Best bet, go to the courthouse listed on the paperwork, and ask them if there even is a case file. Find out when the court date is, show up, and in your case, drop back 10, and punt.
    Good luck

  5. #5

    Default Re: Unfair Collection Practices

    First, you need to go to the courthouse and look at the file and see what has transpired. If the summons was purportedly served, then must be a declaration of service of summons by whomever served it and it will state how it was served. If it's wrong (i.e., if it states they personally served it on you on [__] date, and that it untrue), then that is improper service and they must properly serve. Proper service of a summons is pivotal to any case. Then, if they say they got a court date where they purportedly appeared in some fashion and got a judgment of some kind, you must have been notified of that hearing date. Procedural errors can kill a case. And if these scumbag attorneys think they've got you over a barrel, then they'll do anything they think they can get away with. If a judge never hears the other side's objection, then he doesn't have anything else to consider except the party who is giving him information. You really can't know your next move until you figure out the current status and if it has been done properly or not. You can write a declaration in support of the motion to quash service of summons and request for dismissal of complaint, but it may be a little difficult for you to handle such a motion unless you get some help. There may be a paralegal clinic or something which can help you. Once you get on track, and if you determine that there has been attorney misconduct, then you can complain to the State Bar Assn. There is a Code of Ethics for your state's attorneys and there are also particular ethics attendant to signing court documents. Once your motion to quash service of summons is before the Court and it proves that the attorneys have been lying, it should shift the case in your favor as all further statements by those attys will be suspect. Just be prepared to substantiate all facts.

    Also, you never mention in what manner you agreed to pay them monthly. Did they send you a contract or was it just a telephone conversation or what? If it was an oral agreement, then they may have just tried to scam you into making a payment so that the statute of limitations began to run again, so they could file their suit rather and not be faced with a legitimate SOL defense. If it was a written agreement and you have all the cancelled checks to show that you did not violate the agreement, then their suit would be harassment. A court case with extra attorney hours, of course means that they can bill their client more money.

  6. #6
    Almosthome Guest

    Default Re: Unfair Collection Practices

    Quote Quoting JLoh1970
    View Post
    It sounds like the letter was a summons from a court. They filed a complaint. The court gave you 30 days to response with an answer to the complaint. If you did not answer, they probably received a default judgment.

    You starting to pay the debt back also limited your options as to a defense. I believe doing so, you can no longer claim a statue of limitations defense on the debt.

    Wolpoff & Abramson probably won’t help you by explaining what the summons is and what you should do, etc. They already received their judgment against you and if you don’t pay on your own they could certainly garnish your wages.

    You really only have two options. One, keep paying as agreed. Two, you can attempt to get the judgment set aside because you didn’t get the summons on time. If you go with option two, you should contact an attorney to discuss your case. I suspect getting a judgment set aside wouldn’t be an easy thing. Also, it may not even be worth it to try since you started paying back the debt. (Again, this may limit what type of defenses you could claim should you dispute the debt)

    So, one keep paying as agreed, or two seek the advice of an attorney.
    FIND OUT IF A JUDGMENT WAS ENTERED. Do not assume and follow this advice. Find out first. If you were not served, or served incorrectly, or if they did something sneaky like mailed it well after they should have, let judge know. You may have more than two options. I agree, contact an attorney. But even if they have a judgment, there is all sorts of things to be done. I just negotiated a levy totalling $8000 which was interest on a $5,500 judgment for less than $4,000! Get it? Negotiate.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    811

    Default Re: Unfair Collection Practices

    ...and W&A tends to negotiate during tax season. It's rare, but some of their clients, particularly the JDBs, allow for it.

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