Press**Watch: Defeat sleazy collectors! don't talk and don't pay!
Here is information that will help you to decide whether to take on a bottom-feeder in court. I did, and the case was called: Equable Ascent Financial, LLC vs. Theresa Mitchell Multnomah County Court Case no. 100404905 The outcome of this case was plaintiff-requested dismissal, or in other words, they gave up!
Like a lot of lapsed debtors, I feared I might not qualify under the new bankruptcy laws, and I knew I didn't have money up front for a bankruptcy lawyer.
new bankruptcy laws http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/article-30040.html
The changes to bankruptcy law in 2005 may be making it harder for some people to file bankruptcy. A few filers with higher incomes will no longer allowed to use Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but will instead have to repay at least some of their debt under Chapter 13. In addition, the 2005 law requires all debtors to get credit counseling before they can file a bankruptcy case -- and additional counseling on budgeting and debt management before their debts can be wiped out. Here are some of the most important changes in the 2005 bankruptcy law. Restricted Eligibility for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Under the old rules, most filers could choose the type of bankruptcy that seemed best for them -- and most chose Chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation) over Chapter 13 bankruptcy (repayment). The law passed in 2005 prohibits some filers with higher incomes from using Chapter 7 bankruptcy. How High is Your Income? Under the rules enacted in 2005, the first step in figuring out whether you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to measure your "current monthly income" against the median income for a household of your size in your state. If your income is less than or equal to the median, you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If it is more than the median, however, you must pass "the means test" -- another requirement of the new law -- in order to file for Chapter 7. The Means Test The purpose of the means test is to figure out whether you have enough disposable income, after subtracting certain allowed expenses and required debt payments, to make payments on a Chapter 13 plan. To find out whether you pass the means test, you subtract certain allowed expenses and debt payments from your current monthly income. If the income that's left over after these calculations is below a certain amount, you can file for Chapter 7. ................................
The old credit compact worked out profitably for the big banks this way: You were offered unsecured loans with your credit cards, the bank backed the purchases via fraqctional reserve banking, which is to say they essentially created the money from nothing, and you paid the money back . Should you fail to pay, credit agencies were notified, and you suffered a loss of credit rating if you defaulted. You wouldn't be able to so much as rent a hotel room after a "charge-off," which is what the banks call a complete failure to pay.
The information would follow you around for seven years or so. You would be able to buy a car only at those predator lots where they put up a sign saying "Buy here, pay here," the lots where the repo man has the extra keys, and swipes your car if you miss the friday payment by ten minutes. There would be no chance of buying a house. Also you could file bankruptcy in the old system, the pre-Bush system.
It's a lot harder now. There were many unpaid defaults under this system, but it worked out very profitably for the banks, in the aggregate. But this is no longer the case; as the bank receive trillions in bailouts and secret loans to reward them for their catastrophic failure in '08, as the bankster stock brokers wallow in tax-supported multimillion dollar bonuses, the dogs have been set loose on you and I. These jackals are called bottom feeders.
Meanwhile, the banksters continue to rack up multi-trillion dollar unstable debts, as they literally gamble on whether credit cards will be paid. These gambling casinos are called "banks," and the gambling is called "asset-backed securities." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asset-backed_security
Here's how the new paradigm works: bottom feeders buy your debt info,and seek garnishment of your wages. Each judgment of your old debt creates a new credit strike against you. This can mean an old unpaid electricity bill from when you left college. Since the bottom-feeders only buy information, it is possible--and often happens--that more than one bottom-feeder will go after you for the same debt. They file against you in court, freaking you out, and opening up their gravy train, wage garnishment, in which your employer hands over a quarter of your earnings every payday until their bloated debt + fees is paid off.
But--since the banks were gambling with credit default swaps, the original note that you signed is gone, and furthermore, just as in the case of the collateralized mortgage gambling, the chain of title to debt is broken. This was my first line of defense in Equable v Mitchell: they did not have the note. Nor did they know where it was. Nor could they establish clear ownership of the debt, since it had long been used for gambling and the chain of ownership was broken. Nor, for that matter, did they have a license in the State of Oregon to collect debts.
I received the usual calls daily: "Do you pay your debts?" "Is your social security # this?" It was the usual choreography of intimidation, familiar to so many stressed US workers today. Finally I received a hand-delivered Court notice. However, by searching the Web and asking around, I was ablo to find out how to answer respectfully to the Court. I paid $135 and entered a set of evasive answers to the oh-so-pointed questions in the Request for Admissions; I admitted nothing.
It is important to remember that in such a case, all information will be used against you. Don't feel bad about evading; the Court and the Plaintiff are not going to evince one drop of compassion.
This is reporting and opinion, not legal advice. Seek an attorney.
If you receive a request for admissions, you can reply with the same. I replied with my own questions: Why does Equable not have a State license? Where is the original note, and notarized assignment of debt? And I received evasions--but not to worry, I believe the questions were frustrating and vexing to them, and put them on notice that the Court was not going to allow them to collect. In Oregon the amount under $10,000 automatically goes to arbitration unless either party objects in writing. So I objected, but my objection mysteriously was delayed by Clerk office. I really had to wonder. Use certified/notarized mail for all Clerk transactions in Multnomah County.
There was a $500 fee for arbitration but I applied for waiver/deferral. As soon as I filed all fees and papers, I received notice of dismissal from the Arbitration atty ---within 2 hours; and I have to ask, how was that done so quickly, unless the Arbitration attorney is in constant contact, and perhaps cahoots with the collector? But this is the bottom line: I won, and you can win, and you should fight the bottom feeders, because--I cannot emphasize this enough--THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO YOUR MONEY!!