Greetings all. After more than one year I finely have some resolution to my problem. It all started with a summons to go to a pretrial conference in April 2006. I was being sued by a company called New Century Financial Services,Inc. with a Florida law firm Russell Law Firm, PA. The usual demands were made by this junk debt buyer... outrageous amount being sued for plus fees and costs for a charged off credit card that is most likely over the SOL in June 2007. They included 3 random statements, and a generic outdated print out of a standard credit card disclosure, plus sworn statement by a guy who says he had first hand knowledge of this alledged debt as proof.
So, in the panic that hits when this kind of thing happens I got on the computer and did hours and hours of research.
I Went to the hearing and disputed the debt. Ref. allowed it to go to trial with the law firm to set date.
Tick, Tock... 4 months go by and no hearing is set, the law firm instead sent the judge a motion for summary disposition... I did not receive this motion by mail until it had been in the judges hands for over a week (lucky we have access to all court goingson via computer... I knew these guys were sneaky, but wow! anyhow I learned they had filed the motion via the website, days before I got the letter). I filed a motion to dismiss...they broke Small Claims court (in Fla) rules that trial had to be set w/i 60 days of hearing, they had no proof they were entitled to relief, I denied owing anything to the plaintiff, simply put, prove it.
Judge made no ruling.
Tick, Tock... 3 more months go by, NCFS files for change of attorney. Judge approved. I didnt challenge. The new law firm was Erskine & Fleisher.
Yep, Tick, Tock...4 more months go by and the new law firm files a motion for summary claims order on credit card account and other judicial relief. They asked for a judgement and asked that if the judgement was DENIED they wanted the court to order me to provide them with discovery via the small claims fact information sheet form 7.343! all my personal information, my holdings and banking information, even the names and addresses of my children, they actually put in a copy and told me to fill it out and send it in to them and the court! They stated my responses to their claims "made it clear that they were insufficient to overcome a FJ" HUH?,that "ones inability to to resolve a debt, or that they have substantial financial difficulties...does not entitle" me to a final hearing (amazing they have a clarivoyant telling them what I was thinking of using as a defense?), 3 pages of case law that had no real baring to this case and legal gobblygook, that they had forwarded "all periodic payment statements" to me, that "the claim being asserted by plaintiff is based upon the issuance of a credit card" to me (funny, I dont recall opening an account with NCFSI), its an 8 page motion.
SO... I refiled the exact same motion to dismiss for the exact same reasons as the first motion months earlier. Judge at this time denied first FJ/Dismissal motions by both parties, and set final hearing on both our new motions for June. Its interesting to note that the original company date of last activity is exactly 4 years this June. Fla is 4 or 5 years SOL, depending on the Judge and the wording of contract as I understand.
Exactly 10 days from the Judges order to come to the final hearing, the law firm motioned to cancel hearing and dismiss the case without prejudice. Judge ordered dismissal W/O prejudice. Finely, a ruling.
While I realize this leaves it open for them to come back and try again... I dont know if they will go to the trouble. They are already out the pennies they paid for the account, any(if)legal fees and over $200. they paid to start the case. We'll see. So one of the biggest lessons I learned is research, read your local small claims court law and your civil statutes, keep up with what is happening in the court house, take a firm stand, and ALWAYS, ALWAYS go to any court dates. This site was a big help, and it gave me the courage to deal with these low lifes. Hope this helps someone else have the fortitude to go up against these guys. I wonder if you have any information or stats on how often these guys will try to bring a new case, especially with the SOL either passed or within a year will be?
Rage against the JunkDebtBuyers
could be you!, Florida