Asset Acceptance LLC filed suit against an Arizona consumer and lost, but now is refusing to pay the judgment entered by the court for the consumer’s court costs and attorney’s fees.
Asset Acceptance sued in early 2012 claiming it was the assigned owner of the consumer’s Capital One Bank account. At trial, Asset attempted to get documents entered into evidence, but the Globe Justice Court correctly ruled that Asset’s witness did not have the personal knowledge to authenticate the documents or to testify concerning Asset’s claimed ownership of the account. The court entered Judgment in the defendant’s favor and awarded attorney’s fees and court costs.
Collecting from the Collector.
Several demands have been made to Asset Acceptance’s lawyers, Fulton Friedman & Gullace, LLP, but no payment has been forthcoming. A garnishment was served on the attorneys Fulton Friedman & Gullace, LLP to force Asset to pay, but still no response from Asset or its lawyers.
If you have been recently sued by Asset Acceptance LLC or Fulton Friedman & Gullace, LLP, I may be able to help you. Please call Floyd W. Bybee at the BYBEE LAW CENTER, PLC (480) 756-8822 for a free phone consultation.
A Maricopa County justice court recently ruled in favor of an Arizona consumer in credit card collection lawsuit brought by debt buyer Equable Ascent Financial, LLC. The Court has also ordered the debt buyer Equable to pay the consumer’s attorney fees.
The court held that Equable’s witness and exhibits were insufficient to prove that it owned the consumer’s credit card account it was attempting to collect, and entered judgment in the debtor’s favor.
Here is a short list of Debt Buyers who file suit against Arizona consumers:
Arrow Financial Services (Delaware)
Asset Acceptance LLC (Delaware)
CACV of Colorado
Cavalry Portfolio Services
Copper State Financial Management, LLC
Debt Buyers Inc.
DSS Financial Group, LLC (Arizona)
Equable Ascent Financial, LLC
Fortis Capital LLC( Florida)
LVNV Funding, LLC
Main Street Acquisition Corp. (Maryland)
Midland Funding, LLC
Midland Credit Management
Nu Island Partners, LLC
Persolve, LLC (Delaware)
Precision Recovery Analytics, Inc.
Rail Limited Partnership
Unifund CCR Partners
Western States Financial Management LLC
Worldwide Asset Management
If you are an Arizona consumer who has recently been served with a lawsuit by a debt buyer, please call Floyd W. Bybee at the BYBEE LAW CENTER, PLC (480) 756-8822 for a free phone consultation to see if you may have a defense to the lawsuit.
In a recently published decision, a federal Magistrate Judge for the District of Arizona found that Gurstel, Staloch & Chargo, P.A., now known as Gurstel Chargo, P.A., now known as Gurstel Law Firm, P.C., violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) because it failed to ceased communications with the consumer after she notified Gurstel both verbally and in writing that she was represented by a lawyer. The Court also found that Gurstel violated the FDCPA by continuing to contact the consumer after she notified the firm that she disputed the debt, refused to pay, and demanded that Gurstel cease all communications with her.
A copy of the decision can be reviewed here.
If you have sent a letter (certified return receipt requested) to a debt collection company telling it that you refuse to pay the debt, or that you want it to stop contacting you, but they continue to call and / or write you, then it is violating the FDCPA as Gurstel did in this case. You would be able to sue the collection agency and recover damages.
If you are an Arizona consumer being harassed or threatened by a debt collector or junk-debt buyer regarding a consumer debt, I can help. Please call Floyd W. Bybee at 480-756-8822
Arizona Legislature Changes Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Accounts.
The Arizona Legislature recently changed the law to make most credit card collection cases subject to a six year statute of limitations. A.R.S. Sec. 12-548 now states that "if the indebtedness is evidenced by or founded on . . . a credit card. . ." it is subject to the six year statute of limitations.
The following cases will no longer provide the persuasive precedent that we have previously enjoyed.
The East Mesa Justice Court in Maricopa County recently followed the holding in the DSS Financial v. Walrod case and dismissed a collection lawsuit brought by a bad-debt buyer, Action Financial, LLC, holding that the statute of limitations on a credit card account is three (3) years. See Action Financial, LLC v. Long, CC2008005084.
The West Mesa Justice Court of Maricopa County also recently held that the debt, which was an old credit card account, was an open account and thus barred by the three (3) year statute of limitations under A.R.S. § 12-543. See Action Financial, LLC v. Foran, CC2008189319.
The holdings in these two cases do not conclusively settle the debate over the statute of limitations on a credit card debt in Arizona. However, as more and more Arizona courts hold that credit card debts are subject to the three (3) year statute of limitations, bad-debt buyers will be less likely to file these stale suits, or at least more likely to dismiss them if challenged.
What to Do If You Have Been Sued on an Old Credit Card Debt?
The worst thing you can do is do nothing. That is what these bad-debt buyers hope you will do – nothing, so that they will get their judgment. Once a judgment is entered, and unless it is set aside by the court, the debt now becomes collectible even if the debt was stale and beyond the statute of limitations, and uncollectible, when the case was filed. So you must do SOMETHING.
The best something is to fight back. You may have one or more defenses to the suit. The debt may be old, such as the cases noted above, or the bad-debt buyer may not be able to prove that it is the current owner of the debt. Other defenses include identify theft, unauthorized use of the credit card, or fraud.
Help For Arizona Consumers is Available.
Many Arizona consumers believe that they cannot afford to hire an attorney to assist them in defending the lawsuit. However, there are several attorneys in the Mesa-Phoenix area who defend consumers in these debt collection cases, and their fees are reasonable, and likely to be a much better alternative than to have an unwarranted judgment entered against you.
Floyd Bybee of the BYBEE LAW CENTER, PLC represents Arizona consumers who have been sued on old credit card accounts.
If you would like a free phone consultation to see if you might have a defense to the lawsuit, please call (480) 756-8822.