A word about settlements

Recently, a client retained me to handle a NJ Special Civil Part lawsuit which was filed against her by Midland Funding LLC. The suit was for an old Chase credit card which was charged off by Chase in early 2011. The lawsuit demanded approx. $7000, which was the amount owed on the Chase account when the account was sold to assignee Midland Funding LLC.

My client has attempted to handle this case herself by filing an Answer pro-se, but the collections firm was beginning to really “bear down” on her, and had recently filed a Motion for Summary Judgment seeking the entire balance without a trial, based on the old Chase account statements.

I was able to adjourn the Motion for Summary Judgment so that I would have time to draft and file a written Opposition to same. In my opposition, I argued that the Delaware Statute of Limitations applied and that the Complaint was thus untimely. However, there were some doubts about when exactly the Statute of Limitations began to run, as my client claimed the card had been used by her granddaughter without her authorization prior to the card being cancelled and charged-off by Chase.

The bottom line is that, based on my Opposition papers, the lawyers for Midland Funding agreed to settle the entire case for $1000 lump sum rather than fight me in Court via oral arguments of the Motion. My client thus saved approx. $6000 off what she would have owed had she lost the Summary Judgment motion.

The above story illustrates how retaining an attorney can result in a VERY substantial savings off of the amount demanded in the Complaint. Most collections law firms do not have much of an appetite for litigation practice- their business model is built on collecting default judgments and “bullying” unrepresented defendants into top-dollar settlements and threatening them with garnishments, bank levy etc if they don’t “pay up.”

When facing a Special Civil Part lawsuit, you need an aggressive and experienced Special Civil Part defense attorney defending your case. Call me today at 908-782-5313 for a free consultation.

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