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How does a creditor laywer handled 6000 cases??

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    How does a creditor laywer handled 6000 cases??

    Researching the lawyer who represents the original creditor, i find that they have been party to over 6000 cases in the last 10 years.

    I also see on the court calendar they have mass filed against 100's of other people for the same credit card company.

    How is it possible this lawyer can do this?

    I understand they can automate the filing and subcontract the service process. But when it comes time to actually respond to answers and show up to hearings, how does that lawyer do that?

    In addition they are out of state. So I cant imagine this person is flying to all these hearings. Likely they will send some other local attorney (another subcontractor) to represent. Is that how they do it?

    Are all these lawyers and court fees for motions going to be used in the final judgement? They did ask for them in the paper. However I also read that american justice system is one that favors each side paying their own fees. Are final judgements usually not inclusive of fees?

    Lastly, i was thinking that will all the interest ive paid on the principle, the credit card companies are laughing because the consumer has built up a nice fund for all the fees and lawyers they will use to sue to collect the debt.

    #2
    How is it possible? Large creditors don't have bankruptcy attorney scattered across hundreds of courthouses to attend every 341 Meeting or hearing regarding a case. SO they hire a local firm to represent them. I know of one firm here in Florida which represents most of the major banks when there is property. They probably handle 10,000 cases a year alone.

    As you are learning, most of the hearings could be done by a "per diem" attorney or a local attorney with the same firm. This actually happens often and I've found that the "per diem" attorney is more a transactional attorney. They are there to protect the creditor's interest and that could be just showing up for a hearing. It does cost the creditor money, but the creditor could lose certain rights if they are not present or attend hearings related to their claim.

    It's unfortunate that COVID is keeping the courtrooms closed. If you want to learn about how the courts work, you really need to get inside the court and watch. I don't mean for a couple of days, I mean for months. See how trials work, see how negotiations work, see the attorney which seem to "always" be in the courthouse (because they represent a bunch of creditors). It's quite amazing.

    I don't know how to create a crash course in judicial jurisprudence in the United States. You are right that usually the American system is that each party pays their own fees. However, you could have contractually obligated yourself to paying fees. For example, your credit card agreement probably has language for arbitration, but they use to just have language that the cardholder was responsible for all legal fees incurred to collect any debt. This is what would contractually bind a person to pay the attorney fees.

    Another example is the adversary proceeding (AP). While it happens within the bankruptcy, it's a full-fledge complaint and has all the trimmings of a separate trial process (yep, it even has its own case number). In the pledging (complaint) you can demand attorney fees as well as what you are trying to recover. Cases in bankruptcy APs are usually equity cases, so each complaint is reduced to a money value. In general, not many things go all the way to trial (even outside bankruptcy), and people settle. The settlements that I've seen, especially insurance settlements, usually include the prevailing party's attorney fees.

    Alas, and make sure we always get back to the fact that, the American system assesses attorney fees to each side, with them paying their own fee.
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by justbroke View Post

      It's unfortunate that COVID is keeping the courtrooms closed. If you want to learn about how the courts work, you really need to get inside the court and watch. I don't mean for a couple of days, I mean for months. See how trials work, see how negotiations work, see the attorney which seem to "always" be in the courthouse (because they represent a bunch of creditors). It's quite amazing.
      So just a warm body that is licensed to read some boilerplate arguements and has no real knowledge of the case other than what 'corporate' sends down the pike to it. And here i thought id be showing up with the attorney on record. lol. This is nothing like TV lol

      Originally posted by justbroke View Post

      I don't know how to create a crash course in judicial jurisprudence in the United States. You are right that usually the American system is that each party pays their own fees. However, you could have contractually obligated yourself to paying fees. For example, your credit card agreement probably has language for arbitration, but they use to just have language that the cardholder was responsible for all legal fees incurred to collect any debt. This is what would contractually bind a person to pay the attorney fees.

      Another example is the adversary proceeding (AP). While it happens within the bankruptcy, it's a full-fledge complaint and has all the trimmings of a separate trial process (yep, it even has its own case number). In the pledging (complaint) you can demand attorney fees as well as what you are trying to recover. Cases in bankruptcy APs are usually equity cases, so each complaint is reduced to a money value. In general, not many things go all the way to trial (even outside bankruptcy), and people settle. The settlements that I've seen, especially insurance settlements, usually include the prevailing party's attorney fees.

      Alas, and make sure we always get back to the fact that, the American system assesses attorney fees to each side, with them paying their own fee.
      Are all these fees, attorney costs, and original amount sued for wipable with a BK post judgement? I just need to buy more time with this CC summons, like a few weeks to a month so i can get proper employment. If i can know that it will get erased by the BK (hopefully), then I can sleep better.

      Also, how do i eject out of an 'answered lawsuit' once the BK goes through. Too many questions....

      (side story: I literally woke up out of a bad dream with all this stress and last night not able to breath..very very shallow breaths.. i was suffocating yet fully conscious i could die by not breathing...my mind racing in a panic thinking, 'man im going to die right here like this in my PJs..and no one will know about it until i dont pay rent for a month and my rotting body stinks'....worst experience ever!!

      pro tip: i recovered by going outside for crisp, cold air and walking about slowly warming up my body and my lungs. Also a lot of 'emergency petition prayer', specifically calling on verse Genesis 2:7 'And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;and man became a living soul.”. That verse kept coming to my mind and i out loud pleaded it.

      Praise God I slowly recovered and went to sleep and felt refreshed in the morning! I do not take for granted my very next breath today.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by bornfree2 View Post
        So just a warm body that is licensed to read some boilerplate arguements and has no real knowledge of the case other than what 'corporate' sends down the pike to it. And here i thought id be showing up with the attorney on record. lol. This is nothing like TV lol
        Don't be fooled by these attorneys from the larger firms. I watched a judge, during a hearing, get stumped and asked one of the attorneys from a larger firm about how it would be handled by their firm. Some of these attorneys are so seasoned, they write books and everyone knows their firm. But you do get those that have never read the case and this mostly happens at 341 meetings (even for a debtor-hired attorney).

        Originally posted by bornfree2 View Post
        Are all these fees, attorney costs, and original amount sued for wipable with a BK post judgement? I just need to buy more time with this CC summons, like a few weeks to a month so i can get proper employment. If i can know that it will get erased by the BK (hopefully), then I can sleep better.
        Of course they are since bankruptcy discharges all debt that arose before the filing of the case. That is unless the creditor can prove actual fraud and have that particular claim made non-dischargeable.

        [QUOTE=bornfree2;n1026379]Also, how do i eject out of an 'answered lawsuit' once the BK goes through. Too many questions....[/QUOTE]You're in California where they charge fees for everything in the local State court. Most would file a Suggestion of Bankruptcy with that court (and serve it appropriately). The smart thing to do is to contact the creditor's attorney of record and make sure you serve the petition (Notice of Bankruptcy) on that attorney. Ask them to withdraw. They usually do anyhow.

        Originally posted by bornfree2 View Post
        Praise God I slowly recovered and went to sleep and felt refreshed in the morning! I do not take for granted my very next breath today.
        Unless a debtor has a case of fraudulent conveyances, hiding money, perjuring themselves on the petition... the process is quite simple. It seems that everyone over concerns themselves with the potential outcomes. Perhaps its me fueling this fire of uncertainty, so let me make this clear.

        In over 99.99% of cases, the case travels normally and there are 0 issues.

        I know it's easier said than done, but at some point you must stop overthinking every possible outcome that could occur. It's usually just a waste of time and your sanity.
        Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
        Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
        Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

        I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

        Comment


          #5
          justbroke ke thanks. you should consider becoming a trustee and push that to 99.9999 % ;)

          Comment


            #6
            The issues become of the debtor. People actually try to hide things. People actually lie on their petitions. I have seen it first hand in the bankruptcy court. Some of it was so surprising to me. Other issues are that the debtor or attorney didn't file things correctly. There could be other issues with unknown property at the time of tiling.

            You're never going to get to only 1 in 100,000 cases. I may be a little generous with saying on 1 in 1,000 cases have issues. Even with the audits, they still some some technicalities, but they usually don't affect the outcome of the case.

            (During one hearing a Pro Se debtor's Chapter 7 was all messed up, but during the hearing he and his wife mentioned other property that they had and were trying to deal with. The Chapter 7 Trustee perked up and told the court that none of that was scheduled. The debtor said that they wanted to keep it out the bankruptcy. The judge immediately stopped the hearing and then advised the debtor. First the judge said that you really need to get an attorney. Second, the judge said there are consequences when you say things in court (or to the Clerk's office), and that their case is now going to be difficult. The judge again, for the third time during the hearing, advised the debtor to continue the hearing and to get an attorney. This happens in cases where the debtor is also represented by an attorney. It's just worse for Pro Se.)
            Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
            Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
            Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

            I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by justbroke View Post
              The issues become of the debtor. People actually try to hide things. People actually lie on their petitions. I have seen it first hand in the bankruptcy court. Some of it was so surprising to me. Other issues are that the debtor or attorney didn't file things correctly. There could be other issues with unknown property at the time of tiling.
              I dont think the petition forms allow for much room to list every last paper clip, and ive seen a lot of filings with 'misc' as the description for the category. So it puts the debtor into a position where they could be told there are skeletons in their closets when they genuinely didn't remember..and the creditors are in a position to have decades of financial transactions to bring it up ('so...what did you do with this gold watch you bought 10 years ago..you didnt list it, so you must be hiding it')

              I also saw an appealed case where debtor listed their personal car at blue book value of fair. But the car loan company said the value was actually 'good' since miles were low and adjusted it higher. How could they come to that conclusion without any evidence? well the judge wrote since the debtor didnt describe the car past the miles, it was reasonable to conclude it was good. Thats when i recalled your 'check engine light and 4 old wheels' comment. My car also has check engine, squeeky breaks, sun damaged paint job, and dog hair. Low miles but hey...its not 'good' value.

              Since the trustee works on commission its their incentive to turn up things. and they work for the creditor... who have all the financial past data on you. So its rather unfair and adversarial.

              Thats why i obsess and try to think every potential dirty trick that could be played. Its very easy for them to tell you 'how it really is', and not really give you much avenue for rebuttal.

              I almost feel like you should just leave a certain potion of property/money for them to feed off so they felt they got rewarded and 'let you off good'. Thats known essentially as a bribe.

              Well some tips i got from your past comments on this, so others reading this can get a tldr;

              - disclose, disclose, disclose
              - list items of more than $500 value on seperate attachment sheet (you gave example of some TVs,etc)
              - describe item condition so you have some statement on record for their estimated value (ie check engine light, etc)

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by bornfree2 View Post
                I also saw an appealed case where debtor listed their personal car at blue book value of fair. But the car loan company said the value was actually 'good' since miles were low and adjusted it higher. How could they come to that conclusion without any evidence? well the judge wrote since the debtor didnt describe the car past the miles, it was reasonable to conclude it was good. Thats when i recalled your 'check engine light and 4 old wheels' comment. My car also has check engine, squeeky breaks, sun damaged paint job, and dog hair. Low miles but hey...its not 'good' value.
                This was likely a redemption (Chapter 7) or a cramdown (Chapter 13). When it's a cramdown or redemption, the condition matters to the creditor. This is because you're telling the creditor that the vehicle claim would be split into a secured and an unsecured portion. The unsecured portion would be that value which doesn't attach to the vehicle.

                Originally posted by bornfree2 View Post
                Since the trustee works on commission its their incentive to turn up things. and they work for the creditor... who have all the financial past data on you. So its rather unfair and adversarial.
                Huh? The Trustee in a Chapter 7 works for $60-70 per case. They have a fiduciary responsibility above trying to earn money. I'm repeating myself, but the Trustee doesn't want to spend time on a case to get another $10. It's simply not worth the time.

                Originally posted by bornfree2 View Post
                Thats why i obsess and try to think every potential dirty trick that could be played. Its very easy for them to tell you 'how it really is', and not really give you much avenue for rebuttal.
                There are no tricks. The standard for most courts is that the value is assumed to be NADA Clean Retail. If you want a valuation hearing, then you file a Motion to Value and you bring your evidence of value to the hearing. It's not a trick because everyone knows that they go by NADA Clean Retail and anyone challenging that value must have an evidentiary hearing to determine that value.

                But, you are getting way ahead and overthinking a Chapter 7. There are hardly ever any valuation hearings in a Chapter 7. Especially for an under-the-median simple Chapter 7 case. Valuation Hearings are important in Chapter 13s as they help to determine what must be paid and what may be paid.

                (For Chapter 7s, at a redemption hearing, the value will matter to the creditor. My creditor challenged my valuation because, well, they just did (for no apparent reason). So it went to a hearing. My creditor actually ended up using a "lower valuation" than I did. Their valuation was $1,000 cheaper. So, who won in that case? I did, even though the valuation that I used was higher, we agreed on an even lower value.)

                Originally posted by bornfree2 View Post
                I almost feel like you should just leave a certain potion of property/money for them to feed off so they felt they got rewarded and 'let you off good'. Thats known essentially as a bribe.
                There are no bribes. The Chapter 7 Trustees (and even the Chapter 13 Trustees) are fiduciaries and trying to make sure that the property is not undervalued. You say your car is a 2016 Hyundai Sonata worth $500 and the Trustee will simply look at NADA and see that it's worth $5,000 (number made up for illustration). That's the type of thing they're looking for, undervalued items. If you challenge it in a hearing and say, well Mr. Trustee, here are pictures of the vehicle on cinder blocks and because it was on fire, that changes the calculus.

                Lumping things into categories are fine. If you read my old posts, I stated that a single item values at more than $500 should likely be separately listed. So "miscellaneous household goods" is fine, but that $750 flat-screen TV should likely be listed separately. The Trustees are used to categorized items and the forms are pretty clear (along with the instructions).

                I only described my vehicle condition because it needed work. I actually did a cramdown, so was trying to bifurcate the claim into two parts. Remember, that in a cramdown or a redemption (or even a reaffirmation), you still actually owe the balance of the debt with the creditor. What the cramdown/redemption valuation does is to split the claim into secured and unsecured. The unsecured part can be (and usually is) discharged. In my case, I ended up needing to replace those four tires just weeks after filing. Otherwise the attorneys generally use, for here, NADA clean retail.

                You continue to way too overthink this. This is done every single (working) day in the bankruptcy courthouses. People don't have time to play games. Valuation is simple and that's how the guidebooks (NADA, KBB, BB) attempt to level the playing field. The standard is well-defined (generally NADA/KBB clean retail), and deviations require a hearing on valuation.
                Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

                I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

                Comment

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