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"Pretrial Conference Order" letter today -Texas advice welcome

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  • "Pretrial Conference Order" letter today -Texas advice welcome

    I was here in January when a process server gave me the lawsuit paper from Target via their debt collector firm in Dallas. My not-fully-retained attorney advised me to just write "I deny everything" on the form and take it back to the court. I did. Nothing more happened, other than letters from the debt firm offering settlement amounts.

    Until today. that suit (court docket number the same) now has moved to
    pretrial conference, set for June 16 at 8 a.m. in the local Jsutice of the Peace Precinct court. The letter said I am ordered to appear, to "be prepared to discuss all aspects of the case including mediation and trial availability", and that "failure to appear may result in a default judgment against you or case may be dismissed for want of prosecution." (say what??)

    One confusing thing though, is it now says "Discover Bank" above the debt firm's name (Rausch Strum Israel Enerson & Hornik, anyone??) whereas the previous ones said the client is Target National Bank...??
    Anyone know if that's the parent bank of Target bank?

    Anyway...I did fire off an email to the attorney about 6 p.m. when I got home and read the mail but I may not hear back until Monday.

    I still owe her about $1K to fully retain her and haven't submitted any of her paperwork; when I dropped off some more money two weeks ago her paralegal said she's at least two weeks' away from filing any new case.

    Is that my only try to file very fast? Or can I show up at the "conference" and tell everyone I will be filing Ch 7 no-asset within a month or so?
    Or are there other strategies?

    I'd appreciate some thoughts over this now very long weekend...Thanks very much!

  • #2
    Nicki - if you don't show up here (and I have no idea how TX works) - (are you in a small town, large city? Larger jurisdictions tend to be slower - more clogged - which is good!) they will enter a default judgement against you - which means you automatically lose. In TX they cannot garnish your wages, BUT they can garnish (take) your bank account, for example. SO - talk to you atty!!!!

    BUT - from what you tell this sounds like that this may not be THE trial but a pre-trial hearing - this outfit (these leaches) are their lawyers - Target has two firms that I know about and this makes three!

    SO - you show up (you write AVAILABILITY for trial) tell the judge that you dispute this debt, you don't owe this amount, because you have serious discrepencies, etc. AND you want a trial. If you are offered mediation (again your atty will advise) you may or may not have to take it...hopefully that'll be a month, two, maybe more out...and if they offer you a date, you could say you can't make it...may just have to play it by ear! BUT PLEASE do not NOT show up - if you do NOT show up, you LOSE automatically.

    If it makes you feel any better, just got a letter from Zweiker assoc for Target....

    Let us know how this turns out and what your atty says!!!!

    BY the way - the fact that it now says DISCOVER is likely to be a letter merging error unless you also happen to have a dDiscover card that was placed with the same (ehem) law firm. NOW Target owns Target National Bank. - period. SO this alone!!! you can say, you don't have a Discover account, this is wrong, disputed, you've no idea, want trial!!! (later!!!)

    Others will also chime in and help you!!!

    All best wishes!!!
    Last edited by IamOld; 05-20-2011, 09:45 PM. Reason: Discover


    • #3
      Thanks, IAmOld (me too <G>.) I actually did get a quick Blackberry email from the out-of-town lawyer, who said "If you don't appear it's likely that the Judge will enter a default. You could show up and tell the court you are going to file a bankruptcy."

      Other than my asking "do you have the right bank" question, which I think is valid (although as noted, the docket number does match the original summons) I think this is the best I can do.
      Show up...(yes I know you're right though I'm quaking already) and TELL them I will be filing in a short time...then everyone should know going forward is a waste of everyone's time, no? Not sure what you mean about "write AVAILABILITY"...there is no action required yet in this letter except to appear. (BTW I'm in Houston area.)

      I actually do also have a Discover Card that has been charged off, but I don't think this is about that one. I'm sure you are right...some clerk typed the wrong name in while doing dozens of these letters....

      Hope others will chime in with their experience with these pre-trial letters too. I will certainly come back and report what happened. I guess this weekend -- sorely needed for other stuff --will now go toward working on that time-sucking BK questionnaire for the lawyer!
      Last edited by nickifan; 05-21-2011, 08:46 AM. Reason: typo


      • #4
        here is a link to another site.i used the debt validation letter and and used the info about being sued it seemed like good advice.
        ..oops wont let me post links,,,try creditinfocenter com and look for help i been sued and the debt validation letter posts are very informative

        also from what I gather they have to prove the debt is yours.along with a whole list of other things they have to prove and provide. so read over this site and that site I am sure you will find some answers.I know I did and still am(my debt relief journey is just beggining)
        Last edited by wcb77407; 05-22-2011, 08:27 PM.


        • #5
          nickifan, Last March 2010, I got a summons that I was being sued by Bank of America. Turns out this was only a "pre-trial" which I attended. I was still in the process of picking out my bk attorney at the time, but I knew its best to NOT ignore those things, because if you do, you can end up with a default judgement. BoA's lawyers claimed they were seeking to put a lien on my property.

          Then when I attended this "circus" of my local small claims court packed with debtors and attorneys suing them, I realized this sure was something no debtor ever "wins." I was able to get a continuance for November, claiming that I wasn't sure about a lot of the things that were sent to me by BoA's lawyer. After I retained an attorney, he wrote a "suggestion of bankruptcy letter" for my local court. He also, filed c13 for me shortly before the "trial."

          I'm sure you'll be able to "continue" yours too, until you can file. Good luck.


          • #6
            Go to your conference, or talk to your attorney about strategy. Never EVER admit anything. Your consultation lawyer was correct, but should have told you to say: "I neither admit, nor deny this debt." Then you are sent to an Arbitration, where you are expected to work out a payment agreement with the creditor's attorney.

            We were set for one of these meetings, which happens in our county only once a month. The meeting date was set for a date that we are normally out of town, which could be documented. So the judge set the date for the FOLLOWING month. By then, we had successfully filed, and the case was dismissed.

            Good luck to you.

            [I will add in very small letters, that shortly after that, I was on the road out to Texas for 2 glorious weeks of ministering to Texas' Tall Ship ELISSA, thanks to a generous gift from a great-grand uncle.]
            Last edited by AngelinaCat; 05-22-2011, 10:36 PM.
            "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

            "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."


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