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​http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-16/suing-a-debt-collector-now-they-can-buy-your-lawsuit 

In March 2015, Patricia Arellano of Las Vegas received a notice from Clark County Collection Service (CCCS), a private debt collector seeking $370 in overdue medical bills. Arellano didn’t respond. CCCS went to court and obtained a default judgment against her. The bill grew to about $800, with costs and fees.

Next, Arellano sued CCCS under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. She alleged that the company had been misleading about how much time she had to fight the collection effort. She also alleged that CCCS's name illegally implied that it was affiliated with the government of Clark County, Nev., when in fact it is not.

Then came the really weird twist. Seeking to enforce its judgment, CCCS obtained a “writ of execution” under which the sheriff of Clark County was obliged to sell off Arellano’s property. But not just her physical property—the writ also covered her pending legal claim against CCCS. In an auction held last November on the steps of the Clark County courthouse, Arellano’s claim against CCCS under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was sold for $250. The buyer? None other than CCCS. 

A few months later, CCCS asked a federal judge to dismiss the fair-debt collection claim on the theory that CCCS didn’t want to sue itself. Arellano opposed the motion. U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey noted that the case “presented an interesting situation” and then ruled for CCCS, effectively killing Arellano’s lawsuit. The hearing took 11 minutes.

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Attorney's fees are separate.  That's the fee that the newspaper charges for weekly publications for a month.

Crazytree (Aug. 21, 2016 @ 4:40p) |

and of course Legal Notices are the highest rates local papers have now, due to competition from the net.

Mickie3 (Aug. 21, 2016 @ 7:42p) |

It's exceedingly likely that all other assets were protected or hidden. This was an asset that the company knew about.

supersnoop00 (Aug. 21, 2016 @ 9:53p) |

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Whiskey
Tango
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pretty good

Pay your bills or at least keep up with what is going on against you. Sheesh, I guess a legal claim can be considered property and sold along with other property.

gd78 said:   Patricia Arellano received a notice from Clark County Collection Service (CCCS), a private debt collector seeking $370 in overdue medical bills. Arellano didn’t respond. CCCS went to court and obtained a default judgment against her.
Ok, FW legal scholars... what's missing here?

She didn't respond to THE COLLECTION NOTICE.

It doesn't say whether she was properly served notice of a civil action against her, and it doesn't say whether she ignored that notice.  Apparently, she never showed up to defend herself, which is how they got the default judgment against her.  Everything else after that, I don't really care about.  The collection agency sent an employee to the public auction and spent $250 in some kind of awkward legal coup.  They only had this opportunity because she tried to appeal a case she lost because she didn't show up to court.  Apparently, the collection agency was more interested in spending money, rather than collecting money, as a way to intercept the ball and not have to defend itself against its allegedly unfair collection practices.  I doubt this is going to become a widespread trend.

I want to see proof that she was properly served as a defendant in the initial court proceeding and that she ignored the court date.  That's a key piece of information omitted by the press, which doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

Stupid judge. Clearly this is unconscionable.

scripta said:   Stupid judge. Clearly this is unconscionable.
It seems that way, but depending on the defendant's specific rights when it comes to appealing a default judgment in that particular jurisdiction, I reserve the right to change my interpretation.  The real issue here, as far as I'm concerned, is whether she was properly served, and if not, why she wasn't offered a rescheduled trial date as soon as the court figured out she missed the initial trial because she hadn't properly been served.

If there's proof that she was properly served and then failed to show up to court or ask for a postponement, I feel a lot less sympathy for her.

DTASFAB said:   
I want to see proof that she was properly served as a defendant in the initial court proceeding and that she ignored the court date.  That's a key piece of information omitted by the press, which doesn't surprise me in the slightest.
  

THIS^
There's no evidence presented in the article that CCCS served the summons and complaint to the sewer and not to the defendant, but there's no evidence they didn't, either.

DTASFAB said:   
gd78 said:   Patricia Arellano received a notice from Clark County Collection Service (CCCS), a private debt collector seeking $370 in overdue medical bills. Arellano didn’t respond. CCCS went to court and obtained a default judgment against her.

She didn't respond to THE COLLECTION NOTICE.

 

  
I, too, would ignore a collection letter from a company that intentionally sounds similar to a government entity but isn't.

I don't know why CCCS is spending so much time and money trying to collect $800 unless they want to pave the way to doing this on a mass scale. Perhaps their business model involves serving civil action notices to the nearest trash can?

How can you take ownership of someone elses lawsuit? Thats some next level twilight zone shit right there.

Pay your bills and you not have to worry about debt collectors.

bopc1996 said:   Pay your bills and you not have to worry about debt collectors.
  Unless they're trying to collect debt that belongs to someone else with a similar name, or belongs to a relative who you never cosigned for, or that you already paid off, or is completely bogus, or your identity was stolen, or...

bopc1996 said:   Pay your bills and you not have to worry about debt collectors.
  Pay your judgements, and you don't have to worry about the sheriff seizing your stuff...

jeffmd said:   How can you take ownership of someone elses lawsuit? Thats some next level twilight zone shit right there.
 People sell the rights to their legal claims all the time.  Someone here was looking to sell a share of his pending class action lawsuit.

I knew someone who was in a lawsuit who declared bankruptcy.  He had to get bankruptcy court approval to continue pursuing the claim and for every significant decision, because the lawsuit was an asset included in his bankruptcy.  Of course, with the potential proceeds set to go to his creditors, he lost interest in pursuing the claim.

Glitch99 said:   I knew someone who was in a lawsuit who declared bankruptcy.  He had to get bankruptcy court approval to continue pursuing the claim and for every significant decision, because the lawsuit was an asset included in his bankruptcy.  Of course, with the potential proceeds set to go to his creditors, he lost interest in pursuing the claim.
  
Wait, so you're telling me, people are suing because of money and not because of the principle?

Hmm...so if someone else attended the auction and outbid CCCS, they could have taken over the original claimant's FDCPA suit? Would they have legal standing to continue the suit and collect the damages someone else suffered?

jayK said:   Hmm...so if someone else attended the auction and outbid CCCS, they could have taken over the original claimant's FDCPA suit? Would they have legal standing to continue the suit and collect the damages someone else suffered?
 Yes, as assignee of record.  Not that uncommon.

jayK said:   Hmm...so if someone else attended the auction and outbid CCCS, they could have taken over the original claimant's FDCPA suit? Would they have legal standing to continue the suit and collect the damages someone else suffered?  

And if they'd pushed the bidding to $800, it would have paid off the judgment.

gd78 said:   
DTASFAB said:   
gd78 said:   Patricia Arellano received a notice from Clark County Collection Service (CCCS), a private debt collector seeking $370 in overdue medical bills. Arellano didn’t respond. CCCS went to court and obtained a default judgment against her.

She didn't respond to THE COLLECTION NOTICE.

 

  
I, too, would ignore a collection letter from a company that intentionally sounds similar to a government entity but isn't.

I don't know why CCCS is spending so much time and money trying to collect $800 unless they want to pave the way to doing this on a mass scale. Perhaps their business model involves serving civil action notices to the nearest trash can?

  
The irony here is that the collections agency paid off $250 of its own judgement against her.  I really think the guys doing this were seeing if they COULD do it as much as anything else.  Or she REALLY irritated them and they were counting coup.

taxmantoo said:   
jayK said:   Hmm...so if someone else attended the auction and outbid CCCS, they could have taken over the original claimant's FDCPA suit? Would they have legal standing to continue the suit and collect the damages someone else suffered?
  

And if they'd pushed the bidding to $800, it would have paid off the judgment.

  The lady should've bid them up to $800. Unless the $250 was an opening bid, it seems someone must have bid them up to the $250 in the first place.

Frankly I find it ridiculous that you can have an unfinished lawsuit of which you are the plaintiff sold at all...

Selling a judgement is one thing, but selling an active lawsuit?  Thats the WTF of this story to me.

skarydrunkguy said:   Frankly I find it ridiculous that you can have an unfinished lawsuit of which you are the plaintiff sold at all...

Selling a judgement is one thing, but selling an active lawsuit?  Thats the WTF of this story to me.

  
I could see counting an interest in a lawsuit as an asset.  Same as ownership of a trademark or brand.

But this was a lawsuit alleging that the judgment was invalid (or defective or whatever the right term is).  Unfortunately, the article is lacking on details, but It's common knowledge that many debt collectors pull dirty tricks.  It's very possible that she was lied to about the court dates and missed them.  They then found a legal loophole to remove her ability to fight that out in court by using the very judgment she is fighting ... (insert circular logic here). 

Regardless, these legal tactic opens up a Mobius strip twilight zone for many people trying to fight debts that aren't theirs.  By pulling the stunt they did, they may have deprived her of a legal right.

If everyone takes nothing else away from this, it's get your own lawyer as soon as you know you are being sued.

 

perfect example of everything wrong with the US legal system, this is total bullsh*t

This sounds to me like a definite case of conflict of interest as CCCS should never have been able to bid on the lawsuit against them in the first place. I bill you $370, send it to collections for $800, I sell your debt to myself, then dismiss your case. WOW!

I had a large bank try something similar. Debt from college over 10 yrs ago that should have been dismissed, they refiled in court but didn't send me a notice. I happened to be going over my credit report and saw some strange activity with old debt being reactivated. After some research I found out that I had an upcoming court date. The lawyer was shocked when I actually showed up in court with documentation. They won but I got things settled in my favor later on.

Point being, you can have a court date and know nothing about it. A company will file against you in court and somehow both the courts and the company will "fail" to notify you. This is how many summary judgements are obtained against people who may have been willing to work things out or even show up to fight for themselves. And, in my opinion, it should be illegal for a company to buy debt from itself as it robs the defendant of their rights.

Techrat

Were the overdue medical bills even hers?

suuave said:   This sounds to me like a definite case of conflict of interest as CCCS should never have been able to bid on the lawsuit against them in the first place. I bill you $370, send it to collections for $800, I sell your debt to myself, then dismiss your case. WOW!

I had a large bank try something similar. Debt from college over 10 yrs ago that should have been dismissed, they refiled in court but didn't send me a notice. I happened to be going over my credit report and saw some strange activity with old debt being reactivated. After some research I found out that I had an upcoming court date. The lawyer was shocked when I actually showed up in court with documentation. They won but I got things settled in my favor later on.

Point being, you can have a court date and know nothing about it. A company will file against you in court and somehow both the courts and the company will "fail" to notify you. This is how many summary judgements are obtained against people who may have been willing to work things out or even show up to fight for themselves. And, in my opinion, it should be illegal for a company to buy debt from itself as it robs the defendant of their rights.

Techrat

  
Dont they have to notify for you... by law? Otherwise I would figure you could dismiss a case on the grounds that you weren't notified, hence why you couldn't show up.

I have a nasty feeling that what happened here is that the initial paperwork was sewer-served. Her appeal was about the lack of service and they did this to avoid exposing the sewer service.

Technology has reached the point I think we should modify the service rules--require video of the service.

Note we had a company here that sewer-served all these debt collection papers not too many years ago.

LorenPechtel said:   I have a nasty feeling that what happened here is that the initial paperwork was sewer-served. Her appeal was about the lack of service and they did this to avoid exposing the sewer service.

Technology has reached the point I think we should modify the service rules--require video of the service.

Note we had a company here that sewer-served all these debt collection papers not too many years ago.

  
The phrasing in the article suggests it's more likely that the debt collector told her a false date for responding which lead to a default/easy judgment.  Maybe they even verbally implied they were with the county government and told her that they moved her date out to give her more time when in fact, nothing changed with the county records. 

The real 'NEW' issue here is that a defendant was able to force a plaintiff to sell their interest in a lawsuit to the defendant, then file a motion on the plaintiff's behalf to dismiss the lawsuit.  They were so brazen about it, they didn't even use a third party to buy the interest and file the motion.

justignoredem said:   
Dont they have to notify for you... by law? Otherwise I would figure you could dismiss a case on the grounds that you weren't notified, hence why you couldn't show up.

  
I'm not a lawyer, but in my last foray with Cook County, the plaintiff pays for the service, then files proof of service with the court.  All it takes is one certified mail receipt or signed slip of paper, and the court is satisfied that the defendant was notified.  I imagine many courts around the country work this way.

A lot of you guys keep bringing up bad service, but I don't know where you're getting that from. The article doesn't say that she alleged she was never properly served.

The weird part about this is the writ of execution. Why weren't her wages garnished? How many things were sold before they got to the pending litigation? Did this lady not own anything? It almost seems like CCCS requested the pending litigation be sold, otherwise how would the Sheriff had known to sell it? That's where this case went haywire IMO. The judge that allowed the writ of execution probably didn't see this coming. Hopefully judges will see that tactic for what it is and not allow it in the future.

meade18 said:   A lot of you guys keep bringing up bad service, but I don't know where you're getting that from. The article doesn't say that she alleged she was never properly served.

The weird part about this is the writ of execution. Why weren't her wages garnished? How many things were sold before they got to the pending litigation? Did this lady not own anything? It almost seems like CCCS requested the pending litigation be sold, otherwise how would the Sheriff had known to sell it? That's where this case went haywire IMO. The judge that allowed the writ of execution probably didn't see this coming. Hopefully judges will see that tactic for what it is and not allow it in the future.

  That is what I found bizarre too. Wouldn't it at least have raised the Sherrif's eyebrows that they were so insistent that this particular asset that they are related to be sold?

meade18 said:   A lot of you guys keep bringing up bad service, but I don't know where you're getting that from. The article doesn't say that she alleged she was never properly served.

The weird part about this is the writ of execution. Why weren't her wages garnished? How many things were sold before they got to the pending litigation? Did this lady not own anything? It almost seems like CCCS requested the pending litigation be sold, otherwise how would the Sheriff had known to sell it? That's where this case went haywire IMO. The judge that allowed the writ of execution probably didn't see this coming. Hopefully judges will see that tactic for what it is and not allow it in the future.
 

  

Welcome to FWF, where things are just made up to suit the personal vendettas of the participants.

 

cheezedawg said:   
meade18 said:   A lot of you guys keep bringing up bad service, but I don't know where you're getting that from. The article doesn't say that she alleged she was never properly served.

The weird part about this is the writ of execution. Why weren't her wages garnished? How many things were sold before they got to the pending litigation? Did this lady not own anything? It almost seems like CCCS requested the pending litigation be sold, otherwise how would the Sheriff had known to sell it? That's where this case went haywire IMO. The judge that allowed the writ of execution probably didn't see this coming. Hopefully judges will see that tactic for what it is and not allow it in the future.

  That is what I found bizarre too. Wouldn't it at least have raised the Sherrif's eyebrows that they were so insistent that this particular asset that they are related to be sold?

  Wages can't be garnished in many (most?) states.  Most personal assets are protected from seizure.  The judgement-holder would need to know about any unprotected assets.  They obviously knew about this one.

edit.
the filing from march says they served a : 20 YOA, HISPANIC, MALE, 135 LBS, 5'11, BLACK HAIR, BROWN EYES
if the direct link doesnt work http://cvpublicaccess.co.clark.nv.us/eservices/?x=bwPYT*UB-HUBLh... 

go to http://cvpublicaccess.co.clark.nv.us/eservices/home.page.2 
Click the button at the bottom
Search by name: Last Name=Arellano First Name=Patricia
Search
This is the the case filed on 03/03/2015 

Mickie3 said:   Welcome to FWF, where things are just made up to suit the personal vendettas of the participants. 
You just made that up.

borisr said:   found it.  she was served

if the direct link doesnt work http://cvpublicaccess.co.clark.nv.us/eservices/?x=bwPYT*UB-HUBLh... 

go to http://cvpublicaccess.co.clark.nv.us/eservices/home.page.2 
Click the button at the bottom
Search by name: Last Name=Arellano First Name=Patricia
Search
This is the the case filed on 06/24/2015

  Great job, now let's try to find a copy of the complaint she filed that the collection agency ultimately bought.  I want to know if she claims that she wasn't actually served on 6/29/15 as the record indicates she was.

CLARK COUNTY COLLECTION SERVICE, LLC - PLAINTIFF
ARELLANO, PATRICIA - DEFENDANT
File Date: 03/03/2015
Case Number: 15CH000791
Docket Information
Date Docket Text Amount Owed
03/03/2015 AFFIDAVIT OF COMPLAINT FILED Claim Amount: 371.89 Filing Fee: 74.00 Interest: 0.00 Attorney's Fees: 0.00 Other: 0.00  
03/03/2015 CIVIL $2500.00 OR LESS FILING FEE/HND Receipt: 6209071 Date: 03/11/2015 $74.00
03/11/2015 DEBT COLLECTION AGENCY CASE  
03/11/2015 Issue Date: 03/12/2015 Service: FORMAL CIVIL SUMMONS/COMPLAINT Method: PRIVATE PROCESS SERVER Cost Per: $ ARELLANO, PATRICIA Tracking No: L2003037372  
04/16/2015 SERVED Method : PRIVATE PROCESS SERVER Issued : 03/12/2015 Service : FORMAL CIVIL SUMMONS/COMPLAINT Served : 03/24/2015 Return : 04/16/2015 On : ARELLANO, PATRICIA Signed By : RICKY RAMIREZ Reason : SERVED Comment : 20 YOA, HISPANIC, MALE, 135 LBS, 5'11, BLACK HAIR, BROWN EYES Tracking #: L2003037372 Service Location : 4216 LAS LOMAS AVENUE, LAS VEGAS, NV 89102  
04/28/2015 CLERKS DEFAULT - FILED APPLICATION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT AND MEMORANDUM OF COSTS - FILED AFFIDAVIT OF BROOKE M BORG IN SUPPORT OF APPLICATION FOR DEFAULT JUDGEMENT - FILED AFFIDAVIT OF AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE - FILED  
05/18/2015 APPLICATION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT - FILING FEE Receipt: 6213690 Date: 05/18/2015 $15.00
05/18/2015 DEFAULT JUDGMENT PENDING JUDGE'S SIGNATURE  
05/19/2015 DEFAULT JUDGMENT SIGNED AND FILED COPIES PLACED IN RUNNER FOLDER  
05/19/2015 PARTY JUDGMENT INFORMATION Judgment Amount: 371.89 Pre-Judgment Interest: 12.50 Attorney Fees: 275.00 Court Costs: 134.00 Judgment Total: 793.39 Judgment Type: DEFAULT JUDGMENT FOR PLAINTIFF Judgment Date: 05/19/2015 Judgment For: CLARK COUNTY COLLECTION SERVICE, LLC - PLAINTIFF Judgment Against: ARELLANO, PATRICIA - DEFENDANT Judgment Balance: 793.39 Case Total: 793.39 Case Balance: 793.39  
05/19/2015 DEFAULT JUDGMENT AWARDED FOR PLAINTIFF  
06/15/2015 PARTY JUDGMENT INFORMATION Total Accrued Costs: 25.00 Judgment Against: ARELLANO, PATRICIA - DEFENDANT Writ Type: WRIT OF EXECUTION Date Issued: 06/15/2015 ----------Writ Return---------- Accrued Costs: 25.00 Date Returned: 06/15/2015 Judgment Balance: 818.39 Case Total: 818.39 Case Balance: 818.39  
06/15/2015 ISSUANCE OF WRIT FILING FEE Receipt: 6215753 Date: 06/15/2015 $25.00
07/01/2015 CASE FILE HAS BEEN ELECTRONICALLY SCANNED  
08/04/2015 PARTY JUDGMENT INFORMATION Total Accrued Interest: 8.33 Judgment Against: ARELLANO, PATRICIA - DEFENDANT Writ Type: WRIT OF EXECUTION Date Issued: 08/04/2015 Accrued Interest: 8.33 Judgment Balance: 826.72 Case Total: 826.72 Case Balance: 826.72  
08/04/2015 ISSUANCE OF WRIT FILING FEE Receipt: 6219435 Date: 08/04/2015 $25.00
08/13/2015 WRIT OF EXECUTION - SCANNED  
10/26/2015 WRIT OF EXECUTION RECEIVED  
11/02/2015 AFFIDAVIT OF PUBLICATION FILED OCT 16, 2015 OCT 23, 2015 OCT 29, 2015  
11/10/2015 NOTICE OF SHERIFF SALE - FILED AFFIDAVIT OF POSTING - FILED  
11/30/2015 SHERIFF'S CERTIFICATE OF SALE OF PERSONAL PROPERTY FILED  

CLARK COUNTY COLLECTION SERVICE - PLAINTIFF
ARELLANO, PATRICIA - DEFENDANT
File Date: 06/24/2015
Case number: 15HNTC010295
 Docket Information
Date Description Docket Text Amount Owed
06/24/2015 SERVICE ISSUED SERVICE ISSUED  
06/29/2015 SERVED SERVED Party Type: DEFENDANT Party: 15CH791 ARELLANO, PATRICIA Addr Type: HOME ADDRESS Address: CAESARS City: LAS VEGAS State: NV Zip: 89119 Miles: 10 Service: HCEXW Request By: PLAINTIFF: CLARK COUNTY COLLECTION SERVICE Docket Code: GARNISHMENT OF WAGES/BANKS OR MONIES Default Method: HENDERSON CONSTABLE DEPUTY / STAFF Issue Date: 06/24/2015 Garnish Net Balance: 818.39 Garnishment Fee: 5.00 Mileage Fee: 20.00 Levy Fee: 18.00 Sub Total: 861.39 Commission: 17.23 Total Levy: 878.62 Service Date: 06/26/2015 15:20 Return Date: 06/29/2015 Service By: NELSON, DEREK Received By: M. BUTLER Result of Service: SERVEDHNTC Assign/Post Date: 06/25/2015 Exp/Renew/Landlord Return Dt: 10/22/2015  


gd78 said:   
DTASFAB said:   
gd78 said:   Patricia Arellano received a notice from Clark County Collection Service (CCCS), a private debt collector seeking $370 in overdue medical bills. Arellano didn’t respond. CCCS went to court and obtained a default judgment against her.

She didn't respond to THE COLLECTION NOTICE.

 

  
I, too, would ignore a collection letter from a company that intentionally sounds similar to a government entity but isn't.

I don't know why CCCS is spending so much time and money trying to collect $800 unless they want to pave the way to doing this on a mass scale. Perhaps their business model involves serving civil action notices to the nearest trash can?
 

  

No places in your town that have the town or counties name in it?  WOW!  That must be the only place in the world like that!  Notify Guinness quick, need to get that in their book.

 

Wages can't be garnished in many (most?) states.
Wages CAN be garnished in most states.

Skipping 27 Messages...
wilesmt said:   Mickie3 said:   
wilesmt said:     
I don't see any indication that she was appealing the judgement.  She was suing the debt company in a separate lawsuit.  That's a huge difference.  It also means the payoff from the lawsuit could have been much higher than the debt owed, so it was potentially worth much more than $800.

If that is the correct reading of the story, then I don't see the conflict - selling interest in lawsuits (not an appeals) happens all the time.  She still has the right to appeal the original judgement.  She probably didn't because she knows she would never win.

The real shady part is the sheriff selling the lawsuit.  Got to be a kickback there.

 

  

Say what???????  Who does the public auctions where you live? 

 

  My bad.  I should have been clear that I was speaking towards the sheriff selling off the lawsuit before satisfying the judgement with her other property.  It sounds pretty obvious that CCCS persuaded/pressured the sheriff to put that up before her other stuff.

Or maybe she just didn't own anything else, but that seems odd.

It's exceedingly likely that all other assets were protected or hidden. This was an asset that the company knew about.



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