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Gerald E. Moore and National Arbitration Forum

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My husband got a Gateway computer financed by MBNA. He signed up over the internet, never signed any paperwork, and got the computer. He quit paying MBNA, and the account defaulted Oct. 2004. Apparently, the account was purchased by Worldwide Asset Purchasing, LLC.
We've received a couple of letters from the "Law Offices of Gerald E. Moore & Associates, PC" regarding the debt. The amount that they were demanding was more than what my husband's account balance was at the charge-off date. He chose to ignore the letters, since I've seen on different websites how close to illegal these so-called lawyers are.
Today, he got a certified letter I signed for. According to the paperwork, Worldwide Asset Purchasing is "represented" by Gerald Moore. Here's what it says, on the first page, in bold.

RESPONDENT(S): THIS IS AN ARBITRATION CLAIM AGIANST YOU FOR MONEY OR OTHER RELIEF. YOU HAVE 30 DAYS TO SERVE THE CLAIMANT WITH A WRITTEN RESPONSE. IF YOU DO NOT SERVE THE CLAIMANT AND FILE WITH THE NATIONAL ARBITRATION FORUM A WRITTEN RESPONSE, AN AWARD MAY BE ENTERED AGAINST YOU.

Here's another line.
"Respondent(s)is/are indebted to Worldwide Asset Purchasing, LLC, as successor in interest to MBNA America Bank, N.A., for interest accrued since the time of charge-off in the amount of $1955.03."

Since when can the collection agencies charge interest?

I got on the National Arbitration Forum website that was provided with everything. It talks about these "cases" not having to go thru the courts, yet Gerald E. Moore also tacked on over $1K worth of lawyers' fees to my husband's total.

We live in Indiana, if that helps. What's up with this arbitration group? If there was no card, then there was no card agreement where my husband agreed to go to arbitration to settle outstanding debt. Any advice?




The arbitration thing is no joke. I think all the states and the United States all have laws requiring mandatory arbitration and divesting the courts of jurisdiction where an arbitration clause in a contract was agreed to. All the credit card companies now use arbitration clauses. When your husband signed the contract, he agreed to the arbitration clause. (I know, you said he didn't sign anything. You're confusing signatures with autographs. A signature is "any sign or symbol used or adopted with the present intention to authenticate a writing." That includes electronic symbols. Your husband signed a contract.)

I hope your husband had the presence of mind to keep a copy of the contract, because that's what you need to read right now to know how to respond. And I hope you sent the lawyer a demand for validation pursuant to the fair debt collection practices act within thirty days of having received his first communication to you.

As to your "since when can debt collectors charge interest" comment, what difference does it make who owns the contract now? The contract says interest, they charge interest. The contract says they get attorneys' fees, so they get attorneys' fees.

At any rate, the debt collectors cannot go to arbitration in a place other than that in which you live. So, what you can do is file suit against the out-of-state lawyers in the county court you live in - they're not covered by the arbitration clause. Get a lawyer who understands the fdcpa and file suit for all of the money they're claiming in their arbitration, as well as your attorney's fees.

I think an Indiana circuit court will be sympathetic to citizens of Indiana. I know they always have been when I've tried to domesticate an out of state judgment there. My advice to my clients is not to do business with people in Indiana, Maryland, or Florida because their courts have a history of protecting their citizens regardless of the constitutional "full faith and credit" clause. So I'd say you've got a good shot at it if you take my advice.

Sub: #1 posted on Sun, 04/09/2006 - 17:32

Virginia-Legal-Defense Virginia-Legal-Defense

(Posts: 260 | Credits: 13.92)

So, what you're saying is that CAs can charge interest on debts. I didn't think they could.
If my husband had the "good sense" to keep a copy of some agreement that he electronically signed, he would have had the good sense to pay his bill on time and not get into this mess. I'm still not understanding why he has to agree to a credit card agreement when there was no credit card. All MBNA did was finance the computer.
I've also heard that Gerald E. Moore and Worldwide Asset Purchasing aren't legit outfits. True or not?

Sub: #2 posted on Mon, 04/10/2006 - 07:38

Unregistered


KM, what VLD has tried to tell you, CA can add up interest and fees if it is there in the original agreement. While applying for the credit, if you agreed to pay collection costs, they can pile up these charges over your debt. You have to consult the original agreement to verify this.

Sub: #3 posted on Tue, 04/11/2006 - 03:33

curlycarl curlycarl

(Posts: 615 | Credits: 188.29)

My situation is almost identical. I bought from Gateway around 1999-2000. I was young and not too good at keeping my records, but I did pay them pretty consistently. There couldn't have been more than a couple hundred left on my account when it went into default.

They've been calling me off-and-on for the last six months or so, but I haven't been fielding their calls at all.

Now, I got this same certified letter "arbitration" packet telling me in a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo that I owe them around $2000 for the interest and fees of this mess.


Maybe if I ignore them, they'll go away.

Sub: #4 posted on Tue, 04/25/2006 - 04:41

Unregistered


Mat, apply the laws of SOL on this account instead of ignoring it away. Each state has its own statutes within which the debt can be legally collected. This period is calculated from the date of last activity in the account. If you have not made the payment within the SOL period, you won't be held legally responsible to pay the account. You can send a letter to the company that the account is past the SOL period and hence you won't come under any legal actions.

Check your credit report and see the date of last activity in this account. This will be a better way to resolve this matter instead of ignoring it altogether.

Sub: #5 posted on Tue, 04/25/2006 - 04:48

david david

(Posts: 1230 | Credits: 350.66)

Whoa - hey, thanks David. But one quick question...

When I originally started this account, I lived in Texas but I've been living in Oklahoma since '03 - would the difference in the SOL be different between the two states and which one do I have to go by?


Thanks!

Sub: #6 posted on Wed, 04/26/2006 - 02:57

Unregistered


Statutes of limitations are rules of civil procedure; apply the one in the state in which the suit is instituted (under the fdcpa, a debt collector can only institute a suit in the place where the debtor resides or where the contract was entered into). You could be sued in either jurisdiction, so look up the SOL in each - it's not a matter of balancing, and if I were the creditor, I'd sue in the Texas county in which you lived when you entered into the agreement initially. Both jurisdiction and venue would be proper in that court. Sorry I couldn't give you better news.

Sub: #7 posted on Wed, 04/26/2006 - 03:02

Virginia-Legal-Defense Virginia-Legal-Defense

(Posts: 260 | Credits: 13.92)

Thanks V-L-D... and what if the SOL has expired?

Sub: #8 posted on Wed, 04/26/2006 - 03:48

Unregistered


By the way, anybody know anything about how these Gerald E. moore folks operate? Meaning, should I count on them to follow-up on their threats or is a lot of this just blowing smoke?

I'm just a middle-class college student, so I don't have a lawyer or anything.

Sub: #9 posted on Wed, 04/26/2006 - 03:51

Unregistered


If the SOL expires, you can't be legally forced to pay the debt. No legal actions can be taken against you. The account will appear in your credit file as negative information for a period of seven years starting from the date of first delinquency.

Sub: #10 posted on Wed, 04/26/2006 - 03:54

john john

(Posts: 1234 | Credits: 270.82)

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