This is a DRAFT to be updated with edits and links to documents
The conference is set for 7/7/14 and on 6/12/14, over a month after the settlement order was issued, Midland and MCM attorney David Kaminski left a VM for me and I returned his call a few hours later. He inquired about my claims and tried to appear to have a sincere interest in the credit reporting issues. I explained the incorrect balances and date of last activity for one of the two accounts.
Attorney Kaminski informed me that they were filing a motion to appear telephonically at the settlement hearing and he claimed that they had agreed to my requests for extensions (a blatant lie). He also stated that the reason for my request for an extension, having to attend to our small organic farm and plant, was not good cause. What a @#$$#@!
My first reaction to their motion for telephonic appearance was:
“Why should *** I *** drive 250 miles to Phoenix?
He suggested a joint motion for me and Midland to appear telephonically and I agreed to it.
We got off the phone, I checked my email and they had already filed their motion — without any mention of MY telephonic appearance.
I realized that a telephonic settlement conference would most likely NOT result in a settlement and only waste the court’s time. They sent me the draft of a revised motion, but I decided not to sign it, especially because I actually went through the emails with former Midland attorney Andrew Campbell and it’s just so typical for lawyers to claim that they agreed to my requests for extensions when they did not.
So I was thoroughly pissed off. I truly hate being lied to and I especially hate being lied to by lawyers. You can tell me a million times that I have to expect attorneys to be scum sucking bottom feeding liars, but I’ll never get used to it and it will always make me angry. I also have to say that I have dealt with a few (not many) lawyers that actually were quite nice, not the typical debt collection lawyers, and guess what … their clients got settlements.
Instead of signing their joint motion for telephonic appearance, I filed my opposition on 6/25/14, the deadline provided by the settlement judge.
On Friday 6/27/14 attorney Tamar Gabriel called me to inquire about my credit reporting claims (incredibly, they refuse to read my court filings and they don’t talk to each other) and I once again explained everything. I feel like the village idiot, being conned into wasting my time and AGAIN explaining the incorrect balances and the incorrect date of last activity. Ms. Gabriel stated that her clients’ position is that they are reporting correct information. Of course that made me angry again. Not only did I waste my time explaining the credit reporting AGAIN, but to add insult to injury, they DENY that the obviously incorrect credit reporting is incorrect. “The sky is green.”
What a bunch of @#$#@$#@!!.
Attorney Gabriel also inquired about a new settlement offer. I had asked for only $25k (two years of litigation and they STILL don’t correct the credit reporting!). They had submitted a $1,501 offer of judgment for ALL claims, including the FDCPA claims that were dismissed because MIdland’s filing of the lawsuit for a time barred debt was the last opportunity to comply with the FDCPA (Naas). Essentially this means that after the filing of a lawsuit that violated the FDCPA ANYONE can do WHATEVER they want to the consumer without any FDCPA liability whatsoever and forever. Of course I will appeal and I give it 99% that I’ll prevail.
So I countered the Midland offer with $20k for the FCRA claims and attorney Gabriel didn’t seem to like that. They filed their reply in support of their motion for telephonic appearance and FALSELY claimed that they had discussed their 6/12 motion with me prior to the filing. In fact, they discussed the motion WHILE they were filing and that’s important because they were responding to my argument that they filed their motion untimely, over a month after the settlement order and long after I had made arrangements to be in Phoenix on 7/7.
Since Midland apparently also claims that Equifax did not properly provide my disputes (in addition to claiming that the reported data is accurate), we all agreed that the settlement conference should be rescheduled and held after Equifax appeared. So I expect the court to reschedule rather than to waste its time on the settlement conference.
We really need new laws with MINIMUM statutory damages for lies and misrepresentations in litigation with unrepresented consumer litigants. And of course we need laws making it very clear that while pro se litigants are NOT entitled to attorneys fees, they ARE entitled to damage awards for the time wasted due to litigation.
At this point, it is practically IMPOSSIBLE for a consumer to “win” a lawsuit for violations of consumer protection laws because it will cost consumers MUCH more than they’ll ever get in a settlement or judgment.
How many THOUSANDS of judgments for TIME BARRED DEBTS or debts without legally admissibly documentation has Midland Funding obtained because the alleged debtors couldn’t find a lawyer to represent them on contingency, they could not afford to pay an attorney and they didn’t afford to take the time to learn how to fight these vultures?