Civil Law Suit
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was going to file a lawsuit against Friedmans Jewelers. They are harrasing me by mail by sending me inaccurate/incorrect/and completely bogus billing statements. They are also sending me letters that are demaing collections on my account. In addition, and this is the best part. The district manager of the store gave concent to a representative to draw up, create...another retail installment contract...it changed my terms and my payment amounts, in addition...charged me more interest.
The irony of this whole situation is that my account has ALWAYS been in EXCELLECT STANDING. From Day 1. I have my check stubs to prove that. I also have my original contract with my signature bearing on it that when I was present to make my purchase.
The contract that the district manager concented to draw up, does NOT have my signature on it, in fact, i live 3 hours away from the store, and i was not even present when it was drawn. the store sent me a copy of it by mail, and where my signature is suppose to be is has written "signature on file per customer!" ---isnt this crazy.
The store manager is all on my side. when we talked, she extended her simpathy to me because she was not there when the district manager drew up another contract, and if she was she would have stopped it from happening.
SO...Im filing my complaint and here is what im wrote as the claim for the suite......
"I hold an installment contract for an account in Friedmans Jewelers #****. I have always kept my account current and in good standing from the date originally opened. Starting December 2000, I began recieving inaccurate/incorrect billing statments and collection letters from Friedmans #****. After several conversations with the store manager and assitant manager, (name and name), the situation had not been resolved. I am, to this day, still recieving harrassing collection letters and incorrect billing statments. The District Manager, (name) for this store illegally gave concent to create another retail installment contract, changing my original terms, without my signature. The new contract was mailed to me. This situation is in clear violation of my Fair Credit Billing rights, my Fair Credit Reporting rights, and my Fair Debt Collection Practices rights."
....So what do you guys think. The onlything im trying to figure out is what I should sue them for, the amount. What would you do?
Re: Civil Law Suit
Actually, it doesnt violate my "fair credit reporting act"...im going to erase that part!
Your arguments sound pretty good, but what actual points of law do you intend to bring up? I'm not going to go into your arguments one by one, but let me use an illustration of where you need to take your arguments.
1. Creditor has no valid contract. Valid contract can only be made between two or more consenting parties and who must receive either monetary or other valuable consideration in order to create a valid and binding contract.
Look up your law of contracts in the annotated statutes and then cite at least a couple of court cases where the judge rendered opinion that agrees with your argument.
Do that for each point that you make or don't make the point. Don't make any statements before a court of law that you cannot back up with statute and case cites agreeing with your position.
State how and why the court has both substantitave and subject matter jurisdiction upon which to act. Absent both substantiative and subject matter jurisdiction, the court has absolutely no power to act.
State grounds upon which the court has power to grant relief.
Do those things and you are quite likely to win. Fail on any of those points and the possibility exists that you could lose no matter how logical your argument may seem to you. Notice I did not say you would lose lacking those elements, I only said that the possibility exists that you might lose.
Re: Civil law
I have my original contract with my signature on it. The one the send me is not signed, it has just printed "signature on file per custormer." I have also, ALL the letters and statements that was sent to me. I have proof of my checks that were cashed by the company. I also have a notarized statement from a friend that witnessed conversations that I have had with the District manager, manager, and assistant manager...He witnessed them because the was listening on the call.
Regarding my rights that were violated:
Under the Fair Credit Billing Act
1. I have the right to have a credit either orrect the account, that is in dispute, or show proff that the account has been investigated and verified.
THIS WAS NEVER DONE, THE MANAGER SAID THAT SHE DOESNT HAVE THE DIRECT NUMBER TO THEIR HOME OFFICE....
2. I have the right to have the creditor supply me with proof that my accout has been corrected or proof that my debt was verified.
NEVER DONE, THEY SAID THEY CANT STOP THE LETTERS AND STATEMNTS FROM BEING SENT, THERE COMING FROM THE HOME OFFICE....but the address on all of them is the store that i am addressing.
3.I have the right, once i notify my creditor that i duspute a bill, not to have my account reported as delinquet for 100 days after recieving notice from me.
THE RECENTLY SENT ME A LETTER STATING THAT MY ACCOUNT IS DELINQUINT EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices
1. I have the right not to be abbused, harrased , or decieved by debt collectors.
THEY ARE HARRASSING ME SOOOO MUCH!
What amount do you think that I should sue for.
Re: Civil law
It's small claims court not district court. If she could do that it would help. but they'll take regular arguments.
I do agee: you may want to better explain and make it clear.
ON xxx date I signed a contract with xxx terms. I have fulfilled this contract, making every payment on time, and the balance is now xxx
On xxx date, without my knowledge or consent, the district manager arbitrarily wrote a different contract with xxx terms and Friedman jewelers has been trying to collect from me based on this second contract. He then sent this paper to me in the mail.
I have had several conversations with Friedman Jewelers regarding this matter. I have talked with xxx, the manager of the xxxx location of Friedman's jewelers. To date, this has not been resolved.
As a result of this matter, Friedman Jewelers has been trying to collect on an amount and on terms for which it has no contract. A valid contract can only be made between two or more consenting parties and who must receive either monetary or other valuable consideration in order to create a valid and binding contract. There was no second contract. There was no consideration. There was no agreement in a change of terms either orally or in writing. I believe this may constitute fraud on the part of the district manager.
Friedman Jewelers had been harassing me via phone and mail over an account which they know is in error. Their willful, intentional, and negligent actions are not only causing financial harms but also is upsetting me emotionally.
Friedman Jewelers is knowingly dissiminating erroneous credit information about me to the credit bureaus in an attempt to collect on terms which do not exist. This knowingly incorrect, negative credit reporting is defamation of my character and it is causing me harms by lowering my credit score and making it difficult for me to obtain legitimate credit.
Their actions have violated the Fair Credit Billing Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the the guidelines for Truth in Lending.
I am seeking the following:
$xxxxx in actual damages, which represents the open amount of the "contract" they have fraudulently created, without my knowledge, consent, or signature.
$1,000 for violating the Fair Billing Act
$1,000 for violating the Fair Debt Collections Act
$3,000 for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act $1,000 per credit bureau: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion
$1,000 in punitive damages for purposefully trying to defraud me and harass me into paying terms on an account they clearly know is fraudulent.
Re: Civil law
there are my ideas off the top of my head. If I were you I'd add into it the actual sections of the statutes..
I'd also include the district manager's name on the lawsuit. I'd sue Friedman Jewelers and Him personally. You'll have to serve him and Friedman Jewelers.
I'd also call the police and ask a detective if you can prosecute him personally for fraud. I think, if what you say is how it happened, he is clearly in criminal territory here.
The police may say it's civil territory.. . so make sure to note that he has purposefully created an account with terms in your name that you did not authorize. I think it's fraud. At the very least they should investigate it. How many other people has he done this to?
I'm sure he benefitted from it (either he or the store got commission from your sale) and since they financialy benefitted, I think it may fall under criminal too.
Hope that helps... If your court has a limit of 5,000 then I'd throw out the fair debt collection practices act money (I think it really only applies to debt collectors).
I'd make sure the total adds up to the full limit your small claims will allow. If that's 5,000 then add it all up to 5,000.
Thank you Marie
You have answered every question I had in mind. And, yes, I am sueing in a District Court. Thank you so much for your response. It was very helpfull.
Re: Thank you Marie
let us know when the district manager is arrested for fraud:)
Thank you Marie
Marie and PSU girl.
Looks to me like you just about got it all saddled up and ready to ride.
Personally, I think PSU girl's first point is probably the most or at least one of the most damaging, and that is that they did all this to you without having a valid contract on the specific item. I think that if you will study a little bit about contract law, you will immediately see that the contract is null and void upon it's face, and you already have that point well in mind. You didn't personally sign that specific contract, and so it's not a contract at all, and since attempt is made to force you to pay with a non-existant and therefore fraudulent contract, that might very well prove to be your best point of all.
But hit them with every logical argument you can.
Run them all up the flagpole and hope they will all get saluted.
That was an outstanding letter!