A Few Thoughts from Jon H. Rogers:
Remember that Federated Capital Corporation (FCC) has to prove its case to be successful. If you ask me to and I agree, I will represent you in court. I will make FCC prove its claims against you. If it can't do so, you will win and FCC can't legally bother you again with this matter. While you are not required have an attorney represent you in Court, sometimes, an attorney can spot issues that you might miss, such as problems with the evidence or with the Statute of Limitations. Likewise, attorneys tend to be more knowledgeable about the Rules governing civil actions. Where you are not close to the State of Utah, representation can also help you avoid most personal appearances (although perhaps not all of them).
Although you may think that you are entitled to having your day in Court in front of a Judge to try to convince the Judge not to enter Judgment against you, you may never get that chance, given the experience of legal counsel representing these debt collectors and counsel's experience with the Rules governing civil actions. Your lack of experience with these Rules could actually hurt you. While that may not seem fair, it is legal.
FCC has the burden of proving that you owe money. Many people don't know how to stand up to them and make them prove their case. I help defend these type of collection cases. Presently, I represent over Forty (40) different Defendants being sued by FCC. Why is that good for you? There are several reasons. I will name a few. First, I am not always reinventing the wheel. By not "reinventing the wheel" I can try to keep costs down and try to keep attorney fees at a known, flat fee for certain parts of the litigation. In other words, some of the things I have done for some of my clients with this debt collector will be available to benefit you. New steps that I take or briefings relevant to all of my clients may be shared among the various clients so that no single client has to bear all of any such expense.
Second, it has been said that "knowledge is power." I believe this saying is frequently true. Given the number of FCC cases I have (I don't know of any other attorney defending anywhere close to the number of FCC cases I have), I am learning lots about the types of accounts FCC has allegedly purchased and the various documents and agreements purportedly used by FCC and Advanta Bank. All of this knowledge is then available for all of my active cases.
As I have positive results on these cases, I hope to boost client confidence and have the clients on these closed cases be willing to serve as a positive reference for my integrity and the results on the case. I cannot guarantee a positive result in your matter. I think any attorney who did so would be a fool and likely committing malpractice. Nor do I expect that any wins I may have will all be successful on the same point. I can share results (where permitted to do so by my clients) and I can express my opinion about why I feel that we have an excellent chance to defend against these cases by FCC This is true as long as I can keep any settlements from being subject to confidentiality, something FCC is now trying to insist upon.
Some Individual Case Updates:
Recently, we were also able to persuade a Judge to Set Aside a Default Judgment of almost $30,000 for a client who had failed to file a timely Answer for some extenuating circumstances. I am always willing to look at circumstances like these to see if I can help. Your best chance, however, is to get me involved in the case as early as possible. If you have filed an Answer, I can still be retained to help you on your case. If it is past the Thirty (30) Days for those residing outside Utah [or Twenty (20) Days for Utah Residents] to file your Answer but no default/default judgment has yet been awarded, I can probably still help you avoid such a Judgment.
In 2012 I finished the first of my FCC cases. My client was being sued for over $66,000. It was a solid win. FCC failed to identify any witness from Advanta Bank during the relevant disclosure period. If you have ever heard the phrase "hearsay" on a legal program, you can see where I was headed. At a final Pre-Trial conference, I was able to persuade the Judge that naming an Advanta Bank witness only after the discovery time period was over was improper and FCC should not be able to use that witness. The Judge agreed. Opposing counsel knew that without a proper Advanta Bank witness, FCC could not authenticate documents and lay the proper foundation for FCC's claims. Because FCC had claimed attorney fees under an alleged contract against my client, we had defended with a claim for reciprocal attorney fees under a Utah statute. I warned FCC, through its counsel, that if they forced us to go to trial, it would only run up our claim for attorney fees. They eventually gave in and dismissed the case, paid attorney fees in the several thousand dollar range, and agreed to delete their negative credit reporting against my client.
Depending upon the facts of your matter, I may have several angles for defending your case. I care about my clients and would love to try to make a difference for you. If you have anything significant to lose, I believe that you will be much better off with my assistance than without it. Give me a call or email me to talk about what I can do.