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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 33166
Experience:  17 years legal experience including consumer protection law.
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Hello. My questions are related to debt collection in Arizona

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Hello. My questions are related to debt collection in Arizona and arbitration. One of my credit card accounts was charged off, and the debt was purchased by a collector. I am now being sued.

In their disclosure statement, the factual basis of the collector's claim was that I entered into a credit card agreement with the Plaintiff/Plaintiff's Assignor, Acme Debt Collection, and that I am in breach of contract.

In my response, I used an affirmative defense of Lack of Privity, as I have never entered in any contractual or debtor/creditor arrangement with Acme Debt Collection, nor have I paid on the account to them. I also asked them to produce the executed contract with the credit card company, which they could not do, although they did produce a year's worth of account statements.

I'm going to arbitration soon and need to prepare the arbitor's notebook. My questions are:

(1) Is Lack of Privity an acceptable defense in Arizona, and is there a case I can site?

(2) What should I put in the arbitor's notebook?

Thanks!

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

How long ago was the last charge or payment on the account?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I made the last payment on December 2008. No activity since then.


 


Not too long ago Arizona changed the statute of limitations for written breach of contract to 6 years. The account was opened in Arizona.

I see. Thank you for providing this additional information, Mark.

Since this involves a credit card account, I would raise the statute of limitations as a defense typically since the SOL for open or revolving accounts is normally 3 years, even though there is a 6 year SOL for written agreements otherwise.

Here is a link to the applicable code:

http://www.azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/12/00543.htm&Title=12&DocType=ARS

Lack of privity is a valid defense, but here where the company appears to have purchased the debt, lack of privity would not typically be viable as the law does permit a company to purchase a debt from the company with thom you originally contracted, but they must be able to produce a copy of the contract.

Since they have not produced a copy of it, as well as proof that they purchased the debt, lack of privity could prevail and I would typically seek to dismiss the case based on their failure to meet their burden of proof as well.

So lack of privity, the statute of limitations, and failure to meet their burden of proof all appear to be viable defenses in this case.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need so I will be compensated for my time from the deposit you posted with this website. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!

Tina

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, Tina. One other question - what documents and/or information is typically provided in an arbitor's notebook. I have been asked to provide one of these a week prior to the hearing.

Hello again, Mark.

The notebook should typically include your statement of defenses and exhibits you intend to use at the hearing. Here is a link which summarizes how to prepare a notebook for the arbitration:

http://www.nilesbarton.com/articles/perspectives-from-the-arbitrator-tips-for-a-successful-arbitration

You are very welcome and good luck to you, Mark!
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Tina

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