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LegalKnowledge, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  10+ years handling Legal, Real Estate, Criminal Law, Family Law, Traffic matters.
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I filed a contest form with Adams County Court last June 22

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I filed a contest form with Adams County Court last June 22 2012 on a collection charge from Ford Motor Credit. I never heard from the court or Ford or their attorney on this matter. Now Ford has gotten a new attorney and they are trying to charge me again along with new charges. Is this legal for them to do again if they did not respond to the contest i filed with the court?

LegalKnowledge :

Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

LegalKnowledge :

I certainly understand the situation and your concern. Would you mind sharing with me if the case is still open/pending with the court? Have you had a chance to compare this new complaint to the previous one you were served with?

Customer: I never heard from the court about this matter. Adams County clerk said when they respond they would notify me. It looks like Ford got a new attorney and they added their fees on top of the claim from last year.
LegalKnowledge :

Thank you for the additional information.

LegalKnowledge :

You certainly have a good faith basis to dispute any additional fees which they are trying to add on top of last years claim. The reason being, is that it sounds as though the previous attorney took no action to move the case forward or respond to the contested form you filed, which resulted in new counsel being hired. Moreover, if the file a new case and it is based upon the same cause of action as the last one, you would have a valid motion to dismiss to file, attacking the new case, since it is already pending before the court. They would have to dismiss the first one, if they wanted to proceed on the new one. If this happened, they would only be entitled to the fees from the new case, since the older case and the dismissal, was a result of their own fault

LegalKnowledge :
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Customer: So it is a valid claim by them to refile this petition against me again. I am still liable for this. I asked the court to dismiss the petition they had filed. We had a repayment plan but I defaulted due to being out of work for 5 months and Ford did not want to reinstate the payment plan. So they added new charges plus their attorney fees. I was hoping they had no grounds to continue this atter but it sounds like they do.
LegalKnowledge :

Thank you for the follow up question. If you had a repayment plan and defaulted on it, then they would legally be allowed to go after you and sue for the debt. In doing so, they would be entitled to recover all fees and costs associated with it, along with attorney fees, if allowed under the contract. Since you defaulted, they have no legal obligation to reinstate the plan or work out a new one. That is at their own discretion. Had they filed the first case, you responded and they failed to proceed and filed a new claim, you certainly would have a legal basis to have the new case dismissed, since there would be two pending cases, from the same cause of action. Based upon what you just described, it would appear they did not respond since you were able to work this out. However, they should have then dismissed the case and closed it out, so it would not still be pending with the court

Customer: Thank you for your help and information. I do believe I need to get an attorney to get this resolved seeing that there are new circumstances and charges.
LegalKnowledge :

Yes, 100%. This is a legal matter and you do have every right to contest it and raise any defenses which you may have. Moreover, the attorney can also likely work out a settlement, if you did not want to go to trial and see if the Plaintiff would accept less then what they see and allow a payment plan, to pay this off.

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