Please don’t consider any of the following to be discouraging. Instead, read the post and learn from my mistakes. My mistakes make US better!
I have now filed 5 pro se federal lawsuits against collection agencies (CAs) and credit reporting agencies (CRAs) for FCRA and FDCPA violations. I have yet to lose one. I should put an asterisk next to that statement.
An asterisk needs to be there because I have one tie. It is the first lawsuit I filed. It was an FCRA complaint against one of the three major credit reporting agencies. I wrote it without any direct help or feedback from any mentor. I made some mistakes. All of my mistakes were for two reasons. Primarily, my mistakes could have been corrected if I had someone with a bit of experience proof read the document. Secondly, I didn’t know the strategy used in settlements.
First, it is imperative to have someone proof read your suits. I never see errors in my freshly written documents. This blog is a testament to that! When finding a proof reader try to get someone that has at least a little experience with lawsuits and preferably the type of case that you are writing. One of the mistakes I made was calling the CRA the furnisher of information. This is not correct. I had to fix this by putting in an amended complaint. This mistake is not something a normal proofreader would have caught. Use somebody experienced if you can!
Secondly, think about your strategy. My “asterisks lawsuit” was very specific that I waned a negative account removed from my credit report. That was way too tactical. What I really wanted was much more. I wanted all 6 of the disputed accounts removed from my credit report.
When I began to negotiate settlement with the CRA’s attorney I realized that my strategy in this lawsuit was not going to get me my desired results and settling this lawsuit was nearly impossible. The settlement that the CRA offered was to remove the disputed account, admit that my new credit report was correct, and not sue them for anything that happened before the settlement date. I could not agree to the last two items as I had 5 other problems with the CRA.
It was at this point that I realized that I had 2 options. I could put in another amended complaint or withdraw the lawsuit. I thought amending the complaint would not go over well with the judge and I was not ready to add the 5 other accounts to the suit. I just didn’t have the information together. I decided to withdraw.
Now that I have withdrawn the lawsuit, I can document all 6 accounts better and reload. If I choose to I can go after the CRA at a later date.
I don’t consider this case a loss. It is more of a tie. I learned how to better approach the issues with the CRAs. Next time I will hit them with all of my accounts.
I ended up putting in a Notice Of Dismissal to end this lawsuit. It is an easy and short document.
Example ( You can cut out the, “by and through their attorneys”, then add your name and address under the signature line )
I hope my story of the “asterisks lawsuit” helps you on your path.
Fight the essential fight!