Have you ever been sued by Cortez Investment Co., LLC? Should you reside in Arizona and have fallen behind on a Citibank bank card there’s a good probability you can get sued by Cortez Investment Co. by way of their legal professionals on the Hameroff Regulation Group out of Tucson, Arizona.
You could not absolutely understand the connection between Citibank and Cortez Investment Co., and there’s a good purpose for that – Citibank washed their arms of this debt years in the past and since then it has been traded via the arms of varied junk debt consumers who’ve purchased the delinquent account with the hope of creating a fast buck.
- 1 Who’s Cortez Investment Co.?
- 2 Why is Cortez Investment Co. Suing Me?
- 3 What Can I Do?
- 4 Do I Have a Case?
- 5 Unable to Show there was a Contract with the Unique Creditor
- 6 Unable to Show Damages
- 7 Unable to Show Possession of the Account
- 8 Can You Characterize Your self in Your Case with Cortez Investment Co., LLC?
- 9 Want Assist? Contact the Arizona Shopper Regulation Group
Who’s Cortez Investment Co.?
Cortez is a lower-volume junk debt purchaser. Junk debt consumers are corporations that buy portfolios of previous charged off bank card accounts from banks like Citibank. Cortez Investment is a smaller debt purchaser in comparison with many giant nationwide gamers within the debt shopping for world like Midland Funding and Portfolio Restoration Associates.
Actually, after you do that for some time like I’ve you’ll begin to discover that solely Hameroff Regulation Group handles debt assortment lawsuits introduced by Cortez Investment. And that is for a very good trigger – the Hameroff Regulation Group has an in depth reference to Cortez.
Cortez Investment Co. is an Arizona firm that’s owned by two different corporations – Melar Investments, LLC and Waverly Ave. Enterprises. Melar Investments is an Arizona firm and is owned by a member of the Hameroff household.
Waverly Ave. Enterprises is a California firm that’s owned by Ivan Lavinsky – the primary (and solely) witness in all of Cortez Investment’s courtroom instances.
Why is Cortez Investment Co. Suing Me?
Cortez Investment’s enterprise mannequin is to buy portfolio’s of previous charged off bank card debt for as little as potential after which acquire on the stability owed from the buyer. Many debt consumers pay as little as four cents on the greenback and typically a lot much less.
If conventional collections don’t work – like telephone calls and demand letters – Cortez will then file a debt assortment lawsuit. In Arizona debt assortment regulation fits are handled in two courts, Justice Courtroom and Superior Courtroom. The Justice Courtroom handles all of these debt assortment instances the place the quantity being sought is lower than $10,000. The Superior Courtroom handles these instances the place the quantity being sought is greater than $10,000.
Cortez is suing you as a result of they’re alleging that they bought a portfolio accounts (probably from Citibank) and now they’re claiming that they’ve the best to cost. They usually need you to pay.
What Can I Do?
An important factor to know about being sued is that in case you ignore it issues will get a lot worse. You will need to cope with this lawsuit head on.
Step one in coping with a debt assortment lawsuit is to file a written response referred to as an Reply. This have to be drafted and filed with the suitable courtroom inside 20 days from the day you have been served with it by the method server. For those who don’t file a written Reply a default judgment might be entered towards you after which you’re topic to having your wages garnished and your financial institution accounts frozen.
From there the case will undergo a discovery part, probably mediation, a movement for abstract judgment, a pre-trial convention, after which possible a trial. Every of those steps require you to actively take part within the course of and failing to take action will probably finish in a judgment being entered towards you.
Do I Have a Case?
Every debt assortment lawsuit has its personal distinctive twists that may affect the result of the case, however with regards to Cortez Investment instances the underlying information are very comparable – i.e. a debt is owed (typically to Citibank), it was then bought to an organization named Pilot Receivables Administration, and probably even bought to a few different corporations, after which ultimately making its approach to Cortez.
As a result of the fundamentals on all Cortez Investment instances are very comparable, the problems and issues with their instances are comparable as nicely. Listed here are a couple of of their issues:
Unable to Show there was a Contract with the Unique Creditor
At their core the debt assortment lawsuits filed by Cortez Investment are breach of contract claims. With a purpose to win a breach of contract case you should show (1) that there was a contract; (2) what the phrases of that contract have been; and (three) that there was a breach of these phrases.
In Arizona the debt collector can show the existence of a contract certainly one of two methods – (1) they will have the unique software that was accomplished by the buyer on the time the account was opened, or (2) they will show that there was an settlement between the unique credit score and the buyer by displaying a “course of dealing”. This primarily signifies that Cortez has a number of month-to-month statements have been there’s proof of fees to the cardboard and cost from the buyer. The thought on the second is in case you are utilizing the cardboard after which sending them cost that you will need to have agreed to be sure by the phrases of the bank card firm.
In a surprisingly excessive variety of instances Cortez Investment and different junk debt consumers wrestle with this primary factor. Virtually by no means have they got the unique software from the unique creditor and in lots of instances the debt purchaser offers little multiple or two month-to-month statements that always don’t present any fees or any cost on the cardboard.
This most frequently happens when the buyer shouldn’t be represented by an lawyer. The junk debt purchaser is aware of they will get away with much less proof if there isn’t an lawyer there to press the difficulty.
Additionally, the standard association between junk debt consumers and unique collectors requires that the junk debt purchaser pay further cash in the event that they want further paperwork. Which means everybody of these statements they supply you’re costing Cortez Investment extra cash. And when you’re submitting lots of or hundreds of instances per yr that may actually begin to add up.
Professional Tip: Even when the junk debt purchaser has a number of month-to-month statements they is probably not admissible in courtroom. Junk debt consumers typically will attempt to have admitted into proof enterprise paperwork (like month-to-month statements) of different corporations who usually are not aside of the case. The Arizona Guidelines of Proof present that a witness who’s testifying a few doc to have it admitted as proof should be capable of testify based mostly upon their very own private information.
The standard witness for Cortez Investment instances is Ivan Lavinsky – the proprietor of Waverly Ave. Enterprises who is part proprietor of Cortez Investment. He has not labored for Citibank and until he has particular information as to how corporations like Citibank, Pilot Receivables, or another firm create and keep their enterprise data he shouldn’t be permitted to put the inspiration essential to get month-to-month statements from the unique creditor into proof.
In the long run, in the event that they don’t have an software or they don’t have month-to-month statements demonstrating use and cost on the cardboard, then the junk debt purchaser will wrestle to show the existence of a contract.
Unable to Show Damages
An essential factor of proving any debt assortment case is establishing what is definitely owed on the debt. Arizona case regulation supplies that merely stating in a conclusory method the quantity owed is just not adequate to determine what is definitely owed on the debt.
Professional Tip: One thing to be careful for is usually junk debt purchaser attorneys will attempt to depend on Arizona Revised Statute 44-7804 which states that a debt collector can set up the quantity owed by offering a replica of the final billing assertion. Nevertheless, this regulation is simply relevant to uncontested instances. When you’ve got filed an Reply to the lawsuit the case is taken into account contested and thus this statute doesn’t apply. The debt should present a calculation of what’s owed and show it with admissible proof.
Unable to Show Possession of the Account
Lastly, one of many huge issues with a majority of these instances is that Cortez Investment Co. will typically have problem in proving that it truly owns the account that it’s suing on. This is a vital a part of the case as a result of if you consider it, Cortez Investment didn’t mortgage you any cash and also you didn’t comply with pay them any cash, so why do you have to write them a verify until they will truly show that they personal the account?
Professional Tip: To determine possession Cortez must capable of show that your particular account was transferred from Citibank, to Pilot Receivables Administration, to Cortez Investment (and to some other alleged house owners). Typically they may attempt to set up this by offering a number of “bills of sale”. Look intently at this paperwork. They may by no means embrace any particular reference to your account however will often state that the “list of accounts is attached as Exhibit A”. Nevertheless there isn’t any “exhibit A” hooked up.
If they will’t present that your account was bought each step of the best way they can’t show their case. Make them show this. Proof of possession is usually the place these instances are gained or misplaced.
Can You Characterize Your self in Your Case with Cortez Investment Co., LLC?
You’re permitted to symbolize your self in your debt assortment case. The query is, do you have to? Clearly as an lawyer I’m biased in that I feel it is best to rent a lawyer that will help you together with your case. However as somebody who actually offers with most of these instances each working day of my life, let me offer you a number of issues to think about:
(1) Individuals who characterize themselves in courtroom are held to the identical normal as attorneys. This isn’t truthful since you didn’t go to regulation faculty or cope with these points each day like a lawyer does. Nevertheless Arizona regulation requires that the decide or justice of the peace maintain you to the identical commonplace with regards to issues like figuring out the Arizona Guidelines of Civil Process, the Arizona Guidelines of Proof, and the related case regulation.
For those who don’t have a strong understanding of those guidelines you’ll find yourself making a mistake and it might value you your case.
(2) I’ve dealt with almost 300 trials towards junk debt consumers. This implies I’ve spent a number of time in courtrooms watching judges and justice of the peace and the way they deal with these kinds of instances. An statement of mine is that individuals who characterize themselves have a really troublesome time profitable their case and sometimes find yourself with a judgment entered towards them or enter right into a horrible settlement supply.
(three) Whenever you characterize your self the case will utterly take over each little bit of free time you could have. I see this on a regular basis. People who find themselves representing themselves in courtroom spend each night looking for types and case regulation and study the courtroom’s procedural guidelines and it simply get nerve-racking. Even in justice courtroom it’s going to take almost a yr (or longer) to get your case to trial. One of many largest benefits of hiring a lawyer is it’s going to switch the burden of your case off of your shoulders and on to your lawyer’s who can work on all of it day lengthy when you give attention to your loved ones and job.
Want Assist? Contact the Arizona Shopper Regulation Group
If in case you have been sued by Cortez Investment Co. be happy to succeed in and to speak with considered one of our attorneys (John Skiba or Jesse Walker) and study extra concerning the methods you need to use to struggle again towards junk debt consumers and maintain this debt drawback as soon as and for all. We might be reached at (480) 420-4028.
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John Skiba, Esq.
We provide a free session to debate your debt drawback and enable you to put collectively a recreation plan to get rid of your debt as soon as and for all. Give us a name at (480) 420-4028
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