What is the flat fee?
Most people think that there is a catch to this – like the flat fee is going to be very high. This just isn’t true. Our flat fee system is highly affordable and unmatched in Southern California. What is more is that your flat fee provides a complete defense.
We charge 10% of the debt that you are being sued for OR $1000, whichever is higher(plus your filing fees).
– If you are being sued for $4500, your flat fee for a complete defense would be $1000 plus your filing fee (your filing fee will be different depending on the amount you are being sued for and the county where the suit was filed – see below). In this scenario your flat fee defense is capped at $1000 and will not be a penny more.
– If you are being sued for $35,000, your flat fee for a complete defense would be $3500 plus your filing fee (your filing fee will be different depending on the amount you are being sued for and the county where the suit was filed – see below). In this scenario your flat fee defense is capped at $3500 and will not be a penny more because that is 10% of what you are being sued for.
Does the flat fee system shortchange my defense any way?
Absolutely NOT – we pride ourselves in the manner that we represent our clients and the integrity and ethics that go with that. When we take your case for the flat fee, we are taking your case to its final determination.
What does that entail – though the majority of the cases that we take on are dismissed very swiftly, a few are fought to the end. And we are prepared to take it to the end for the very same flat fees discussed above. If a case is taken to trial, we are prepared to do the following for that very same flat fee.
1. Assess your case and analyze the merits of the Plaintiff’s (credit card or collection company) case and of course the defenses available to you.
2. Write an answer and file it with the court and serve the Plaintiff with a copy.
3. Draft written discovery narrowly tailored to your lawsuit and serve on Plaintiffs [to seek out all the evidence (if any) that the Plaintiff has against you in order to prepare for trial].
4. Defend depositions/s (including potentially yours) set by the Plaintiff.
5. Take deposition/s of Plaintiff or Plaintiff’s Person Most Knowledgeable (PMK).
6. Partake in motion practice for discovery issues and or other issues that may arise like summary judgment.
7. Prepare for trial (including the gathering of all evidence, subpoenaing all witnesses, filing exhibits as per local court rules, preparing the opening statement, closing statement, direct examinations, cross examinations, preparing legal briefs for the battles that arise in trial and of course preparing YOU for trial).
8. Trying your case.
Steps 1-8 usually take hundreds of hours of work and most law firms would charge in excess of $30,000.00 to provide the same defense. However, true to our word, we will provide you with that same defense for our flat fee system described above.
Furthermore, it should be noted that we have great resources available to us in order to be able to provide you with such a defense. We have 4 offices in Southern California alone, which allows us to serve you in San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Orange County, Los Angeles County and San Diego County.
How successful are you in defending these cases?
It is important to note that we offer NO guarantees of success in defending your case, as that would be unethical and misleading. However, what we can tell you, is that the majority of the cases we take are dismissed by the Plaintiff very early on in litigation with no need to go trial. This set of cases that are dismissed early are dismissed as soon as we file your answer with the Court and serve the Plaintiff written discovery (usually within the first 90 days of being retained). This would amount to approximately 60% of the cases that we take on.
From the remaining 40% of cases that we take on, half of those are dismissed by the Plaintiffs further along in litigation but still before trial (approximately within 8 months of retaining us).
From the 20% that remain, half are dismissed by Plaintiffs at the doorsteps of trial. Seeing that we are prepared to show up and try your case on the merits calls the credit card companies’ bluff and the majority of them do not wish to try these cases.
From the remaining 10% of the cases that remain to be tried, we have a great record at trial and prevail on over 50% of them. If we prevail at trial on the merits, you are entitled to bring a motion for attorney’s fees (if your credit card contract has such a provision – which most do).
Once again, it is important to note that we offer no guarantees of success but our track record speaks for itself.
What are the filing fees?
Filing fees differ in all counties in southern California (though they are in the same range) and the fees are also split into the following three categories:
- Unlimited Jurisdiction Cases – cases which are over $25,000 in controversy (i.e. if the alleged debt that you are being sued for is over $25,000).
- Limited Jurisdiction Cases over $10,000 – cases which are over $10,000 but less than $25,000 in controversy.
- Limited Jurisdiction Cases under $10,000 – cases which are under $10,000 in controversy.
For the fees in your jurisdiction visit your county’s court website. The fees are subject to change and you should verify with your court of jurisdiction for the most up to date fees.
Was I properly served ?
It is of course true that you have a constitutional right to be given notice of a pending lawsuit against you. In order to be served in the state of California you must either:
– Be served with a copy of the summons and complaint in person; OR
– A co-resident (someone else that also lives at your residence) over the age of 18 be served with those papers, AND an additional copy be sent to you via US Mail.
If you were not served properly, then you have the absolute right to challenge service. We can assist you with bringing this motion to set aside the service, however, this is an additional cost and the exact charge is determined on a case by cases basis.
Sometimes, it may be more economical for you to accept service (even though you may feel that service was insufficient) and allow us to defend you on the merits on a flat fee basis, rather than challenging service and await being served sufficiently so that we can defend you on the merits at that time (but the second option would cost more due to the added cost of setting aside service). This is something that we can discuss with you at the time of your free consultation. This is a subject that has to be analyzed and determined upon on a case by cases basis.
What if I have a judgment against me?
Even if you do have a judgment against you, it may still not be too late – CALL US:
– Statutorily you have 6 months as a matter of right (in the State of California) to set aside a default judgment pursuant to C.C.P. §473.
– We can even assist you to set aside a judgment for a myriad of reasons (usually when there was insufficient service). Courts often grant these motions because public policy favors individuals having their day in court.
You may find out that there is a judgment against you by a credit card company and think that you have no option but to pay or file for bankruptcy. Do not despair, there is a good chance that you have options available to you that you are not aware of – just call us for a free consultation to find out. You will have nothing to lose.
Why should I choose you?
This is a great and fair question. There are multiple reasons why you should choose us:
- Cost Effective – as discussed above, when we defend you, we do so, on a flat fee basis. This makes it worth your while in defending your case rather than struggling to pay a debt. If you hired most other firms, it would make no sense because they would charge you more than the debt itself.
- Attorneys Representing You – Quite often people seek paralegals or “legal consultants” to help them prepare papers because they cannot afford attorneys. Here we give you the option of paying less but still being represented by highly qualified attorneys.
- Attorneys are Specialists – Unlike a lot of other firms out there, we are specialists in the area of consumer rights. We specialize in helping people fight creditors. That means that when you retain us, you will know that we have been there and done this hundreds of times before. We are not a firm that is a “jack of all trades” – we are specialists in the area of consumer law and love what we do.
We May Be Able to Find A Claim For You Against The Creditor – Because we are specialists, we also sue creditors for violations of the FDCPA and RFDCPA. In the majority of cases, when you have been sued by a credit card company or a collection company, your account would have been in “collections.” That would have meant that you received calls and letters from the collection companies. If so, a lot of times in our investigations, we discover that YOU actually have a suit against your creditor/s.
- So we either file a separate suit against them (on a contingency basis – you will not pay us a penny unless we prevail against them) or draft a cross-complaint against them in your pending suit.
i. This usually helps to have your case dismissed VERY quickly; OR
ii. It will help negotiate your debt to where you can manage to pay it; OR
iii. You may prevail and actually win some money; OR
iv. A combination of the above.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The flat fee rates that are mentioned on this site are for CONSUMER DEBTS only. These prices are not valid for business debts and/or other suits that are not brought against consumers by credit card companies and/or debt collection companies.
NO LEGAL ADVICE – The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as forming an attorney-client relationship. No attorney-client relationship between the reader and Kazerouni Law Group, APC and/or its affiliates, counsel, or of-counsel is created by this site, and no reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content in this site.
Benefits Of Fighting Credit Card Lawsuits
Why It’s Worth Fighting Credit Card Lawsuits
For many people dealing with harassment from credit card companies, they feel like there’s nothing they can do. The credit card company and their agents have more resources as well as knowledge and experience in collections law matters.
Do not be fooled. There are numerous benefits to bringing a lawsuit against a creditor who’s been harassing you. The best reason: You have a good chance of winning and getting the credit card company off your back.
At Kazerouni Law Group, we have an office in Costa Mesa, California, and we serve clients from offices in various locations throughout the area. Our attorneys bring experience in credit card defense and an aggressive litigation approach to every case we handle.
Reasons To Fight Back
Your Opponent: You are not usually litigating against seasoned litigators – usually the firms that bring these cases are debt collectors under the guise of law firms. These are firms that file approximately 2000 lawsuits a month. These are firms that are using large secretarial/paralegal staff and very few attorneys. Essentially, the few attorneys that are working at these firms have so many cases to deal with that they do not wish to deal with a real litigant opponent. Even if they did have the litigation experience, they do not have the time and/or the resources to deal with additional paperwork.
Step 1 – The Complaint
Such firms work on the premise that over 95% of lawsuits will default and that they will get a judgment without any fight. So all the complaints are boilerplate form complaints and only names and figures have been changed. A lot of the time errors have been made in quickly putting together these complaints and you may have a chance to demurrer the complaint, which immediately starts the paperwork process for the overworked plaintiff counsel. If the debt is small enough, they may dismiss at this early stage.
Step 2 – Initial Discovery
If and when the plaintiff has overcome your demurrer and/or you have answered, immediately propound discovery. The last thing they will want to deal with is discovery and the paper intensive work that is related to that. If it is a debt buyer plaintiff, you will want to request paperwork showing how they have standing to bring the suit in the first place. You obviously must request any contract that they have alleged exists and the lawsuit is based on.
Step 3 – Meet & Confer and Discovery Motions
More than likely the Plaintiff counsel will delay in responding and miss deadlines, and even if not, 9/10 times the responses are insufficient. It is crucial that you meet and confer and calendar the response date. More than likely they will miss the date and at this point you will have the opportunity to be the aggressor. Bring your motion to compel and seek sanctions. Far too many times these plaintiffs bring lawsuits and they are not prepared to engage in good faith discovery and that is where you can win your case. You will win your motion and the plaintiff will see that it is facing heavy sanctions. You will see a high success rate at this stage. A lot of cases are dismissed (don’t forget you can seek costs if they drop the case) and/or the offers to settle are drastically lower than before. By this time you have bought yourself or your client close to 8 months to save money so that you can settle at this stage.
Step 4 – Trial
If you have not settled by now, you have to maintain the willingness to go to trial attitude because the likeliness is that the Plaintiff will not want to go to trial (and more importantly for them, they will not have the resources and the time to take you to trial). You will have bought yourself or your client close to 12 months or more by now. You will have a good chance of receiving pennies on the dollar offers to settle the case if it has not already been dismissed. If you do go to trial, do not let them testify by declaration; force their witnesses to fly in (causing more expense and hassle). Also be sharp with your rules of evidence as a lot of the time the witness that has been brought in by the Plaintiff will not have actual knowledge of the documents and will not be able to lay foundation in order to get them into evidence. It is possible to non-suit these cases if you are alert. For debt buyer plaintiffs, attack their standing to bring the suit in the first place. Furthermore, debt buyer plaintiffs very rarely will have the full account documents or any alleged contract that you or the client was alleged to have made with the initial creditor.
Contact Kazerouni Law Group ∙ Free Case Evaluations
Talk with an experienced lawyer from our firm. In a free case evaluation, we will look at your situation and help you determine whether a lawsuit would be the best way to proceed. Call us at 800-400-6808 or email us to schedule a free consultation.
The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as forming an attorney-client relationship. No attorney-client relationship between the reader and Kazerouni Law Group APC should be deemed to have been formed. Talk with an attorney.