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Old 02-16-2012, 11:14 AM
 
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The Indiana Supreme Court recently appointed two appellate court judges, John Baker and Betty Barteau, to look into the practices and reported irregularities going on in Marion County Township Small Claims Courts. There are nine (9) Township Small Claims Courts and certain ones are considered very friendly to collection agencies and creditors. That is where the collection agencies file suit even though the individual consumer defendant may live in another Township. Indy Go buses do not run to certain remote courts. Rule changes could be forthcoming depending upon what the investigation reveals. There was an investigative article in the Wall Street Journal back in July 2011 about the Township Small Claims Courts, including forum shopping by collection agencies. Has anyone had any personal experience in a Marion County Township Small Claims Court and was it favorable or unfavorable? Do you believe that you received a fair shake?

Last edited by Southside Shrek; 02-16-2012 at 11:44 AM.. Reason: add
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:57 AM
 
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Thankfully I've never been in a position where I've had to find this out first hand, but I've heard stories through work about certain township small claims courts in Indy and yes, a few of them side almost exclusively with the creditors.

One thing about Indiana...we have some of the weakest consumer protection laws in the United States. Our state legislature is one of the most crooked, bought-and-paid-for legislative bodies in the US.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:03 PM
 
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Sometimes one needs to be a meek little lamb to appreciate what slaughter really is.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:25 PM
 
45 posts, read 57,162 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southside Shrek View Post
Sometimes one needs to be a meek little lamb to appreciate what slaughter really is.
A fair point.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:01 PM
 
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"I think by some, these courts have been perceived to be tools of the collection agency and not necessarily part of the justice system," said Indiana Court of Appeals Judge John Baker, co-chair of the task force. "We want to make sure that people feel that their concerns, if they have them, are going to be fairly heard."

The task force will also look into allegations that township trustees have undue influence on court staff and operating budgets.

Task Force Probes Indy Small Claims Court Allegations - Indiana News Story - WRTV Indianapolis
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:25 AM
 
Location: Central Indiana/Indy metro area
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In most cases, the people who took out these loans sign their names on the dotted lines. These companies aren't getting the money, debt service companies are getting the money. Of the one small law firm/debt company I know of, the loans were small amounts, usually just a few hundred dollars. Anyone on social security or SS disability or a pension would get a pass, as you can't garnish those paychecks.

If you want protection, either ban these places, which could cause these people to look for quick cash elsewhere (ie: Stealing, selling drugs, etc..), or limit fees and interest that can be charged. These outstanding debts are actually sold for just nickles or dimes on the dollar. It is actually those people who pay who make it so a % can scam the company. If we limit what they can make, I predict an end to pay-day-loan places and check cashing places. What will these folks do then for quick money?
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indy_317 View Post
In most cases, the people who took out these loans sign their names on the dotted lines. These companies aren't getting the money, debt service companies are getting the money. Of the one small law firm/debt company I know of, the loans were small amounts, usually just a few hundred dollars. Anyone on social security or SS disability or a pension would get a pass, as you can't garnish those paychecks.
There have been reports of aggressive hospital collection agencies taking people's social security and unemployment. Most lay people in Marion County Township Small Claims Courts would not know they are exempt.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southside Shrek View Post
There have been reports of aggressive hospital collection agencies taking people's social security and unemployment. Most lay people in Marion County Township Small Claims Courts would not know they are exempt.
This is the real issue. I've been in these courts and I would say that there are very, very few cases where the defendant has a valid defense to a creditors' claim.
Anyone who has a judgment against them needs to know the law regarding garnishments and how much can be garnished. A common situation is that someone has a child support order in place against them and a subsequent garnishment is then imposed that is over the allowable limit. But if the debtor doesn't make that argument in court (or if the court ignores the law) the total amount of garnishments can exceed what is allowed by the law.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:51 AM
 
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Unfortunately I do not believe that many consumers are able to make the right arguments. For example, take the case of a lady who went to a local hospital to have a procedure performed on her uterus. After several minutes of probing around the doctor exclaimed "Lady, I can't find your uterus and I do not think you have one." The lady retorted "What? Of course I have a uterus. I have had three children." Should she be required to pay the bill for a botched procedure? I overheard one hospital collection agency assert "You have to pay the bill even for a botched procedure."

Last edited by Southside Shrek; 02-18-2012 at 08:56 AM.. Reason: add
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:49 AM
 
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Default Decatur Township Small Claims Injustice

Debt collection attorneys
are trolling courts that will find in their favor. It draws revenue in the townships. The courts are catering to collection attorneys.
The office manager of Decatur Township Small Claims Court in Indianapolis, Indiana is quoted as saying, "out of 100 cases only 3 appeared." This is because of lack of public transportation to Decatur Township Small Claims.
Attorney's are aware of the lack of transportation and are taking advantage of the people in our communities. Is this Justice?
Also, the office manager is quoted saying, "We certainly have our loyal attorneys," said Ms. Ricker. "The court provides lawyers with coffee in a break room and a fax machine for their clerical needs."

Who is Paying for coffee,
faxes, copies, phones, etc? TAXPAYERS??????????????


Below is a story of a woman and her experience with Decatur Small Claims Court.
An example of how she was lied to by the debt collector, the judge allowed it, and she had to pay outrageous attorney fee's and court costs.



Woman's Story:
I was hit by an uninsured motorist...had some bills rack up awaiting on a settlement with the insurance company. My injury attorney was communicating with the hospital regarding the bills. The hospital overlooked this 1 bill....and did not inform my attorney. I had a signed letter from my injury attorney indicating that this was an oversight of the hospital. Derek Johnson didn't care. The Judge, he didn't care. "I said in court, I was not trying to get out of paying the bill, but as you can see it was an oversight and I was willing to pay the bill."
In the meantime, I was taking my son to Riley Hospital. My had been scheduled for a surgery for a biopsy/removal at what they initally thought may have been cancer. I brought that paperwork to court, too. Attorney Derek Johnson and the Judge did not care.
I met Johnson in a room outside the court room. Told him I could pay the bill that was all when I got my tax check in Feb. Johnson gave me a paper and said just sign this. I asked the Attorney if he would dismiss the Judgment if I signed the paper.
He asked me if I could pay by 2/9/13 $870. I said I would try as this is about the time I would get my tax check in Feb. Again, I asked him if he would dismiss the Judgment he said, "Yeah whatever, just sign the paper."
I signed the paper but asked the Attorney to put it in writing that he would dismiss the judgment if I paid by 2/9/13. He refused. I said, "It's my right to get any deal in writing and get a copy of it." He refused again. I said, "I want to see the Judge because you're not doing something honest here." He stormed out and went into the court room. I told the Judge about the deal he tried to make but the Judge wouldn't listen. I told the Judge about my son and that I didn't have the money except to pay the bill. I begged them both. Derek Johnson LIED to the Judge and Johnson said he didn't offer any deal or say he would dismiss anything. He was lying. Then Derek Johnson said something to the Judge like "evidentiary hearing." I said to the Judge and Derek Johnson I was trying to be honest that I owed the bill and Mr. Johnson was not being honest. Judge just ignored it. I said in open court I would pay once I got my tax ck Feb. and the Judge agreed.
Derek Johnson filed for non-payment Only 11 business days after the Judge gave me the Judgment and not enough time to get a tax check as initially agreed.
Once again I went to Decatur Township Small Claims, met with Derek Johnson prior to seeing the judge. I said, "I thought I had until the middle of Feb to pay." Derek Johnson implied and directly stated, "No, not since you wanted to talk to the judge the last time, all deals are off."
I stood up in the conference room and very loudly called Derek Johnson a " liar." I proceeded to the front of the clerk’s office and the office manager; I believe her name is, Pat (unknown last name) told me I WOULD be seeing the judge. I said, "Not today, because it’s obvious what’s going on here and one other thing, Mr. Johnson is a liar." [/FONT]Johnson CHARGED me more fees so the Total was now $999." --------------
This is NOT Justice

My opinion, Derek F. Johnson is a Predator. No better than a sexual predator because as any predator, they feed off their prey. He's one to include in list of 1000 known predators.
Any atttorney that engages in unethical practices is a Predator.

REFORM
needs to take place in our
Marion County Small Claims Courts
that will force attorneys and judges
to
BE HONEST

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