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How to self-represent in Court and fight my credit card debt case

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asked on Sep 5, 2014 at 18:11
by   Aurora
edited on Dec 19, 2016 at 05:31
 
I will appear for a case management next Monday for my credit card debt now amounting above RM30,000 by a commercial bank.

For information, I was the employee to the said commercial bank until I left in June 2004. At that point of time, I had my BBA and credit card debts under their book. My ex-employer managed to liaise with me at my current employer's office and I managed to restructure my BBA with my ex-employer and have been promptly serviced my monthly installment.

However, I did not get in contact with my ex-employer with regards to my credit card, which I had stopped using since 2003 and due my ignorant, I didn't keep track of how much was outstanding under the said card (my limit was RM5,000 if am not mistaken). No correspondence was received from my ex-employer on the said debt until they sent in a debt collector to call me at my current workplace back in 2008. I told the collector that I wanted to deal directly with the bank and managed to speak to a lady bank officer. As I didn't have the information on the outstanding debt at my point of leaving in June 2004, I asked for my credit card statement as I was told my current outstanding at that point of time in 2008 was more than RM20,000. No statement was given and I asked the officer if the bank would consider converting my credit card debt into a term loan so I could settle off progressively within my limit of financial capacity. However, she called to inform that they didn't do that. No call or any letter was issued (to my knowledge) after that.

In late May 2014, I received a system-generated letter from the bank saying that they have appointed the same debt collector and on 3 July 2014, a despatch from the said collector's firm came to my officer handing me a notice from the collector's solicitor that they will take necessary recovery actions against me. I told the despatch that this is wrong and I refused to accept it. He then gave me a note scribbled with the name of the officer in the collector's office with his contact no. I was fuming mad. Later that day, while I was away from my desk at work, the said officer from the collector's office called my extension and it was tapped by my colleague. He started to rant and accused my colleague of lying when my colleague told him that she just tapped my line. My terrified colleague told me her ordeal and I wrote a complaint letter to the bank and carbon copied to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the debt collector and all other relevant agencies, stating that I would only deal with the Bank, requested for bank statement on the card and informed them that I would not hesitate to lodge a police report if continued harassment being made by their debt collector. I also stated that I am willing to challenge them in court under Section 6(1) of the Limitation Act. The said letter was emailed and faxed to respective parties on the same day.

No calls or letters were made pursuant to that incident until I received, on 5 August 2014, a letter of recall/termination from the Bank’s lawyer dated 7 July 2014 stating that I need to settle within 7 days from the date of the said letter failing which they have the bank’s instruction to take legal proceedings against me. Subsequently, I received on 15 August 2014 a letter from the Bank dated 9 July 2014 responding to my complaint in July 2014. They informed me that the statement was sent promptly to my old office address (a branch of that bank). I was to inform them of any change in mailing address. They also informed me that they are looking seriously at the harassment allegation against their collector and asked me to provide the details of my colleague for their investigation. They mentioned that it is their right to appoint any agent to collect the sums due and that I may discuss with their collector on the settlement proposal whenever the collector contact of visit me.  They have also stated that I have breached Banking and Financial Institutions Act (BAFIA) due my suspended payments with them (my current employer is not governed by BAFIA by the way). Sadly, such delay has jeopardized my remedial chances as no proper and timely notification has been made by them both before they could take any legal actions against me. I responded their letter on 15 August 2014 and faxed to them on the same date.

On 22 August 2014, I received a letter from their lawyer dated 13 August 2014, extending their filed writ of summons and statement of claims dated 24 July 2014. I am required to attend a case management on 8 September 2014 failing which a Judgment in default would be issued. A few days later, someone from the collector’s called me up and I informed her of my intention to be in court on the stipulated date. As I want to self-represent, I have filed a Memo of Appearance with the said Court.

People feel that I should just go and settle the debt. I wanted too before this but how am I to settle if I cannot get another loan with this record and I have before proposed for progressive repayment. Now that I am that this juncture of no return, I would like to seek a sound opinion from Lawyerment on how to prepare for this case.

Thanking all in advance!
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answered on Sep 5, 2014 at 23:48
by   Aurora
Sigh @Bladirunners

If communicating with the plaintiff is an admission of debt am doomed. But will try my best
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answered on Sep 6, 2014 at 00:29
by   jeff005
edited Dec 19, 2016 at 06:08
 
Sorry darling,

You MAY have admitted to the debt but not the amount. But the court see otherwise, what you have signed with the bank is between you and bank. Judge only passes judgement on the legality of the debt. You fight or appeal on the amount. None of my business (for the courts).

I have also signed a 'surat perjanjian' with a bank. I went to see the officer to negotiate for lower interest rate. The amount was about RM2,500. She said can and asked me to write in on the spot. She dictated, I wrote and signed and she photostated my identity card. After paying for 3 months, no adjustments at all plus add late payment charges because agreed repayment date and statement date not the same. I called and asked the same officer, she then said, according to banking norm, banks do not negotiate... Mostly because of that 'surat', their bill collectors are still haunting me with calls to my old handphone numbers.. the latest was 2 weeks ago with short messages.. That letter was signed in 2004!!!

Post and update your status after the 8th, and see if the other sifus, gurus and seasoned forumers can offer advice. My 6 years limit act here could be wrong! I just started, being a novice, please take my assumptions with a pinch of salt..

By the way, from what I read, you can't represent yourself for your case in court because you are not a lawyer, but you are there to provide disputing facts and answer queries from the court and you don't need a lawyer to do it for you.

Read thru all the relevant bankruptcy postings, you will learn enough to present your case. Arm with more missiles, but only aim it at the plaintiff lawyer not the court okay?
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answered on Sep 6, 2014 at 01:37
by   notalawyer
edited Dec 19, 2016 at 06:12
 
By the way, from what I read, you can't represent yourself for your case in court because you are not a lawyer, but you are there to provide disputing facts and answer queries from the court and you don't need a lawyer to do it for you.
Wrong.  You can represent yourself in Court.
You have to act like a lawyer to stand a chance of winning.
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answered on Sep 6, 2014 at 01:41
by   notalawyer
If communicating with the plaintiff is an admission of debt, I am doomed.
You can either deny negotiating about the debt or say that the negotiations was "Without Prejudice".
Which strategy to use would depend on whether the negotiations was verbal or by letters.
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answered on Sep 6, 2014 at 01:45
by   notalawyer
edited Dec 19, 2016 at 06:13
 
Can I request for such documents from the plaintiff during next week's case management?

Why would the bank help you win your case?  They wont provide you the docs you need.
Another way to get some documents is to fish for it.

William Chan's book has a chapter titled "Go Fishing".
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answered on Sep 7, 2014 at 18:38
by   Aurora
edited Dec 19, 2016 at 06:14
 
Thanks @Notalawyer. I've purchased the book online yesterday. Any tips for first day in court (as I wont b able to read it from the book).
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answered on Sep 7, 2014 at 18:43
by   Aurora
edited Dec 19, 2016 at 06:16
 
Here's my memo of appearance filed:

Dalam mahkamah majistret kuala lumpur
Dalam negeri wilayah persekutuan, malaysia
Guaman No...... tahun 2014

Antara

Bank Boo... plaintif
Dan
...aurora...defendan

Memorandum kehadiran

Kepada pendaftar
Masukkan kehadiran untuk...aurora...dalam tindakan ini.
Bertarikh pada ......

........
(...aurora...)

Alamat ...aurora...ialah.....

Alamat untuk penyampaia  kepadanya ialah.....

Defendan tersebut tidak menghendaki suatu pernyataan tuntutan difailkan atau dihantarserahkan
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answered on Sep 7, 2014 at 20:02
by   notalawyer
Have you found any proof that

a. Your credit card limit is RM 5,000
b. Your card was cancelled by the bank around year 2003 or 2004?
You need these to fight this case.

On your first date, go early and find the correct place.
Watch out for traffic jams and parking problems.
Look for your case number on notice board and also ask around to find where the bank lawyer is.
It is very important that you find correct place on time, otherwise it will be considered that you are absent.

Nothing much will happen on the first court date.
Do not start arguing as it is not the right date to argue yet.
If they ask "Where is your lawyer?", just say you will represent yourself.
The judge or pendaftar may ask you to file a defence by a certain date.  Note it down on notepad.
Also note down carefully the next court date and time.

You can win this case and clear your debt for good if you fight carefully.
Are you willing to go all the way the fight your case or will you give up half way?
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answered on Sep 8, 2014 at 14:29
by   Aurora
edited Dec 19, 2016 at 06:17
 
Thank you @ Notalawyer

I just started a family and I want to put things in order.

Wish me luck.
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answered on Sep 8, 2014 at 19:44
by   Aurora
edited Dec 19, 2016 at 06:17
 
Dear @Notalawyer

Bad news. The plaintiff's lawyer has filed the Judgement in default (JID) though we were in court today. I was advised to file to set aside the JID. There was a commotion just now because there was another defendant who was denied to appear in front of the magistrate.

Please help me!
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