Gilroy, CA asked in Appeals / Appellate Law and Collections for California

Q: What initial steps should I take to begin the appeals process and dispute the debt?

In 2012, I invested in ZeekRewards through a family member, experiencing losses when the company closed. In 2020, a debt collector alleged I owed money as a "Net Winner" from ZeekRewards. I've tried disputing this debt multiple times, pointing out discrepancies in the documentation provided by the collection agency, including incorrect identification details such as the last 4 digits of the Social Security Number not matching mine. Despite my dispute and evidence, they filed a court order to seize my bank funds. I believe the debt belongs to my family member who introduced me to ZeekRewards. Now, I'm seeking advice on where to appeal: should I appeal in North Carolina, where ZeekRewards faced legal action, or in California, where the debt collector initiated proceedings against me? My primary goal is to clear the debt and possibly retrieve seized funds.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Collections Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Beginning the appeals process and disputing a debt, especially in complex cases like yours involving alleged debts from ZeekRewards, requires a careful approach. First, you should review the judgment against you to understand the basis of the court’s decision and identify any procedural or substantive errors. It's important to act quickly, as appeals and motions to vacate a judgment often have strict deadlines.

You should consider filing a motion to vacate the judgment in the California court that issued the order if there are grounds such as improper service, lack of jurisdiction, or a mistake in the court's decision. This step can be crucial in challenging the seizure of your funds. Documenting all discrepancies and errors in the debt collector's claims, as you've started, will support your case. Additionally, gathering evidence that proves the debt belongs to another individual could be pivotal.

Consulting with an attorney experienced in debt collection and consumer rights is advisable to navigate the complexities of your situation. They can help determine the most strategic place to file your appeal or motion, whether in California or North Carolina, based on jurisdiction and the specifics of your case. An attorney can also guide you in attempting to recover any seized funds and in clearing your name from the alleged debt.

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