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Father is in an assisted living and the contract has a dispute section that says any dispute goes to arbitration.

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  • Father is in an assisted living and the contract has a dispute section that says any dispute goes to arbitration.

    Wisconsin
    My father is in an assisted living and the contract has a dispute section that says any dispute goes to arbitration.

    But now in a dispute over add-on fees they have sued my father and me(I co-signed) in small claims court.

    What do i do about that. I prefer the arbitration as noted in detail in the contract.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    What you do depends on the exact wording of the arbitration clause. If it's binding on both parties, with no alternative, you and your father (jointly) can move for dismissal and attach the contract to the motion. Then, you and your father (jointly) will have to invoke arbitration.

    Keep in mind that arbitration is just like court, the arbitrator is the judge and his/her decision is final, and you pay half the arbitrator's fees which could be more than the court fees you would pay if you lose.

    How much money is in dispute and why are the add on fees in dispute?



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    • #3
      Thank you!

      --it's about 3000 dollars. They added 850 a month for 4 months to our bill (which is auto-withdrawn from bank account) for extra attention required for excessive wandering and one and one staff time.
      That fee is in the contract schedule as a possible future fee, but the contract requires that it must be presented and notified in writing to the resident and guardian BEFORE the fee can start to be charged monthly and I do not agree such fee is justified and nor do aides working in the residence. So far they refuse to remove the fee for the last 4 months.
      I also am not sure what I will do going forward. But first things first.

      Comment


      • #4
        Wait. You wrote:

        they have sued my father and me(I co-signed) in small claims court.
        And

        They added 850 a month for 4 months to our bill (which is auto-withdrawn from bank account)
        Implying that they already withdrew the money from the account.

        So why are you and your father being sued?

        Comment


        • #5
          You have 30 or 60 days to do any ACH reversal and I did a reversal. So I got it back, for now.
          But now the dispute.

          Sorry was trying to keep it simple.

          Thanks for all your help!

          Comment


          • #6
            OK.

            You and your father have each been served a summons and complaint?

            Comment


            • #7
              The collection lawyer sent us a copy of the complaint. That is all.
              I am not sure if that qualifies as being served or not?

              It does not say that we are hereby being served or anything, its just the complaint. With plaintiff defendant etc

              Comment


              • #8
                And a note to call him.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The collection lawyer sent us a copy of the complaint. That is all.
                  I am not sure if that qualifies as being served or not?
                  It doesn't. See the process service format and requirements:

                  http://www.search-for-servers.com/pr...ng-laws/wi.htm

                  Each defendant would have to be served separately with the summons and complaint.

                  It does not say that we are hereby being served or anything, its just the complaint. With plaintiff defendant etc
                  Probably just the opening threat to induce you to respond. Whether a lawsuit actually follows is anybody's guess. But it would be a good idea to run both your names in your local court search to see if the complaint has been filed.

                  And a note to call him.
                  Entirely up to you if you want to do that.



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                  • #10
                    Yes upon review it seems just a threat so far.
                    I would not have know that, perhaps that was the purpose.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And it would violate the contract which does say ALL disputes must be arbitration.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well, one option is to call the lawyer and remind him of the arbitration clause and if he files suit you'll just get the suit dismissed in favor of arbitration.

                        Other options include ignoring the letter or writing a cease contact letter (signed by you and your father) under the FDCPA section 805(c):

                        https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rule...tices-act-text

                        That last will either precipitate a lawsuit or get the facility to back down if the owners don't want to spend the money on a lawsuit or arbitration. Right now it's not costing them anything because the collection agency is likely working on commission.





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                        • #13
                          If you just go to court and read your arbitration clause and demand arbitration the judge must move it to arbitration, it is req's by federal law.

                          But normally if you tell the lawyer that is what you are going to do, they will agree.

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