Good Afternoon. My fiance is apparently being sued by Midland Funding in regard to a debt from SYNCHRONY bank. We're trying to figure out how to go about this as we have never dealt with something like this before. This is a debt from 2015 with the last "payment" being made in Dec of 2016. My first concern is that he was never properly served the summons for the "Pre-Trial conference/mediation". I happened upon the court document/small claims while doing a random search for his prior ticket in the county we live in on the county clerk site. It was apparently e-filed on 9-11. The weird part is it lists his address that is like 9 years old that he NEVER used with synchrony or any debtors for that matter. The attached statements on the county court site lists a Complaint, followed by a civil cover sheet followed by "NOTICE TO APPEAR FOR PRETRIAL CONFERENCE/MEDIATON ISSUED AS TO "FIANCES NAME" 9-12-18"
The notice to appear document lists his old address. It was NEVER given to him nor did we receive anything in the mail. He has not resided at this address for over 9 years. Now onto the questioner I see many answering. Any help/advise is greatly appreciated.
1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? Midland Funding LLC
2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.) its not a firm but a bunch of lawyers - when doing a search for the one checked off it shows she works for Midland Credit.
3. How much are you being sued for? About $1900.00
4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff) SYNCHRONY BANK
5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?) Was never served! Happened upon the small claims court document when searching for a prior traffic ticket. The address on the claim is over 9 years old and was never associated with this account.
6. How were you served? (Mail, In person, Notice on door) WAS NEVER SERVED!
7. Was the service legal as required by your state? I don't think so!
Process Service Requirements by State - Summons Complaint
8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? none. never received any contact about it.
9. What state and county do you live in? Florida - Manatee County.
10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations) 2016
11. When did you open the account (looking to establish what card agreement may be applicable)? 2015
12. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out: 4 years
Statute of Limitations on Debts
13. What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed? You can find this by a) calling the court or looking it up online (many states have this information posted - when you find the online court site, search by case number or your name). Not sure/Open
14. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?) No
15. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? Note: if you haven't sent a debt validation request before being sued, it likely won't help create FDCPA violations, but could be useful to show the court that you dispute the debt ('account stated' vs. 'breach of contract'). No
16. How long do you have to respond to the suit? (This should be in your paperwork). If you don't respond to the lawsuit notice you will lose automatically. In 99% of the cases, they will require you to answer the summons, and each point they are claiming. We need to know what the "charges" are. Please post what they are claiming. Did you receive an interrogatory (questionnaire) regarding the lawsuit? There is nothing stated. It just says a pre-trial conference/mediation is set for 10/29/2018. If he doesn't appear than an automatic judgement is made. There is no option to respond or a questioner for him to fill out.
Here is an example of what the summons/complaint may look like: Sued by a Debt Collector - Learn How to Fight Debt Lawsuits
17. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits. The documents were never served. It does look like they attached a copy or two of the statements originally from Synchrony Bank and an affidavit stating "On or about 8/23/2017 Synchrony Bank formerly known as GE Capital Retail Bank sold a pool of charge-off accounts (the Accounts) by a Purchase and Sale Agreement and a Bill of Sale to Midland Funding LLC. As part of the sale of the Accounts, electronic records and other records were transferred on individual Accounts to the debt buyer. These records were kept in the ordinary course of business of Synchrony Bank formerly known as GE Capital Retail Bank."
Any help is greatly appreciated. Should he go to the conference? Should he send something ahead of time? Do we get an attorney? Thank you!