This is one that i hat to put on here to get some input on, which is quite the interesting scenario. Names have been redacted since there is an active complaint with the Michigan Attorney General's office.
Back in 2007 i was served a summons in person from [COLLECTOR], assignee of Providian which i did not respond to and had a default judgment entered against me. I was young at the time had no clue about any legal process or defense assumed had no chance so didn't do anything. Prior to that, the debt collector/buyer (not sure what the case actually is, haven't been able to find out) or their attorney [OLD ATTORNEY] had never contacted me. I never received a notice of judgment (i no longer lived at the address they had) and had never been contacted by them again even after the judgment except for an occasional notice of my state income tax being garnished and the judgment renewal when that time came. So i went on with life. Until just a few weeks ago, i received a copy of a subpoena from a new law firm [ATTORNEY] representing [COLLECTOR] asking for banking information from one of my credit card companies. Ok now they are trying to collect. So i went on their website and seen they had an account management section so i created my account with them. Then followed the link to negotiate a settlement with them and have them contact me. They called the next day and left voice mail. I proceeded to send a debt validation request, knowing this was well past any time frame allowed under law, but being older and smarter i was pretty sure that they filed the suit past the statute of limitations and figured it was worth a shot to get some documentation (i know that the sol defense was out the window but wanted to know more for personal reasons and maybe help in negotiating settlement). Also knowing that in 2005 Providian was purchased by Washington Mutual and in 2008 Chase purchased WAMU credit card accounts when the government was shut down, i called Chase Asset Recovery and asked for more information, they had no record of me and suggested to send debt validation to their address that responded to that, so i did (haven't received anything from them yet). The debt validation response from [ATTORNEY] was they did not have any documentation except a copy of the original judgment (which they sent and was the first time i had ever set eyes on it) because they were not the original attorney and only a client representing [COLLECTOR].
Here's where things get interesting. Ok, now to find this [COLLECTOR]. Search Google, only mention of this place on the internet is on pdf on [ATTORNEY] website listing their clients. Not helpful seeing i've never been contacted by them and have no idea how to. Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has a business entity search so i looked them up found a [COLLECTOR] LLC. Good now i have a registered agent address and registered office address. Off to post office to send certified validation letter, but there is a problem. The address is not a valid address. WTF!!! Go to google maps the zip code listed is not correct for that town and doing a search of that address was of an auto detail shop. Back to google to look up the registered agent to see if i can find anything. Found him, kind of (The name on the registered agent was misspelled). He also owns another business with a similar address (street number off by a few, same suite number) but looking this business up on LARA, the registered agent and office address also was not valid, had a different town than that of [COLLECTOR] and the wrong zip code. What is going on here? I called the Corporation Division of LARA seeing if the had any information regarding these businesses trying to get a valid address. They did not. They did confirm with me they were not valid registered agent address or registered office addresses for either company and said they were likely trying to hide something but they (LARA) have no way to verify filings with them. I found a phone number for the non debt collector business that this guy owns and called (recorded) asking for [COLLECTOR] the lady that answered told me [COLLECTOR] does not exist anymore, i told her i needed a valid address for them to send some legal paperwork, she told me she wasn't sure but thought [COLLECTOR] had a parent company called [PARENT] and she'd look into it and call me back. She never did. I also called the auto detailing place at [COLLECTOR]'s address asking if there was a [COLLECTOR] in suite XXX in their building and he responded that their wasn't and there is no suite XXX, which i knew wouldn't be the case but wanted that documented. Ok so debt collector had falsified all of its annual filings in violation of section 450.2707 [Maintaining registered office and registered agent;...] of the Michigan Limited Liability Company Act starting in January of 2007, 4 months before they sued me in May of 2007. I would assume the collector/junk debt buyer, whatever the case is intentionally hiding. How can you validation requests and/or legal papers to a non existent address for a company?
And the big legal question. Does/should a company that has been operating illegally in the State of Michigan legally exist, and therefore does/should said company have a standing to file suit in a court of the state?
Now keep in mind i am well aware this whole deal is well past limitations on various laws and there is nothing that can be done about the judgment, but there has to be a laundry list of state, federal, FDCPA, or other laws this place has violated. I'm going to guess the outcome of this would be section 450.4803 [Dissolution; action by attorney general;...] of the Michigan Limited Liabilities Company Act. If/when that happens did this place ever legally exist in the first place? And if this is all legal, i would think it absolutely shouldn't be.
One last kicker, remembering the lady i called mentioning [PARENT] i looked them up on LARA with a big surprise. [PARENT] is in same building as [ATTORNEY]. Coincidence? Now if [ATTORNEY] knew (which i would highly speculate the know) about [COLLECTOR] and [PARENT] is really the parent company of [COLLECTOR] there are a few rules in the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct [ATTORNEY] is violating?
I have retained an attorney immediately finding this out, i wasn't attempting to self negotiate anymore. I don't think he originally believed me on this story and said they there is no way to know if [COLLECTOR] isn't actually from another state but agreed to take a retainer to settle the judgment. Today he called me with a negotiated lump sum settlement (yay, although none of this was brought up in negotiations) and he told me he happened to sneak in asking who the owner of the debt was. [ATTORNEY] only told him it was someone in their building......