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  1. Not quite sure where to begin, so here goes. I'm going to admit right off the bat I handled this very poorly. Got a summons from Calvary Portfolio for $1425.79. Spoke with a local lawyer, and he said don't show up for court they will just garnish you. You see I finally have a very good job, and maybe he thought I could afford to be garnished. I was dumbfounded, and left feeling I should try and work out payments with them. Well I called, and simply said, "I didn't have that kind of money, can I make payments?" The man didn't identify himself but said, "I don't know who you think you're talking to, this is an attorney, not a debt collector!" I said, "I can't afford that much money." He said he would see me in court, and hung up. This all happened about 2 weeks before court. I thought, if a lawyer told me not to go, I'd lose anyway. A few days after that I found a great article, explaining all about these debt collectors, and how my original credit card Orchard Bank, HSBC had actually charged off the account in 2009, and Calvary bought it. Call me stupid, I had no idea how it all worked till that article. It was suggested to send a request for production letter. Not sure if that's what they call it in Illinois, but I never received a certified letter, and I knew there was no time to do it. So I decided to go and defend myself. It was Monday March 18th. I had all my notes, was scared to death, but ready. Finally the Judge called my name. First thing he asked me was did I want to talk to the Plaintiffs Attorney, I said no. He then said the amount, and asked if I agreed or disagreed? Disagree, I said. After a long pause he said, "why?" I said, "Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." Immediately Plaintiffs Attorney said to the Judge, "internet!" And they both laughed. Then I got a 5 minute lecture about defending myself, ending with him saying have your witnesses and evidence ready we will set this for trial. It was all I could do not to scream and say, "I thought the burden of proof was the plaintiffs!" I knew to keep my mouth shut or I would have lost then. So trial is set for May 6th. Am looking for advice on how to proceed from the experts here. I truly feel I am not going to get a fair trial anyway. Also found it interesting that Giovanni Rodriguez who had duly sworn Affidavit Of Claim, was no where in the courtroom to even be questioned. I guess Plaintiff knew he wouldn't need him. Thanks in advance to all who can help! Cathy
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