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  1. Bear with me if this appears incoherent since I am new to the debt lawsuit business. I will try to be a bit elaborate since I don't know what to make of the pre-trial conference. I have been lurking around the last week or two after being hit by a lawsuit to collect on an alleged chase card debt. Howard Lee Schiff is handling this on behalf of Midland funding. I appropriately responded to the summons with diagree and do not know answers to the charges. I then contacted the law office to provide proof of debt but did not receive anything. The pretrial conference today was very interesting (6/5/15 - my first!). The opposing lawyer was present and apparently a court appointed representative (possible the judge but just as likely some other lawyer) administered the conference. The opposing lawyer introduced the lawsuit and amount of debt in question. When asked I denied any knowledge of the debt and mentioned that I had repeatedly asked for proof of debt and had not received any evidence. The 'judge' inquired the opposing counsel who promptly forwarded me a stack of unsigned statements. The judge asked if there was a signed agreement to which the counsel referred to some past case and highlighted that the OC does not need to keep signed agreements beyond 4 years and that the statements printed were enough to prove the debt was owed. The judge did not object to it. She also turned to me to ask if the name on the statement was mine. I nodded yes. She then inquired if the address on the statement was mine. I replied with "cannot confirm" and will have to check records. I asked that I be given time to review the presented evidence. The judge asked if I was employed and whether I owned any property. Just when I thought this was coming to an end, the judge sought to talk to each party individually. He asked me if there were other lawsuits, suggested that it seemed the debt was owed and suggested that the best mode is to settle and be done with it. He een asked me to quickly review the pile to see if there were any signed documents - there were none. I told him that as long as I could affirm that I owed this debt, I was open to talk. After a few minutes of conversation with the opposing counsel, we were both called in. He admonished us again to talk and settle and proceeded to fill a form - the "scheduling order". He started aloud by calling out loud "written discovery" and the lawyer instantly and eagerly latched on to say "DONE". The judge agreed. I found that very odd and uncomfortable since I did not exactly know how discovery was complete! (Arn't I suppose to ask a bunch of questions regarding the lack of ownership and lack of proof of debt???) I tried to ask the judge to educate me on that and he duly referred me to the librarian on the 2nd floor . The opposing counsel seemed overly amused. Long story short, he scheduled a date for fact finding meeting - he also mentioned the word "deposition" which I still need to find the meaning for . We left the court house. This may be my gut but the lawyer seemed rather friendly with the people in the court house and the fact that the "judge" did not object to any (lack of) evidence presented seemed ominous - perhaps this wasnt the right forum for him, I don't know. Anyway, the lawyer wore a fake, almost condescending, smile all the time. The relevant portion of the order is pasted below: The questions in my mind are: How should I feel about this so far. Did I miss a trick somewhere so far? What should be my next steps now that I have a breather? Is CT a friendly state to debt collectors in general? Please advise so that I can bring my heart rate to normal Thanks FACTS: 1) there is no signed (or unsigned) agreement presented 2) there was no evidence showing that midland bought this specific account 3) there were almost a year worth of unsigned statements. _____________________________________________ The following order is entered in the above matter: ORDER: Scheduling Order Written discovery shall be served on or before: done Depositions of fact witnesses accomplished by: n/a Disclosure of plaintiffs experts by: n/a Depositions of plaintiffs experts by: n/a Independent medical exam accomplished by: n/a Disclosure of defendants experts by: n/a Depositions of defendants experts by: n/a Motions for summary judgment to be filed by n/a Motions for summary judgment to be argued by: n/a Other scheduling orders:
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