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Here is my cautionary tale. I was served with a summons from a Bank of America card with an almost $4,000 balance, with FIA Card Services as the company requesting the funds. Law firm representing FIA - Hanna and associates. Case went to trial, and the judge ruled for the plaintiff. My lawyer made objections to the hearsay evidence presented at trial regarding record keeping, but was denied. Plaintiffs brought a witness from FIA, and had a copy of my signed credit card application from 1998. I just don't even think I can win on appeal. Good luck out there.
I recently received a summons to superior court in Georgia for a credit card I know nothing about. The plaintiff is Cavalry SPV and the attorney is Hanna & Assoc. I answered the summons, and now I am drafting responses to the Request for Admission of Facts, Request for Production of Documents, and Interrogatories. I am listing the questions and my answers below -- I would sincerely appreciate any advice or critiques, as this process has a very steep learning curve. Thank you in advance. Request for Admission of Facts 1. You applied for, and received, a credit card account No.XXXX from the Plaintiff. Denied. To the best of the Defendant's memory, and without any proof provided, Defendant does not remember applying for nor receiving this card. 2. You made purchases or received cash advances using the credit card, leaving a net unpaid balance on the account of $5,XXX. Denied. To the best of the Defendant's memory, and without any proof provided, Defendant does not remember using this card. 3. When you applied for the credit card, you agreed to make at least the minimum payment due every month on the indebtedness owing by you on the credit card. Defendant has already denied recollection of this card and therefore this question is improper. 4. You received the credit card agreement attached to Plaintiff's Complaint, you understood its terms and conditions and you agreed to abide by the terms and conditions imposed thereby. Denied. There was no agreement attached to Plaintiff's Complaint. 5. You made at least the minimum monthly payments owing on the credit card account for a period of time. Denied. 6. You ceased making the minimum monthly payments on the credit card. Defendant has already denied recollection of this card and therefore this question is improper. 7. You materially breached the terms and conditions of the credit card agreement, leaving you in material default on the credit card agreement. Defendant has already denied recollection of this card and therefore this question is improper. 8. You have refused to pay the principal balance due Plaintiff on the credit card. Defendant has already denied recollection of this card and therefore this question is improper. 9. You owe to Plaintiff the current past due principal balance of $5XXX. Denied. 10. You owe to Plaintiff interest on the past due balance of $4XXX. Denied. 11. You owe to Plaintiff contractual attorney's fees on the unpaid principal balance in the amount of $0. Defendant has already denied recollection of this card and furthermore has not seen a contract spelling out any legal fees claimed by Plaintiff. 12. You are legally and financially responsible to the Plaintiff for the indebtedness owing on the credit card. Denied. 13. You have benefitted, either directly or indirectly, from the use of the credit card. Denied. 14. You have not been released from liability by the Plaintiff for this debt. Defendant has already denied recollection of this card and therefore this question is improper. 15. You did not dispute any of the charges within sixty (60) days of their appearance on your monthly statement as required by your cardholder agreement. Defendant has already denied recollection of this card and therefore this question is improper. 16. There is no legal or factual basis to support any defense, claim or contention asserted by you in your Answer. Denied. 17. You do not have any documents that support your contention that the amount claimed due in the Complaint is incorrect. Admit. Defendant has never had an account with the Plaintiff or any of the three entities referenced in the Complaint as an alleged "original creditor" and therefore has no documentation regarding any account for any purpose as defined in the complaint. 18. You do not have any legal or factual basis for your contention that a different amount is owed than that claimed by the Plaintiff. Denied. See 17. 19. You do not have any legal or factual basis for your defense of failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Denied. 20. You do not have any legal factual basis for your defense of lack of standing. Denied. Defendant has never had an account with the Plaintiff or any of the three entities referenced in the complaint as an alleged "original creditor" therefore Plaintiff lacks standing to sue Defendant for recovery of non-existent debt. 21. You do not have any factual basis for your claim that Plaintiff does not have a valid assignment. Denied. Plaintiff has attached no documents which demonstrate legal assignment of any debt that Defendant is personally responsible for to Plaintiff. 22. You do not have any legal or factual basis for your defense that within Complaint is not being prosecuted by the real party in interest. Denied. Defendant has never entered into any contractual agreement with Plaintiff for any reason and does not owe Plaintiff any money. 23. You have no defense to this lawsuit. Denied. Defendant preserves their right to use any defense allowed by the laws of the state of Georgia in trial and appeal. Any comments are welcome. I will post the Interrogatories next.
MY MIDLAND "START TO FINISH" STORY After struggling with this debt collection nightmare with Fred Hanna and Midland Funding for over a year it all ended today with a judgment in favor of me, the defendant! The road was long and included the dunning phase, a case filed in magistrate court (dismissed without prejudice) and then re-filed a few months later in State court. Because I was also suffering being laid off from my job, I can’t even explain the fear and stress I experienced during this whole process. But I really want to share this experience, because it has ended with a positive result – Midland abused the legal process and tried to bully money out of me without a shred of evidence, and in the end, both midland and Hanna's laughable attorneys looked like fools. DISCLAIMER: I'M NOT A LAWYER. NONE OF THE FOLLOWING IS INTENDED TO BE LEGAL ADVICE. IT IS SIMPLY MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE COURT SYSTEM AND THE JDB PROCESS. IF YOU NEED LEGAL ADVICE, CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY! THE DUNNING PHASE Prior to Midland filing the suit in Magistrate Court, I received a “dunning” letter from Frederick J. Hanna & Associates, P.C., a debt collection law firm here in Georgia. The dunning letter contained such little information about this debt they were pursuing on behalf of their client, whom I’d never heard of and I seriously was scared and confused. I started researching and uncovered the treasure trove of information regarding the “dunning” process. I sent a request for validation of the debt to Hanna (within the 30 day period) and immediately checked my credit reports. I found that Midland Funding was reporting this debt to all my credit reports under the name “Midland Credit Management”. Again, shocked and confused, I sent Midland a letter Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested and asked for a validation of this debt and confirmation of Fred Hanna’s representation of them in this debt collection pursuit. I never received a response from Midland whatsoever. Fred Hanna’s office sent what they called validation of the debt, which was basically a recitation of what their first letter said, giving me no more information than before. So, from the get go, I was very suspicious and skeptical of both Fred Hanna and of Midland because I assume if one did in fact own a debt and was pursuing it, they wouldn’t be so secretive about the details of the debt. (I didn’t know at the time that the actual information junk debt buyers or debt collectors had about any debt they pursued was minimal). THE MAGISTRATE COURT CASE Approximately, one month later, Midland Funding LLC filed a “suit on account” in Magistrate Court against me in Georgia for a little over $6,000. No documents whatsoever were attached to the complaint. They titled themselves “Midland Funding LLC Assignee of Chase Bank USA NA” as the Plaintiff. At this point I was pretty ticked off because I had tried to find out more information about this “debt” I supposedly owed but got so little from Hanna and NOTHING from the actual company who was supposedly owed this debt and worse, they were reporting negatively to my credit report! My train of thought is, if some stranger knocked on your front door and claims to be collecting a debt for Joe Blow, which you may or may not have owed years ago, would you just start writing the check? I’d hope not! There’s so many fraudsters out there today so it was not unreasonable that I asked for some kind of documentation to ease any of my concerns. So, in Magistrate court I filed an answer and the process was fairly simple and relaxed. I basically said that I didn’t believe I owed this debt and this company is unknown to me and unresponsive to requests for information. It was scheduled for a “trial” about three months after it was filed. I say “trial” in quotes because it was anything but a real trial. It was basically two lawyers from Fred Hanna’s office sitting at two tables with a huge stack of files calling people up one by one to “talk”. The judge is present but pretty much only to put a signature on the settlement agreements or dismissals after the talks. By the way, these were all debt buyer cases, not original creditor cases. I watched person after person go to have their “talk”, none of which questioned the legitimacy of the debt whatsoever, That just boggled my mind and it became apparent why I never got any answers from Fred Hanna or Midland – why do the extra work when we don’t have to? After all 95% of the cases in this particular jurisdiction are default judgments. The lawyers used phrases like, “this kind of thing never goes away…”, “let’s just go ahead and take care of it now…” and make it seem like any settlement offer with the slightest discount is a huge favor to the defendant so they feel pressured to just agree. Only one person of all the defendants there had a lawyer. There was some quiet whispering between the two lawyers and I doubt any agreement actually resulted, it was probably just dismissed. When it was my turn to go up, the first thing I said was “Before I will make any agreement whatsoever, I would like to see some kind of documentation that you own this account.” That just messed this lawyer’s streak of “consent judgments” and he immediately got aggressive. He put a credit card statement in front of me and said “isn’t this your debt? Didn’t you live at this address?” I stuck to my guns, told him “So what if I did, I asked for proof, not this.” At that point, we had gotten a little loud I think, and it he flatly said, “Fine, we’ll just re-file this.” I said, “Great, and maybe then you’ll actually provide the proof I’ve been asking for this whole time.” So the judge signed off on the Dismissal without Prejudice. While walking out of the court room, the next defendant after me started raising hell with the lawyer. Apparently, I started a chain reaction. [Continues next...]
I've read a whole lot of threads regarding the ANSWERING of a Junk Debt Buyers' AKA Plaintiff's Request for Admissions and Interrogatories. But where are some good suggestions for the Defendant's (aka me) Request for Admissions and Interrogatories? I am looking to send a pre-emptive strike against a JDB's Atty here in GA (they've filed suit against me despite repeated requests to validate debt and a previous attempt at filing suit against me (which was dismissed without prejudice) Ive already done the request for production of documents this week. I have NOT received the Request for Admissions and Interrogatories from the plaintiff atty but from what im reading in these forums, i probably will soon. So, I wanna beat them to the punch! Basically my objectives of these two things to is prove they had they have no legitimate proof to substantiate their claim against me and to continue to build my counterclaim against them for failing to validate and other FDC FCRA violations. Any resources? Im in Georgia btw