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Background Moved out on my own about two years back. I had assumed all of my important mail was forwarded to my new address. To my shock, after a visit to my old residence, a member of my family hands me a packet of papers informing me that I'm being sued. This totally sucks... I'm lost and unsure of what steps I need to take to ensure I can resolve this. I've never been sued before so this a bit daunting to me. I have been reading a few forums on here and while it has been helpful I must say the information overload is very real and overwhelming. If anyone one has any advice on how I can proceed with putting this behind me my ears and mind are open. Additional Information 1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? - Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC 2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.) - Cooling & Winters, LLC / Cooling and Winters LLC 3. How much are you being sued for? - $1,200 4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff) - Synchrony Bank / Amazon.com 5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?) - I received papers from a family member. 6. How were you served? (Mail, In person, Notice on door) - A family member was served and I received the papers from them. 7. Was the service legal as required by your state? - Yes 8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? - None, as far as I know, I had no idea who they were until I did a little bit of googling (more information below) 9. What state and county do you live in? - Georgia, Habersham County 10. When is the last time you paid for this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations) - 2012-2014 11. When did you open the account (looking to establish what card agreement may be applicable)? - 04/ 11 /2012 12. What is the SOL on the debt? - 6 years 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). - I was unable to find my case online but it says Suit on Account on paper. I've attached scans of the papers I received below blanking out personal information. 14. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?) - No I have not disputed the debt with the credit bureaus both the original and current collectors. 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 I have not requested debt validation. 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? - I was given 30 days to respond. I’m unsure if it’s from the 21st of March or the 23rd. I will include a scanned copy of the paperwork that I received but I’m going to assume the 21st since to be on the safe side. Also, there is an affidavit dated much earlier on the 9th of March would that actually be the deadline? If so I’m totally screwed… I am unsure if I received an interrogatory. What would that be? The “Charges” are: The Plaintiff says the defendant is indebted to the plaintiff as follows: Default on Account. That said claim is in the amount of: SEE ATTACHED COMPLAINT ( Complaint ) 17. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits. - The Evidence I was sent are as listed: - An Affidavit - A Statement of Claim - Exhibit 1 A Statement from 11/15/2012. - Exhibit 2 A Statement from 05/15/2012. - Exhibit 3 The Credit Card Agreement. - Exhibit 4 A Bill of Sale between Synchrony and PRA. - And for Reference the first page out of all the others in the packet with the serving date being 03/21/2018 0r 03/23/2018, but I'm going to assume the 21st. ( Serving ) My Questions 1. What actions should I begin to take? I have not filed an answer in fear that I may end up doing something wrong that is irreversible. 2. Please, If you anyone can point me to other threads with a similar situation as mine that can give me some kind of guideline on how I should go about this I'd greatly appreciate. 3. Would it be best for me to just go ahead and pay this off if I currently have the money or would I be better off fighting the case? 4. Is this just a hopeless effort in a losing battle? I'm totally drained. I really am kinda lost right now. If anyone's got any actionable advice I'm all ears. Thank you for taking a look. If any more information is needed on my side to help in understanding my situation please let me know. I work the graveyard shift but will do my best to respond as promptly as possible. Once again thanks for taking a look.
Background I was laid-off in 2016 and am now a full-time student receiving assistance from a few sources - I am on track to earning my bachelors in IT/Security this year (after 1 1/2 years of study). In late 2016, my mother attempted suicide (due to prior abuse from her now ex-husband - stepfathers suck) which had brought a heavy burden upon my family and I. Nothing is more terrifying than having to drive from Atlanta to Alpharetta...not knowing whether your mom is dead or alive. Unfortunately, this combination of events has led me to largely ignore my financial situation and place me where I am today. Currently, I have close to $7,000 of debt supposedly purchased between 3 junk-debt buyers. Do I regret some of the decisions I made regarding my financial situation? I do. This lawsuit has opened my eyes as to the importance of resolving this situation. It's my hope that this community would be willing to assist me through this process. So, to anyone responding to this thread (and the many more I plan to make) - let me go ahead and state that I am greatly thankful for your time and input. Questionnaire 1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? MIDLAND (Blood-Sucking) FUNDING LLC DBA SYNCHRONY BANK 2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? Green and Cooper LLP 3. How much are you being sued for? ~$2200 4. Who is the original creditor? SYNCHRONY BANK (Amazon Store Card) 5. How do you know you are being sued? The non-stop flood of lawyer advertisements 6. How were you served? Someone dropped it off in person 7. Was the service legal as required by your state? Yes 8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? No correspondence - I logged into Midland's website to view amounts they were trying to collect after I was made aware of the lawsuit. 9. What state and county do you live in? Georgia Cobb County 10. When is the last time you paid on this account? 05/2016 11. When did you open the account? 2014 12. What is the SOL on the debt? 6 years 13. What is the status of your case? Suit Served 14. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus. No 15. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? No 16. How long do you have to respond to the suit? 30 days 17. What evidence did they send with the summons? Exhibit A: Statement 12/21/2016 Exhibit B: Statement 1/22/2016 Exhibit C: Bill of Sale from OC, Affidavit of Sale from OC, Blanked Certificate of Conformity for Notary Exhibit D: Electronic Field data Exhibit E: Affadavit from Midland's Legal Specialist SCAN: complaint-clean.pdf It's essentially the same as this user: Goals 1. Dismissal with prejudice 2. A clear understanding of the process for potential litigation in the future. My Questions 1. What do you recommend I should be doing now? Will it be possible to visit the court and obtain the complaint and relevant information before being served? I am currently awaiting to be served - I will update with the necessary information as soon as I obtain it. Ideally, I'd like to start this process and get a court date ASAP to get this behind me. 2. I am planning on going to court prior to my hearing. Anything in particular I should look out for? I am looking through active cases in my county similar to my lawsuit...taking note of the court date and judge. I am planning on spending an entire day in court prior to my case to take note of practices/procedures within the courtroom - as well as any quirks the judge may have. 3. Is arbitration a better option for me? Which CC agreement should I use? From reading other threads on this forum; the most potent Midland Repellent™ is sending the case into arbitration per the cardholder agreement. My plan is to request this go into arbitration through JAMS. I have attached 2 cardholder agreements (from CFPB) - one pertaining to when I opened the card and the other for when the account was in last good standing. Ideally, it'll probably be best to use the agreement G&C provides (should they) - so they cannot argue the legitimacy should I provide one myself. If they don't, which agreement is recommended? creditcardagreement_opening.pdf creditcardagreement_goodstanding.pdf 4. When do I MTC Arbitration? I suppose this question relates to my lack of understanding the procedure in depth (more on that below). It is my understanding that I will write up a document stating I wish to arbitrate my case, print 3 of them out, and provide them to the judge/lawyer. At which point should I provide this? Should it be the first words that come out of my mouth - when I submit my answer? 5. Any "What Can Go Wrong" horror stories relating to choosing the route of arbitration? This will help me make a more informed decision about where I wish to take this case. 6. Any literature/resources you recommend? I have a narrow view of the entire process in regards to procedure and process. I understand that though I'm representing myself; I will still be held-up to the same standards as a lawyer. Therefore, I'm well aware of the time and resources I will need to put into this to see this case end in my favor. If anyone has any resources/literature covering the magistrate courts in GA - it would be greatly appreciated! So far, my understanding probably represents what's in these videos: https://georgiamagistratecouncil.com/video-home/ ------- Thank you all for your time and consideration. I'm really glad a place like this exists and I look forward to participating in this community in the future!