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Good Evening, I am BrokeBaker: I accumulated debts when my mom died a month before I opened a bakery. Since closing that business 3.5 years ago, I'm still underemployed/unemployed, and I've watched my bills grow and grow while trying to get from underneath them and also not ending up homeless. Tonight on March 27th, 2014, when I got home, my roommate handed me a summons that he received for me. I am being sued! This girl is very scared, very overwhelmed. I've spent the last 3 hours reading through the forum, and there are a lot of relevant cases to mine (Homeless in California to name just one). But there is so much information and I'm not sure what to do or what the sequencing is. I'm utterly overwhelmed. Is there anyone out there who can help me make sure I have my immediate plan of action clear? Step 1: Respond! I know that I need to file an answer to this summons within 30 calendar days from the date I was served. So, I need to provide a written response by April 25th, 2014. Because my roommate was served and not me, I may actually get an extra 10 days to respond. (1) Can I mail my response to the summons? The suit was filed in a courthouse that is about 30 miles away from where I live, so I wonder if I can "answer" this lawsuit via certified mail, or if I need to go to the courthouse. Anyone know the answer to that?. (2) Affirmative Responses/Defense: In my response to the summons, do I need to write a word document or do I need to complete an official Court Form? I'm not sure if there is a template or legal required form. I know that I need to provide a written response to the summons with my "affirmative defense". I know that if I don't list them in my response, I cannot use them in my defense later. How do I decide all of the affirmative responses that I can use? What are some common options? From what I read, here's what I think: Statute of Limitation: I haven't made a payment on this account since at least 2009, which means this is outside of the statute of limitations (SOL). SOL in California is 4 years, I just learned on this excellent forum.What affirmative defense relates to this? Is this "Lack of Standing"? I'm being sued by a Law Firm on behalf of Asset Capital Recovery Group (ACRG), but the cause of action says that I became indebted to Chase Bank. I have never had an account with Chase Bank. But, I know I had a Washington Mutual Account, and Chase Bank purchased Washington Mutual (which is now a defunct bank). I don't even know if ACRG or Chase has written record of this debt, and I don't know for sure that ACRG can represent Chase to sue me as they have provided no paperwork or documentation. What affirmative defense would cover this scenario, if any? (3) When Do I File CCP96?: I now know that California Civil Code 96 [form found here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/disc015.pdf] is my request to the Plaintiff basically saying "I want to know who your witnesses are and what evidence you have that I owe this debt, and what signed copies of the contract do you have saying I agreed to this debt". When do I file this form? Do I file it with the courts at the same time I respond to the summons? (4) Is CCP 96 related to BOP? When do I serve the plaintiff with the Bill of Particulars (BOP)? Again, this is a question of sequencing. I do have a lovely word document template I obtained from one of the forums here. (5) I see a "General Denial" form. [http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/pld050.pdf] Do I need to submit this? And if so, what is the sequence? (With the answer to the summons?) (6) When do I send CCP 98? Again, this is a question of sequencing ----------Any information you all can provide would be incredible appreciated. I can bake an amazing cake, but I have no head for all of this legal stuff. I know I wrote a lot, but I"m trying to be thorough and clear------------ If it's helpful, I'm attaching my case below since I've seen this modeled on other posts: This is my case: 1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? - Asset Capital Recovery Group, LLC a Limited Liability Company 2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.) - Law Offices of Kenosian & Miele, LLC 3. How much are you being sued for? - $11825.17 + legal fees 4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff) - Chase Bank USA 5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?) - Summons served 6. How were you served? (Mail, In person, Notice on door) - summons was given to my roommate while I was not at home. 7. Was the service legal as required by your state? - Yes as far as I know. 8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued? - I received a collections call on the matter and when I said I couldn’t make payment arrangements at the time given that I am unemployed, I was told that I would be sued in court. 9. What state and county do you live in? - California, Los Angeles 10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations) - They don’t list this date in the summons, but it does list 12/9/2010 as a date that a 10% annual interest on the debt began accruing. The last time I paid a bill for Washington Mutual (which became Chase Bank) had to be late 2009. I certainly didn't make a payment on 12/9/2010. 11. What is the SOL on the debt? - 4 years in California 12. 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) - Complaint filed: 03/18/14; Summons & Complaint served: 3/26/2014 - General denial (PlD-C-010 form): not filed yet - Plaintiff's RFA, Special Interrogatories, and RFP not filed/served yet - Defendants Answers to RFA, Special Interrogatories, and RFP not filed/served yet - Defendant's RFA, Special Interrogatories, and RFP not filed/served yet - Plaintiff's Answers to RFA, Special Interrogatories, and RFP not filed/served yet - MSC scheduled for n/a - Trial scheduled for n/a 13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?) - No 14. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? (Note: if you haven't sent a debt validation request, don't bother doing this now - it's too late.) - No 15. 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. - 30 days (possible 40 given that I wasn’t personally served the summons) 16. We need to know what the "charges" are. Please post what they are claiming.Common counts,account stated,breach of contract,claims of debt for goods sold and delivered,for work performed,for money loaned or advanced,for money paid and repayment is due,for money received on behalf of the plaintiff,money due on an account stated or on an open book account, indebitatus assumpsit, quantum meruit,quantum valebant,unjust enrichment. - Contract Rule 3.749 collections. One cause of action “common counts” 17. Is the complaint "verified"? A verified complaint is one in which the last page it has a declaration from someone stating that the information and allegations are true and correct under penalty of perjury. - Yes, the complaint is verified. The person is a managing member of Asset Capital Recovery Group, and not Chase Bank USA. 18. Did you receive discovery or interrogatory or Admissions (questionnaire) regarding the lawsuit? -No, I do not believe do. 19. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits. -There is no evidence with the summons or complaint. ---