Morgan

How to File An Answer With The Court?

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I’ll try and make this brief. State of CA, being sued for $6500 in Limited Civil Court, County of Los Angeles, by a law firm representing our favorite people, Providian.

I was only 60 days late on the account and the law firm sent me one notice and two collection calls. In the time I was preparing my DV letter, I received a Notice of Case Assignment and a Summons in the same envelope (sent via first class mail, marked Personal & Confidential). First, the Notice of Case Management (set for 6/23/03) is a photocopy and is so light, I can’t read it. From what I read, in the State of CA, this constitutes being served? It’s unclear according to this http://www.lawdog.com/states/ca/sta3.htm

The first thing I need to do is file an answer with the court, basically saying this isn’t my account (even though it is), to buy some time. Where do I get this form, preferably online? I assume I need to send it CRRR? If anyone has done this before and could give me advice, I would appreciate it. My 30 days to answer is up this week. Thanks.

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You probably should not answer the summons with "this isn't my account" else the creditor will eventually prove it and your credibility will be shot. Consider just asking they provide verification for the amount owed, complain about the legal fees and explain you will need to see evidence of signed credit card agreements and the like. Never indicate you can't pay the debt. The idea here is to stall the matter in court until you can either reach a settlement or file bankruptcy. Many law firms work on contigency and firms like DISCOVER BANK, PROVIDIAN, CAP ONE often dump sour loans on law firms to sue and collect often as in the case of DISCOVER BANK with full prior knowledge and/or the belief the debtor intends to file bankruptcy in the end!

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Good Advice.

Sounds like the good ol' LA County Limited Civil case materials.

Yes, you got served with the Case Management Review Notice and the Summons. Sounds like they waste no time. 60 days?

You should file your answer. There's some proper formats in here to follow. Try poking around the web to see answers, etc. Basically, you want to deny each of their allegations and respond with affirmative defenses. Some possibles are (if any apply to you):

- The claim is based on an agreement that must be in writing, but there is no written contract.

- The contract is one that you have a right to cancel, and you properly canceled it (or can still cancel).

- The account is not familiar to you and you have no record of it.

- The debt is too old to be enforceable (Statute of Limitations)

- The Plaintiff lacks standing (in this case, we need to explore Calif Code of Civ Proc 367-369.5 and 872.610). Generally, the assignee can stand in the shoes of the assignor. If this was a Small Claims action, it'd be a slam dunk (under $5000.00).

link to Calif Code of Civ Proc: http://leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=ccp&codebody=&hits=100

You could have some partial defenses to the claim:

- The collector is asking for more than is owed

- The collector is asking for more than you agreed to pay

- The collector is asking for more interest, fees, other charges than is allowed by law

LA Country uses these case management reviews to cut down the litigation. It will be their responsibility to contact you and confer with you 30 days before the Review date. A case management statement will be required 15 days prior to the review date.

Of course, you can always agree to settle the case instead and ask that they dismiss the action. Setup some sort of payment plan with them instead of losing the war.

[Edit by IronMan on Tuesday, March 4, 2003 @ 03:05 AM]

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