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Well I received a summons...

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Received a xerox copy summons in the mail from an attorney in Mass (my state) with no court date - Called the clerk and she told me within 20 days to send her a response to the "complaint issued" There was a "statement of damages" sheet attached to it - no idea what that is.

so what do i do? Send a D.V. letter to the attorney or Discover (the amount in question is over 10K) ? Is it legal to get a xerox copy of a summons? any advice would more than be appreciated... :(

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Be sure to answer the summons within the 20 day period or default judgment will be entered. Discover Card /Novus has apparently assigned your debt to NCO. You could DV at this time, however you're already clocked-in the civil court system in your area and a pre-trial conference probably will be scheduled within a few months. In the meantime you will probably receive Interrogatories to complete. This is what Discover does and they are typically prepared to produce a representative in court who will come equipped with the original cc agreement and other stuff. Even if you had DV'd Discover sooner I believe the outcome would have been the same. Discover Card pretty much sues all defaulting customers and the circumstances of the indebtedness are totally irrelevant.

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to late to DV

answer the complaint in writing. admit your address but "deny having information and knwledge sufficient to form a belief about the matter alleged in the following paragraphs:"

You need defenses: As a first defense, the court lacks personal jurisdiction over the defendant ( i.e., they didn't serve you properly) . As a second defense, the statute of limitations has run ( may or may not be true). As a third defense, allege that NCO does not have the legal capacity to sue you ( are they authorized to do biz in MA; do they have a license to collect?) As a fourth defense, throw in a few FDCPA violations if that is true of NCO.

Sign and notarize your answer and send a copy to teh lawyer, and the original to the court under the index number with a separate statement saying you sent the lawyer a copy, giving mailiong date and address you sent it to

You will also need some discovery of your own to slow them down

On a 2nd piece of paper, copy the caption and title it "Defendant's First Discovery demands" and ask them to send you , in 20 days, the following:

name of all witnesses they intend to call at a trial with a summary of the substance of their anticipated testiony;

copies of all documents they intend to offer into eveidence at a trial

copies of any statements you made to novus or nco regarding the alleged debt

At the end, ell them you will ask the court to preclude them from offering any ofthese into evidence if they don't send them to you on time. Likewise, send a copy ot he lawyer and original to teh court

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