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Interrogatories and Request for Admissions

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Hello all.I'm new.I'm happy I found this site. I had an appointment with a lawyer for a free consultation and he helped me with a "answer" to the courts after being sued by a (law firm)for an old credit card that already defaulted that they must have bought.I want verification for this debt, that they own it, etc.The lawyer told told me to go through the "discovery" process and that I can fight it. The debt is for about $3500. I don't have a job now so it's alot for me. Anyway I have recieved a letter from the lawyer for "interrogatories and Admissions"with all these questions.I need help on how to answer these questions.I don't want to give them this information..They are asking for my checking account number and all sorts of thing:

1-Do you admit that you owe the plaintiff the debt?

2-Did you recieve monthly statements from this bank.

3-Do you say deny the dollar amount owed?

4-My addresses/past electric bills during the credit card debt.copy of drivers liscence

Why would I ever give them this information?

Anyway,I have read that I must answer this because I might be able to get a default judgement against me if I don't..Also I read i can also send them a form for "discovery"..Can someone help on hw to answer these questions properly so that I do this right??Thanks so much!! I' m so lost.

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Since you haven't gotten many answers, I'll try to help, but I'm not a lawyer. And also, your state laws may be a little different than what I'm familiar with. And, do searches on "Requests for Admissions", and you'll find lots of information.

First, since you have filed an answer, they can no longer get a default judgment. Now you're in the Discovery phase, and yes, you can send Discovery requests to the other side.

The purpose of Discovery is for each side to find out what cards the other side holds. In other words, show the other side what evidence they will submit in court. The hope of the courts is that one side will give up, and either dismiss the case or reach a settlement before a judge needs to spend time on the case.

If you don't respond to the Discovery requests, first the other side will file a "Motion to Compel" you to respond, and there may be fines or "sanctions" assessed to you as well. Then they will file to "Deem Requests as Admitted" because you didn't deny them, then they will move for Summary Judgment, and probably get it granted. So, although the final result is the same as a default judgment, technically it's different.

Now, I've posted on this before (you can search through my posts), but here's the thing. Collection Attorney's have perverted the use of "Requests for Admissions." The intent of them is to establish what facts are not in dispute, so that only those facts not in dispute need to be considered in court. An example I've posted before:

Say there's a traffic accident. Say you ran a red light and hit someone.

Your are asked to admit:

1. Main Street is East-West

2. Elm Street is North-South

3. You were traveling east on Main

4. Other guy was going South on Elm

5. You ran red light

6. You were speeding

You admit 1-4, deny 5&6, making them provide proof. Judges will be pissed if you deny Main Street is East-West, forcing the other side to spend time and money to prove it. Make the other side present evidence as to 5&6.

The perversion come in where Collection Attorneys are asking you to "admit" to their claims without their needing to provide proof.

Now here's a key thing to remember: If you respond "Deny" to one of their requests, you are not denying it took place. You are only refusing to allow it to be admitted in court as a fact without dispute. This is kind of like not being forced to testify against yourself. The opposing attorney hopes you don't know this, and will do all his work for him. Again, if you are asked to admit, say, you applied for a credit card, and you did, but you "Deny" it, you are not lying to the court. You are only refusing to allow the statement to be admitted as a fact without them required to produce proof.

As to your specific issues, here's what you might do:

1. Deny (now they must provide proof you owe them, which includes proof you applied for the credit card or whatever, and proof they bought the account if they're not the original creditor)

2. Deny (now they must prove they sent you monthly statements)

3. Deny (now they must provide an accounting of how the amount was arrived at)

4. Object, saying that past addresses, electric bills, driver's license (and also checking account information) is not relevant to the case at issue.

One caution (among many): If the Original Creditor is suing you, your chances are much slimmer, as they are more likely to be able to come up with proof.

Another caution: If you deny something that the judge ends up thinking you should have admitted (like that Main Street - East/West thing), they can hit you for costs they expending proving it.

Good luck.


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Again, if you are asked to admit, say, you applied for a credit card, and you did, but you "Deny" it, you are not lying to the court. You are only refusing to allow the statement to be admitted as a fact without them required to produce proof.

Actually, you are. That's why you're on the hook for the other side's legal fees and whatever other costs the court sees fit if the other side proves something you denied.

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