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Lawsuit Collections - What is next?

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Wife and I received summons and we have responded / answered the summons. Unlimited Civil Suit > 25k

Any idea what is next step for us?

We know we owe but have been unable to meet min. payment

Contacted atty for other side but he has been unresponsive with payment plan offer after several calls.

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The answer was filed late last week and was filed in time. What can we expect next? Interrogatories?

Merrybucks is right. But assuming you did deny, they are likely to send you "Requests for Admissions", wherein they will ask you to admit to all their claims, so that they don't have to provide proof in court. Read up in these forums on how to respond. They will also send "Form Interrogatories", which are pretty basic, and "Special Interrogatories", wherein they will ask you to explain why you didn't admit to whatever you didn't admit to in your responses to the Request for Admissions.

Is the original creditor suing you, or has the debt been sold, with the debt buyer suing in you? With an amount >$25K, you can expect them to fight hard.

Good luck.

DH

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We denied on the response as we are unsure how they determined the amount so we are challenging it.

Looks like we are going to be filing alot of paperwork.

This forum is great and very helpful.

The OC has assigned the debt collection to an attorney

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After going over the Summons / Complaint again I am looking at Item 10 d which states:

10) Plaintiff prays for:

d) OTHER (specify) NOTICE TO DEFENDANT All notices, letters, payments, and other papers are to be mailed to XXXX LLC , until such time, if any, that you receive formal written notice of a change or substitution of atorneys by plaintiff.

Is this a request for past documentation or for any new documents or correspodence moving forward?

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XXXX LLC is the lawyer? They're just saying all mail is to be sent to them, as opposed to the Original Creditor, until they are replaced by another attorney.

So, No, this is not a formal request for documents of any kind; it's just providing you with the correct mailing address.

DH

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My wife was named as the defendant and they also listed Does 1 to 10. Will I receive a seperate summons or be neamed as a separate defendant?

The Does 1-10 thing is standard lawyerese stuff.

If this is for a credit card in both your names, (not with you just as an authorized user), they would have put both your names on the summons.

Sounds like this is for a credit card in you wife's name only. If not, I'm puzzled too.

DH

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Okay so we have received the certified mail "green card" for the copy of the response that we mailed to the OC's attorney.

Is there a time limit that they need to follow for the next step? Do they have to send us interrogatories / Req for Admission etc. within a certain time limit?

BTW the card is in wife's name and I was an authorized user.

...

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I don't remember what the time constraints are for sending Discovery requests. I think they have to wait until 30 days after you file your answer. I don't think there's a limit beyond that. I also don't know if tactically it's better to send your Discovery requests to them right away, or to wait until they send you theirs. But you should know that in California, the wheels of justice turn slowly. Once Case Management Conferences begin, it is common for them to be continued many times, including to allow Discovery to be completed. ("Continued" means postponed and resumed at a later date)

A resource I strongly recommend for you is a book from Nolo press call "Win Your Lawsuit" by Judge Roderic Duncan. It will answer more of your questions about the legal process than you can ask and get answered here.

Good luck.

DH

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We are now scheduled for a Case Management Conference. What happens at this conference?

Generally, very little.

Note that you must submit a Case Management Statement prior to the Conference.

Then, it may be continued to be resumed later. A trial date may be scheduled. You both may be ordered to complete Discovery. Just make sure you show up, or send a lawyer on your behalf.

The other side may be represented by a local rent-a-lawyer. If they don't show up at all, ask for a dismissal, although this is unlikely.

Good luck.

DH

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So if the plaintiff or their lawyer does not show, should I file a motion to dismiss? If so, with or without prejudice?

If a rent a lawyer shows is there a way to object as they would not have sufficient knowledge of the case?

If the plaintiff or lawyer does not show, the judge may dismiss it automatically. If not, you can verbally ask for a dismissal without filing a written motion. Ask for with prejudice, but expect to get without prejudice.

Sending a rent-a-lawyer is pretty common, so I doubt you'd get far objecting to them.

DH

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In the case manament statement it is asking about discovery items. what discovery should we be asking for as defendants?

1. "Requests for Admissons, Interrogatories, Production of Documents"

2. "Deposition of Person Most Knowledgable of Plaintiff"

Good Luck.

DH

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We are also looking at filing for Chapter 13 bk. Is this something we can use to try to get the attorney to deal with us. They want 3 times the amount per month than we can pay.

You can try, but I suspect attorneys are very accustomed to defendants claiming they may file bankruptcy, and may not take a threat seriously.

Good luck.

DH

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