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We live in Indiana:

I came home and found a summons laying on the table next to the front door.

Plantiff's Attorney:

Cheryl Carson

Bowman, Heintz, Boscia and Vician Merrillville, IN

(about 3.5 hours away by car)

Plaintiff Alleges:

1. That defendant (s) is (are) indebted to plaintiff in the sum of 8469.34 for goods, wares, merchandise and/or services sold and delivered by the plaintiff's assignor at defendant's special insistance and request, and/or for necessary and essential goods, wares, merchandise and/or services furnished by plaintiff's assignor to defendant(s) was (were) responsible to support and maintain.

2. That the balance due to this plaintiff is based on assignment(s) by original creditor (s) to this plaintiff. That plaintiff is the actual and bonafide owner of the account.

3. That the sum of $8469.34 is now due and unpaid together with interest and costs pursuant to Indiana law. Wherefore, plaintiff demands judgement against the defendants for the sum of $8469.34 plus accrued interest in the amount of $ .00, plus additional interest at the rate of .00 % per annum from August 17, 2009 and costs and all other proper relief. Midland Funding LLC AS ASSIGNEE of XXXXXX _____________________

There were no forms at the clerks office to provide a guide on how to respond.

How should I respond and what should I do if I want to fight the suit?

Should I file a discovery motion and if so, do I file it when I respond or is that done separately?

Any and all input is welcomed.

Thanks in advance for your assistance

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Well first of all, I'd see if the service was properly done. In CA, one must be served personally or through substitute service (or by publication if the other 2 fail). If you were not properly served, then file a motion to quash service...

But I'm assuming IN allows this type of service. So you have to answer the complaint. You have maybe 20 - 30 days to answer. Deny everything and write in you answer "I demand strict proof thereof."

Wait maybe 5 days after you file the answer and send your first set of interrogatories. Subpoena all records from Midland, especially the bill of sale or other document assigning rights to the account (chances are they do not have anything). If they cannot produce according to the rules, file a motion to compel.

The more pressure you put on them, the more likely you WILL win.

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Cause number

Response to Complaint on alleged account

Comes now the Defendant in the above-state action and responds to the complaint with the following:

1. Denied. Defendant is at this time without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation contained therein, and on that basis generally and specifically denies the allegation contained therein, and leaves the Plaintiff to provide proof. Defendant demands strict proof thereof.

2.Denied. Defendant is at this time without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation contained therein, and on that basis generally and specifically denies the allegation contained therein, and leaves the Plaintiff to provide proof. Defendant demands strict proof thereof.

3.Denied. Defendant is at this time without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation contained therein, and on that basis generally and specifically denies the allegation contained therein, and leaves the Plaintiff to provide proof. Defendant demands strict proof thereof.

Pursuant to The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (B), a letter addressed to the Law Office Bowman, Heintz, Boscia & Vician is appended hereto stating the debt is disputed and requesting validation from the Plaintiff. Under the FDCPA 15 USC 1692.

WHEREFORE, Defendant awaits Plaintiff's timely response with information showing that alleged debt exists. If such information is not produced in a timely fashion, Defendant prays the court dismiss this claim with prejudice.

Date:

Defendant

_________________________

With my response to the court, I included the validation request I subsequently sent to the plaintiff's attorney.

I then sent by certified mail the lengthly validation request to the attorney (found below)

__________________________________

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Re: Complaint

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is being sent to you in response to filed complaint, by your firm on or about September 23, 2009. In short, you've contacted the wrong individual. Having a common name seems to lend itself to fraud and cases of mistaken identities. A similar event has occurred in the past and it took several months to clarify the matter.

If after checking your records you persist with this claim, this communication will serve to invoke my rights provided by federal law and responding with notice pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (B) and that validation is requested.

Please note, this is NOT a request for “verification” or proof of my mailing address, but a request for VALIDATION made pursuant to the above named Title and Section.

DEBT COLLECTOR DISCLOSURE STATEMENT

This statement and the answers contained herein may be used by Respondent, if necessary, in any court of competent jurisdiction.

Notice: This Debt Collector Disclosure Statement is not a substitute for, nor the equivalent of, the hereinabove-requested verification of the record, i.e. “Confirmation of correctness, truth, or authenticity, by affidavit, oath, or deposition” (Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, 1990), re the alleged debt, and must be completed in accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC §1692g, applicable portions of Truth in Lending (Regulation Z), 12 CFR 226, and demands as cited above. Debt Collector must make all required disclosures clearly and conspicuously in writing re the following:

1.Name of Debt Collector: ……………………………………………………………….……………………………………………...

2.Address of Debt Collector: ……………………………………….……………………………..……

3.Name of alleged Debtor: …………………………………………………………..……………………………

4. Address of alleged Debtor: ……………….……………………………………...………………………………………………….. .

5. Alleged Account Number: ………..…………...……………………………………………………………………………………. ..

6. Alleged debt owed: $………………………………….……………………………………………………..……………………… ...

7. Date alleged debt became payable: ……...…………………………….………..……………..…..………

8. Re this alleged account, what is the name and address of the alleged Original Creditor, if different from Debt Collector?

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………

9. How was alleged debt calculated? Provide an itemization and billing record history for alleged account as well as an itemization of any interest and fees that are being assessed.

10. Re this alleged account, if Debt Collector is different from alleged Original Creditor, does Debt Collector have a bona fide affidavit of assignment to enter into alleged original contract between alleged Original Creditor and alleged Debtor? YES NO

11. Is Debt Collector licensed to collect in the state of Indiana? If so, what is the license number(s) and name of Registered Agent

12. Did Debt Collector purchase this alleged account from the alleged Original Creditor? YES NO N/A (Not Applicable)

11. If applicable, date of purchase of this alleged account from alleged Original Creditor, and purchase amount:

Date: …………………………………………………… Amount: $……………………………………………..……………………

12.Did Debt Collector purchase this alleged account from a previous debt collector?

YES NO N/A

13. If applicable, date of purchase of this alleged account from previous debt collector, and purchase amount:

Date: …………………………………………………… Amount: $……………………………………………..……………………

14. Regarding this alleged account, Debt Collector is currently the:

Owner; (B) Assignee; © Other – explain: …………………………………………………….… .

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………

15.What are the terms of the transfer of rights re this alleged account? ……….………….……….……………………………….

16. If applicable, transfer of rights re this alleged account was executed by the following method:

(a) Assignment; (B) Negotiation; © Novation; (d) Other – explain:…………………….…………………...……………

............………………………………………………………………………………………...…… …………………………………

17. If the transfer of rights re this alleged account was by assignment, was there consideration? YES NO N/A

18. What is the nature and cause of the consideration cited in # 17 above? ………………………….……….………..…………

………………………………………………………………………………………...…………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………...……………………… …………………………

19. If the transfer of rights re this alleged account was by negotiation, was the alleged account taken for value?

YES NO N/A

20.What is the nature and cause of any value cited in #19 above? ……………………….………………………………………...

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………

21.If the transfer of rights re this alleged account was by novation, was consent given by alleged Debtor? YES NO N/A

22. What is the nature and cause of any consent cited in #21 above? ………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

23. Has Debt Collector provided alleged Debtor with the requisite verification of the alleged debt as required by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act? YES NO

24. Date said verification cited above in # 23 was provided alleged Debtor: …………………………….………………………....

25. Was said verification cited above in # 23 in the form of a sworn or affirmed oath, affidavit, or deposition? YES NO

26. Verification cited above in # 23 was provided alleged Debtor in the form of: OATH, AFFIDAVIT or DEPOSTION

27. Does Debt Collector have knowledge of any claim(s)/defense(s) re this alleged account? YES NO

28. What is the nature and cause of any claim(s)/defense(s) re this alleged account? ……...…………………………………….

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………

29. Was alleged Debtor sold any products/services by Debt Collector? YES NO

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30. What is the nature and cause of any products/services cited above in # 29? …….……………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………...……………………………...…… …………………

31. Does there exist a verifiable, bona fide, original commercial instrument between Debt Collector and alleged Debtor containing alleged Debtor’s bona fide signature? YES NO

32. What is the nature and cause of any verifiable commercial instrument cited above in # 31? .……………………………….

…………………………………………………………………………………...……………………………...…… …………………

33. Does there exist verifiable evidence of an exchange of a benefit or detriment between Debt Collector and alleged Debtor? YES NO

34. What is the nature and cause of this evidence of an exchange of a benefit or detriment as cited above in # 33? …………………………………………………………………………………...……………………………...…… ………………

35. Does any evidence exist of verifiable external act(s) giving the objective semblance of agreement between Debt Collector and alleged Debtor? YES NO

36. What is the nature and cause of any external act(s) giving the objective semblance of agreement from #35 above? …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……

37. Have any charge-offs been made by any creditor or debt collector regarding this alleged account? YES NO

38. Have any insurance claims been made by any creditor or debt collector regarding this alleged account? YES NO

39. Have any tax write-offs been made by any creditor or debt collector regarding this alleged account? YES NO

40. Have any tax deductions been made by any creditor or debt collector regarding this alleged account? YES NO

41. Have any judgments been obtained by any creditor or debt collector regarding this alleged account? YES NO

42. At the time the alleged original contract was executed, were all parties apprised of the meaning of the terms and conditions of said alleged original contract? YES NO

43. At the time the alleged original contract was executed, were all parties advised of the importance of consulting a licensed legal professional before executing the alleged contract? YES NO

44. At the time the alleged original contract was executed, were all parties apprised that said alleged contract was a private credit instrument? YES NO

Debt Collector’s failure, both intentional and otherwise, to complete/answer points “1” through “44” above and return this Debt Collector Disclosure Statement, as well as provide Respondent with the requisite verification validating the hereinabove - referenced alleged debt, constitutes Debt Collector’s tacit agreement that Debt Collector has no verifiable, lawful, bona fide claim re the hereinabove-referenced alleged account, and that Debt Collector tacitly agrees that Debt Collector waives all claims against Respondent and indemnifies and holds Respondent harmless against any and all costs and fees heretofore and hereafter incurred and related re any and all collection attempts involving the hereinabove-referenced alleged account.

Declaration: The Undersigned hereby declares under penalty of perjury of the laws of this State that the statements made in this Debt Collector Disclosure Statement are true and correct in accordance with the Undersigned’s best firsthand knowledge and belief.

____________________________________ ____________________________________

Date Printed name of Signatory

_________________________________ ____________________________________

Official Title of Signatory Authorized Signature for Debt Collector

Debt Collector must timely complete and return this Debt Collector Disclosure Statement, along with all required documents referenced in said Debt Collector Disclosure Statement. Debt Collector’s claim will not be considered if any portion of this Debt Collector Disclosure Statement is not completed and timely returned with all required documents, which specifically includes the requisite validation, made in accordance with law and codified in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act at 15 USC §1692 et seq., and which states in relevant part: “A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt,” which includes “the false representation of the character, or legal status of any debt,” and “the threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken,” all of which are violations of law. If Debt Collector does not respond as required by law, Debt Collector’s claim will not be considered and Debt Collector may be liable for damages for any continued collection efforts, as well as any other injury sustained by Respondent.

If any action is taken which could be considered detrimental to any of my credit reports, I will consult with my legal counsel for suit. This includes any listing any information to a credit reporting repository that could be inaccurate or invalidated or verifying an account as accurate when in fact there is no provided proof that it is.

Please allow thirty (30) days for processing after Respondent’s receipt of Debt Collector’s response.

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I hereby certify that I have mailed a copy of the foregoing Request for Verification of Debt, this 10th day of October, 2009 by U.S. Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested

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Take out items 1-7.

Make this your first set of interrogatories and send it to them. They have a limited amount of time to answer.

Throw in these questions too:

1. If this account was purchased, then state the purchase price paid for this specific account.

2. State how this account was acquired. Was it obtained through a direct sale? Was a broker involved? If a broker was involved, identify the broker, providing contact information and the amount paid to them as a result of the sale.

BTW, was this a CC debt? If it was, I'd file a separate subpoena for the card holder agreement.

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Yes, CC

I want to be clear, interrogatories are basically questions put to the opposing side and a discovery motion is a subset of an interrogatory or is simply a type of interrogatory? So filing a subpoena for the cc agreement is filed with the court and is directed at the plaintiff's attorney?

Does anyone know of a formulaic way of doing this?

I appreciate your assistance and others.

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Yes, CC

I want to be clear, interrogatories are basically questions put to the opposing side and a discovery motion is a subset of an interrogatory or is simply a type of interrogatory? So filing a subpoena for the cc agreement is filed with the court and is directed at the plaintiff's attorney?

Does anyone know of a formulaic way of doing this?

I appreciate your assistance and others.

ISLAIG (I'm still learning as I go) -

My understanding is that Discovery is the process of discovering what evidence the plaintiff or atorney for the plaintiff has to prosecute your case. They may have a lot. The may have nothing. They may have a lot of evidence which is just hearsay. Anyway it is your right to discover what they have and plan to use to prove their case in trial. This is from a Federal court. Rules and procedures vary from state to state.

As I learned the hard way as a rather amateur Pro Se, it is very important that you respond to their discovery in a timely manner too! Don't just file an answer and then hope it will all just go away.

Discovery

Only on TV and in the movies is a surprise witness’s startling revelation a customary part of trial. In real life, the law recognizes that a case can’t be resolved properly if either side withholds information basic to an understanding of the case. As a result, both parties to a lawsuit are required to cooperate in the pretrial discovery process. During discovery, the lawyers try to develop evidence for their case and learn about their opponent’s case by asking to inspect documents and interviewing people who know something about what happened.

Discovery methods include depositions, interrogatories, and requests for admissions. A deposition is an interview under oath. Parties are deposed by opposing counsel; witnesses may be deposed by the lawyers for either side. Usually the party’s or witness’s own attorney is present at the deposition. Interrogatories are written questions asked by one party that the opposing party must answer in writing and under oath. Requests for admissions are written statements submitted by one party that the opposing party must admit or deny. If the lawyers do a thorough job in discovery, they shouldn’t be surprised by any of the answers the opposing party’s witnesses give to their questions during trial. One basic strategy lawyers follow during a trial is "Don’t ask a question if you don’t know what the answer will be."

Edited by musimann
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I sent the above questionnaire by certified mail to the plaintiff's attorney and it clearly states this is a validation request. I included a copy in my response to the court.

Q. Do I basically resend the questionnaire and rename it a discovery request and provide a copy to the court?

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I sent the above questionnaire by certified mail to the plaintiff's attorney and it clearly states this is a validation request. I included a copy in my response to the court.

Q. Do I basically resend the questionnaire and rename it a discovery request and provide a copy to the court?

The Discovery process includes interrogations, admissions and production of documents. Rules vary from State to state on how they are written. So I would read up on the process before you start it. There lots of examples on this site in various threads.

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