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Trial in a week - admitting to the debt?


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My husband is being sued by JDB who provided him with a bunch of credit card statements, a bill of sale, and an affidavit of sale. Neither the bill nor the affidavit mention his account or him by name.

So our strategy is to say that since he wasn't specifically mentioned, JDB hasn't really proven that they own the debt.

My question is this - I heard that as soon as you admit the debt is yours, you pretty much lose the case. Is this true? How can my husband say it's not his if there are credit card statements. So far he's been saying that he doesn't remember owning this card, but when the judge asks, what does he say?

Please help!

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What you refer to is standing to sue. If they can't prove they own the account, it doesn't matter whether you admit that it was your debt or not. In fact, you can say to any judge "yeah, I owe a million dollars, I just don't owe it to these guys." The best time to do this is in court, they will never expect you to know this stuff. Nail them in front of a judge, and watch the look on their face.

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I think a better strategy is to say that liability for the debt is completely irrelevant if plaintiff can’t prove that it owns the debt and therefore has the legal ability to collect. So your goal would be to go to trial and convince the court that it should decide the standing issue before it decides liability.

Usually standing is a threshold issue that should be decided before anything else. Some law from your jurisdiction would be helpful here and you might want to do a quick brief for the Judge if permitted.

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I did exactly as you're suggesting. However, you also need to be aware of all the objections to the evidence they will try to introduce to establish standing. I can't imagine they won't try to introduce documents and call them "business records." It's a losing argument, but unchallenged or challenged improperly can turn it into a winning argument.

I had the other side painted into a corner using discovery and pre-trial motions. There was zero chance (yes, zero) they could win. So I hooked a fire hose to the local salt factory and every time the other side made their argument just buried them with salt in the wound.

In other words I had a blast !! However, you better know what your doing (not saying you don't), have your arguments based on solid legal theory, and most importantly be ready to object on the proper grounds when they start throwing everything and anything against the wall.

The great news is standing is a basic element, in fact the most important element, in any case such as this. They can't prove the element of standing, see ya losers. Although fun and some pouring salt in the wound, CALAWYER advice on just arguing irrelevant until standing has been established is probably the way you want to go with this.

I ran into a junk debt buyer and they opened their checkbook up and were bound and determined they were going to beat me and made cost of litigation not an issue. So that is why it got so personal and "fun" for me. Generally speaking, most cases are just business as usual and the atty for the other side probably has spent zero time thinking about you and it is nothing personal at all. In other words, they don't really care if you win, because 99% of the other litigants are going to lose. Only problem for them was they picked on the wrong 1% to try and take their stand with.

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Hey jg2933 - I'm following your husband's case closely because mine is almost identical: Midland, Chase, NYC. With my case, the judge ordered Midland to go thru discovery. So now I'm waiting for Midland to write me and send me their package.

By reading your previous posts, I already know what Midland is going to send me. But I am going to fight like there is no tomorrow. (Just like I did with LVNV Funding after they went after me for an old Citibank account and it was dismissed with prejudice!)

I'm rooting for you and your husband! I am seriously hoping things go well with you guys! Please don't give up. Fight the good fight ~

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Quote by calawyer - 3/12/2012

I think a better strategy is to say that liability for the debt is completely irrelevant if plaintiff can’t prove that it owns the debt and therefore has the legal ability to collect.

That's a quote every Defendant sued by a JDB should remember and quote in a motion or at a hearing.

Another quote is from member Nrgins:

"The proof is in the puddin', and they haven't provided the puddin'!"

I wouldn't recommend that one in a motion, though. :)

Edited by BV80
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Thank you guys for your words of encouragement. I didn't realize there were so many responses because I only got email notification for the first one.

My husband will have to go to the court alone and face these guys. I did all the research and prepped him. I gave him our list of arguments with relevant cases to support them and all relevant parts quoted. I am hoping that he will prevail against these people.

So there's a chance they will introduce new documents at that point? Is this really allowed if we had no time to review them? Should the argument in that case be that the business documents have to be properly authenticated?

Thanks

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They probably won't introduce anything new because they don't have anything new. If they do, object on the grounds of surprise, that you were not provided with the evidence when it was properly requested in discovery. You can also file a motion in limine preventing them from anything asked for in discovery and not produced.

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Stormie, can you believe he has to go back in May???

He went before the judge with the lawyer for Midland. Apparently the lawyer thought she was waiting for my husband to respond to their request for police report (they thought my husband would claim identity fraud). My husband repeatedly said he's not pursuing that and he told the judge he was ready to proceed and argue his case, but the lawyer for Midland said she wasn't ready!

So judge said to come back in May. My husband said that he's going to argue standing and the identity fraud issue would be totally irrelevant, but I guess that didn't work.

In the mean time, he's been to this court 4 times already! It will be 9 months in May since this thing started. This is ridiculous and I don't understand what Midland lawyers are playing at trying to drag this out? Do they think we will back down? In the mean time, I may be able to get time to do a pre-trial brief now....just need to research it more.

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Can you believe he has to go back in May???

No, that seems awful early. The dockets are usually a lot more cluttered than that.

The lawyer for Midland said she wasn't ready!

Oh you think that's bad. Just wait until you see what their idea of "ready" is.

"We are ready." Translation- (1). Let's take the other side out to the hall, show them a bunch of evidence we generated and/or can't authenticate and is not admissible, and tell the other side we are going to cut them a great deal and settle for 30 cents on the dollar.

Translation- (2). We are just waiting on our witness to show up. It should be soon. I suggest you settle right now because once the witness gets here we are going to trial and won't settle for less than 100%. Also, you will have to pay us back for having to drag the witness into court.

Translation- (3). You just go ahead and go home. We are going to dismiss this case. We will send you the dismissal. ***If you go home, the only thing you will get in the mail is a default judgement. They will announce ready and you will be no show.*****

Translation- (4). Mr./Ms. CIC member, I need to see you in the hall. CIC member :<img src=:'> Attorney for JDB, "your Honor we move to dismiss."

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