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Plaintiff's Discovery questions


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I'm being sued by the OC. In my answer, I submitted counterclaims for Plaintiff's violations of my state debt collection/consumer protection laws, FCRA violations and a third party counterclaim for plaintiff's attorneys FDCPA violations. Recently the Plaintiff sent discovery requests including asking whether I had contacted any state or federal agencies through writing, email, fax, or phone along with a request for any documents I may have submitted or a summary/nature of the contact.

I have contacted the CRAs, FTC, and The SC office of Consumer Affairs. I am hoping that their discovery interrogatories indicate they are concerned about possible reported violations or legal recourse?

Am I assuming too much? I want to use this to my advantage.

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Who knows what they want. They may just be fishing. Maybe they have something specific. Maybe they want to know what the chances of them getting into trouble are. I'd just give it to them, personally. It'll waste their time. Oh, sure, you could object that it is not not going to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, but it's not worth the trouble. You might be picking a fight that you would lose.

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1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit?

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.)

3. How much are you being sued for?

4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff)

5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?)

6. How were you served? (Mail, In person, Notice on door)

7. Was the service legal as required by your state?

Process Service Requirements by State - Summons Complaint

8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued?

9. What state and county do you live in?

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations)

11. What is the SOL on the debt?

12. What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed? You can find this by a) calling the court or B) looking it up online (many states have this information posted - when you find the online court site, search by case number or your name).

13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?)

14. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? Note: if you haven't sent a debt validation request, don't bother doing this now - it's too late.

15. How long do you have to respond to the suit? (This should be in your paperwork). If you don't respond to the lawsuit notice you will lose automatically. In 99% of the cases, they will require you to answer the summons, and each point they are claiming. We need to know what the "charges" are. Please post what they are claiming. Did you receive an interrogatory (questionnaire) regarding the lawsuit?

16. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits.

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The Plaintiff is Discover Bank. The lawfirm is Smith and Debnam in NC. The amount is approx. $12,000. I reside in Spartanburg County. The last payment made to the account was in 2009 - the suit was filed in 2011 and is still pending. We are still conducting discovery. I was properly served.

I filed an Identity Theft police report and FTC Identity Theft affidavit regarding a different credit card account which was flagged as being fraudulently opened using my personal information and charges made by an identity thief. The report also specifies that this credit card account subject to this lawsuit had unauthorized charges. I sent the documentation to the CRAs, The Plaintiff, and Plaintiff's attorneys prior to being served (lawsuit had been filed). Due to fraudulent, unauthorized charges which have been made using this credit card and/or account number, I requested an investigation from the CRAs and creditor and correction to reflect any remaining balance allegedly owed on this account. To my knowledge there should not be any purchases or balance left unpaid which was incurred by me. The account was originally opened by me.

I do have evidence that the account statements were not sent to me after 2009 due to Plaintiff's prior discovery responses. I also have discovery responses regarding the source of payments which were applied before the card defaulted and after I discontinued use of this card which reflect they did not come from me (plaintiff references payment from a Chase Credit Card - which I did not have an account with). The Plaintiff has not provided any signed credit card slips or checks/payments.

The fraud department verified the account balance as being accurate to the CRAs and myself after their "investigation." The proof was a copy of my original application for the account. As I stated before, I never disputed that the account was mine. My attempts to discuss this with the Fraud department were ignored. They refused to even take a phone call.

My main complaint is being served this lawsuit while the Plaintiff was supposedly still conducting an investigation of the account, and all documents attached to the complaint were written prior to Plaintiff's receipt of my Identity Theft police report. I have filed a motion to dismiss their debt affidavit. It is obvious that this was not investigated by their Fraud Department.

I do have a letter from another creditor confirming that the account I specified as being fraudulently opened and used was found to be a fraudulent account which I plan to present in court.

In South Carolina, creditors are also defined as debt collectors. I do feel I have evidence supporting counterclaims that the plaintiff has misrepresented the status of this debt - such as failing to disclose the account was disputed to the CRAs and continuing collection efforts while the fraud investigation was pending.

I have asked through discovery how this account had been verified as accurate, what means of investigation was used, etc. The questions were objected to.

I am now considering sending a deposition request through third party written interrogatories to Discover's fraud department. I do not think they have to comply with my informal request, however, and I don't expect they will.

I find it disturbing that an Original Creditor and/or his attorneys will alter account statements and make blatantly untruthful statements regarding payments of an account, how/where account statements were sent, etc. just like a debt collector will do.

Sorry this is so long! : )

Any suggestions on how to proceed with discovery or otherwise would be greatly appreciated!

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Smith Debnam is not your typical bottom feeder debt collection firm. If you can prove you don't owe the money, and that you were a victim of identify theft, I would expect them to dismiss the case.

Problem is, you state the last payment on the account was 2009. Identity thieves generally do not make payments on the accounts.

Is there something more to this than a clear-cut case of identity theft?

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Originally I thought charges were made by my ex which he has denied. The only payment info which was provided to me after I stopped using this account was regarding a credit card payment. The credit card used, however, is not one I have or had nor am I an authorized user. I haven't seen any documents or proof that any payments were made when fraudulent charges were made - much less from me. I'm not getting any documentation.

I'm surprised they haven't dismissed. I'm more surprised they are making false statements regarding when and where acct statements were sent - especially considering they are claiming I received statements at my current residence since 2008 and would have contested the charges if they are fraudulent. I have my housing contract which shows I purchased my home in 2010.

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