mason433

I am being sued by Midland Funding LLC in AZ.. new to this.. please help me.

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Greetings everyone. I'm sure there are many threads like this but I feel like I will have more of an idea of what I need to do if someone gives me some guidence in my particular situation.

Please bear with me, I am very, very novice to this. I have very little knowledge of the legal system and I am everything but legal savvy and this is my first encounter with anything that has to do with a court.

This morning (10/31). A man rang my doorbell early in the morning and delivered papers to me, which I am amusing was a process server, stating that I am being sued for a debt (credit card debt) and that I must appear in court and defend my case. They are giving me 20 days to write an answer to the court or they are stating they will place a judgement on me.

I've literally given myself a crash course on this all in one day and to be quite honest I am scared out of my mind and have absolutely no idea what to do. This is in regards to a credit card that I had with Wells Fargo that I let go last year because I was unable to make any payments on it any longer. I'm a mid 20's working single male still living with my parents and supporting my father who is sick and unable to work, my mother has a lower paying job and we are living paycheck to paycheck. Last year we went through a foreclosure on our home and I am now renting a home in my name in a small town in Arizona so money is extremely tight. The card was used for bills and expenses to begin with, which was ran up in the amount of around $3,000. Wells fargo tagged with me about a 30% interest rate and I could only afford bare minimum payments on my card and with that kind of interest, my debt was not going down at all, with the foreclosure happening and my dad becoming sick and unable to work, I had no choice but to stop making the payments on the credit card, as we barely make it by each week with our current bills and monthly expenses.

I will admit, I did not answer phone calls to any debt collectors because I am overly cautious with all the shady dealing that goes on with collecting debts and we disconnected our landline, which was the only number they had, they never called me on my phone. They sent many letters but we usually ignored them, probably bad on my part, but I barely have any breathing room in my current finances that calling them and asking to make payment arrangements was probably a moot point anyways. Now with these court papers they are saying that I owe ~$4,000 plus court fees.. and that I need to answer and respond to the summons or they will place a judgement.

There is no court date, and no instructions on how to even respond to this. I have absolutely no idea what to do. I first thought that these might of been fake and just a scare tactic, but I looked up the case number on my local court website and sure enough my name was on there, but still no court date, or anything. Just the law offices phone number and email address at the top of the paper on the front page, which is Jerold Kaplan Law Office.

My mind is racing and I am at a loss on what to do, even though they said I have 20 days to respond I feel like I have to act in a day or I am going to get crushed. If I could get some guidence on how to take action on this I would be absolutely estatic.

A few takeaways and random parking lot questions that have been racing through my mind since this has happened as it hasn't even been 24 hours yet:

- Do I even need to respond? Based off the information I was googling to try and educate myself, if I don't respond to the papers they will automatically win the case and I will owe whatever they say I owe, I understand that I'm open to wage garnishment and other methods to gather funds from me, which would be absolutely horrific to my financial situation if that were to occur.

- Should I hire an attorney or seek advice from a credit counscilor? I doubt I would have the money for an attorney or even where to find one, like I said, I've never done this before.

- Should I even just consider filing bankruptcy? I have one other credit card past due that hasn't served me or contacted me in ages, but I am sure they would come around soon enough, but right now my total unsecured debt is around $9,000, its just the wells fargo credit card they are sueing me on right now. I have a car loan with a really nice car I got, so that would be a hurdle if I were to file bankruptcy.

- Should I contact the law office/creditor and try to reach a settlement before the court date?

- How do I even "respond" to a court summons? Write a letter? call the court? I have no clue at all, this is what is bugging me most right now.

The funny thing is, if they were willing to work with me and reach a settlement for half the debt I currently owe, I could pay them in full early next year. I recieve a generous annual bonus check from my work in which I usually reward myself on, but this year I am more then gladly willing to reward myself to be rid of this nightmare, if you catch my drift.

My aspirations from this is to either:

- Not have to pay the debt, which I know is unlikely to happen, but would were to happen if I showed up to court and they did not show up? I know its my debt, but they added on a ton of fees to it.

- Reach some settlement and payment arrangement I can manage to squeeze in my already air tight budget until I can make it to the beginning of the year to pay off the rest of the settlement with my bonus.

- Avoid wage garnishment at all cost.... could they even send me to jail for this?

Here is the questionaire from one of the sticky topics.

1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? Midlund Funding LLC

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

3. How much are you being sued for? $4,000 plus court fees

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

5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?) I was served by a man at my door this morning.

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

7. Was the service legal as required by your state? I'm not sure

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? None

9. What state and county do you live in? Arizona, Pinal county

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations) September 2011

11. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out: 6 years

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). I've just been served at this point and nothing else.

13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?) No, I only called Wells Fargo a couple times for assistance with my interest rate but was turned down.

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.

No.

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?

20 days.

16. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits. There is a page with a letter from a affidavit and discloure and agreement packet from Wells Fargo.

Please if anyone can give me some advice, forgive my lack of education with this.

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You are correct that if you don't file an answer to their complaint they will automatically win and get a judgement against you. Preparing an answer is really easy and will buy you some time to learn the next steps.

There are a number of members here from AZ that have beat Midland so try and relax.

If you haven't already seen this thread it will get you on the right path to fight Midland: The All Inclusive I've Been Sued or Contacted by Midland, What's Next and/or Help Me

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Tell Mr Esquivel and Mr Dias I said hello! Oh and follow the advice here and you will either win a judgement against them or at the least get them to quit (dismisses) bump a few random posts so you get to 20 then private message me.

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forums/there-lawyer-house/311778-midland-arizona.html

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forums/there-lawyer-house/312714-standing-when-dealing-jdb.html

Basically deny everything but post everything you plan to send to lawyers or file with the court here first with all your important thing XXX out (name address account number etc..) DO NOT JUST SEND THEM WITH OUT GETTING THEM PROOF READ HERE FIRST!!!!!!!

http://justicecourts.maricopa.gov/Forms/cv_Answer.pdf

Arizona Rules of Evidence

Top link is what you need inArizona Court Rules here

This is our latest Victor here in AZ it might give you some confidence

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forums/there-lawyer-house/317505-another-win-cic.html

Edited by Beergoggles

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Thank you so much for the responses! I've been reading through the forums here and the amount of support is staggering. I'm hoping I can get some help here too. So first thing do I need to focus on writing my answer? Do I also need to send them a debt validation letter or is that too late? I was also serve yesterday, so does that mean I would have until nov. 20th to file my answer or is it based on the date on the paper? Do I still need a attorney or can I fight this by myself? My concern is my gift of gab has always been a downside, I'm a quiet computer technician for a living, so I don't speak very well with fluid words, much less in a court against a lawyer and judge.

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Sorry one more question, if you file an answer how long does it take for the actual court date to appear? Does sending a debt validation letter delay things too?

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Thank you so much for the responses! I've been reading through the forums here and the amount of support is staggering. I'm hoping I can get some help here too. So first thing do I need to focus on writing my answer? Do I also need to send them a debt validation letter or is that too late? I was also serve yesterday, so does that mean I would have until nov. 20th to file my answer or is it based on the date on the paper? Do I still need a attorney or can I fight this by myself? My concern is my gift of gab has always been a downside, I'm a quiet computer technician for a living, so I don't speak very well with fluid words, much less in a court against a lawyer and judge.

Go ahead and start your own thread and folks here will try and answer all of your questions. Things can get confusing with multiple cases in one thread.

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Yeah sorry for the confusion this is all the same case, questions were just follow ups to my initial one. I also made this thread.. Should I make another? I was just replying to it.

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Stick to one thread, makes it easier for us. One good way to get rid of Midland is to file for arbitration through the credit card agreement. They paid about $150 for your account, they will never pay $500 per hour for arbitration. See Linda7 for this.

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Should I post my questions in my original post or just reply with them? Sorry, new to this, just want to make sure I'm doing things right, if you check my reply I was asking some questions about filing the answer and DV letter.

Also if I was served 10/31 does that mean I have from Nov 1st - 20th to answer?

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Debt validation is useless once you've been sued, all it consists of is the name of the original creditor and the amount. You get that in the complaint and summons, so they have already complied. If you send it they probably won't even answer.

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Yes - you have to have your answer in by Nov 20th... I'd file mine around the 18th or so - and let them receive a reject when they file a motion for a default judgment.

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Yeah sorry for the confusion this is all the same case, questions were just follow ups to my initial one. I also made this thread.. Should I make another? I was just replying to it.

Sorry about that. I was jumping around between different post and got confused.

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So for right now, I guess I will focus on submitting my answer, the 18th falls around a Sunday, which I assume the court won't be open then. Should I shoot around the 16th which will be Friday then? I know from what I gathered they make 3 copies and I'm to send one certified mail to the plaintiff. I just want to make sure I reach the deadline. Should I still make any phone calls or get any legal advice from an attorney or anything?

My goal here is too deny the debt so it will be dismissed and I won't even have to pay it?

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Should I still make any phone calls or get any legal advice from an attorney or anything?

Short answer, no. Long answer, no. You'll never get an attorney to take a credit card case, they fear you won't pay them either, and for this amount the lawyer would cost more than settling.

My goal here is too deny the debt so it will be dismissed and I won't even have to pay it?

Wishful thinking. Never happens. Imagine if this would work, there would be no credit cards.

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What happens if you DO win, do you just not get a judgement against you to let them garnish wages or whatever else they do? Or do you move into a settlement agreement? Or does it just go past due and stay on your credit report? Thats where my novice part comes in at.

Thanks.

Edit: typos

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I posted a few links above I think you should read them and it will answer a lot of your questions

What happens if you DO win, do you just not get a judgement against you to let them garnish wages or whatever else they do? Or do you move into a settlement agreement? Or does it just go past due and stay on your credit report? Thats where my novice part comes in at.

Thanks.

Edit: typos

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Update.. pretty much just read all the links above with the other forum topics and everything. I still have a few burning, probably really simple novice questions because I'm literally in the beginning stages of all of this.

- The debt in general they are sueing me for, while I understand I did have a credit card with wells fargo that was maxed and I quit making payments on, wells fargo sold the card off to the JBD. What I don't recall is the amount that they are asking for that I pay, I really don't recall that balance, they've added what seems like a ton of fees to it. There is an account number in my summons listed a few pages in, but has nothing about my name or no original contract or signature, or statements. Am I disputing that I owe this debt to THEM or something? I guess I still don't know the foundation of what I am fighting for. Am I fighting that I don't owe money to Midland and that I owe money to the OC or something? What would happen if I did "win" the case, do they just sell it to another JDB or it just sits on my credit for 7 years or something? That's what I'm not clear on. I know I owe a debt, I know I did to wells fargo, I just don't know how to present that to them in a argument where they can't sue and gain judgement on me.

^^ Is the goal to reach a low settlement, drop the debt entirely?

The fact they have an account number on the summons, is that enough evidence for them that I do owe this debt?

- When I file my answer, how long does it take for a court date to show up? My 20 day response started 11/01/12 so I have until the 20th, I plan on submitting my answer around the 16th, is this whole process in general really long? Some of the threads I read go on for months.

- As a followup to submitting the answer, should I keep it simple like Marvin's YouTube video or make it a more formal answer? Problem is, I'm not legal savvy at all, I'm well spoken but I don't know court/lawyer speak. I'd be worried defending that in court.

- Will responses from the court and atty be sent to me mail, like court dates and such?

Thanks all, and thanks for dealing with my newness here. I'm very impressed with this forum and this is all kind of interesting (still incredibly stressful though.) :D

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Am I fighting that I don't owe money to Midland and that I owe money to the OC or something?

You don't owe either one a penny. The OC is out of the picture, they sold you to Midland, who has to prove ownership, which they can almost never do. They never have adequate paperwork to win in court.

What would happen if I did "win" the case, do they just sell it to another JDB

If you win, it's over. If they sell it to somebody else you have a perfect defense called res judicata, and you may have an FDCPA violation against anybody who tries to collect a debt which has been resolved in court. If they voluntarily dismiss the case, they can sell it off, but not if you beat them in court.

The fact they have an account number on the summons, is that enough evidence for them that I do owe this debt?

No. I could steal your garabge and find something to sue you over. Doesn't mean you owe me.

After you answer, most likely you will receive discovery. You should also send your own to see what they have or don't have. The members from your state will guide you along, it isn't that hard once you get the hang of it.

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Thanks guys. I really appreciate it. I'm going to take a break on this for a couple days with the weekend coming up, then Monday I'll get the forms and work on my answer. I'll post any updates then.

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Here is whats going to happen. When you mail anything to the lawyers mail certified mail return receipt requested (CMRRR) you will oppose anything they throw at you, you will read the Arizona rules of civil procedure you will read the Arizona rules of evidence

your sued and receive a summons

you file an answer

they will probably file for default because your waiting for the last minute ( like I did)

You oppose default and make them look like the idiots they are

You and they will file disclosure (court has a form for this)

Most likely mediation (settlement meeting no judge) will be scheduled they will file a motion to appear by phone

You will oppose any motions to appear by telephone

You start working on your discovery needs ( no need to file with court just send to lawyer CMRRR)

You might or might not file a motion to preclude their affidavit ( I did it was granted because they failed to respond)

They WILL file a motion for summary judgement

You WILL oppose it and get advice here about how to oppose it

They hopefully are denied on their MSJ

They will call you to try to settle ( I said sure just dismiss and we can all have a nice day)

Trial will be set ( maybe at mediation but they will still file an MSJ)

They will continue to try to settle with you, you continue to tell them to take a flying leap through a rolling donut

Trail date shows up they will try one more time to settle, you will both be in court and lawyer will try to have his witness appear by phone and hopefully the judge denies

Lawyer will dismiss

You WILL object and state it must be with prejudice and with costs. Or you have a trial and most likely you will win a judgement

Lawyer will sulk his head down and agree to your terms

You will go out and have at least 5 beers or drink of your choice

You will sleep good

You will come back here and thank all of us and we will post all kinds of yahoo's and silly little guys congratulating you.

WHEW how was that?

Edited by Beergoggles

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if they file any motion you will want to oppose it. There's and app for that! LOL the court will have a form and that form has options on it. check oppose motion. for the default motion for instance you would just say you filed your answer in a timely fashion and attach a copy your court time stamped answer. Done motion denied. I say they will file a default motion because the lawyers left hand do not know what the right hand is doing. I think they have it set up in a computer program to just spit out motions on a time scale. I believe it is all automated

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