HLPMEPLZ!

Sued by Midland Funding in CA.. NEED HELP Please!

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I am another victim being sued by JDB --Midland Funding LLC and I need some help.  I have been reading these forums and my eyes are bleeding.  I was hoping for some specific guidance.  I am trying to draft me answer as my 30 days will be up on 8/28/2013 -- I have read and bookmarked many posts by some who have won cases, but they are in other states or I have not received the exact clarity I need.  I do not want to hire an attorney, because I want to fight this and win, and the firm I am considering has a 40% success rate??!!

 

 I have dowloaded the ANSWER PLD-C-010 however, I am uncertain as to the proper verbage used how to draft it so that it is a "winner"

 

Which part of the "Complaint" do I answer to?  the First Cause of Action?  Items 13-16 before they pray to the court to ream me for $10K?  I really need some help as I am a single mother with no means to pay or settle this lawsuit.

 

I am working on my answer -- but the ones that I have seen samples of are so long, and I am unsure as to write for affirmative defenses as well.

 

Any guidance is much appreciated.  ::drowning::

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Additional question.. How do you know if a complaint is "verified"?

 

A complaint is "verified" when supported by a signed declaration stating that it is made on personal knowledge. (see 28 U.S.C. 1746)

 

A verified complaint is the equivalent of an opposing affidavit for summary judgment purposes, when the allegations contained therein are based on personal knowledge. Davis v. Zahradnick, 600 F.2d 458, 459-60 (4th Cir.1979).  

 

A verified complaint "is prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein." (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2011, 2009.) 

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HELPMEPLZ answer these questions, redact personal info.

 

f you are inquiring about a lawsuit in which you are the defendant (ie you are being sued), you need to answer the following questions (as much as possible):

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? To find out: 

Statute of Limitations on Debts

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? 

Here is an example of what the summons/complaint may look like: Sued by a Debt Collector - Learn How to Fight Debt Lawsuits

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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Hello ShellieH98!  I will do my best to answer the questions below in RED  :-)  Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

 

If you are inquiring about a lawsuit in which you are the defendant (ie you are being sued), you need to answer the following questions (as much as possible):

1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit?  MF LLC

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.) MF, LLC (no law firm listed--6 attorneys are listed so I am assuming they are internal attorneys for MF?)

3. How much are you being sued for? 7,332.06 + interest $2446.00 and 10% forthgoing, cost of suit and such other relief as the court may deem just and proper

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

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

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

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

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? orange county, ca

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations) cannot recall -- how can I find this out?  can we base a defense on SOL later if they provide info beyond 4 years?

11. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out: 4 years

Statute of Limitations on Debts

 

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).  Summons served -- I looked it up online

13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?) no

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?  i have until 8/28/2013

Here is an example of what the summons/complaint may look like: Sued by a Debt Collector - Learn How to Fight Debt Lawsuits

16. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits. NONE -- just an xxxxxxx account number with Citibank.

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also it will help if you type out the cause of action, then we can help you answer better.

 

Ok, here it goes :-)

 

First Cause of Action:

 

13. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates by reference the foregoing paragraphs.

 

14. Within the last (4) years, Defendant became indebted on the Account to Plaintiff in the sum of $7,332.06 on an account stated in writing by and between Plaintiff and Defendant in which it was agreed that Defendant was indebted to plaintiff.

 

15. Plaintiff has made demand on Defendent for repayment of the account stated but Defendant has failed and refusesd to pay the balance due.

 

16. As of the date of this complaint, there is due and owing the unpaid the sum of $7,332.06 and additional interest on that amoun tof $2446.00. Interest has accrued and will continue to accrue on the unpaid sum of $7332.06 at a rate of 10% er annum starting on Feb 2010.

 

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgement against Defendant as follows:

 

On The First Cause of Action

 

1. For the unpaid balance of $7332.06

2. Interest Due on $7332.06 at the rate of 10% from Feb 5, 2010

3. Costs of suit; and

4. Such other relief as the court may deem just and proper

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Thank you HotWheels96!  I have read through alot of this topic, but this case was for less than $1000 and they answered with a General Denial that is not relative to my exact situation.  I need to answer differently.  The link you sent is VERY HELPFUL -- however I need extra guidance!! :-)  Thank you for your support!!! :-)

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No actually you don't  - a general denial is appropriate for third party debts.

 

Use the general denial and file with the clerk. Send them that - then 2 days later, send a BOP request... and watch them do the "we don't have anything" dance...

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No actually you don't  - a general denial is appropriate for third party debts.

 

Use the general denial and file with the clerk. Send them that - then 2 days later, send a BOP request... and watch them do the "we don't have anything" dance...

Hello 1stStep :-)

 

I guess this is where my confusion lies regarding the General Denial -- this is what Orange County Superior Court states on website:

 

Filing a General Denial:

The General Denial (PLD-050)new-window.gif form can be used in certain types of civil cases, but not in others. It is a form that generally denies what the plaintiff is claiming. You must use this form if the amount asked for in the complaint or value of property involved is $1,000.00 or less. (mine is $10K) You may use a General Denial form if the complaint is not verified or the complaint is not verified and the case is a limited civil case ($25,000.00 or less) How do I know this? BUT NOT if the complaint involves a claim for more than $1,000.00 that has been assigned to a third party for collection. (I believe this is me...because MF, LLC is third party collector? right? or wrong? I dont want to lose this on a technicality)

With an answer or a general denial, it is very important that you write down any affirmative defense you want to tell the court. These are defenses that you want the court to consider on your behalf. What should I add for affirmative defenses? For example, if you were sued for breach of contract because you canceled a home improvement contract, but you canceled the contract because the contractor was doing poor quality work, if you want the court to consider your reason for cancelling the contract, you need to raise it in your answer. If you fail to raise a defense in your answer or general denial, the court may prevent you from talking about it at the time of trial. The reason for this is to make sure both sides know about the claims and the defenses in advance of the trial so they can prepare.

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Thank you HotWheels96! I have read through alot of this topic, but this case was for less than $1000 and they answered with a General Denial that is not relative to my exact situation. I need to answer differently. The link you sent is VERY HELPFUL -- however I need extra guidance!! :-) Thank you for your support!!! :-)

No they were asking for almost $5k in my case and general denial applied. Have you looked through it end to end? The majority of the docs you will need are in there or are linked to. Many of them are ready for you to just edit your specific info for your case. With your case I'd change my approach slightly from how I fought mine.

Sounds like you are a bit in shock right now but by answering the questions that we ask of every case you should be able to get better advice specific to your case. So you better have the evidence to back it up.

I would keep the affirmative defenses to a minimum. SOL obvously if it applies. Remember anything you list as a defense YOU have to prove not them.

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No they were asking for almost $5k in my case and general denial applied. Have you looked through it end to end? The majority of the docs you will need are in there or are linked to. Many of them are ready for you to just edit your specific info for your case. With your case I'd change my approach slightly from how I fought mine.

Sounds like you are a bit in shock right now but by answering the questions that we ask of every case you should be able to get better advice specific to your case. So you better have the evidence to back it up.

I would keep the affirmative defenses to a minimum. SOL obvously if it applies. Remember anything you list as a defense YOU have to prove not them.

Hello ASTMedic!!  Thank you for your assistance -- I will continue to read your post to its end.. You are right, I am in a bit of shock and just do not want to screw this up!  I am all about principal at this point and I want to nail them to the wall, but my inexperience is obvious :-)  Being able to use the General Denial makes things much easier in my mind.  I am unsure if SOL applies until they produce any evidence.  I honestly cannot recall the date and my credit report is unclear.  I guess I can cross that bridge if they produce any solid evidence against me, which I doubt they will be able to do. 

 

Thank you again!!   I have a question for you, since you have been through all of this... there is an attorney that will help me DIY file for $189 down and $89 per month -- they will draft everything for me but will be pro se as if I did it myself.  Do you think this is worth the money? My time is limited and my sanity/stress management important.  Or is this something I can handle with a few spare hours per week?    I am very computer literate and smart enough to do this, I am just not sure I have much time to put into this fight...Just curious about how much time, effort, stress you put in vs. paying someone to do it??  any thoughts?? anyone??

 

Thank you so much!!!

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Here's my thinking:

I am an extremely busy mom of two teenagers. I am married to a man who is gone 70% of the time due to his job. I also have a very rambunctious Australian Shepherd. Oh, and because of my multiple disabilities and all the fun and doctors appointments that comes with, and that I work a full time job, I'm lucky to get to use the bathroom in peace.

That said, I still do everything pro per with a little help from my friends here. Plus, I keep my money. Is it hard? Heck yeah! Is the win that much sweeter? You betcha! I've seen people literally transform on this board. They start as scared little bunny rabbits and by the time they get their case over with, well, they are more like rabid dobermans foaming at the mouth for the next collector to think they will get an easy win out if them. It's truly a thing of beauty and something I'm always proud to see.

This is a highly personal decision and one you will have to make on your own...because only you know what you're capable of.

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just wanted to comment on your post in homelessinca's thread.  They are suing you for account stated, therefore a BOP would be improper.  After you answer the suit, you will go directly into requests for discovery.  Don't worry, we will help you.  I think there are enough examples here to do it on your own, but you can always hire that place if you find you are not getting it, or it becomes to much, try it for yourself first. :)

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Hello ASTMedic!! Thank you for your assistance -- I will continue to read your post to its end.. You are right, I am in a bit of shock and just do not want to screw this up! I am all about principal at this point and I want to nail them to the wall, but my inexperience is obvious :-) Being able to use the General Denial makes things much easier in my mind. I am unsure if SOL applies until they produce any evidence. I honestly cannot recall the date and my credit report is unclear. I guess I can cross that bridge if they produce any solid evidence against me, which I doubt they will be able to do.

Thank you again!! I have a question for you, since you have been through all of this... there is an attorney that will help me DIY file for $189 down and $89 per month -- they will draft everything for me but will be pro se as if I did it myself. Do you think this is worth the money? My time is limited and my sanity/stress management important. Or is this something I can handle with a few spare hours per week? I am very computer literate and smart enough to do this, I am just not sure I have much time to put into this fight...Just curious about how much time, effort, stress you put in vs. paying someone to do it?? any thoughts?? anyone??

Thank you so much!!!

Take a look at the docs in my thread. Just about every doc you will need is in there and ready to go. You just need to edit them slightly to make them apply to your case. I've even highlighted the areas you will need to tweak. That's not to say you don't need to study so that you can articulate your case to a judge if that day comes. This is by no means a situation where you can just fire off some docs and they will just magically vanish. You will need to study and learn this process but with this site you are WAY ahead of the curve. The other up side is if you have another debt that someone could come calling for you will be ready to deal with that too.

However if you use a lawyer to prep the paperwork you will still need to know the docs and how they apply to fight your case. If you hired a lawyer to represent you the JDB will usually tuck tail but they could still come back later. So really either way you will spend money to do something you will ultimately have to do yourself.

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First things first.  We need to know if your complaint is verified.

 

Go to the last page of the attached link and you will see a typical verification form for California complaints. As in the example, most (but not all) verified complaints say so in the caption itself: http://cluebytwelve.net/monkeys-lawsuit/complaint.pdf

There is also a procedure in California where an attorney can verify a complaint for her client if the client is outside of the County where the lawyer maintains her office. In that case, it will say the client is outside the county and the attorney is verifying on the client's behalf.

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First things first.  We need to know if your complaint is verified.

 

Go to the last page of the attached link and you will see a typical verification form for California complaints. As in the example, most (but not all) verified complaints say so in the caption itself: http://cluebytwelve.net/monkeys-lawsuit/complaint.pdf

There is also a procedure in California where an attorney can verify a complaint for her client if the client is outside of the County where the lawyer maintains her office. In that case, it will say the client is outside the county and the attorney is verifying on the client's behalf.

 

Thank you so much CALAWYER for taking time to help me... I am a bit in panic mode :-/  -- The Venue is verified, the COMPLAINT is NOT verified.  It is 4 pages and the last page after they PRAY for damages, it only states as follows:

 

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgement against Defendant as follows:

 

On The First Cause of Action

 

1. For the unpaid balance of $7332.06

2. Interest Due on $7332.06 at the rate of 10% from Feb 5, 2010

3. Costs of suit; and

4. Such other relief as the court may deem just and proper

 

Dated: June 12, 2013

 

MIDLAND FUNDING, LLC

 

by: ______________________________

Attorney 1  xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Attorney 2 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Attorney 3-6 xxxxxxxxxxxx

Attorneys for plaintiff

MIDLAND FUNDING, LLC

 

 

That is all it says :-)

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just wanted to comment on your post in homelessinca's thread.  They are suing you for account stated, therefore a BOP would be improper.  After you answer the suit, you will go directly into requests for discovery.  Don't worry, we will help you.  I think there are enough examples here to do it on your own, but you can always hire that place if you find you are not getting it, or it becomes to much, try it for yourself first. :-)

 

Thank you so much for the clarification Shellieh98!  I am going to give it a shot.  It helps that I have found this forum and all of the great help here.. It is comforting to know I am not alone.    I am just taking the first step and it has taken me over a week to figure out how to draft my answer or denial...I am so afraid I am going to do something incorrectly.  Thank you again!!!!!

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Here's my thinking:

I am an extremely busy mom of two teenagers. I am married to a man who is gone 70% of the time due to his job. I also have a very rambunctious Australian Shepherd. Oh, and because of my multiple disabilities and all the fun and doctors appointments that comes with, and that I work a full time job, I'm lucky to get to use the bathroom in peace.

That said, I still do everything pro per with a little help from my friends here. Plus, I keep my money. Is it hard? Heck yeah! Is the win that much sweeter? You betcha! I've seen people literally transform on this board. They start as scared little bunny rabbits and by the time they get their case over with, well, they are more like rabid dobermans foaming at the mouth for the next collector to think they will get an easy win out if them. It's truly a thing of beauty and something I'm always proud to see.

This is a highly personal decision and one you will have to make on your own...because only you know what you're capable of.

Thank you HotWheels96 :-)  You are an inspiratation.  This board is very helpful!

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No they were asking for almost $5k in my case and general denial applied. Have you looked through it end to end? The majority of the docs you will need are in there or are linked to. Many of them are ready for you to just edit your specific info for your case. With your case I'd change my approach slightly from how I fought mine.

Sounds like you are a bit in shock right now but by answering the questions that we ask of every case you should be able to get better advice specific to your case. So you better have the evidence to back it up.

I would keep the affirmative defenses to a minimum. SOL obvously if it applies. Remember anything you list as a defense YOU have to prove not them.

Hello ASTMedic -- you mentioned that you used GENERAL DENIAL for $5K -- and that I should change my approach slightly from how you fought yours... can you elaborate?  I really find your suggestions helpful!   Does it make a difference that my lawsuit is for account stated vs. breach of contract?    Can SOL as a defense be brought up later if discovered? 

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No actually you don't  - a general denial is appropriate for third party debts.

 

Use the general denial and file with the clerk. Send them that - then 2 days later, send a BOP request... and watch them do the "we don't have anything" dance...

 

Hello 1stStep & @calawyer & @ASTMedic & @shellieh98, @HotWheels96 & @nascar

 

I am FINALLY completing my General Denial per yours and others confirmation that it is the way to go!!-- Thank you all so much!!  I was wondering if you all had any ideas suggestions for Affirmative defenses?  It has been suggested to keep these to a MINIMUM.  The only one I have so far is

1.  Defendant reserves the right to plead additional defenses or cross-claims or counter claims that may be identified during the Defendant's investigation and/or course of discovery.

 

Should I leave it at that and play dumb?  I also just noticed something STRANGE-- Defendant states  (MY NAME MY LAST NAME and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive) ----- Does anyone know what this means? Should I be concerned or is this just technicality?  ALSO -- since there are 6 attorneys for MF, do I need to list each one as Plaintiff?  or just keep in line with Complaint and list MF LLC?  Sorry for the stupid questions!!! :-)

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the only one that does not require you to prove is "the Plaintiff lacks standing" so I would use that one for sure.  if a SOL is in question, use it.  You can check with your bank when you think the last payment was made, and look at the records a few months before and after what you think to try to pin point when last payment was made if you think you are close to the SOL

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Put all the lawyers names...the DOES are more of a placeholder - if they can identify someone else that might be liable (spouse), then they just switch the DOES to that person's name.

 

If you're trying to assert an affirmative defense, the only one I'd push it "Lack of Standing to Sue" (see CCP §430.10( b ),(g))

 

That's the most applicable. If appropriate, you can add SOL.

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