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New Member, being sued by Midland Funding and Korn Law firm


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Hello, everyone, I could use any help that's available in dealing with this.

 

I'm being sued by Korn Law Firm representing Midland Funding LLC.  I was served today with the Summons to appear in Magistrate's Court in Dorchester Co., SC.  

 

I don't have the funds to hire an attorney, so it looks like I will be representing myself.  Midland claims to have purchased a debt from Chase Bank, an old credit card debt.  

 

I just want to make sure that I do everything correctly, I've never defended myself in court before, I'm a fairly competent person but don't know exactly what to do.  This is what I've received and what I've done so far:

 

Received a letter in October from Korn Law firm representing Midland Funding LLC, stating that I owed them $6583.75.  I looked up what to do about this, and the most prudent action seemed to be to send them a verification letter.  In that letter, I asked them to provide a signed-in-ink copy of any contract between myself and Chase Bank, any statements, signed checks, or any other information they had, and was sent back a one-page letter stating that Midland owned the debt, and a small printed page showing a debtor name (myself), a Midland Account #, when the debt was purchased, what the original account # was, the original lender, and the total due.  No further correspondence until today, when I was served with the summons.  

 

In the Summons, I received a form to Answer to the Summons in the Magistrates Court, giving me the option of A. contesting the jurisdiction of the court, B. admit everything and state that I don't want a trial, C. admit that I am responsible, but not for the total amount claimed, or D. Deny that I am responsible at all because: - then there is a blank space to fill in.  I also received a Summons written up by Korn Law Firm, and a Complaint written up by Korn Law Firm which states that Midland purchased the debt and alleges that I made purchases to that account and agreed to pay.  They still haven't provided any proof that I had a credit card account with Chase, all they've provided is an "Affadavit of Account" which states that a "Paige Duncan" in St. Cloud MN, which states that she is a Legal Specialist and has access to pertinent account records for Midland Credit Management, Inc., and that they are the current owner of the obligation sued upon, and that "attached is a correct copy of the statement of account and/or billing statement(s) relating to this matter, as reflected in MCM's records.", and it's just the same one-page letter that has a small printed block of information showing a debtor name, Midland account #, etc.

 

What should I do?  I know I have to answer the complaint within 30 days, but how do I do so?  Do I need to do more than simply fill out the "Answer" sheet and return it to the Court?  I've read a lot of things on the internet about how Midland Funding works and, as they haven't provided me with any proof that I actually contracted with Chase or anything of the sort, do I have a chance of effectively defending myself against this, especially representing myself?

 

 

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Welcome to the board, implementor. Many of us have dealt with Midland and beat them. I fought them recently in California, pushing them to prove all aspects of their claim - they dismissed the morning of trial. I don't know the subtleties of the courts your state, but we do have some posters from South Carolina who can help. In the meantime you should answer the questions in this thread http://www.creditinfocenter.com/community/topic/242744-qs-to-answer-when-posting-in-this-forum-please-read/, and paste back into this one, it will help us understand your case.

 

The most important thing for you right now will be setting a scedule to answer the complaint within the 30 days. I have yet to see a thread where a junk debt buyer (JDB), like Midland, had the evidence and witnesses necessary to prove their case. Not even close, actually. JDBs depend on people not responding so they can obtain default judgments. The minute you fight back with a denial you've already forced them to place one foot in the grave.

 

A core strategy many employ here is challenging the authenticity of the "evidence" that plaintiffs use in these cases, and the plaintiff's standing to sue in the first place. As for the "Affidavit of Account" they have sent you - it's nice that Paige Duncan from St. Cloud MN, a Legal Specialist for Midland, took the time to review the pertinent records (I'm sure she was very thorough ;-) ), but Paige Duncan is not an employee of the alleged (< get used to using this word to refer to anything regarding Chase or the complaint) original creditor and likely never was. Paige isn't in the position to authenticate the corporate address of Chase, much less any alleged account or document referring to any alleged account they purport to have once belonged to you.

 

A doctrine many here go by is "Admit nothing, deny everything."

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1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? - Myself

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.)  - Korn Law Firm, P.A., P.O. Box 12369, 1300 Pickens St., Columbia, SC 29211-2369

3. How much are you being sued for? - $6589.75

4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff) - CHASE BANK, N.A.

5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?) - Was served in person this morning.

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

7. Was the service legal as required by your state?  - Seems to be, they sent a process server.

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? - I sent them a letter requesting validation of the debt, but nothing else.

9. What state and county do you live in? South Carolina - Dorchester.

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations)   - I don't remember even having this account.  I certainly don't have any payments to them from my bank account in the last 3 years.

11. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out: - 3 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). - I've been served with a summons and complaint (boilerplate the same as the Summons and Complaint that UnclePorkChop received from the same law firm two years ago).

13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?)  I have not, I wasn't aware of it (should check my credit report more often).

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. - Yes, I sent a debt validation request via certified mail when the first letter.

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've got 30 days to respond to the suit.  The only thing remotely like a questionnaire that I received with it is the Answer where I check one of the boxes under A, B, C, or D stating whether I contest the jurisdiction, deny I am responsible, etc.

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. - The only evidence they sent with the summons is an affidavit that looks exactly like the one in UnclePorkChop's thread here: http://www.creditinfocenter.com/community/topic/311917-a-midland-funding-jdb-vs-me-post/page-2 , just with my name, etc.

17. Read this article: 

Sued by a Debt Collector - Learn How to Fight Debt Lawsuits - have already read it :-)

 

Thank you so much for the response!

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As for setting up a schedule to answer - I'm going to answer by the end of the week, I've already started writing up an answer based upon the answer that UnclePorkChop posted in his thread here: http://www.creditinfocenter.com/community/topic/311917-a-midland-funding-jdb-vs-me-post/page-2 , as their complaint against me is exactly the same.

 

Any ideas on anything else I should file?  A motion for discovery or a motion to preclude their included "affadavit" as evidenced, based upon the fact that it's hearsay?

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The defendant in this matter before the court of___________, states under the penalties of perjury that he/she denies all allegation in each paragraph of the plaintiffs complaint.

That is all you need to say. It does not have to fancy with all the legalease crap. Save all your defenses for their discovery and court. Defenses do not have to be included in answering a complaint,,you either admit or deny.

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@implementor

 

You can only issue a general denial if you can deny every allegation in the complaint.  Did the complaint reference jurisdiction and venue?  If it did, and if you're being sued in the correct court, then you have to admit that allegation.  

 

Therefore, since you can't deny every allegation, you can't use a general denial.  Here's the link to the SC rules of civil procedure.   The rules for answers start at Rule 8.

 

http://www.judicial.state.sc.us/courtReg/

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BV80,

 

Thanks, I've already been working on a line-by-line answer, I can't deny every allegation, because one of the allegations is "do I reside in Dorchester County" which is obviously true. '

 

I'm seriously considering just copying UnclePorkChop's posted answer and Discovery Motion, as they apply exactly to my case (his Complaint and mine read almost line-for-line the same).  Would this be a poor idea?

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