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[Michigan - Midland] Next Steps After Pretrial

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Howdy, gang! I'm hoping someone can help walk me through the next steps of my fight against Midland Funding here in Michigan.



So far, we were served the complaint with only an affidavit attached, filed our answers, and went to pretrial. The judge provided time for discovery, ordered mediation, and set a trial date. Today, we received a packed in the mail that includes a Proof of Service, Plaintiff's First Request for Admissions, Plaintiff's First Set of Interrogatories, Plaintiff's First Request for Production of Documents, Plaintiff's Witness List, and Plaintiff's Exhibit List. Attached is a "Bill of Sale, Assignment and Assumption Agreement", "Card Agreement", and "Field Data" (data printout of account number, last payment date, name, SSN, amounts, etc). 


The Bill of Sale does not include specifics about the account, addresses, names, etc. It's a generic "We're the bank, you're the JDB, and we give you rights to the accounts in a section of the Agreement". From what I gather, I should push them to provide the actual agreement to prove they have standing to bring the case. 


Where I'm Lost

There is a lot of information here and in other threads and honestly, I'm a little overwhelmed by it all. As such, I'm not really sure what I need to do next. The logical thing to me seems to get my request for discovery out, wait the 28 days, and then file a Motion to Dismiss based on them not providing any information that shows the account is mine. Though, I think I'm also reading that I should file that first, just to get the ball rolling and force their hand since they won't likely respond to the discovery with anything meaningful anyhow.


My Question

There's so much information to absorb on this boards and I've been reading page after page after page of well worded information, but I can't seem to get where my particular path should take me. Do I request discovery, wait, then file my motion? Do both in parallel? Reverse the order? Is there another option I should be pushing for at this stage? 


Sorry if this was a long read, or if I'm breaking any rules/guidelines around these posts. My brain is going a thousand miles a minute right now trying to soak in so much information, I just need a little light to show me the way. 



Edit - Found the "Answer these questions..." post, so I didn't want to break any forum ediqute by not filling it out. 


1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit?  Midland Funding LLC
2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (Too Specific)
3. How much are you being sued for? ~$2,000
4. Who is the original creditor? (National Credit Card Company)
5. How do you know you are being sued? Served with a complaint
6. How were you served? Mail and in-person
7. Was the service legal as required by your state?  Yes
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? Michigan, Wayne County
10. When is the last time you paid on this account? Unknown, no documents, but suggested date implies 4-5 years
11. What is the SOL on the debt? 6 years

12. What is the status of your case?  Complaint > Defendant Answers > Notice of Pretrial > Pretrial > Mediation and Trial dates set
13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus? No (Unaware of until the suit)
14. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? No
15. How long do you have to respond to the suit? Already have, will need to post specific charges later (keeps to lockbox left at work)
16. What evidence did they send with the summons? The complaint only had an affidavit, post pretrial documents include non specific bill of sale, cardholder agreement, and account printout. 

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Hi,  If you go to Members, it is the section with home forum members.  click on members.  At the top right type in bambi.  It will take you to the bambi's (not deer). Click on Bambi and then when you get there click on topics.  She is from Michigan and was being sued by the OC, It will be easier for you with a JDB  but her thread will give you the info to go thru this process.


Alot of good info there as your state is tough but entirely beatable. Should walk you thru and if you have questions just ask.

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Bambi's thread.


Bambi lost her case against an original creditor but, as Hot said, there is a lot of good information in the thread.


Hopefully, you found this site early enough to have learned that you must file an affidavit of denial of the debt with your answer (or within 10 days thereof) to offset plaintiff's affidavit in order to avoid a prima facie case. MCL 600.2145


You must answer plaintiff's discovery requests as well as sending your own sets to them within the time lines suggested by the judge. Examples of discovery requests can be found in AntiqueDave's thread.


If you haven't already, read bmc100's thread on how to defend yourself in Michigan.

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Thank you for the replies, everyone! 


@Savior - Sadly, no. I didn't find these forums until a day or so ago so I didn't see the advice of filing my own Affidavit with my answers. At the pretrial, it didn't come up if that means anything, and my entire set of answers basically read to each count related to the assumed debt that I don't have the information needed to confirm or deny.  


The complaint Affidavit was, I believe, a month or so before they filed, and closer to two months from the day we were served in person. I'm at work now, so I can get the specific dates (and in turn, confirm this as true or not) when I get home. Assuming for the moment that my timeline is correct, would this still be grounds to have invalidated as not timely?


@bmc100 - It's Stillman (who, based on your other threads you have experience with). Sorry for omitting this from the start. I wasn't sure if that was considered too specific per the advice I've seen here so I wanted to play it safe. 

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Sorry for the double posting, but I ran home for lunch and got the documents. Here are the details. 


1) The Complaint and Summons was issued in January 2013 (Expires mid december), and I was served around the end of November and filed *only* Answers stating (in effect), I can't confirm or deny as nothing has been provided that indicates the statements are true. 

2) The Affidavit attached is dated and signed in early June.

3) The complaint itself reads like this:

  1. The Defendant herein is indebted upon open account or pursuant to contract, and defendant accepted the same.
  2. Performance has been completed and defendant agreed to pay the account
  3. There is presently due and owing, over and above all legal counter claims, the sum of $X,XXX.XX
  4. Plaintiff requests judgement for $X.XXX.XX, plus interest, costs and attorney fees.


So obviously I need to reply to their packet of information as part of my next steps and reading over bambi's thread, it looks like I need to get out Request for Documents, and Request for Admissions. I have the Request for Documents figured out I think. Here's the list of things we're requesting (plainly, can post the full doc if you feel it may help)


  1. Copies of the contract, agreement, assignment or other means proving they have standing to collect the debt and bring the case for this specific account.
  2. Copies of the contract that create the alleged contract between the Plaintiff and Defendant.
  3. Copies of the account agreement that states interest rage, grace period, finance charges. 
  4. Copies of statements that demonstrate the account balance is accurate.
  5. Copies of communications sent to Defendant proving notification of assignment or assignment of rights.
  6. Copies of all notices sent to Defendant by Plaintiff in regards to this account .
  7. Copies of the Agreement between Midland Funding and Stillman that show authority to collect the alleged debt. 

These are the items I managed to dig up that sounded like they fit my case based on other posts around here, but I bet I'm missing something (or perhaps, don't need something?). The window for Discovery ends around the end of March, so I know I need to get this out asap. In terms of Request for Admissions, I'm not sure where to turn for what questions to ask. I'm sure I passed over a great thread on the topic here, so if there is on, any pointing towards that would be great. 

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An untimely affidavit does NOT constitute a prima facie case but may still influence the judge unless it is challenged..

Sounds like you're OK on that; just challenge the affidavit at some point.


Requests for Admissions usually depend on what the plaintiff sends back to you regarding your request for production of documents.

If they give you some vague answer to "#3. Copies of the account agreement that states interest rate, grace period, finance charges."

You would hit them with an admission that they don't have the agreement on which the complaint is based.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Dealing with Stillman is going to be a pain for you, everything they say is gospel anything you say is going to be a lie.


You must give a valid reason they do not have claim to this account or legal right to collect it.


They told me I did not properly deny the account in my initial response and any denial after that is irrelevant.


I denied everything they said but didn't give a reason for my denial, ie. no account num listed in the bill of sale, affidavit bad, etc.


I'm going to trial on Wed, check back Thurs to see the results.  Wish me luck.

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