NormInGeorgia

How I lost against Midland Funding in Georgia and then "won" !

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How I lost against Midland Funding in Georgia and then "won" !

 

 

Summary:

  • Midland Funding (attorney: Hanna and Associates) sued for a credit card debt in State Court.
  • Judge ruled in in favor of Midland Funding. 
  • We appealed to the GA Court of Appeals.
  • Midland offered a settlement agreement and to vacate the original judgement in return for dropping the appeal.
  • The appeal was dropped and the judgement was vacated.
 

 

Attached are documents that we hope will be useful to the forum readers, especially from Georgia.

 

1.  Transcript of the bench trial in State Court.   If you have a trial in State Court, definitely let the court clerk know you want to have the trial transcribed. The opposing attorney might offer to pay half the cost when you get to court.  You have to write a check to the court recorder when you get to the court room (our half was $20).   We were so disappointed after losing the trial.  But after that, we were determined to find all the mistakes that were made and use them for an appeal.  We got blind-sided by the "new" 2013 rules of evidence in Georgia but did not let that stop us.  It was obvious that something was just not "right" about the trial.  The manipulation and twisting of the law by the Hanna attorney was blatant.  He even gave his own testimony during trial which was not supported by evidence.  Lawyers are not supposed to do that.  And the kicker was the judge basically told us to appeal because he did not know if his ruling was correct or not.

 

2.  The Appellant Brief for the GA Court of Appeals.   In doing the research about appeals, there was a serious lack of good examples of Georgia Appellant briefs available on the internet.  So we hope this will help people.  ALWAYS READ the most up to date rules and procedures of the court if you file an appeal.  The Court of Appeals has a good website and instructions.  We cannot claim that our brief would have won the case, but it obviously contains something that forced the opposition to offer a settlement.  These forums deserve some credit for how well it turned out.  Maybe some folks can get useful ideas for your JDB cases from our appeal arguments.  It is in Word format that we believe meets the requirements of the Court (at least in 2013) so anyone can take it and use it as their template if the format requirements have not changed.  Again, always check the Court website.

 

 

Bottom line:  This whole ordeal was hard work and took up a huge amount of hours and caused a lot of stress.  If we had to do it over again, the best solution would be to hire an attorney from the start to handle the whole thing.   We also figured out it is better to handle a case like this when it is in Magistrate Court and NOT agree to let it be dismissed without prejudice, because the lawyers will just re-file it in State Court later.  We won't make that mistake again!

 

We have a lot of respect for Jill Sheridan who posted lots of unredacted court documents from her case on Scribd and was a great inspiration and example for us to figure out the details of what to do in the beginning.  Thanks to ALL in the forums who contributed information and ideas for the appeal.

 

Note that this case was in State Court, so our only option was the GA Court of Appeals.  If you lose in a Magistrate Court in GA (which is where most JDB cases happen), you can just appeal to State Court or Superior Court and get a brand new de novo trial.   We have also attached a Counterclaims document that was useful when we were sued by other JDBs in Magistrate Court.  They dropped the cases like a hot potato.  Remember, when you file an answer to JDB claims, you can also file counterclaims at the same time.  Even if only slightly, it gives you more leverage.

 

As always, we are not an attorney and this is not legal advise, it is just one personal experience so take it for what it's worth and do your own research or hire an attorney.

 

Georgia State Court Bench Trial Transcript.pdf

Appellant brief Georgia FOR FORUM .doc

defendants counterclaims Georgia FOR FORUM .doc

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I wonder if Hanna settled quickly knowing that the Federal lawsuit by the CFPB is pending against him and is not going to help his credibility.

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I just won my appeal based on the fact that the Emily Walker affadavit stated she worked for MCM and not Midland Funding LLC , so she could not verify or authenticate any business records of the Plaintiff!!!!

 

Good job and thanks to superior court judges who are getting this right!

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