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Listen, I am not a lawyer and I am not an expert, by any means, but I've been reading this forum for over a year, and now that I have also had some experience in these matters, I feel compelled to make a few observations about (what seems to me to be) the general strategy that JDBs (junk debt buyers) use, at least in California.


1st – The JDBs depend upon the fact that most defendants are not going to answer the complaint filed against them, which allows the JDB to receive a default judgement, winning the case, and allowing the JDB to then proceed to garnishing the defendant's wages. 


2nd – If the defendant does file an answer, the JDB's attorney will attempt to trick the defendant into admitting guilt or into making an error when responding to discovery requests, which the attorney will use to win their case.


3rd – JDB's attorney sends the defendant a CCP 98 (affidavit in lieu of live testimony) that will allow JDB to enter as evidence any documents attached, unless the defendant subpoenas the witness listed in the CCP 98 and files an objection to the CCP 98.


4th – The JDB's attorney, almost always, knowingly lies on the CCP 98 when they say that the witness will be available for service for the 20-days prior to the court date at an address within 150 miles of the court.


It has been my experience, and it seems to me that in most cases filed in California, that a defendant has an excellent chance of getting their case dismissed if they simply follow the guidelines provided by ASTMedic in his topic: How I beat Midland in California.  In addition, since ASTMedic's case, there have been two excellent cases that provide even more case law to use against the JDBs' strategy: Target v. Rocha and CACH v. Rodgers.

Besides ASTMedic's guidelines, I also highly recommend the following two links that this forum lead me to, and which were particularly helpful to me. The first is a little old now, and was prior to Target v. Rocha and Cach v. Rogers, but contains actual filed court docs:


The second is the opinion from CACH v. Rodgers:


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I agree with everything except number 3.  And this is important.


Even if you fail to serve a subpoena on the witness most of the testimony in a typical CCP 98 affidavit, and most of the documents attached as exhibits, should NOT be admissible at trial IF YOU OBJECT.  This is because CCP 98 itself says, "To the extent the contents of the prepared testimony would have been admissible were the witness to testify orally thereto, the prepared testimony shall be received as evidence in the case..."


Most CCP 98 declarations do not contain testimony that would be admissible if the witness testified orally on the stand.  The declarations usually do not set forth sufficient foundation.  They usually contain hearsay that does not meet any exception.  So even if you do not serve a subpoena, a judge applying California rules of evidence should not admit a typical CCP 98 declaration into evidence.


I am not suggesting this as a strategy.  But if, for some reason, you do not serve a subpoena on the witness, you should file a written objection to the declaration.

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