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Response to a Summons and Complaint from a JDB - Need Feedback Please

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I recently received a Summons and Complaint that I need to respond to.  It was filed by the attorney of a JDB.

Here are their edited down allegations.  I don't know if my answers should simply be "denied" or if I should provide any details.

  1. My spouse and I are the owners of a particular business.
    Answer:  Denied.  (It's a Sole Proprietorship and I am the sole owner. )
     
  2. Defendants entered into a series of loan agreements with the original creditor
    Answer: Denied
     
  3. Defendants breached the terms of the loan agreements.
    Answer: Denied  (The complaint does not specify a particular loan number or agreement they claim was breached. )
     
  4. The original creditor assigned all rights, title, an interest in the loans to Plaintiff.
    Answer: Denial of Knowledge or Information (Should I change this to "Denied"?  Plaintiff has not furnished any documents establishing standing to bring any action.  In addition, the name of the original creditor is different from the name of the bank on the loan agreement.)
  5. That as a result of the breach, Defendants owe the Plaintiff $____________.
    Answer: Denied

 

My Defenses

  1. Plaintiff filed in Circuit Court.
    The loan agreements include a small claims court option that says disputes may be adjudicated in small claims court.  Otherwise, they must be resolved by binding arbitration.  In arbitration, neither party has the right to have a court or jury decide the claim being arbitrated.  Also, neither party can engage in pre-arbitration discovery.
     
  2. Plaintiff has not specified which loan agreement(s) has been breached.
    The Plaintiff's complaint states I breached the terms of the loan agreements.  There were several individual loan agreements.  The Plaintiff does not indicate which specific loan agreement they claim was breached .
     
  3. Plaintiff's Standing
    When I received a collection notice from the Plaintiff's attorney earlier this year, I responded with a request for validation of the debt and also asked for documentation establishing their client's ownership of the account.  They sent me copies of several loan documents and did not address the ownership issue. 
     

30-Day Dispute Period Included with Summons and Complaint - The Summons and Complaint were accompanied by a sheet of paper that includes 15 USC 1692, the right to dispute the validity of all or any portion of the debt within 30-days.   I already disputed the debt when I received a collection notice from the Plaintiff's attorney earlier this year.  Because this "dispute period" was included with the paperwork I was served with, I'm assuming I should send them another letter to dispute the debt.

I can definitely use some feedback about the wording of my responses.  Also, in addition to responding to their claims, is it premature for me to ask them to respond to issues regarding proper venue, specific loan agreement information, and Plaintiff's standing?

 

 

 

 

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Never give them info they can't get publicly.  You can admit to your name, your address, never admit to any of the charges.  You want them to prove their case.  Answer the allegations with the following. no details. You don't want anyone thinking you "might have" had a loan, make them prove it.

Answer: After a reasonable inquiry and diligent search Defendant has insufficient information to admit or deny, therefore denied. 

Defenses: 

1. Plaintiff Lacks standing.

2. If alleged contract has a private Arbitration clause, I elect Private Contractual Arbitration with JAMS or AAA. 

That is it. Make them do all the work.

 

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Thank you, Shellieh.  You've been a tremendous help.

After I respond to the Plaintiff, do I simply wait to find out what their next move is?   If they do proceed with a lawsuit, I assume my next step would involve a general denial and/or attempting to have the case  dismissed because 1) Plaintiff lacks standing, 2) Alleged contract provides adjudication in small claims or arbitration.

In a forum such as small claims or arbitration, does the Plaintiff need to meet the same burden of proof when it comes to establishing standing?

 

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I finished typing my response to the Plaintiff's Complaint.  However, I have some questions regarding my affirmative defenses.  So far I've listed 1) Plaintiff lacks standing, 2) Binding arbitration clause.

There's one additional defense I thought I should add.  The Plaintiff listed both my spouse and me as Defendants.  My business is a sole proprietorship that my spouse is not an owner of.  My spouse did not enter into any of the alleged loan agreements. Should one of my defenses be that the Plaintiff has named and identified a wrong party?   If so, how should this be worded?

Also, the  Plaintiff claims I breached a series of loan agreements.  If a balance does remain on any of the alleged loans, it would involve a single agreement only. Does this make the Plaintiff's pleading insufficient based on the fact that they haven't identified a specific loan agreement they claim was breached?   Would this fall under the category of "Failure to state cause of action."

I've looked at several samples of responses to Complaints and have seen sections placed under affirmative defenses either asking the court to issue a judgment on behalf of the Defendant or a Motion to Dismiss based on certain facts.   Because my defenses include 1) lack of standing, 2) binding arbitration, 3) Plaintiff identified wrong party, should I include a Motion to Dismiss?

Thanks for your help!

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