BitsyM

Michigan: Sued by Midland Funding. I Missed Settlement Hearing

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Synopsis-

Sued by Midland Funding.  I responded in the proper amount of time with denying all the the items in the complaint.

I was prepared to go to the pretrial settlement hearing.  Date in my planner and in my phone.  Made a huge mistake and put in on the Tuesday of the following week, so Nov. 13 instead on Nov. 6.  

My daughter was ill on November 6th and had to go to the doctor.  Missed school for 2 days.  Since we were home, I opened my huge file to last minute prepare for the pretrial settlement hearing the next week because I had done nothing to prep.  My plan was to ask the judge to stay or dismiss pending contractual arbitration.  When I opened my file, saw that I had missed the court date the day before.  I freaked out, called the court and was advised that a default judgement had been entered.  I was told that before I could do anything else that I needed to file a motion to set aside the default judgement and that I could do so at the court.  The woman advised that they had the forms and I would fill them out and pay $20.

 

My naive thought was I would fill in the blanks and write that  my daughter was ill, I could prove so with paperwork from doctor and attendance documentation from school.  When I showed up at the court on Tuesday 11/12 (Monday was Veterans Day and court was closed), I was told that I needed to write in why I didn't owe the money for the default judgement.  I explained that I had planned to ask the judge to stay or dismiss, etc... I was then advised that I should come back with more documentation.

 

Do I have any chance of getting the default judgement set aside?  Should I just call Midland and set up payments?  Amount is around $2,100 from the default judgement.  Debt is 5 years and 9 months old, so not out of the statute of limitations.

 

I appreciate any help or advice.  

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I went back to the court.  Filed a Motion and Affidavit to Set Aside Default.  I included a copy of the card agreement and stated that there is a binding agreement with an arbitration clause.

 

Hearing is scheduled for two weeks from now.

 

Any advice as to what I need to take with me to court, document-wise, or say when I go?  Other than that I have diagnosed anxiety and panic disorder and would rather deal with arbitration? (Joking.  Half joking)

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On 12/4/2019 at 11:19 AM, BitsyM said:

Filed a Motion and Affidavit to Set Aside Default.  I included a copy of the card agreement and stated that there is a binding agreement with an arbitration clause.

 

Hearing is scheduled for two weeks from now.

@BitsyM This is a hearing for your motion to set aside the default judgment? 

Did you file a motion to compel arbitration and stay? 

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On 11/14/2019 at 9:31 AM, BitsyM said:

Sued by Midland Funding.  I responded in the proper amount of time with denying all the the items in the complaint.

If the complaint asserts this, did you deny that you ever had a contract with the original creditor? Or, did you plead that you lacked knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of an allegation? 

Did you include an agreement to arbitrate as an affirmative defense in your answer? 

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@BitsyM You filed a timely and MCR-compliant Answer to the Complaint. Your reasonable excuse for missing the pre-trial hearing was that your suddenly ill daughter was at the doctor's office, and not because you entered the date incorrectly in your planner, correct? You have documentation to support this visit and diagnosis. 

Your meritorius defense is that there is a binding arbitration agreement in the contract that you asserted in your Answer as an Affirmative Defense. Who is the original creditor here? 

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