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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@Brotherskeeper- that is correct.  I have my daughter's attendance record from school to show that she was absent on 11/06 and documentation to show that we were at the doctor on 11/07.

 

I received the attached opposition that was filed by the attorney for Midland.  I received the letter on Saturday.

 

Not quite sure if I need to take any action, other than showing up at the scheduled hearing on the 18th with a copy of the card agreement, attendance record, and doctor's note?

 

I'm going to scan and upload my Answer that was filed in response to the Complaint and Summons.

Opposition Letter Redacted 12.16.2019.pdf

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@Brotherskeeper  Attached is the Summons and Complaint and my Answer.  My answer stated that it was not the proper venue.  At the first hearing the judge denied that then set the date for the hearing for 11/06.  That is the one that I missed.

 

My defense is that I responded to the complaint, showed up for the first hearing, called immediately after missing the hearing on the 6th, showed up and filed the Motion and Affidavit to Set Aside Default Judgement.

Midland Summons and Complaint Redacted.pdf Civil Answer Redacted 07.13.2019.pdf

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36 minutes ago, BitsyM said:

I have my daughter's attendance record from school to show that she was absent on 11/06 and documentation to show that we were at the doctor on 11/07.

 

On 11/14/2019 at 7:31 AM, BitsyM said:

Made a huge mistake and put in on the Tuesday of the following week, so Nov. 13 instead on Nov. 6.  

Wonder if "they" still monitor these boards...

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@Goody_OuchlessEven if “they” monitor these boards, I still need advice...

Worst case scenario, I pay an attorney to handle this on my behalf.

At this point, the amount of stress that this has caused me, is worth paying a couple of thousand dollars to an attorney.  

Between a very sick child, an on-going custody battle, and normal day to day crap, Midland Funding can kiss my whole behind.  

 

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@BitsyM Your reasonable excuse for missing the hearing was your daughter's illness. Your judge will decide if the facts you presented under oath in your affidavit with attached supporting documents are in fact a reasonable excuse.

We need to read up on whether there's case precedence for the court to consider an agreement to arbitrate these disputes--as you timely asserted in your Answer's Affirmative Defense I--as a meritorious defense to set aside the default judgment. 

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On 12/5/2019 at 1:37 PM, Brotherskeeper said:
 
 

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

Did you file a motion to compel arbitration and stay? 

You didn't answer my question. Did you file a MTC arb?

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5 minutes ago, BitsyM said:

Even if “they” monitor these boards, I still need advice...

And B's K is providing that. I've just been burned by the old adage that "the cover-up is worse than the crime," so I'm sensitive to those situations.

 

 

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@Goody_Ouchless-answer was posted above 😊

 

Update-hearing today for Motion to Set Aside Default Judgement was granted by the Court.

 

I have a week to send the opposing counsel my Arbitration Election Notice.  I also plan on filing a copy with the court (of my application with AAA)

 

We’ll see from here....

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