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Midland Credit - Filed Suit. I was not notified. What Next?


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Midland looking to recover debt from me on behalf of synchrony. Amount less than $2000. 

The address Midland has for me is a relative's home in Indiana. I have lived in a different state for years. Therefore, all notices have gone to that Indiana residence. 

Family notified me of the following:

1) pre-legal notice sent late summer 2020. 

2) Intent to file lawsuit notice if not paid by "XXX date" sent late fall 2020. 

3) This was the last I heard anything from my family about Midland until family member contacted me May 1. They noted they saw my name in local paper under "court" section: Midland Credit Management INC vs. "My Full Name". They did not receive any mail from Midland since the notice to file in late 2020. 

What are my best next steps? I know that showing up in court is one of the most important steps when disputing Midland. But I was never made aware of the proceeding in any way shape or form. Is that in their rights to escalate to courts without notifying me? 

Willing to answer any clarification questions. Thank you. 

 

 

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17 hours ago, ConfusedByLife said:

Midland looking to recover debt from me on behalf of synchrony. Amount less than $2000. 

The address Midland has for me is a relative's home in Indiana. I have lived in a different state for years. Therefore, all notices have gone to that Indiana residence. 

Family notified me of the following:

1) pre-legal notice sent late summer 2020. 

2) Intent to file lawsuit notice if not paid by "XXX date" sent late fall 2020. 

3) This was the last I heard anything from my family about Midland until family member contacted me May 1. They noted they saw my name in local paper under "court" section: Midland Credit Management INC vs. "My Full Name". They did not receive any mail from Midland since the notice to file in late 2020. 

What are my best next steps? I know that showing up in court is one of the most important steps when disputing Midland. But I was never made aware of the proceeding in any way shape or form. Is that in their rights to escalate to courts without notifying me? 

Willing to answer any clarification questions. Thank you. 

 

 

I would check the docket of the local Municipal Court in the area your mail was delivered.  You should be able to see if any Complaints were filed.

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19 hours ago, ConfusedByLife said:

Midland looking to recover debt from me on behalf of synchrony. Amount less than $2000. 

The address Midland has for me is a relative's home in Indiana. I have lived in a different state for years. Therefore, all notices have gone to that Indiana residence. 

Family notified me of the following:

1) pre-legal notice sent late summer 2020. 

2) Intent to file lawsuit notice if not paid by "XXX date" sent late fall 2020. 

3) This was the last I heard anything from my family about Midland until family member contacted me May 1. They noted they saw my name in local paper under "court" section: Midland Credit Management INC vs. "My Full Name". They did not receive any mail from Midland since the notice to file in late 2020. 

What are my best next steps? I know that showing up in court is one of the most important steps when disputing Midland. But I was never made aware of the proceeding in any way shape or form. Is that in their rights to escalate to courts without notifying me? 

Willing to answer any clarification questions. Thank you. 

 

 

A few questions:

1. Where were you living when you opened that card?

2. Where were you living when you defaulted on that card?

If you were living at the address where the case was filed at the time of default, if probably makes sense for them to file there.  If not, it is an error.

If I were in your shoes, I would call up their attorney (get the name from the notices sent to your relative's address), let them know you are in a different state, and discuss having them non-suit the case.  HOWEVER, if you were living in the other state at the time of default, then this may be an FDCPA violation for them to sue in the wrong state.  If that is the case, offer an exchange -- the case will be dismissed with prejudice in exchange for you not following up on any FDCPA violations.  A complete mutual dismissal.  

 

If getting them to non-suit or dismiss the case fails, then talk to a good consumer lawyer about what to do.  

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22 hours ago, ConfusedByLife said:

Is that in their rights to escalate to courts without notifying me? 

Yes.  SC is the only state that requires a notice to cure prior to being able to sue to collect on a debt.

22 hours ago, ConfusedByLife said:

The address Midland has for me is a relative's home in Indiana. I have lived in a different state for years.

Did you update driver's license, voter registration, car registration etc. when you moved?  If so, then you have Midland on an FDCPA violation for suing in the wrong venue.  If not and mail was always going to the IN residence it gets way more complicated.

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On 5/5/2021 at 8:29 AM, Ihatelawsuits said:

I would check the docket of the local Municipal Court in the area your mail was delivered.  You should be able to see if any Complaints were filed.

Thanks for your reply. There is a case filed in early April. The chronological summary includes 3 parts: 1) Appearance Filed. 2) Complaint Filed 3) Subpoena/Summons filed.

Regarding 1, it says 'Certificate of Service - I hereby certify that a true and correct copy has been served upon the defendant,MY NAME, etc etc. References trial law X that they followed. SIGNED - Midland Attorney 

Regarding 3, it reads an answer must be filed within 20 days or 23 days if received by mail or a judgement may be rendered for demand by plaintiff. There is a "return of service of summons" but it is blank. 

Again, - I did not receive anything in person or via mail. Could it have been disguised as some other type of mail? Like junk mail or mail from a bankruptcy attorney? Not sure what is allowed. 

 

On 5/5/2021 at 10:41 AM, BackFromTheDebt said:

A few questions:

1. Where were you living when you opened that card?

2. Where were you living when you defaulted on that card?

If you were living at the address where the case was filed at the time of default, if probably makes sense for them to file there.  If not, it is an error.

If I were in your shoes, I would call up their attorney (get the name from the notices sent to your relative's address), let them know you are in a different state, and discuss having them non-suit the case.  HOWEVER, if you were living in the other state at the time of default, then this may be an FDCPA violation for them to sue in the wrong state.  If that is the case, offer an exchange -- the case will be dismissed with prejudice in exchange for you not following up on any FDCPA violations.  A complete mutual dismissal.  

 

If getting them to non-suit or dismiss the case fails, then talk to a good consumer lawyer about what to do.  

1. Not Indiana (where they filed). I was living in New England

2. Not Indiana (where they filed). I moved to another Midwest state around this time. 

Worth mentioning, at one point the address associated with the paypal credit was the address they sent the material to (Again - a summons was not part of the material. I am not aware of any summons except via the local newspaper). However, within the complaint is my actual current address and even a prior address in the state I currently reside as well. 

On 5/5/2021 at 1:42 PM, Clydesmom said:

Yes.  SC is the only state that requires a notice to cure prior to being able to sue to collect on a debt.

Did you update driver's license, voter registration, car registration etc. when you moved?  If so, then you have Midland on an FDCPA violation for suing in the wrong venue.  If not and mail was always going to the IN residence it gets way more complicated.

I never lived at the address where they filed the suit. I stayed there in small stints over the years, but not for 10 years. 

I have lived in my current state for roughly 1.5 to 2 years. I am registered to vote and car is registered (not driver's license yet). 

Paypal mail delivered to where I resided. Synchrony mail delivered to where i resided. Midland mail only went to the Indiana address. 

Repeat from above: Worth mentioning, at one point the address associated with the paypal credit was the address they sent the material to (Again - a summons was not part of the material. I am not aware of any summons except via the local newspaper). However, the complaint docs filed include my current address and even a prior address in the state I currently reside as well. Sloppy on their part? 

 

Thanks all so much for the help. This is all very new to me. 

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I did read all of your last post but rather than cutting and pasting to each issue I am going to summarize.

Get a Consumer Attorney NOW.  They have violated the FDCPA and a good consumer attorney should take your case on contingency (at no cost to you) because what they did was attempt sewer service in order to get a default judgment.  Follow the link in this post and find a good consumer attorney in the state where this suit is filed or where you currently reside.  Either way Midland will end up paying you on this one.

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17 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

I did read all of your last post but rather than cutting and pasting to each issue I am going to summarize.

Get a Consumer Attorney NOW.  They have violated the FDCPA and a good consumer attorney should take your case on contingency (at no cost to you) because what they did was attempt sewer service in order to get a default judgment.  Follow the link in this post and find a good consumer attorney in the state where this suit is filed or where you currently reside.  Either way Midland will end up paying you on this one.

Thank you for the site recommendation, predicted outcome and attention. Much appreciated! 

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New development - There was a summons delivered in the last 72 hours to the home in Indiana where the rest of the correspondences went.  So now that a summons has appeared, based on the verbiage - it sounds like I have 20 days to respond from the date served. 

Not sure why it would only be delivered now as it was electronically filed over a month ago. But again, I am inexperienced in court cases - so maybe that is common. 

This changes the narrative for me -  as I assumed they proceeded with the hearing already. But now I understand that is not the case. 

Does this change anything about my next step? Thanks to anyone who has advice. 

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1 hour ago, Clydesmom said:

Nope.  Get a lawyer in Indiana.

If anything, this makes it absolutely MORE imperative you find an attorney ASAP.  

 

1. If you ignore this, you will have a default judgment against you, which is harder to fight.

2. Since they have filed suit and delivered a summons, there is a very clear FDCPA violation.  

SAVE THE SUMMONS!!!!  That will be evidence in your claims against THEM.  

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Update.

Attorney (family friend) called Midland attorney. Midland is withdrawing the complaint and summons. They are going to get back to my attorney with a reduced amount. Is that a good outcome?  My gut says there was a misstep in there somewhere. Isn't a reduced amount often a win for Midland? Any advice on what I should say to my attorney? 

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29 minutes ago, ConfusedByLife said:

Update.

Attorney (family friend) called Midland attorney. Midland is withdrawing the complaint and summons. They are going to get back to my attorney with a reduced amount. Is that a good outcome?  My gut says there was a misstep in there somewhere. Isn't a reduced amount often a win for Midland? Any advice on what I should say to my attorney? 

It depends on the amount.  

 

A victory for you is if you get an arrangement you can live with.  If a reduced amount is an amount you can live with, you should be happy.  

It could be a win for Midland as well, since at least they are guaranteed to get something, which is almost certainly more than they paid for it.  

 

The first thing you should talk to the attorney about is to get the details for the arrangement with Midland.  

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8 minutes ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

It depends on the amount.  

 

A victory for you is if you get an arrangement you can live with.  If a reduced amount is an amount you can live with, you should be happy.  

It could be a win for Midland as well, since at least they are guaranteed to get something, which is almost certainly more than they paid for it.  

 

The first thing you should talk to the attorney about is to get the details for the arrangement with Midland.  

Solid advice. I'll see what they offer and report back. Thank you. 

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On 5/18/2021 at 12:19 PM, ConfusedByLife said:

Update.

Attorney (family friend) called Midland attorney. Midland is withdrawing the complaint and summons. They are going to get back to my attorney with a reduced amount. Is that a good outcome?  My gut says there was a misstep in there somewhere. Isn't a reduced amount often a win for Midland? Any advice on what I should say to my attorney? 

I agree could be good if they make you a really good deal.  They pay pennies on the dollar for these junk debts so keep that in mind when making a deal.  I personally would probably try to fight it but not everyone is comfortable doing that.

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Just now, Ihatelawsuits said:

I agree could be good if they make you a really good deal.  They pay pennies on the dollar for these junk debts so keep that in mind when making a deal.  I personally would probably try to fight it but not everyone is comfortable doing that.

Forgot to mention I was just in a lawsuit with Midland and they filed the lawsuit and did nothing else.  I sent them discovery and they failed to return it so I sent them a Motion to Compel Discovery or Motion to Dismiss in the event of failure to answer.  They did answer that with a Dismissal Without Prejudice which means the case is dismissed but they can reopen it at a later time or more than likely sell it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/25/2021 at 3:30 PM, Ihatelawsuits said:

Forgot to mention I was just in a lawsuit with Midland and they filed the lawsuit and did nothing else.  I sent them discovery and they failed to return it so I sent them a Motion to Compel Discovery or Motion to Dismiss in the event of failure to answer.  They did answer that with a Dismissal Without Prejudice which means the case is dismissed but they can reopen it at a later time or more than likely sell it.

Thanks for this context. I think it mirrors where this stands now. Update below: 

The court had dismissed the case without prejudice given I didn't live at the address or in the state they filed. Midland said they were going to give a settlement # (per The attorney in my corner) but they never responded with that number. My legal said Midland could file again but recommended we don't seek out a settlement unless Midland approaches us with a number first.

Anything seem out of the ordinary here? 

Are there any other steps I should take in general given this is still hanging out there? Or is it one of those things that could come up again and I'll just have to live with the existential threat? 

Appreciate this board very much. 

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30 minutes ago, ConfusedByLife said:

My legal said Midland could file again but recommended we don't seek out a settlement unless Midland approaches us with a number first.

Anything seem out of the ordinary here? 

Nope business as usual.  I agree with the lawyer.  Lay low and they will probably do the same.

30 minutes ago, ConfusedByLife said:

Are there any other steps I should take in general given this is still hanging out there? Or is it one of those things that could come up again and I'll just have to live with the existential threat? 

Now that they know you have a lawyer they are not likely to come back.  They want the easy low hanging fruit of payment or default judgment.  They do not want to go to court and have to actually prove their case.  They also know they filed in the wrong jurisdiction creating a bold plated counter claim.  You have one year from the date they filed that claim to pursue an FDCPA claim.  Does the SOL to sue where you are expire in that time frame?  If so, you don't need to do anything.  If the SOL expires after the 1 year elapses on the FDCPA claim then you have a problem in that Midland may wait until you no longer have a valid FDCPA claim to refile.  I doubt they do but it is possible.

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On 6/11/2021 at 1:20 PM, ConfusedByLife said:

Thanks for this context. I think it mirrors where this stands now. Update below: 

The court had dismissed the case without prejudice given I didn't live at the address or in the state they filed. Midland said they were going to give a settlement # (per The attorney in my corner) but they never responded with that number. My legal said Midland could file again but recommended we don't seek out a settlement unless Midland approaches us with a number first.

Anything seem out of the ordinary here? 

Are there any other steps I should take in general given this is still hanging out there? Or is it one of those things that could come up again and I'll just have to live with the existential threat? 

Appreciate this board very much. 

You probably won't be sued again by Midland.  There is a good chance they will sell the debt to another debt collector.  Just be sure to answer briefs that the court sends you.  If you don't back down and respond to everything they usually back down with a Dismissed without prejudice.

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