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MD - Summons recv'd for Midlands - help?


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A summons was received by a family member a few days ago for a January District court date regarding a collections account with Midland Credit Mngmt. This is in Maryland, SOL 3 years, last payment reported on the paperwork is 8/16/2019, formerly owned by Capital One it looks like.  I believe I have until 12/30 to file intent to dispute if I understand correctly.

I am a little unsure how to proceed/what the best options are.

As background, I formerly had a partner who had a gambling addiction and there are possibly accounts I do not know about. However, in December 2020, in an effort to begin to financially recover from everything that had happened, I ran all 3 main credit reports, borrowed money from family to pay every single account listed on there, canceled all cards, and set it up so that almost all money I make from my job goes to the family member to pay them back/pay for living expenses (rent, utilities, etc.) which are set to auto come from there (the only exception being about $150 I get biweekly for food, etc. that still goes to my checking account). 

The account that MCM has listed on this summons is not one that was on my credit report in December 2020 but does have my name/former address on the copies of the statements that were sent as proof of last payment in 2019 and when it was apparently charged off in early 2020. The original account is still not on my credit report I ran yesterday as well, but the MCM account has been added.

Any advice on what I should do next would be appreciated. Sorry for anything that is unclear and thank you in advance.

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Two important questions?

1. Was this your account, or did your former partner illegally open this account in your name?

2.  I don't know about Maryland courts.  Is this court considered to be small claims?


The reason I ask -- there are very few defenses you can use to fight a credit card claim.  The fact that this was not on your credit report doesn't matter.  Citi did not have to report it to the credit reports.  

If this account was not yours, you have several choices. 

A. You can file a police report for identity theft.  Then, send a copy of the police report to the court and the attorney as part of your answer.  Deny the claim on the basis that this account was not yours, and was identity theft.  The police report would be crucial as part of your defense.  However, if you believe your former partner opened up this account, this strategy could cause your former partner to be arrested and possibly even jailed.  

B. Accept the debt as your debt.  

Note that contacting your former partner and demanding payment or else you will file the police report could be considered blackmail, which is a felony.  

If the debt is yours, or if you accept the debt as yours to protect your former partner, that is when you need to find out if the court is considered small claims court.  If not, you could file for arbitration, and quite possibly Midland will walk away.  If it IS a small claims court, arbitration is out.  In that case, you should contact the attorney about a possible settlement,  

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