what to do now? Should I file an answer or wait for court?
Contracts / Agreements Lawyer
You should file an answer when you are sued. Chase credit sold your debt to Midland - now midland has the same rights to sue you that Chase would have had. Debt buying is big business. You should promptly respond to any lawsuit or risk having a judgment entered against you. If you legitimately owed the debt to chase, then I strongly suggest trying to settle before court.
This is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. This is for education and informational purposes only. It is always recommended that you contact an attorney with any concerns as each individual case is unique.
How much are you being sued for? If it's a small claims lawsuit it will state a date when you must go to pretrial. You do not need to file an answer in a small claims lawsuit. You do need to go to the pretrial. If the amount of the claim is over $5,000, then it is not a small claims case and you absolutely should file an answer and set forth affirmative defenses that you may have. Be sure you are dealing with the correct account, especially if you have a common name. Debt purchases have been known to make huge errors because of similar names. As suggested by another, try settling if it is legitimate. I believe the presence of an attorney in your case will be more than justified by the likely lower amount an attorney will be able to negotiate on your behalf.
The law is complicated and although the facts expressed may seem to be all that is relevant, there may be many other important facts to consider. Also, the law is constantly undergoing change, so what may be correct today, may not be accurate tomorrow. Only a full consultation with an attorney experienced or knowledgeable in the specific legal subject matter is likely to result in the optimal course of action. My practice has entailed more than a 30 year span of many real estate, personal property, and bankruptcy issues. Find out more about me at: FloridaPropertyLitigation.com.
Although an account holder has the right to sell its account, debt buyers such as Midland buy up accounts in bulk, and often do not acquire the documents necessary to prove their case in court. Accordingly, even if you acknowledge owing money to Chase, you may be able to defeat Midland's claim. But you may want to consult a local lawyer to get some sense of how this would play out in the courts of your particular area. You can find a list of consumer protection lawyers at the website of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, www.naca.net.
Disclaimer: This site exists to provide information only. It is not legal advice. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. I am a Massachusetts lawyer. Any information provided on this site does not, except as explicitly stated, imply familiarity with laws or procedures peculiar to your state which may differ from those where I practice.
Debt Collection Attorney
You should certianly defend yourself. It may be worth your time to seek a consumer attorney in your area. Madland needs to prove you owe the debt. Maybe they can, maybe they can't but yous should at very least file an Answer.
All of the foregoing answers are right on target. In addition, most people that have one seriously delinquent credit card debt, have a few delinquent credit card debts. If you have about $10,000 or so in delinquent debt (or more), you should get a free consultation from an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Debt Settlement Attorney
DO NOT offer to settle so quickly. If you have a pre-trial date then you MUST show up or you will be in default. If the matter is not in small claims court you MUST file a responsive pleading within 20 days of being served. That can be through an answer or through a motion to dismiss. I strongly suggest you hire an attorney who specializes in consumer protection, like myself, or find an experienced attorney through naca.net. As stated in previous answers, Midland has the burden to show that they actually own the debt.