The fact is, though, that if you intend to contest the case you have to show up a the Pre-Trial Conference, whether the principal balance is $3,679.52 or $4,290.35.
However, keep in mind that by asking for more money in the law suit than what they claim to be the principal balance shown on the statement of account, Midland may have violated one of the provisions of Section 559.72 Florida Statutes, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act [if Midland bought the account after it was in default] which prohibit the request for more money than what is owed. They could say that the pleading was an honest mistake, and it may well be a mistype.
I hope you found this response to be helpful. If so, your clicking "helpful" and/or "best answer" helps my Avvo rating and would be appreciated. This answer shall not be considered rendering legal advise but instead a general response to a general question. Avvo is a wonderful resource but nothing can substitute for an in-depth consultation face-to-face with a lawyer. The response shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it create an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry from the questioner.
You should fight the case. Midland Funding is a huge debt buyer. They file collection lawsuits all of the country and they are affiliated with Encore Receivables and Midland Credit Managment. I'm not suprised that they would attach a document that conflicts with their own petition.
However, the fact that the numbers don't match up does not mean you win. As my peers have mentioned you have to contest it. Midlands attorney will likely try to explain this discrepancy to the court and the judge will decide what they decide. You should send a request production to Midland to see what other docs they have. 1 account statement is not enought to prove this debt in my opinion and should not be enough for most courts. They may produce more by the time it goes to trial. This may be all that Midland has right now. They have to go back and "order" more documetns from the original creditor to find out what is actually owed.
You should consider hiring a debt defense lawyer.
My comments are not legal advice and are for informational purposes only.
If you have other debts,even ones that are over five years old, in addition to the Midland lawsuit, you should contact an attorney immediately. If this is your only debt, it is probably still cost effective to hire an attorney to at least prepare a Motion to Dismiss the suit.. It will be necessary for you to attend a pretrial conference and then a trial if the motion is denied by the judge.
First, if you do not hire an attorney, make sure to appear at the pre-trial conference. If you don't, Midland will automatically win and will get a judgment against you. Don't make it that easy for them since you probably have a plethora of defenses.
Second, hire a consumer protection attorney, like myself, or you can find one at Naca.net. Myself as most NACA members provide a free phone consultation. An attorney can review your complaint and all counts against you and most likely file a motion to dismiss the case. Midland, like most debt collector's can't prove that they own the debt and once an attorney is involved are quicker to dismiss.