The statute of limitations depends on what type of debt was involved. Midland is a debt buyer that often does not have the evidence it needs to win its case, so it is hoping to get a default judgment if you don't show up in court. Our law firm has also sued them many times for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You should check with the court's online or actual records to make sure they are not claiming you were served. If the court file shows no service, you don't have to do anything until they actually serve you. You might want to consider consulting an attorney who specializes in consumer law about your situation. Debt buyers such as Midland often dismiss their cases when an attorney shows up to challenge them.
The above response is not intended to create, nor does it create either an attorney-client relationship or an ongoing duty to respond to questions. It is intended to be solely the educated opinion of the author and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Some responses may be advertising material. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the inquiring person and additional or differing facts might change the response. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the state of Illinois. Responses are answers to general legal questions and the inquiring party should consult a local attorney for specific answers and advice. Answering this question does create a duty to keep information confidential, nor does it prevent me from representing an adverse party. Advertising Materials.
Until you have been served a Summons and Complaint, the only thing you might wish to do is get a copy of the court file and bring it to a good collection attorney. Right now you do not officially have notice of any proceedings.
The statute of limitations on a number of factors. What kind of debt it is 1) a credit card contract or 2) an open ended credit agreement or 3) some other type of debt. The statute of limitations is different for each. It also runs from the time you defaulted on the agreement. I would think that if you are receiving advertisements from attorneys with a case number on it that a lawsuit has been filed but you have not been served with it yet. You will get notice in the near future. Depending on the amount of the debt it may make sense to file bankruptcy, or you can settle, and/or defend the suit. The statute of limitations has a number of exceptions. If the case is in Cook County you can look up your name or the case number as it is online.
The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Illinois. Responses are answers to general legal questions and the receiver of such question should consult a local attorney for specific answers to questions.
If and when you are properly served (or if there has been or is bad service), get involved in the proceeding (or hire an attorney to do so on your behalf). Debt buyers like Midland Funding get many of their judgments by default, meaning that defendants fail to get involved in the case.
Can Midland Funding prove it owns the alleged debt?
Assuming this is a consumer debt, did you timely request verification in writing under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and, if so, was there any response?
Has the plaintiff complied with the licensing requirements under the Illinois Collection Agency Act?
Did they attach any assignments to the complaint?
Are you disputing the debt?
You may have defenses. For example, if this is a credit card case (which I assume it is), the statute of limitations is 5 years, from the date of last activity. So, if the plaintiff has filed suit outside of that period, the suit is time-barred, but you would need to raise that as an affirmative defense in a timely fashion in the course of litigation (unless it’s a small claim ($10,000 or less, exclusive of interest and costs) in which you timely file your written appearance and the court does not order you to file an answer, in which case the allegations set forth in the complaint are deemed denied and you would be free to prove any defense as if specifically plead).
At some point you may want to see if you can settle the matter (lump sum or payment plan), offering documents including a personal financial statement if you’re okay with that to help the plaintiff’s attorney convince his or her client to take whatever offer you care to make.
Robert T. Kuehl
Kuehl Law, P.C.