The lawyer representing the plaintiff was very surprised at the items I had subpoenaed as "no one asks for evidence"
I don't believe Main Street deserves my money.
I'd like to address the above two statements. First, their representative was right and it is what most junk debt dealers count on. The vast majority of their judgments come by default because the debtor is scared or intimidated.
As to the second statement, that is not for you to decide. As long as they can prove that they purchased the debt they have a right to collect it.
As to not having a signed contract, in these days of electronic applications, that is not unusual.
So you are faced with a choice now. You can go back and say you have researched your records and you believe the account is yours, but you have no idea whether the balance is correct. Offer a settlement and see what you can negotiate.
The second choice is stick to your guns and say you don't believe they have enough evidence to prove this is your account. But all they need is ONE copy of a credit card purchase slip with your signature on it and that goes out the window and a judge will rule in their favor.
And, no, you weren't following bad advice, you did everything right until now. But its time to fish or cut bait.