Oklahoma Law on Debt Collection

Oklahoma Debt Law

This will eventually be an article on small claims courts in Oklahoma.

Small claims courts are a frequent bane to debt defendants because they apply loose rules (of evidence and civil procedure) designed for pro se, unsophisticated parties disputing small amounts of money. Debt collectors, however, have discovered that these lax rules can make it easier for them to get even more default judgments and to win cases on obviously insufficient evidence. Oklahoma put a stop to that by enacting rules that forbid debt collectors from bringing their claims in small claims courts.

Of course this hasn’t stopped them.

Here is the rule: http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=438809

Here’s an article. There will be more: https://www.okbar.org/freelegalinfo/smallclaims/

Debt Collector Dirty Tricks

The Debt Collection Business

For a free copy of this article in pdf form, click here: Debt Collector Dirty Tricks

Debt Collectors

At its best, debt collection is a hard business. They’re trying to force people who are already making tough choices to make different choices. To make a person give up food or insurance to pay a bill for something that’s already come and gone is hard to do. And even when the choice isn’t quite that stark, there’s always the challenge of making someone give up what they want NOW for what they used to want THEN.

On the other hand, most people do want to pay their bills, and they feel guilty and embarrassed when they don’t. The debt collectors know and use those facts regularly. You might consider efforts to trigger those feelings “dirty tricks,” but we won’t discuss them other than in certain extreme ways the debt collectors play their cards.


People who owe money also usually feel, and are, vulnerable to various bad things, and many of the dirtiest tricks use this fact against them. From a slightly different angle, one of the things that get people into debt trouble in the first place is hope or optimism – they overestimate what they can or will do or they look for an easy way out. This can make them easy suckers for scams, from get-rich-quick scams to get-out-of-debt scams. But what concerns us most for purposes of this article is that it causes them to overestimate what they can pay or for how long they can do it. Thus there’s a tendency for people to make agreements they can’t keep.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few of the tricks the debt collectors play to use the weaknesses of people in debt against them so that you can recognize and prepare for them. We also have a report that you can get for free that has many more of the worst of the tricks.

I have found that a lot of people come to us after doing some things that hurt their rights. Part of our mission is to protect some of those rights before they get lost or damaged. We want to catch people earlier in the debt cycle, in other words. If you give the wrong person money, it’s almost impossible to get it back.

A Few Preliminary Words

There are a few things I will say before getting into the scams and tricks. First, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes almost all of the tricks we discuss here illegal. But some of them are not, as we will discuss.

The FDCPA generally requires fair-dealing and honesty of the debt collectors, and it makes deception and “misleading” behaviors illegal. It also gives them certain affirmative requirements. But it applies only to “debt collectors” as that term is defined, and there is currently a lot of uncertainty about exactly what the term means and just who is a debt collector even among legitimate operators, and there are a lot of crooks out there, too.

What there is really no doubt about at all is that debt collectors, whether they are within the definition of the FDCPA or not, will do almost anything to get your money. You know that. We can only list and describe a relatively few of their tricks, but you need to develop the habit of extreme caution and skepticism towards anybody who’s trying to get you to give them some money. You need PROOF of every aspect of what they’re saying, because, as we all know, paying the wrong person a bill we really owe doesn’t do any good at all – it just means we’re going to double-pay.

No legitimate debt collector will require you to act immediately the first time you hear from them. Don’t let them hurry you into lowering your standards of proof – that’s the key to all of their other tricks.

A Few of Their Tricks

The tricks here are only a few of what they have come up with, and they will constantly be coming up with more. These are merely examples. The tricks don’t all have formal names, but I have given them names to make them easier to remember.

Asking for Post-dated Checks

Sometimes a debt collector will urge you to send a post-dated check. That is, a check with a date on it that’s different than the actual date. You think the money will be there in a week, so you write the check for next week.

Debt collectors love to get you to do this. Why?

There are some legitimate reasons, and this isn’t always a scam or dirty trick. It is a fact that people get busy, have second thoughts, or simply change their minds – especially when it comes to paying money for something that doesn’t bring them pleasure. A debt collector has a legitimate interest, assuming the debt is valid and the collector is honest (which you should almost never do), in getting your money before any of that happens. He or she has talked you into doing something, and he doesn’t want it to come undone as soon as you hang up. A post-dated check is a good way to make your intention stick.

The problem is that you cannot trust the debt collector, yourself, or the world around you with this.

You can’t trust the debt collector because most debt collectors will say anything that comes to mind to get you to do what they want. They are under intense pressure to perform, and to perform quickly. Therefore, chances are good that the debt collector will not remember – and not even try to remember – that your check is post-dated check. That will be forgotten before you hang up.

So even if by chance your check goes to the debt collector who called you, she will put the check in the pile to go to the bank immediately. And it isn’t likely the person who called you will see the check – it will automatically go out for payment when it arrives in the office.

And you can’t even trust yourself on this. If you were just trying to get the debt collector to go away, or if you made a slight miscalculation, or if something unforeseen happens – as so often happens – you will be in trouble.

Attempt to Collect from Relatives of the Dead

With few exceptions, a parent or spouse’s debts do NOT transfer to anyone else. A deceased’s debts are claims against the decedent’s estate. That means, if there’s a will, that any claimants will have to make a claim against the estate in probate. If for some reason that doesn’t happen, then in some situations the “residuary” beneficiary of the will might be liable.

If the will says, “I leave $100 to Mary and the rest to John,” John is the residuary beneficiary, and John might under some circumstances be liable for a debt. But of course it almost never happens because the creditor would have to prove a variety of things that aren’t easy to prove. Most debt collectors want nothing to do with that. They’d rather try to get you to pay.

All you need to know is that if a debt collector is asking you to pay someone else’s bills it’s probably a scam.

Debt collectors know most people do not know the law and have never thought they might owe someone else’s bills.  People who are grieving are less likely to question or oppose someone who asserts that they owe something. In other words, this scam requires catching you at a vulnerable time and taking advantage of it.

The FBI’s After You

In this scam, someone calls you up “from Washington” (or wherever) to let you know you’ve been implicated in some vague crime or misdeed. They’ve tried this one on me a couple of times, as a matter of fact, only the person was supposedly calling from the Social Security Administration to tell me my account had been “frozen” because someone was using the number to launder money.

The agent spoke fast and had a number to call for verification, but things were close to a boiling point. I was supposed to act quickly or expect the FBI to show up within the next day, or possibly hours. Of course the first thing I had to do was verify a few numbers for them…

This is obviously a criminal scam, with only the barest pretense at being debt collection when there is one – sometimes the threat is that agents are on the way to pick you up for non-payment of some debt, or whatever. The critical features are the urgency, the authority, and the threat.

The people doing this one are clearly not legitimate debt collectors, they’re criminals, but it may show up as a debt collection, and chances are good you’ve been targeted because of some perceived vulnerability. Tell these guys to take a hike.

There’s more in the report

You will find many more examples of debt collector dirty tricks in our free Bestiary of Debt Collector Dirty Tricks. You can find that by clicking here: https://yourlegallegup.com/blog/debt-collector-dirty-tricks/.


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A Question of Burden – General versus Affirmative Defenses

“General” versus “Affirmative” Defenses

Many debt defendants love the idea of affirmative defenses – they just sound stronger, don’t they? But in the law, they are specific things, and they are not better than general defenses. They’re just different. If you have an affirmative defense, that’s fine, and you probably wouldn’t want to ignore it. But general defenses are really the “bread and butter” of defense.

So what are these two types of defense?

General Defense or Denial

A general defense is one of two things. It CAN mean a general denial of every allegation in the petition. You’re saying, “prove it” to everything. Since the debt collector has the burden of proof, I would suggest you consider this if it is available to you. It’s easy, fast, and comprehensive. But of course your next move is on to discovery and the rest of defense.

Generically, a “general defense” is one where you deny an allegation. So, above, you could file a “general defense” which denies all paragraphs (if your jurisdiction allows this). Or normally you would simply deny all or most of the paragraphs of the plaintiff’s petition. Every denial is a “general defense” that leaves the burden of proof on the plaintiff.

Affirmative Defenses

Affirmative defenses are something else. They amount to a statement that, “even if what the plaintiff is true, I don’t owe because …”

One example of this might be a settlement – suppose you entered an agreement to pay and did pay the other side, but they sue you anyway. If so, your general denial will be to deny the allegations of the petition, but then you’ll add an affirmative defense: On x day, the parties entered into settlement discussions and formed an agreement. Defendant fully performed this agreement on y day, paying z dollars for a “complete settlement of all claims.” See, attached (a copy of the agreement).

Thus, the facts that you have alleged amount to a complete defense to the action (known as “accord and satisfaction). And note that the facts are pleaded with “particularity” (in detail), and the defendant has the burden of proof of these things.

Other examples of affirmative defenses include collateral estoppel, res judicata, unclean hands, statute of limitations, and laches. There could be others. In each case the defendant would bear the burden of pleading the facts constituting the defense and proving them at trial. Since a general denial leaves the burden of proof on the plaintiff, they’re usually more important.

Fast Track to Victory over Debt Collectors

Fast Track to Beating the Debt Collectors

Debt collection is a very big business in the U.S., with debt collectors feeding like vultures on the hardships of people having debt problems. They don’t care about you, they don’t care whether you owe or whether the amount they want is unfair – they only care about getting as much of your money as possible.

They need to be stopped.

to join us as a FastTrack Member, hover the cursor over About Memberships on the main menu and then click on Register – or click here – and choose FastTrack Membership.

Courts as Cogs in the Debt Collection Machine

The debt collectors have been using the courts as part of their collection machine for many years. And they use the threat of lawsuits even more. This lets them scare millions of people into paying whatever they can, sacrificing whatever they must to do so. And it lets them use the machinery of the law whenever they get a judgment to start garnishing wages or seizing assets.

Unfortunately, the courts have allowed the debt collectors to get away with things they wouldn’t allow other litigants – things like filing claims without any real idea of whether the claims have merit, presenting obviously fraudulent and deceptive affidavits, and using clearly inadmissible evidence, to name a few things. But these are things that happen more often when people are not paying attention. They happen in debt law because nearly everybody getting sued by a debt collector gives up.

This needs to change.

How to Stop Them

I am not suggesting that you hide, drop out, or do anything radical. There are reasonable things you can do to protect yourself and what you have without turning your life upside down or inside out. The law doesn’t have to be your enemy in this… you can make it your friend, and we can help.

As I have often pointed out, debt collection is “assembly-line” or “factory” work. That is, debt collectors buy millions of accounts and feed them into a collection machine. The machine then writes letters, calls, and often sues you. Are there any humans involved in this process? Perhaps a few. The letters and signatures are probably all automated, and the phone dialers often are as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if the “person” calling you wasn’t actually a computer – if they aren’t doing that now, they could, and they soon will be.

And then there’s the lawsuit. Do you know they have software programs that draft entire lawsuits? The lawyers who go to court swear that they have seen the files, but I have my doubts about that. If you have ever asked a debt lawyer about one of his cases, you’d know what I mean – they have no clue. But of course that doesn’t stop them from claiming they have everything they need to win.

Factory Approach

The debt collector’s approach is simple and fiendishly effective. They file a million lawsuits and collect 700,000 default judgments. They can’t find and serve some of the people they sue, and they let them go. Two hundred thousand people go to court to give up one way or the other, and you can see long lines of people waiting to ask the lawyer where to sign whatever the lawyer wants.

In perhaps 50,000 cases of a million, there is some defense. Most of the lawyers doing it simply look for a slightly better settlement number than the debt collector asked for in the petition. SOME of the lawyers know what’s going on and don’t settle at all. A few people defend themselves. Of these, many don’t really have an idea of what they’re doing and end up losing.

The Few, the Proud

A very few people represent themselves and do know what they’re doing. They learn a few rules and a few of the things they need to do… and start doing them. Almost all of these people win.

To put it in a nutshell, our goal at Your Legal Leg Up has been to put our members into this group.

Because the debt collectors are built for the factory work, most of the people who put up serious resistance, and who know what they’re doing, “fall through the cracks.” Quite often, the debt collectors simply drop the cases. In others, they pursue them a little bit. But the underlying economic reality is that it makes little sense for them to do that. They can buy a lot more cases and make a lot more money by getting the people who give up than by fighting any number of cases.

Fighting cases costs debt collectors money. If you fight long enough, they’ll be losing money on your case. We try to make that happen.

Legitimate Defense

But we don’t try to make it happen with foolish claims or time-wasting strategies. That might not be such a good idea.

We understand that debt buyers, and companies suing on debt generally, have certain legal problems. They have a hard time getting or presenting some of the critical evidence. If you want to defend yourself, you need to know what they have and what they don’t have. And you need to know it before trial. The way you find out is through a process called “discovery.”

Debt collectors don’t want you to know what they have or don’t have. In addition, I think they just can’t help themselves – they’re going to object to everything you ask in discovery because that’s just what they do. We call it “stone-walling,” and it’s a favorite strategy that basically every debt collector uses every time. It makes preparing your case harder, but it gives you a legitimate reason to make them spend money, so it’s a two-edged sword.

If you can handle it. We help you handle it. Our materials tell you what you need to do, and they help you do it, too. Our teleconferences boost your confidence and energy, and they clear up doubts.

That’s why so many of our members win their cases. We help you know what you need to know and prove what you need to prove.

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Turning the Tide

I believe the debt collection process is bad for our country, and that it grinds the working and middle class into poverty. Thus I have argued it is a “social justice issue.”

And since we’re talking about social justice, this seems to be a good time to introduce myself. I’m Ken Gibert, and I was a lawyer for about fifteen years, starting as a “clerk” (assistant to judges) in the U.S. Court of Appeals for a year, and then several years as a civil rights lawyer, first as the associate of a prominent local attorney, then on my own. I practiced consumer law for several years, first putting a number of fraudulent businesses OUT of business, and then defending people being sued by debt lawyers. Then I left the practice and started Your Legal Leg Up.

I’ve marched for … well, if I haven’t marched for it there probably hasn’t been a march for it. I’ve been called lots of names, had rocks thrown at me and had my mind blown away (in a good way!) by some of the people I was marching with. I’ve hobnobbed with some real movers and shakers, run my own business, and made some mistakes, too.

Your Legal Leg Up has been in the business of helping people beat debt collectors since 2007. Twelve years as I speak. Obviously, we’ve been around for a long time. I’m proud of that and of all the people we’ve helped, but I’m a little impatient, too – it’s time to make some bigger changes.

And you probably know that I have created perhaps hundreds of videos and written thousands of pages on debt law in America. It’s safe to say I’m one of THE authorities on the subject.

Your Legal Leg Up has been in the business of helping people beat debt collectors since 2007. Twelve years as I speak. Obviously, we’ve been around for a long time. I’m proud of that and of all the people we’ve helped, but I’m a little impatient, too – it’s time to make some bigger changes.

The theme running through my whole life has been that people deserve opportunities. Given a chance, people can do some amazing things, from inventing things, to taking care of people, from building empires to raising children. People need a chance to do what they’re called to do. Thus I have fought against discrimination that prevented that, and I’ve fought against the people and businesses that seek to profit by taking unfair advantage of other people.

And right now, there may not be anything that seeks to profit more by taking advantage of people than the debt collectors. They need to be stopped.

Why I’m Telling You This

The reason I’m going into my own history and the issue of social injustice is that I want to expand our services so that we aren’t just helping people slip through the cracks of the debt factory.

I want to change it.

First, I want a LOT more people to get through the cracks, and that means dramatically increasing the reach of our services and the number of our members.

Then I want so many people to fight for themselves that they overrun the debt collection machine and the courts that serve them force them to change.

Consider the following.

The Courts

On an average day in St. Louis County, a pretty average county in mid-America, there are between two and four courts that spend the first two hours of their day processing debt claims. In each of these courts, you’ll have approximately twenty to thirty lawyers – five or six for the debt collectors, five or ten for debt defendants, and others who are there for miscellaneous reasons. You’ll have 50-100 people milling around, and a court staff consisting of a deputy (security), judge, court clerk, and sometimes a secretary or two.

Over the next two hours, each of those courts will process between 100 and 500 debt cases. It’s a rare day with under a hundred judgments; it’s common to have far more than that. And they do this every single business day of the year. It’s a profit center for the court, which charges about $50 per case (note the volume discount! It would cost you more to file suit). So at the end of the day, the court has collected, say, $15,000, and the debt collectors have garnered 250 or more judgments.

Now I ask you a question, and the answer is going to be obvious: Do you think they could do that if people stood up for themselves?

A low-priority criminal case could easily take half a day. A high-profile case – civil or criminal – could take a week. Imagine what would happen to the courts if 200 debt cases took just half a day to process. It would take almost an entire year for the court to handle what it does now in two hours of one morning.

I’m not making these numbers up – this is what I saw day in and day out where I practiced.

It would take one day. Just one day, for the court to get nearly a year behind schedule, and if you think the judges are going to stand for that… well, none of the judges I’ve ever met seem likely to appreciate anything like that.

The Lawyers

And what about the debt lawyers? They handle at least 50 cases each in an hour every morning. They get judgments of, say, approximately $250,000 in that hour five times per week. Imagine if they could only handle one case per morning and it took them four hours to do. That would reduce their judgments from $250,000 per hour to perhaps $1,000/hour. If they won.

And they wouldn’t win a lot of them because they don’t have what they need to win.

How long do you think they’d last at that rate? And it’s actually worse than that because if you were defending, the lawyers would have to spend hours with you – arguing about their ridiculous objections (which would probably stop pretty quickly), talking about the merits of the case, figuring out scheduling orders… the law can take time. When you fight.

The Debt Collection Companies

And then there’s the debt collection companies, which are designed to obtain minimal information from the creditor banks (and pay very little for it), not to pay for witnesses, not to spend money on anything other than a fraction of an hour of a lawyer’s time plus the costs of an automated collection system. Suddenly they’d need witnesses from the banks, documents, back-up staff, and all the rest of the things ordinary lawyers need and use for ordinary lawsuits. Their costs would absolutely skyrocket. Not ten times as much, a thousand times as much is what it would cost.

The whole debt collection system would come crashing to an end.

And the credit system that feeds the collection industry? That would have to change too.

You Don’t Have to Care about all that

I’m not saying you should join hands with me to end the debt collection industry that plagues the country and harasses innumerable people. I’m not suggesting anybody should march in the streets. I’m just explaining why you should join with us as a way to solve YOUR problem with the debt collectors. Because if you are being sued or harassed, you have a problem with them, and they want your money.

Our system will help you slip through the cracks of their factory… and if we get enough people fighting, you won’t have to slip through the cracks of the factory because it won’t be there anymore. The more people we get, the better off ALL of them will be.

That is my Mission

You don’t have to worry or care about the bigger picture. You’ve got plenty to do for yourself, and doing that instead of giving up will help you – and everybody. But I care about the bigger picture, and I want more people to join with us. That’s why I’m going to make the offer I’m preparing to make, and why I’m creating a special new kind of membership for the “fast-trackers” who are reading this.

Membership at Your Legal Leg Up

We have three levels of debt litigation memberships at Your Legal Leg Up right now: Gold, Platinum, and Diamond, and you can find out all about them here if you want. Let me tell you why we went to membership rather than just offering manuals or other one-time products that would help you know what you need to know.

To put it briefly, there’s a big difference between “knowing” and “doing.” Giving you lots and lots of information (as we do) won’t necessarily make you win your case. In order to win, you have to do things. You have to do the right things, consistently, and it’s a moving target because the company is also trying to win or make you give up.  They stonewall you on discovery, making foolish, repetitive and numerous objections to everything you ask for. They file motions to dismiss your counterclaim, to get the judge to keep you from asking things, or to win the case outright. Sometimes they refuse to talk to you at all…

They have a lot of tricks, and beating them means staying on the job and pushing things the way you want them to go. It can be exhausting, confusing, and discouraging.

None of that is news to you if you’ve been in a case with them before. But what’s news is that we can help.

Our memberships exist to keep you from getting exhausted, confused or discouraged. To do this, we give our members a Litigation Manual to help orient them to the case and people involved, and this is not just a little pamphlet. It’s a book of about 250 pages plus links to materials on the website (you can read more about it here if you like). We also have our document bank that reduces the difficulty and confusion in creating or responding to routine things. And again, this is no little thing, consisting of hundreds of pages of materials prepared by lawyers in cases like yours (click here to find out more on our document bank). And we have teleconferences, where you can ask questions and get answers in real time, and a large collection of member-only articles and videos.

As a FastTrack member, you will get all of the benefits of Gold Members except one thing. Instead of two teleconferences per week, you’ll get two per month.

They normally pay $100 for an initiation fee, but you’ll only pay $50.

They normally pay $25 per month for membership dues, but you’ll only pay $15.

Is This a Good Deal?

Is this a good deal for you? I’m pretty sure it is, and I know for sure you won’t find another way to defend yourself that costs anything close to this. To decide whether it works for you, though, you need to look at two things: the lawsuit against you; and the price of a lawyer. There isn’t another program like ours at all, as far as I know.

The Lawsuit against you

One option for anybody being sued is just to give up. If you are “judgment proof,” meaning you have no money that a collector could get, this might make sense. More generally, you would want to look at the amount of money you’re being sued for and compare it to what our membership will cost. If you remain with us for a year, that’s going to be $205. If you stay with us for two years, it’s going to be $385.00.

And then you have to figure the value of your time, which is a little harder to do because you never know how long the debt collector will stay in it. If you have one lawsuit, I would guess you will between 10 and 50 hours. At $10/hour (remember it’s tax free), that’s $100 – $500 worth of your time.

If they’re suing you for under $500, you might not want to defend. Anything over that and you should strongly consider defending. Of course most debt cases are for much more than that these days, but some are not. You can figure out what you need to for yourself.

But what about hiring a lawyer instead?

What about a Lawyer?

If you’ve ever tried to get a lawyer, you will know that they charge a lot. How much? That varies quite a bit. Members have told me that $2,500 to start isn’t unusual. Some charge a flat fee, others hourly – and some seem to base the amount on the amount you’re being sued for. What you can bet is that any lawyer, anywhere, is going to try to make sure he gets paid at least $100 per hour, and often it will be much more than that. You’ll have to look around, but in most cases what the lawyers want is too close to the amount you’re being sued for to be worth it. Consider that just a motion to compel discovery could easily take 20 or 30 hours of attorney time to bring (for a lawyer who doesn’t handle a lot of these cases – much less for one who does). You’ll be paying at least $100 per hour for that time.

But there’s another problem that’s just as big.

It’s hard to find a good lawyer for debt cases

It isn’t that debt law is particularly difficult, and debt collectors aren’t particularly difficult opponents, but there are things you need to know that are just not obvious. The main example of this is that most lawsuits that most lawyers bring have been checked by the lawyer bringing suit, so although the case might be stronger or weaker, it’s usually at least got some validity. Almost all the cases most defendants see are pretty good cases. Thus it makes sense to talk from the very beginning about settling the case – and it makes sense to talk about settling for half or more than half of what the plaintiff is asking. Debt law is just the opposite. Almost none of the cases have any justification at all, and it rarely makes sense to talk about settling, especially not before doing some of the back-up work (discovery).

But lawyers don’t like to turn down work, and this means that there is all too good a chance that you will hire a lawyer who doesn’t know debt law at all.

You’d be much better off representing yourself than to have most lawyers who don’t know debt law.

Think it out for yourself – we know you can, since you’re reading this letter. Our conclusion is that using Your Legal Leg Up is the best deal out there. By Far. In fact, we can’t guarantee results because there are too many unknowns, but we can guarantee that you will agree with us that our membership is a great deal.

It has to be. Because you can drop it at any time you want. And you can get your money back for up to two months if we aren’t everything you need.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, if you’re being sued by a debt collector, you have an excellent chance of winning or of settling the case for a small fraction of what the debt collector is seeking.

With our help, you will probably win by “falling between the cracks” of their debt machine and making it unprofitable to sue you. If they pursue it, you will probably win. The more people who defend themselves, the easier it will be for you.

It does take some effort. You will learn a lot about the law and the courts. Most people find they enjoy it much more than they expected.

And it will change you. Standing up and defending yourself when everybody thinks you can’t is POWERFUL. It changes the way you see the world and yourself. It feels great. And of course it will keep the debt collector from taking things you’ve worked hard to get for yourself and your family.

Join us as a FastTrack Member. Win your case and change your world.

To join us as a FastTrack Member, hover the cursor over About Memberships on the main menu and then click on Register – click here – and choose FastTrack Membership.

When you do, you will receive:

  • Access to member-only areas of the site, including our document bank and articles and videos;
  • The Debt Defense Litigation Manual;
  • Our special report, Three Weaknesses Most Debt Collectors Have; and
  • Two teleconferences per month.

Do not worry if some of these things do not appear immediately! We will send you most of the materials by email and will make certain you are able to get into the site in a short time.

I’m looking forward to meeting you!


Remember: to join us as a FastTrack Member, hover the cursor over About Memberships on the main menu and then click on Register – or click here – and choose FastTrack Membership.

If you aren’t ready to join us, click here instead for more information about debt law and your chances of defending yourself pro se.


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Our Drive for 10,000 Members

Your Legal Leg Up has always taken a pragmatic approach to debt defense: they sue on a huge scale and take a factory approach – and our job is to help you slip through the cracks of their system. To do this, you have to understand the law a little bit and do some right things, but your defense doesn’t really hurt the profits of the debt collectors. You get out of trouble, and they continue their business in the same way as ever.

What if a lot more people defended themselves?

We think that if a lot more people defended themselves, they would ALL win. And they would change the way the debt industry, including the courts, handles people who allegedly owe money. Right now the debt industry files approximately a million lawsuits per year, producing shockingly inadequate evidence… and winning approximately 80% of the those suits (almost all of them that where the defendants get served). And to do this, my guess is they spend an average of about 20 minutes (no exaggeration!) per case.

What if every case took five hours?

What if every case took twenty-five hours?

It would shut them down and turn things around completely –  instead of them controlling everything, they’d be on the run.

Debt defendants should be scaring debtors

Debt defendants should be scaring debtors

Our goal is to help 10,000 people defend their lawsuits. Will this change everything for the industry? We don’t know. But will it change everything for you to win your lawsuit? We’re pretty sure it will – and we think we can help make your chances of winning a LOT better. Please sign up here for information that can help you win your case.

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Diamond Memberships

Why you Should Join us as a Diamond Member

Diamond Membership is our best deal for people with a lot of curiosity, more than one lawsuit, or who are coaching or helping others in their cases. That’s because a main goal of Diamond membership is to go beyond the usual questions presented by debt law and the debt industry. We look at the politics and economics driving our country. And we look deeply at the law.

As anyone knows who has read our materials, most of debt law is what we call “factory work.” It’s routine and standardized, and this is simply because debt is bought and sold in gigantic deals (called “tranches”). So the average debt collector buys a hundred or a thousand (or many, many more) accounts that supposedly owe money from the same company (usually a credit card-issuing bank) and then, completely relying on the records the bank provides, harasses the people involved to collect as much as possible. And eventually they file many, many lawsuits that look almost exactly the same.

So for most of our purposes, we can simply deal with that large body of identical suits and create responses to them. They’re doing factory work, and we do something very similar.

Going Deeper and Further

But there can be more. While debt collection is generally pretty standardized, there are things that can come up that either present special challenges or issues. And in fact, for all of its routine, most debt lawsuits CAN veer out of the normal. There are always angles in every case, which can sometimes make a difference, and often make things more interesting.

You’ll get a 50% discount off all of our motions packs and other materials. We highly recommend the First Response Kit as a way to simplify your first several steps in this litigation, and you’ll get a 50% discount off the cost for that.

And some of our members like to help others. For these – for people helping others, and for those who want to know a LOT about the law – our Diamond Membership is great.

Special Tactics

When you take on debt negotiation, debt litigation and credit repair at the same time, you discover that some of the tools work for more than one thing. For example, if a debt collector is bugging you AND has damaged your credit, you can dispute the collector’s action both through the Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. These two acts have different purposes (as laws) and requirements. Verification under the two acts is different, and verification under the Credit Reporting Act is more difficult and rigorous for the debt collector – and the CRA also gives you a way to attack the original creditor as well if it is reporting you.

And you can, of course, you can use any and all the information you get through either the FDCPA and CRA (also called the FCRA, for “Fair Credit Reporting Act”) in litigation if they sue you. And you can use any information you get in a lawsuit they – or you – file, in attacking their responses under the FDCPA or FCRA. In other words, knowing all three sets of rules can sometimes be very, very helpful. Our Platinum Membership opens some of those ways up to you.

Other Benefits

As with each of the Gold Memberships, you will receive special reports and offers. As a Diamond Member, though, you get them all. This includes:

  • The Three Weaknesses Almost All Debt Collectors Have
  • Take Control of Your Life and Debt; and
  • a discount off the prepaid legal program we offer our members;
  • all the situation products (like motions packs and the other products like that).

Diamond Benefits

In addition to everything the Gold and Platinum members get, Diamond members get a lot more information. They get, basically, all of our reports and books as well as ecourses. This includes our reports like Got Debt? and What if I (think I) Really Owe, Do You Need a Lawyer, and all the rest. And it also includes our book – now being revised – called Special Issues in Debt Litigation. This book was originally about a 250 page book, but it is being revised into several smaller volumes now. Diamond Members will get them, free.


In addition to the written materials, Diamond members will get their own teleconferences when the situation calls for it. As we approach our membership goals, the Diamond members will need to discuss things in greater depth and at greater length – they’ll get that opportunity. And there will be other materials, currently in the works, to help them organize, promote, analyze, and all the other things they’re likely to need.

How You Purchase

You buy by clicking on “Register” under “About Memberships” in the main menu and choosing the level of membership you want.

Diamond membership costs $25.00 per month with a $150 sign-up fee.

Gold Litigation Membership

What Gold Membership Is, What it Costs

We talked generally about memberships in Introducing Memberships. That article gave a little of the history of this site and why we currently offer and emphasize memberships.

To repeat, briefly, what we said there, the law firms and companies specializing in debt collection have certain advantages over pro se litigants – or even represented defendants. These advantages include the ability to handle numerous cases at the same time, to build up document banks or resources so they can simply use the same materials over and over, and the ability to talk to other people doing the same thing so they can use what worked in someone else’s case in their own.

There’s really nothing we can do about their ability to handle more than one case at a time – except to try to take that away from them. That’s a key to Your Legal Leg Up’s strategy in general. By pressing the defense of our cases, pushing the discovery, arguing motions, and most of the other things we suggest, you will force the debt collector to attend to your case on an individual basis. This swings the advantages of economics in favor of the defendant. Whereas the debt collector starts by being able to handle perhaps a hundred cases at one time, by pressing your defense you force him to handle only one at a time. And they like to charge $200/hour. If you can work for under $200/hour, you’ll suddenly be doing things more cheaply than the plaintiff.

And they never know whether they’ll collect if they win.

But what of their other advantages?

Gold Membership provides:

  • Access to our constantly expanding library of member-only articles and videos;
  • Regular communications from our team regarding new opportunities and developments;
  • Free attendance at our twice-weekly telephone conferences where you can ask questions and hear others ask theirs – a great source of ideas and inspiration.

Member-only Materials and Teleconferences

Our member-only collection of articles and videos exists to help you overcome the main advantages of the debt collectors. You still must do individual work, but now it much less like drudgery and more useful and effective. They have standardized documents, and now you can get standardized documents at a discount, too. They talk to each other, and now you, through our member-only materials, have access to new strategies as well.

But probably the main benefit of membership is our teleconferences. They give you a chance, twice per week, to ask specific questions of our staff at Your Legal Leg Up. With all appropriate modesty, I feel quite certain that we are among the very most knowledgeable people on this area of the law in the whole country. We’ve certainly put out more videos and articles, haven’t we? And as a lawyer I represented dozens and dozens of debt defendants – and Your Legal Leg Up, in over ten years of existence, has helped far more than that. I doubt anyone has anywhere near as much experience helping people with these cases.

And you get to tap into that twice per week. We’ll get your questions answered, too. You won’t spend a lot of the time on the phone listening to others and then hang up without answers – we go as long as necessary to make sure you get your questions answered. These things give you tools that streamline the debt defense process and take some of the doubt and worry out of it.

Just as important, the teleconferences allow you to give encouragement to others and be encouraged by them. It isn’t possible to join with others in defending your case, but this is as close as it gets. It will feel like you’re on a team, and for many people that feeling can make all the difference in results.

So What Does It Cost?

Gold Membership costs $10 per month, and there’s a $60 sign-up fee. That covers the built-in costs of writing and keeping the Litigation Manual up to date and of creating so many of the other materials.

You will Probably Also Want to Get

You will probably want to get our First Response Kit to help get you started on the right foot. It may be all you need other than the membership. It includes an article outlining what to do, how to answer or decide on a motion to dismiss, and an extensive sample of discovery that you can modify to suit your situation. It will take many hours out of the defense process for you.

10,000 Members

Our goal is to grow to 10,000 members. That would allow us to hire additional people and expand our materials and services quite a bit. And THAT would help even more – many more – people beat the debt collectors. I like to say that the debt collectors run a “factory” type enterprise, where they get their judgments and are content to let a few people slip through the cracks. If we could get a lot more people to defend themselves, and to do it right and energetically, we could make it impossible for the debt collectors to use a factory approach at all.

And given the current state of affairs, that would probably shut them down completely. Think about it – instead of bringing 100 cases at a time and spending (as one debt collector admitted in a case I was involved in) 18 minutes to gather information, file a case, and pursue it ALL the way to judgment, they’d have to handle it like real cases. The lawyers would have to check the facts before they filed, gather evidence, and do the things most lawyers do – it’s hard work! And most debt companies just wouldn’t do it. They couldn’t.

How You Purchase

You buy by clicking on “Register” under “About Memberships” in the main menu and choosing the level of membership you want.

Platinum Memberships

Platinum Memberships combine all three of the Gold Memberships into one package.

As we often say, debt problems generally travel in crowds – that is, if one debt collector is suing you, others are probably harassing and getting ready to sue you – and still others are messing up your credit report. It’s tempting to try to focus on just one of these things at a time, and that can work. But a more effective way of dealing with debt problems is to take them all on at the same time. So even while you’re beating the debt collector that’s suing you, you’re negotiating with another one to keep it from suing you.

And you’re beginning the process of repairing your credit from ALL of them.

If that makes sense to you, then you should consider our Platinum Membership.

Benefits of Platinum Membership

With our Platinum Membership you get three manuals: the Debt Litigation Manual, the Debt Negotiation and Settlement Manual, and the Credit Repair and Restoration Manual.

You also get access to our complete member-only area, so that you can reduce the amount of repetitive paperwork you have to do in taking care of all these problems, and you get access to all our member-only articles and videos on all topics.

And you can be part of all of our teleconferences.

Special Tactics

When you take on debt negotiation, debt litigation and credit repair at the same time, you discover that some of the tools work for more than one thing. For example, if a debt collector is bugging you AND has damaged your credit, you can dispute the collector’s action both through the Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. These two acts have different purposes (as laws) and requirements. Verification under the two acts is different, and verification under the Credit Reporting Act is more difficult and rigorous for the debt collector – and the CRA also gives you a way to attack the original creditor as well if it is reporting you.

And you can, of course, you can use any and all the information you get through either the FDCPA and CRA (also called the FCRA, for “Fair Credit Reporting Act”) in litigation if they sue you. And you can use any information you get in a lawsuit they – or you – file, in attacking their responses under the FDCPA or FCRA. In other words, knowing all three sets of rules can sometimes be very, very helpful. Our Platinum Membership opens some of those ways up to you.

Other Benefits

As with each of the Gold Memberships, you will receive special reports and offers. As a Platinum Member, though, you get them all. This includes:

  • The Three Weaknesses Almost All Debt Collectors Have
  • Take Control of Your Life and Debt; and
  • a discount off the prepaid legal program we offer our members.

10,000 Member Drive

As I point out in our materials on Gold Membership, a key strategy in our debt litigation program is to recognize that debt collectors take a “factory” approach. They file huge numbers of cases and work very little on them because most people either default immediately or give up quickly. So they file a hundred cases, work on none of them, get judgments on 98 percent of the cases they get served, and let a few people get away. Our program helps you be among those who get away “through the cracks.”

But what if everybody defended and fought back?

If that happened, the debt collectors would have to change completely, and until they did, pretty much EVERYBODY would get away from them. Our 10,000 member drive is about making that happen. If everybody fought back, it would shut down the debt collectors and push the judges to stop being mere cogs in the debt collection industry’s machine. With that many people fighting back, learning, watching the courts, and pushing back, it would change the nature of the debt industry completely. I think that would be a good thing.

And so I have begun a 10,000 member drive.

How You Purchase

You buy by clicking on “Register” under “About Memberships” in the main menu and choosing the level of membership you want. Platinum membership costs $20 a month with a $120 sign-up fee.


Follow-up 7A to People being Sued for Debt

I often say that the trick to beating the debt collectors is “defending intelligently.” You have to know a few things and do a few things right. If you do, you’ll probably win.

So what, exactly, do I mean by defending intelligently? What do you have to do?

It’s simple. You have to find out what they have in the way of evidence and weigh their chances of proving their case. If it’s the rare situation where they have what they need, then you will probably want to think about settling the case – you’ll be able to do it for much less if you’ve done some work defending it. But most of the time you’ll find weaknesses in their case. Then your job is to push the case to some sort of resolution where they either drop the case or you win.

It is simple, and taken in small enough steps, it isn’t all that hard, either.

Remember, this isn’t much like most legal work, where the lawyers tend to be quite smart and to work very hard on every case. This really is more like factory work. They’ll get their 99, and if you fall through the cracks? It isn’t usually worth it to chase you. That’s the way debt law works.  Most debt buyers, and a lot of original creditors, too, don’t have what they need to win if you fight, and frankly they don’t care. They get their 99. Your job is to be the one that slips through the cracks.

Now, do you need us for all of that?

Yes and no. Of course you could probably figure things out… if you had time, but time can be scarce when you’re being sued, and there’s a lot to know. We give it to you in manageable bites.

And speaking of manageable bites, let’s go ahead and talk about memberships with Your Legal Leg Up and you probably want one if you’re thinking about defending yourself from the debt collector.

First, why not get a lawyer?

You know the answer to this: money. Lawyers are expensive, and debt defense lawyers often charge almost as much as the debt collectors want to get from you. It’s a business, right? But for most people, getting a lawyer is out of their price range.

And there’s another problem: getting a GOOD debt defense lawyer. Our members tell us that most of the lawyers they talk to seem more interested in settling the case than defending it. They want you to pay – a lot – to get this done.  I’m not saying this kind of lawyer won’t do you any good at all, but chances are you can do much, much better for yourself.

Your Legal Leg Up

You probably know us from our videos – we’ve done quite a few, and while I must admit that the sound quality hasn’t always been the best, our ideas HAVE been, and they’ve saved a lot of people a lot of money. They can do that for you, too. If you’ve looked at the comments on our videos at Youtube, you know a lot of people have found our materials helpful.

If you’ve seen our videos, you know we know what we’re talking about, based on a lot of years of experience, both back when I was a lawyer in court, and since then in helping people with their cases through Your Legal Leg Up. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say I’m one of the foremost authorities on debt law in America. And more than that, on helping pro se litigants win their cases.

We have a record of success – and our success comes only when our members succeed in beating the debt collectors.


We have three levels of membership that cover three areas of the law. We have a Gold Level Membership in Debt Defense, in Credit Repair, and Debt Negotiation. Our Platinum Membership combines the Gold Memberships and gives you all three for the price of one. And  our Diamond Memberships give you even more.

If you join us at our Gold Litigation Member level, you will four main things:

  • Litigation Manual
  • Document Bank
  • Teleconferences
  • Three Weaknesses Report

They work together to orient you to debt litigation, help you figure out what you need to do, understand what they’re doing, and know the main points of attack you should consider. Through it all, you’ll learn enough to apply your own judgment and knowledge to the situation as it develops so you can be ready to handle anything that comes up.

Litigation Manual

This was our original product. It explains the litigation process from start to finish, talks about the people and companies involved, and tells you what they want. It also tells you what to expect, what things will be called, what to expect in court… pretty much everything you need explained in about 250 pages. When you finish the Litigation Manual, you’ll understand what’s going on.

Document Bank

But we’ve figured out that there’s a difference between knowing what’s going on and what to do and actually doing it. There’s a lot of repetition in litigation, and most people involved in lawsuits are going to face some similar issues. What if we could give you a little help there?

We can’t give you ready-made forms because you might just use those without making sure they’re right for your case. And the fact is, people’s cases are different enough from each other so that we couldn’t tell you what to do if we wanted to. But our document bank does the next best thing: it’s got samples and examples of things that have worked. You’ll find questions to ask, things to say, ways to object, and many more things that could help you along the way. You’ll still have to use your judgment, but this will save you many hours of trying to figure out what to say and how to say it.


No matter how well prepared you are, how much you study and learn, there are still going to be things you don’t understand. They come up because the other side is trying to trick you, wear you out, or in some other way make you give up – that’s the way they make their money. To counter this, we have our teleconferences.

Teleconferences are live conversations that happen at least twice a week for gold members. It’s a chance for you to ask questions about what something means, what the other side is doing, or what you might want to do next. They’re strategy and coaching and teaching sessions all put together. If you’ve watched my videos and had questions, this is how you get to ask them. They last anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour and a half – I never like to leave a question unanswered.

And there’s another thing about the teleconferences. You’ll hear other people in the same boat talking about what’s happening to them, what they’re doing, and what the bad guys are doing.  Everybody knows that millions and millions of people are being sued by the debt collectors, but when it comes to YOU being sued you feel all alone. This reminds you that you aren’t, that there are lots of other people in the same boat. And their ideas can be your ideas. What they do that works might work for you.  As the saying goes, advice, answers, consultation, worth about $100 per hour. Knowing that other people are facing the same thing… priceless.

Three Weaknesses Report

In addition to the materials we’ve developed to help teach you about the debt collection process in general and to develop your judgment when new things come up, we’ve discovered certain things that are common to almost all debt collectors, and even many original creditors. Because this is something that can help so many people, we’ve put together a report called “The Three Weaknesses almost Every Debt Collector Has, and How you Can Use them to Blow their Case out of the Water.”

A long title for an exceptionally useful report.

I tell people that I almost always try to write in plain English and avoid “lawyer-talk” or other stuff that’s hard to understand. But the Three Weaknesses Report is a little tougher than a lot of stuff I write because it applies close legal reasoning and analysis to a situation that is probably a lot like yours. I don’t usually cite case law or speak of the law in specific jurisdictions. In the Three Weaknesses Report I do, though. You’re still going to have to decide what part of it applies to your situation, but for those parts that do, this will go a long way towards winning the case for you.