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Class Warfare in America

There’s a myth in America that people can move up in life more here than anywhere else. It is also widely believed that because of this social mobility there isn’t a conflict between the classes.

In recent times, those myths are coming a little bit under fire. Partly we can thank the Democratic Socialists for this – AOC has done a lot to highlight the vast differences in income between the poor and the rich, and she, and other politicians, are beginning to suggest various things that might be done to address those differences. This, of course, has alarmed the right wing and the wealthy, and they are talking a lot about class warfare, too, but the only thing they’re worried about, of course, is the possibility that they will be targeted for special taxation.

We take a different view and sometimes discuss what we believe are the true causes of the wealth inequality in America and what should be done about it. Our point in the video below, however, is just that there has been a class war going on for a long time – and it’s being waged by the rich against the poor.

And the poor are losing big time.

Two of the “trenches” of the current class war are in debt litigation and foreclosure law. Over the past few years, foreclosure has been a little less frequent, but we believe it will soon accelerate. Debt litigation has not slowed down as far as we can tell. The supposed boom in employment has not led to higher wages in real terms or in greater opportunities for the working classes – they’re falling further behind.

Class Warfare in America

The Banks have you in their sights – Fight Back!

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Debt Collection is a Social Justice Issue

When banks screw up, they get bail-outs and promotions. When you do, you get subjected to an elaborate rip-off system and called bad names by strangers. Stand up for your rights.


Anybody who has ever been to a court that handles debt cases has been impressed by what a travesty of justice the scene presents. People are herded in in large groups, and then there’s a cattle call. It goes like this:

Judge: “John Smith? … John Smith?”

Lawyer for debt collector: “Ask for default.”

Judge: “Granted. Joe Blow? Joe Blow?”

Lawyer for debt collector: “Ask for default.”

Judge: “Granted. Susie Q? Susie Q?”

etc.

And this goes on for possibly an hour. A few people will stand up and respond to the judge, and these are directed to “discuss matters” with the debt collection lawyer. These almost always end up as “give-up” settlements or judgments.

When the one in a hundred persons does appear and actually fight, the court is so startled, and yet so used to the giving up, that chances are good the person will have to work five times as hard to get a fair shake as you would in any other kind of case.

A glimpse at the people will tell you why: these are the working poor – or just the poor – being cycled through the system.

Class War and Debt Law

Class War – How it Applies to Debt Law

There is a class war going on, but is an “undeclared war,” where the wealthy and politically connected are being allowed to do anything they want andtake anything they want, and the poor and working classes are left to foot the bill. We at YourLegalLegUp believe that Debt Collection is a Social Justice Issue, both in who is targeted, and the methods used. If you are being targeted, you can and should defend yourself. Use our materials to start protecting what’s yours.

 

As we often say, around 90 percent of people being sued for debt do not defend themselves. Consider what that means: it means that it’s really more expensive for a debt collector to find out whether it has a good case against you – much less to build it and beat you in court if you fight  – than just to bring cases and dismiss them if things get tough. And that’s exactly what most debt collectors do. Therefore, rather than look for words to scare the debt collector away, it makes sense to build a tough defense that makes them work hard to try to beat you. That’s what the our materials help you do. No magic words or secret loopholes, just intelligent defense which makes the debt collectors think they’ll lose money by chasing you and gives you a chance to win even if they do.

You may know that the value of time worked has gone down quite a bit in the past forty years, while the value of things – stocks, bonds, collectibles, etc., has gone up. As has the cost of living. What that means in plain English is that the rich have gotten richer, and the poor have gotten poorer. This is not some sort of weird accident or fluke of nature. Rather, it is the result of deliberate policies by the government and banks.

Don’t let them rip you off in court.

 

Blaming the Victims

Blaming the Victims – Defending Banks by Ridiculing Consumers

Debt collectors often ridicule consumers who got in over their heads, but the banks themselves have set up their business models to encourage debt and debt troubles. Don’t fall for debt collector false morality – fight back.

 

 

Blaming the Banks for the Problems they Caused

Has it occurred to you that all or most of your problems were caused by the very bank that is now suing you or that the debt collector purchased the debt from and is now suing you for? Would that work as a defense against their claims?

My feeling about saying the banks caused all the problems with their various practices -either by lending to you when you were a bad credit risk or by crashing the economy in general – is that it will not work. It’s a kind of “unclean hands” argument, but I believe the concept of “proximate cause” will prevent the argument from working. The people who argue that this argument will work in court have my sympathy, and everybody knows that I do believe the banks caused many of the difficulties people have in paying their bills. The argument has or may have some effect as a social-movement type force, but legally… very iffy. In my opinion it should not work – which is not to say that it never will, of course, so you must make your own judgment.

Proximate Cause

The problem with arguing that “the banks” caused your problems is “proximate cause.” Proximate cause means the “specific problem” must be linked to specific actions by a specific entity. Viewed in that light, how can you argue that, say, Capital One, by extending credit cards and maintaining their policies, has really “caused” anything to happen in society? Many people may believe that the banks, collectively, caused big problems that resulted in raising taxes and sucking resources away from regular people, but how can you assign a specific role in that to Capital One?

Likewise, how do you prove that Capital One caused you problems that you could not have, and should not have, overcome? If we were truly in a capitalistic society the argument simply could not be made: the fact that you did not overcome the problem would be proof that you should not have done so. But we live in an age of bailouts and government interference, of course.

Tell that to the judge, a life-time public employee wielding far-reaching government power every day of his or her professional life.

And then the final zinger: how do you prove what specific action by your specific bank caused some specific injury to you?

Cigarette Litigation

This whole complex of proximate cause issues prevented anyone from winning cigarette litigation for decades. What finally allowed people to get through and win some of the cases was very strong evidence of conspiracy to hide specific facts that the companies knew and had a duty to disclose. There may be evidence of banking conspiracy – there is in some cases – but unlike a cigarette plaintiff who died of lung cancer, you will be hard pressed to show how your injury came from the banks’ action unless there are more specific grounds for applying the doctrine of unclean hands.

Cutting Edge Arguments and a Warning

As I say, I have my sympathies for the position that banks should not be permitted to profit from disasters they themselves caused. And many arguments that end up winning started out as sounding a little far-fetched. So you could consider it. On the other hand, the courts sometimes punish what they consider to be “frivolous” arguments and disputes. Arguments talking about banks and banking, like arguments claiming that our monetary system is completely corrupt live on the edge of “frivolousness” from the point of view of the courts. It would be possible that they could make you pay for taking that position.

Practical Defense

If you are actually defending yourself from a debt collector or defending against a foreclosure, there are weapons available for you to use against the banks, but you will probably not win by arguing the broader social issues or “justice.” You will need to take the practical steps you can.