The Debt Collectors Laughed at Me
When I Said “Here!” in Court
But When I Gave Them My Answer …
It looked like a typical day at court – – the debt collection lawyers were circling the table in front of the judge like vultures flying around some unfortunate animal on its last legs. There must have been ten –maybe fifteen—of them, and each time the judge called out a defendant’s name – – “Smith!… Jones!… Williams!… Thompson!…”- – there was silence, and then one of the lawyers would say in a bored voice, “Call for default.” And the judge said, “Default.”
– – Just like that, the debt collectors had their judgments, and as soon as that court session was over, they were going down to start the garnishment process. Start taking some poor guy’s paycheck.
The judge must have given the debt collectors fifty defaults before they reached my name, and it looked like there were more than a hundred more to go after me.
“Westmore!” the judge called out.
“Here!” I said.
In the shocked silence that followed I heard someone laugh. And I could see people nudging each other with their elbows. “What’s he doing?” one woman whispered, just loud enough for me to hear. I heard someone snicker. “Just a regular guy,” someone else said. “They’ll eat his lunch!” The debt collection lawyers smirked among themselves. That’s what they thought, too. No one EVER fights back.
Then I handed the Court My Answer
I walked up to the court clerk and handed her my Answer to the Petition.
It looked good.
Sharp and professional.
And it had a counterclaim. She raised her eyebrow with a new respect as she took the document and entered it onto the record. The vultures got strangely quiet and looked away when I dropped off a copy of my Answer and Counterclaim with the debt collection lawyer (I’ll call him “Mr. Nice Guy”) who had raised his hand on my way back to my seat.
The people who had been laughing at me could feel the change that had come over the court room. They got quiet, and I could sense their new respect.
They smiled and moved over to make room for me when I wanted to sit back down. Mr. Nice Guy was still smirking when he took the documents I handed him, but the smile started to fade when he noticed the counterclaim. And it was ancient history by the time he noticed I’d attached interrogatories, requests for admissions, and requests for documents to my Answer and Counterclaim.
He knew he was in for a fight. He knew it was going to cost him. He knew he was going to lose money if he kept after me. And he knew he might lose the case. He had come expecting a patsy—all those vultures had, you could see that just by looking at their smooth, scornful faces. I doubt if a single one of those lawyers ever did a day’s worth of real work in their lives!
Well, he’d run into a buzz saw this time.
A Complete Success!
Two days later I received a letter that said:
Dear Mr. James Westmore, My client has agreed to offer to settle our cases against each other as a mutual dismissal with prejudice. If that is acceptable to you, please sign the attached stipulation for dismissal of the lawsuits the parties have against each other and return them to me for filing.
Mr. Nice Guy
I decided to let the debt collector go. I could have said “no” and tried to make him pay me something to get out of it (I think I had him cold), but… who wants to spend the rest of his life in court if you don’t have to?
It was as easy as that, although I know it isn’t always that easy – not by a long shot. Still, when you start fighting everything is leaning your way. It’s just that no one knows it.
I suddenly had a whole new life in front of me. So I made a quick call to the lawyer and said his offer was acceptable to me…if they would cancel the debt I supposedly owed and revoke any damage they had done to my credit report.
After a pause, Mr. Nice Guy gave in. So I wrote that right into the stipulation of dismissal, signed and sent it back to “Mr. Nice Guy & Associates.”
It was over. Just like that, a $7,000 credit card bill that debt collectors had harassed me about for three years was gone. And all the reports they had made to the credit agencies were gone with them.
How I Learned to Protect Myself in Court
Just by chance, I bumped into one of the “bystanders” who had seen me say “Here!” on that fateful day in court. He wanted to know how it had turned out for me.
When I told him, he asked me if I was a lawyer or “knew” somebody!
He was shocked when I told him that the only thing I knew about the law was stuff I had learned from YourLegalLegUp – a business that gives regular people everything they need to defeat the debt collectors. I told him how I’d learned all about the debt collectors and how they usually didn’t have what they needed to win their lawsuits. I told him I’d even gotten the forms I needed, too – “just a few easy changes was all I needed to make!”
“Wow,” he said. “It cost me over $1500 to hire a lawyer. And he didn’t even get my credit report changed!”
I was almost embarrassed to say how little it cost me to defend myself.
Look in the Mirror – What Do You See?
These days, when I look in a mirror I see a winner looking back. You won’t believe how much that is worth.
Before the debt collector sued me, back when they were just calling me every day, I got so that I hated to hear the phone ring. To tell the truth, there were many times I just couldn’t answer the phone at all. If an old high school friend tried to reach me, and I didn’t recognize his phone number, well, that was too bad. I missed the call. I wouldn’t answer the doorbell, either, unless I was expecting someone.
It’s hard to be a good friend or neighbor if you dread answering the phone, you know? It’s also hard to be a good neighbor if you’re afraid to answer the door when the doorbell rings or walk outside on the porch on a nice night when other people are out there.
And after a while it can be hard to look yourself in the mirror.
That’s all changed for me now, though. Now I like what I see, and you can too.
Why’d I Do It?
I won’t kid you – – it was scary to stand up and say “Here!” that first time. It was a little embarrassing to have all those people looking at me – – even though I’d never met them before and didn’t expect to meet them again. So why would I care what they thought? I cared because I’m like most people. We do care. I didn’t want to be the center of attention and didn’t want to be laughed at or pitied or scorned by strangers. That’s human nature.
I did it, though, because I was fed up. I was sick and tired of those debt collectors and their nasty voices. Sick of their contemptuous looks. Tired of being bullied and threatened by some anonymous punk on the phone. Plus I didn’t have the money to hire a lawyer –or to lose the case, either.
And I was fed up with feeling hopeless and pushed around.
It Changed My Life
And now that I’ve done it, it’s changed my point of view completely. The whole world looks and feels different to me in ways I never would have believed. I look in the mirror and like what I see again because I know I’m the guy – – yeah, that guy right there in the mirror!- – that’s the only one who stood up in court and said “Here!” that day.
I’m the one who fought back.
And I’m the one who won’t have to hear from the debt collectors any more or try to scrounge every cent I possibly can to keep the wolves away from the door. That’s me! It feels great to know I was brave enough to do what it took. No one will ever take that feeling away from me again.
To tell you the truth, the whole thing was absurdly easy. (The work was all in my head.) I spent a few hours reading the Manual, a few hours watching videos, and an hour or two putting together the documents I gave the court. The lawsuit was for about $7,000, so I figure I “made” about $1,000 per hour defending myself. It’s better than what I usually get at my job, let me tell you!
Other people sometimes have to do much more, but once you start fighting things should go your way. That’s because they really usually don’t have what they need and everything you do makes them spend $200 per hour fighting you. That’s money they know they might never get back even if they win because they don’t know if they’ll ever be able to collect it. It’s sweet.
I like what I see when I look in the mirror now, and I feel good about answering the phone or the door.
It’s the little things in life that are so big, isn’t it? Now I’m a good friend and neighbor again. I hold my head up when I’m out in public. Little things that are so huge.
I’m a new man!
My wife has certainly noticed the difference. Not only do we both have a sense of security we’d been missing for so long, but she also says she’d about lost the man she fell in love with. And she lets me know she’s glad I’m back every night! It’s like a second honeymoon.
Defend Yourself from the Debt Collectors
– Protect What’s Yours
You too can defend yourself from the debt collectors. You can have the good feelings “Jim Westmore” has. The above is a fictitious letter, but it’s drawn from the things real people have written to me many times. The results are not fictional.
Let me share just a few of the things some real people have said in their own words –and I’ve never paid, or even asked, for any of these testimonials. Notice the confidence and joy in every word they say.
Thanks for your work, Kenneth, I believe you have done a great job creating yourlegallegup.com. It helps in many ways, not only I fought against unfair debt collectors, but also I was educating myself.
I went through your work and crafted it to fit my case circumstances. Your “legal bundle” gave me ideas and the direction I should follow and, together with research skills, it made great power in defending the case.
One more thing. I’ve got the letter from the lawyers last night. The letter is addressed to the court and it says it is plaintiff’s “voluntary dismissal…”
Yes, it works. Yes, it wins. I appreciate you sharing your great knowledge.
Thanks, Andrew, Georgia
You have GREAT videos!! There’s something about seeing the videos and hearing your voice that makes the material all the more easy to absorb!
Thanks again for your continued support and help!! 🙂 Christine, Michigan
Ken, Just a quick email to say THANK YOU for your well-written manual! I was scared to death when I got a summons and complaint served on me by a debt collection attorney. I did exactly what you said, though, and basically let them know I wasn’t going away….and that was pretty much it. The attorney folded like a cheap suit, and I have to say it almost felt better than sex!
I settled and it was a victory on my terms! Thank you for the manual and working with me thru my emotions and getting me to the end….I waited to respond to until I saw for myself….It works to fightback! THANK YOU …THANK YOU…Ken.
I saved several thousand dollars….money well spent on the manual….
Again Thank you very much for all your great advice-hints. I wont keep messaging you because I know you have a life over there too! But again Thank you so very much. If you make it out to Seattle let me know. Star bucks is definitely on me as well as dinner.
And I’m serious.
Today I received in the mail an offer “Stipulation For Dismissal With Prejudice”,which basically states the Plaintiff will dismiss their Complaint if I dismiss my counterclaim.
Its a done deal. Over five thousand dollars just like that!
Your litigation materials were clear, vital and necessary tools for me to win. All the examples,logic and powerful arguments presented in your materials helped me beyond belief! I am eternally grateful,and right now quite ecstatic!
Your materials are simply the best and finest of its type anywhere for pro se defendants facing debt lawsuits!
The great thing about your materials is that they take away the fear of going to court. I can never thank you enough for that!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
The Secret of Their Success
As anybody who knows me or has visited our site (Your Legal Leg Up) can see, we have devoted a great deal of blood, sweat and tears to helping ordinary people stand up to the debt collectors. As a former attorney who represented hundreds of people being sued by debt collectors, I know what it’s like to be harassed and sued, and I know what it takes to fight back. We have written dozens of articles, several full length books, and created over a hundred videos on defending yourself from debt collectors.
What makes it work, though, is actually very simple. Here’s the “secret.”
Debt collectors usually don’t have what they need to win a lawsuit from you when they file suit against you… And they usually can’t get what they need without spending more than the lawsuit is worth… if you fight back with knowledge and determination.
It isn’t hard! The main battle is in your head. Once you get used to the idea of speaking to the lawyers and the judge, once you see that they’re just people who don’t usually have to work very hard and who really don’t like to work hard, you’ll have all the advantages in your case.
The debt collectors win about 80 to 90 percent of their cases without a fight. If you convince them that you know how to fight and that you will fight – – to the bitter end if need be – – they’d rather leave you alone. That’s the secret.
Our materials tell you what you need to know so that you can fight back. And we’re there to encourage you to do it when things seem a little scary so that you will fight back.
You’ll Deserve the Credit!
We offer our help. Our materials will inform you and give you the tools… but in the end the victory is yours. And you will deserve the pride you feel when you look in the mirror. And the peace of mind that comes from knowing that debt collectors will never push you around again. Because you are part of that very exclusive club of people who will actually stand up and fight.
You’ll deserve all the credit and peace of mind you earn for yourself.
And you will see the world differently – we guarantee it.
Our Materials are Guaranteed
If you’re being sued (or being pursued) by a debt collector and get our materials… we like your chances of winning –they’re great!– but we can’t guarantee you will win or that they’ll take the settlement you offer. Sometimes the debt collectors can get what they need and are willing to spend what it takes to get you even though it means they will lose money. That’s just life. What we can and do guarantee, though, is that you will be satisfied with the materials and the service you get, or you can have your money back. We wouldn’t want it. We also guarantee that if you decide to settle your case (instead of going all the way to trial), you will save at least twice what the materials cost you. Probably much much more.
One customer decided to pay the debt collector $500 rather than fight to the very end. But he had been sued for $12,000. And he made them clear his credit report.
We thought he would win the case –maybe make them pay him something—but he decided he had better things to do. If you ever feel the same way—that you’ll do better in your life if you settle for a small fraction of what they claim you owe—you’ll get a settlement offer that saves you at least twice what you paid for the materials—or you get your money back from us.
We’ll take that risk. Gladly. That way you don’t risk anything on the materials.
Now you just need to move quickly. And that’s mainly because if they’re suing you – or about to sue you – you don’t have time to waste.