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Ending the Debt Nightmare Pt 3

This was originally part of a promotional series. In that series we discuss the way people often run into debt trouble. It starts with some difficulty – often medical bills or a lost job (or both, obviously). Then is spirals out of control because the bills don’t stop coming even if you’re having trouble paying them.

The banks are often only too willing to lend to people having trouble paying debts. In fact, they target people like that because one of their main sources of income is the exorbitant fees they charge for anything that goes wrong.

And then the debt collectors get involved…

Ending the Debt Nightmare Part 3

Memberships with our site

Memberships with Your Legal Leg Up

Our membership is a tremendous value and an effective way to level the playing field between you and a debt collector.

After years of providing debt defendants what they need to beat the debt collectors, I have figured out a way to make beating the debt collectors less stressful and time-consuming. If you’d like to save time and stress while improving your chances of victory, keep reading.

How do you “Level the Playing Field” with the Debt Collectors?

As I have often pointed out, the debt collectors rarely have the evidence they need to win a case when they file suit. Instead, they rely on people defaulting or giving up. That’s how they get away with adding illegal fees so often or suing people who never owed any money – or suing for debts they don’t own.

The debt collectors have designed their litigation process to make it more likely that people will give up – they “tilt” the playing field so that fighting them to obtain justice and fair play is always up hill for you. From Petitions alleging the same debt three or four different ways (making it look like you might owe three times as much as they even say you do) to “fake” affidavits of robo-signers swearing to things about which they have no knowledge, to fake account statements and bogus notices – all these things are designed to trick or intimidate people into giving up. Many of these illegal or immoral tactics have been “business as usual” for the debt collectors. They’re notorious for dirty tricks.

And the debt collectors also start with some “institutional” advantages when they sue people for debt – they do this all the time, you know. The debt collectors have associations of other debt collectors and lawyers who provide them the latest information and court decisions nationally, or just contacts to help them strategize how to deal with your case. They have “document banks” – computer files of petitions, motions, discovery, etc. that they know have worked in cases before. These give them a big advantage: they can draft a petition and serve discovery with a few keystrokes by a paralegal, whereas you are left to spend hours responding. They know what works because they know what is happening in the hundreds of thousands of cases like yours that get filed every year.

How do you neutralize the debt collectors’ advantages and level the playing field?

Introducing Your Legal Leg Up Memberships

In order to counteract the advantages of the debt collectors I have created two types of membership with Your Legal Leg Up: Gold and Platinum. These memberships will allow me to provide you more and better service, give you expanded access to helpful materials, and keep you updated on the latest strategies and techniques that people are using to beat the debt collectors. You will have your own “document banks” where you will be able to download documents that have been used successfully by other people in fighting debt collectors so you don’t have to spend ten times as much time as the debt collectors do on simple documents. And you will special access to me and – more importantly – to other people like you who are actually fighting the debt collectors.

Benefits of Membership

As I mentioned above, there are four main features of membership: expanded access to materials, keeping up to date, connecting with others, and creating and building a document bank of documents you can convert to your own use without a ton of trouble.

Expanded Availability of Services

Through the newsletter and members-only homepage, you will receive updates, alerts, and reports and the tried-and-true, easy to understand materials in the ever-expanding “members-only” section of our website. Members will have access not only to the free access videos, but also to our extensive members-only video collection and the Your Legal Leg Up Video Series–now available ONLY to members, previously sold for $149 and available online.

Keeping Current

With the new membership comes a free subscription to Fightdebt!, official newsletter of Your Legal Leg Up. Every month it will give you the latest news in debt litigation as well as special tips on debt litigation, consumer issues, and credit repair. This is another benefit that is available only to members, valued at $49/year. You will also get new videos, reports and alerts as they happen.

Connecting with Others

Although some of the other benefits of membership may be more tangible and obvious, I actually think this benefit is going to be one of the most important benefits of membership. We will start with a members-only blog (which I will mediate), and this will allow more freewheeling contact between members. It is also my goal to connect those who want to be connected to other people who are from the same state. It’s hard to overestimate the advantage that comes with being able to talk to someone else going through the same thing, and working on pleadings and motions (for example) together could even make the process fun. Monthly teleconferences are free for members so callers can benefit from hearing one anothers’ questions and experiences, and a teleconference connections webpage also provides a forum on which participants may share and connect.

Software

Some people do not have a word processing program that will help them create professional documents or cut and paste documents from the document bank. Members will receive a link to a free word processor which will fill that need. Likewise, for ease of viewing, members will be provided a link to a video player that will let them play or download videos from the site.

Welcome to Fightdebt

Welcome to Fightdebt (Youtube) and YourLegalLegUp

Welcome to Your Legal Leg Up. Our channel on Youtube is @fightdebt. Please be sure to subscribe.

Welcome to Your Legal Leg Up.

Our goal is to help ordinary people who are facing debt problems now or trying to live down the effects of older debt problems. We want to help you protect what you have and build for tomorrow.

Debt Defense

We got our start in helping people defend against debt lawsuits brought by debt collectors. This is possible because debt collection is really a “factory” operation. The debt collectors find out practically nothing about individual cases before they bring suit, and in litigation they don’t like to spend any more time on them. Instead, they bring dozens, hundreds, or thousands (depending on the collector) of suits that are virtually identical. Because most people – we estimate somewhere between 80 and 95% of people – default or give up without paying any attention to the law suit whatever, the debt collectors really don’t need to do anything to rake in huge amounts of money.

And that’s what they do.

But the problem with that approach for them is that if you are willing and able to fight a little bit, they rapidly find it unprofitable to continue to fight with you. They make their money by collecting debts, not fighting them. We teach you to fight them in a way that increases the debt collector’s costs and improves your chances of winning. It takes some work, but your chances of winning are excellent.

Credit Repair

If you have had debt problems at one point, there’s a good chance your credit report is still suffering. And that means that good things are passing you by. You’re spending more for housing, insurance, and many other things, and there are some things you just can’t get – all because you have bad credit. You can fix that, and we can help. There are laws that help you get your credit report reviewed and straightened out, and there are practical ways to reconstruct your credit history so that you’re better off than you were before your debt problems.

Debt Negotiation

If you have debt collectors after you for a debt you can’t afford to pay, you must wonder whether there’s a way to make them go away without suing you. Of course, any one company can do whatever it pleases, but in general, the debt collectors can be brought to the table. They’ll negotiate, and you can get back on your feet without being sued. And without having to pay what you can’t afford.

Of course there are no free lunches, and anything you do to negotiate will cost you in various ways. We help you minimize those costs so you don’t pay more than you have to for less beneficial results. It’s all about making the best of a bad situation, and part of that means to keep it from getting worse. We can help.

 

You Will Probably Win if you Fight Debt Collectors

If you are being harassed or sued by the debt collectors, there’s no need to give up. You have an excellent chance to win, and it isn’t that hard to defend yourself.

 

Defending Yourself against Debt Collectors Isn’t That Hard

 

Your Legal Leg Up is designed to help ordinary people defend themselves from debt collectors. The problems occur in three main ways. First, before there is litigation, there is usually some sort of harassment – it would be easier and cheaper for the debt collector to scare you into paying if possible. At the same time, it might be possible to get the debt collector settle the issue with you without having to go to court. Thus we help people with debt settlement.

If debt settlement doesn’t work, or if the collector proceeds to a lawsuit without any chance to try to negotiate, you’ll need to defend yourself in litigation. That’s where we got our start, and we have lots of materials that will help you defend yourself. Keep in mind that debt collectors handle everything in bulk. That means they can be very efficient at parts of their lawsuit, but much less so at others. So our materials and approach are designed to exploit that problem. That makes litigation much more expensive and less profitable for the debt collector and maximize your chance of winning, too. That’s why most of our members win their cases.

Even after your lawsuit – or sometimes they don’t even sue – you will probably have damage to your credit report. Thus we help people repair and reconstruct their credit reports. This is a multi-step program that works at eliminating bad information on your credit report while generating new good information.

We have memberships aimed at each of these areas of the debt law. Find the right one for you and let us help you.

Negotiate for yourself or use a service?

One question we have often gotten is whether you should negotiate for yourself or hire someone else to do it. We will address that question more extensively below, but in general, debt negotiation companies do not have any secret tools or special access to get you better results than you could get for yourself. They can’t get you better results than you could get yourself, although in rare situations you might find a gifted negotiator who is simply better at it than you are, of course.

But usually, as a matter of fact, you will probably be able to get a better result than a debt negotiator because it’s your debt and you care more about it than a negotiator would. Also, you will have power to take, or to threaten to take, actions that a hired negotiator would not have the power to take — i.e., you could threaten to file suit, defend their suit, or declare bankruptcy (just to mention three examples) that a hired negotiator would probably not be able to say. Most of debt negotiation involves not backing down and the effective use of time – along with not giving away too much and building up your actual rights. You’re in a better position to do that for yourself than a debt settlement negotiator could ever be.

The main advantage of a debt negotiator would be one of convenience or, more likely, as a cost of being afraid. Consider the deal the debt negotiator offers: they’ll want a percentage of what they save you. You can figure out how much that will be. Are you willing to pay someone else $5,000 to make twenty minutes of telephone calls for you that you could make because you’re uncomfortable making those calls? It’s a high price to pay.

What You Need to Know about Debt Settlement

Most debt reduction plans play a sort of “chicken” with your creditors. The way they work is that, when your situation becomes really dire, you stop paying as many bills as you can and start saving a pot of money that you will eventually use to pay all of them off. When you have saved enough, and when your creditors have become desperate enough, you negotiate to make them go away.

It sounds like a plan that might work – and it often does.

It works because of the crazy way the debt system works. There are unbelievably massive amounts of personal debt in the world, and a system set up to handle it. In this system, many people try to avoid paying their bills, but if the debt collectors keep after them long enough, they will pay. True commitment to debt avoidance is actually rare, and people being chased by debt collectors usually hide, but they don’t resist. That means the average low-level debt collector is trained and required to keep after you and has little, if any, authority, to negotiate with you. And these are the only people you will encounter until your resistance has passed a certain level. You must go higher up “the food chain” to reach people with real authority to negotiate with you, and this does not happen easily. In many cases it won’t be until the company has hired a lawyer.

So the idea behind debt relief is to withhold payment until the company moves you up the debt collection food chain to the bigger guys with more authority.

Of course the company will sometimes sue you instead of negotiating at that point, and this has been one of my objections to the whole debt relief scheme. You will undoubtedly be doing your credit report some short-range damage if you do not pay bills you could, and you may increase the likelihood of being sued. A debt relief company will often encourage you to take risks and sustain damage before they will or can negotiate for you. If it doesn’t work out that way, you are the big loser, and they simply find someone else to try it with.

My other objection to the way debt relief companies have done business is that they charge a lot for their services. It is my belief that most people can, if they really decide to do it, probably do as good – or almost as good – a job at debt settlement negotiations as the “pros” they hire to do it for them. After all, most of what these pros have going for them is simply the knowledge that that most creditors will, eventually, negotiate.

I have been asked about doing debt relief often enough that I have simply had to recognize that some people would feel more comfortable having other people negotiate for them even if they have to pay for that service. I have found a service that helps address some of my other concerns as well, the prepaid legal program I represent.