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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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Being Sued for Debt

Being Sued for Debt

If you’re already being sued for debt – that is, they’ve filed suit against you and served you (or you have found out in some other way) – you have an immediate decision to make. You could give up and let them get a judgment and take your money if they can find it. Or you could defend yourself.

It makes all the sense in the world to defend yourself.

You may think that lawyers wouldn’t file a law suit if they didn’t have the evidence to prove it, and in most kinds of cases that would be correct. Lawyers don’t want to waste their time on bad lawsuits. But in debt law it’s different. In debt law, the debt collectors take hundreds of alleged debts and file suit in all of them (if they want to) without ever looking to see whether they have any evidence that’s any good. They do that – and you might even say the HAVE to do that – because they know that almost all of the people they manage to get served with the lawsuit will give up. When you never have to fight to win, making sure you could win the suit is a waste of time. So they don’t.

As a matter of fact, you have an excellent chance of winning if you fight the debt collectors, and you can do that in one of two ways. You can either hire a lawyer or represent yourself (this is called “pro se” representation).

Going “Pro Se”

While I have always considered hiring a lawyer who understands debt law and will be aggressively on your side as the best way to defend yourself if you can afford it, there are two problems with it. First, it is almost always pretty expensive, and it can be very expensive sometimes, And secondly, it can be difficult to find the right lawyer – and it isn’t always easy to tell who is the wrong lawyer.

It can make sense to represent yourself. This type of law is not extremely complicated, and the debt collectors are often lazy or simply do not have and cannot get what they need, to beat you. If you want to take this route, then I suggest that you get one of our memberships. That will give you information and backing you can use all the way through your defense.

Hiring a Lawyer

I have always considered hiring a lawyer who knows debt law as the best option when you’re sued for debt if you can afford it. As I mention above, the challenge can be finding a lawyer who is experienced in debt law defense and who is not too expensive. I believe I have found a good option for that – a prepaid legal plan specializing in debt defense. If you think you would like to hear about this plan, check out our information on prepaid law.

Do Your Legal Leg Up Materials work against Original Creditors?

Do the YourLegalLegUp Litigation materials work on cases brought by original creditors as opposed to debt collectors? Yes–but watch this video to see how lawsuits by original creditors are different from those brought by debt collectors.

I used to think the difference between debt collectors and original creditors meant more than it does now. Perhaps it’s because there is such a huge amount of debt out there that even creditors lose track of it. Perhaps all the debt makes any one debt cheap. But in any event, the difference between original creditors is less than it used to be. The original creditors often do not have the records they need to prove the debt, and even more often than that they don’t have the will to pursue it if you fight.

In any case, you will pretty much always be better off it you do fight the lawsuit and go through the discovery process – especially if that means filing a motion to compel. It’s work, but if you can prove they don’t have what they need, you can make them drop the case. And if you find that they DO have what they need, your making them work so hard will make them settle for much less than they would have. Or if you can’t settle, you’ll take your best shot – and you’ll have put off the result for quite a while even if you lose.

Our materials will guide you through that process. You need to know how the system works in order to use it, and our materials give you what you need to understand the system.

No Magic – Sometimes a Rain Dance is Just a Dance Part 2

Sometimes it just rains.

This is the second part of this article. Click here for the first part. In the first part we talked about how people sometimes get lucky in defending themselves from debt lawsuits, but that doesn’t make them “good” – it makes them lucky. The question is, how can you increase your chances of being lucky, too. Should you do what worked once for somebody? or do what has repeatedly worked for a lot of people in a lot of ways over time? The answer is obvious. The rest of this article talks about how you can be lucky, too.

How Debt Lawsuits begin

A debt lawsuit starts with a “petition” – although it is sometimes called a “complaint,” and there may be other names for it, too: it’s the statement that you supposedly owe the debt collector money, some legal reasons why the court should order you to pay, and a “request for relief” (also known as the “wherefore clause”). The debt collector files this petition with the court and needs no permission to do so. When they file it, the also get a summons.

Some courts let the debt collectors issue the summons, too, although technically it comes from the court. The debt lawyer, as an _ of the court, writes it up, a clerk stamps it (or they may come pre-stamped), and the power of the court – over the case and over you – has been invoked. The summons tells you when to be at court and what to expect (“default judgment for the amount sued upon”) if you fail to show up. In all courts of which I am aware, proper service of the summons, which can happen in several ways, is necessary for the court to have jurisdiction over you.

What the debt collectors know is that somewhere between 80 and 95% of people who are served will not show up in court. If you do show up, and the other side does not – you should immediately ask the case be dismissed, and many courts (perhaps most) will grant that motion. That would be lucky – but only if you were there and knew enough to request the court to dismiss the case, as absent the request the courts will often simply continue (postpone) the case until the next court date.

Assuming the other side actually appears for court as scheduled, your next step is either to move to dismiss the case or answer the petition. Check your rules to see what the rules of pleading are, and if the plaintiff’s case does not comply – and they almost never do in Pennsylvania, for example – you might file a motion to dismiss or its equivalent (Preliminary Objections in PA). Often enough they don’t comply in whatever jurisdiction you may be in, and a motion to dismiss can be a quick way out of the lawsuit. Or you file an Answer. Whichever action you take, the debt collector might choose to walk away from the suit at this point: as I have often pointed out, there are a lot easier people to chase than those who file bothersome Motions to Dismiss or Answers.

Discovery

Often the debt collector will not walk away at this point, so the next thing you must do is both serve discovery on it and answer discovery if they serve it on you. It is important for anybody to serve discovery on the other side first, but especially for pro se debt defendants: you would never believe the games the debt lawyers play – you want to see those games in action before you start responding to their discovery.

Sometimes the mere service of discovery drives the debt collectors away, but most often, of course, it does not. You will receive vague and unresponsive “answers” like “pursuant to national banking regulation, credit card applications need not be retained beyond a period of two years” (What does that say, anyway?) or “Plaintiff is conducting a search for records and will make them available to defendant as they come into Plaintiff’s possession.” It is the task of the pro se defendant to push past these objections and vague statements to discover what, if anything the debt collector has, and to force it to admit it has nothing more. This, of course, is the reason for a motion to compel. If you do that appropriately, the chance of the debt collector dropping the case is actually pretty good.

Not Bad Faith or Frivolous

Performing legal actions with no reason other than to increase the cost and effort the other side must undertake in order to win its case is “bad faith” in litigation. An action with no reasonable basis in law or fact is “frivolous.” Both of these sorts of forbidden actions and motives can create significant problems for a person caught doing them. None of the actions listed above, however, come anywhere close to these forbidden zones: they all accomplish purposes for which the discovery and pleading rules were designed. The motions seek to weed out unwinnable claims, and the discovery probes the other side to find out what, if anything, they have in support of their claims. Following this broad pattern, you are not only increasing the chances that they will walk away at any point leading up to trial, but you also increasing your chances of winning if the matter does go to trial.

Good Luck

Lawyers are constantly performing a balancing act, always deciding whether it is potentially more profitable to act in one way rather than another. This is not because lawyers are greedy – although many of them are, of course – but is in fact part of their ethical responsibility to act in ways which promote their clients’ interests. These interests are virtually always financial, and thus as you continue to defend yourself with skill, you raise the issue more and more insistently that the lawyer would be better off pursuing other claims. When your skill has actually pushed the lawyer to take the step of cutting you loose, you are “lucky,” and the debt collector drops its suit. If you have a pending counterclaim at this point, you can force it to do so “with prejudice.”