If you are already representing yourself in a debt lawsuit – or if you think you might want to – you will find the help you need here. In addition, you will find hope and encouragement to take the steps you need to take to protect your rights.
It may seem like the deck is stacked against you, but you have an excellent chance to win and get out of this in good shape. That’s because of the way the system is designed – the debt collectors run a factory, and that leaves you plenty of opportunities to protect yourself. We tell you why, below.
As you look at this site, you will probably notice that we spend a lot of time trying to persuade people they can defend themselves from debt collection law suits. The main challenge in self-representation is often just being able to make yourself take the next step. It can seem hopeless or hopelessly complicated, so taking any action can require a leap of faith. We want to help you with that, because most people who represent themselves with our help actually do win.
Of course it takes more than encouragement. You have to do some right things, but debt law is not all that difficult to understand. With some basic help you will have an advantage in defending your rights.
With a little courage, and help from this site, you will be able to defend yourself competently. Enough to make them take notice. Enough to cost them money. And, often, more than enough to win or make them go away and leave you alone.
You’ll learn something pretty great about yourself on the way. You have power, and you can defend yourself from people who are trying to take things away from you.
About the Debt Industry
These are the plain facts as far as we know them.
No one really knows exactly how many debt lawsuits are filed each year. The numbers are not kept in any central location. Our guess is that the number is at least a million per year.
No one really knows exactly how many of these suits are won by default, or even how many actually get served on the defendants. And of those that do get served and defended, no one actually knows how many are won by defendants. The number that lawyers who defend many of these cases usually use is that between 80 and 90 percent of the cases that get served are won by the debt collectors by default. We would estimate from our own experience and observation that around 90-95 percent of the cases are disposed of without a defense –i.e., that defendants either default or settle on the day of court by agreeing to pay everything claimed in the lawsuit.
If that seems like a big number, it is. In most kinds of law the default and give-up rate is much, much smaller. But this will work out to your advantage if you will actually fight.
Of the lawsuits that are defended, no one really knows how many are won by the defendants or the debt collectors, or what the terms of any settlements actually are (nationally). From our experience and research, we would estimate that at least 80 percent of cases that are defended with any significant effort and knowledge are “won” by defendants. We consider a settlement for a small fraction of the amount sought a victory for the defendant.
Of the lawsuits defended pro se by users of YourLegalLegUp, most result in dismissal without payment, and almost all the rest result in settlement for what you might call a “token amount.” It would appear that members of Your Legal Leg Up do much better than those represented by lawyers who do not specialize in debt defense.
A Caution: Not every customer has told me the outcome of his or her case.
Why It Works This Way
The reason it works this way is not magic. It’s simply that debt collectors generally do not have the materials they need to win their lawsuit when they file suit against you.
Because they win most of their cases without a fight, it isn’t worth the expense of getting lawsuit materials before they need them, and the people who sold them the debt do not want to be troubled by it any more. The original creditors actually resist giving the debt collectors the documents they would need to beat you and sometimes destroy the records or make the debt collector promise not to seek them. In other words, the debt industry works by getting people to give up. If you fight – and keep fighting for a while – they may well lose interest or simply lack what it takes to beat you in court.
Lawyers who specialize in debt defense know that debt collectors do not have the materials they need to win and have to spend money to get them. These lawyers know how to expose the weaknesses of the debt collectors’ cases and force the debt collectors to spend money trying to get the evidence they need and defending against counterclaims and motions. The debt collectors know these lawyers and what they can do and choose not to fight most of the time.
Lawyers who do not specialize in debt defense do not know what debt collectors have or need and find it expensive to try to defend the cases. They often tell their clients that it will cost more to defend than is in dispute in the case. And the debt collectors know these lawyers are not familiar with the debt collection business and take advantage of them.
Pro se defendants who get YourLegalLegUp materials know what the lawyers who specialize know, but they are inexperienced in the courtroom and have to get used to the way courts work. The lawyers for the debt collectors do not know what the pro se defendants know (at first) and (at first) do not expect or believe that the pro se defendants will continue to fight. As they do continue to fight, however, the pro se defendants become more experienced and comfortable in the courtroom, and the debt collectors become more aware of what the defendants know. They become willing to settle on much better terms because they can see that continuing to litigate will lose them money. As far as I can tell, the longer the pro se defendant is willing to keep fighting, the better the terms get, and often the debt collectors drop the case because they do not want to lose money.