Litigation Manual – Table of Contents

The Debt Defense System

Defeat the debt collectors in lawsuits without having to hire a lawyer

Below is the Table of Contents for the Debt Litigation Manual, 2nd Ed. As you can see, it addresses most of the issues likely to come up in debt litigation.

We have actually almost completed the 3rd Edition of the Manual, which will be substantially different and – we hope – even better, but for now we include this table of contents as an indication of what the manual looks like.

When Your Legal Leg Up began, we had a “stand-alone” manual. We determined that people would have a better chance of winning with much less stress if we could provide more continual help, and thus the memberships were born. With that change we have been able to bring vastly more information to our members as well as regular guidance through the teleconferences and sample documents for most situations. The Debt Litigation Manual therefore still gives an overview and a lot of information, but it is intended to be used with the membership to give much more help.


Instructions for Using this Manual


Debt Collection Is a Social Justice Issue


About the Debt Master Series

Membership with Your Legal Leg Up

Overview of Litigation  and Strategic Thinking in Debt Litigation

Your Goals

The Debt Collector’s Goals


The Key to Strategic Thinking in Litigation

This Manual

On “Heart”

Your Heart

Their Heart

Debt Collection May Be a Social Justice Issue, but…

Debt Master Series

Timeline of Trouble

Litigation Flowchart


Litigation Checklist

Some Red Tape

Selected Customer Feedback

CHAPTER 1 – You Are Being Sued

You Receive a Summons

Court Appearance

The Courts and Courtrooms

Let’s Talk About Stress

The Courtrooms Themselves: A Walk-Through

The Call Docket

You Should Fight

Chance of Winning

Risks of Self-Defense

The Debt Collectors

The Lawyers

Original Creditors

Chapter 2 – Summonses and Motions to Vacate or Dismiss

How Debt Lawsuits begin

You Never Hear about the Suit

You Find out about the Suit after Judgment

You Hear about the Suit in Time

Through the Grapevine

Through Being Served the Summons

Motions to Vacate Judgment

Time for Filing Motion to Vacate

Excuse and Defense in Motions to Vacate

Motion to Vacate for Lack of Service of Summons – the Big Exception

Form of Motion to Vacate

How Much Time Should You Spend on a Motion to Vacate?

Motions to Dismiss

Motions to Dismiss – Partial or Complete

Why Would You Ever File a Partial Motion to Dismiss?

Attack on Personal or “Subject Matter” Jurisdiction

Gray Areas for Motions to Dismiss

Should You File a Motion to Dismiss?

Possible Bases for Motions to Dismiss

The Law

The Facts

Chapter Three – Answers and Counterclaims

Your Answer to the Petition

Rules of Pleading

Form of Answer

Affirmative Defenses

Notice Pleading vs. Fact Pleading

Possible Affirmative Defenses


Claims against Debt Collectors under the FDCPA

Specific FDCPA Rules

Required Conduct by a Collection Agency

Other Claims against Debt Collectors or Original Creditors

Miscellaneous Counterclaims

Why File a Counterclaim

What You Can Win Under the FDCPA

State Law Remedies

Jury Trial or Not?

CHAPTER 4 – What the Debt Collector Must Prove

Proving Ownership of the Debt

Proving the Amount of Debt

Proving You Incurred the Debt

Proving That the Debt Was Fair

Redundancy and the Burden of Proof

CHAPTER 5 – Discovery

What Is “Discovery”?


Your Interrogatories

Their Interrogatories

Requests for Production

Requests for Admissions


Expense: The Double-Edged Sword

CHAPTER 6 – Motions

Some General Principles for Disputing Motions

A Word about Persuasion and “Precedent”

Debt Collector Arguments

Time, and Types of Motions

Motions to Compel

Motions for Summary Judgment

Motions for Summary Judgment and Admissions

Your Motion for Summary Judgment

Procedure for Arguing Motions

Oral Argument





A Trial Is a Contest

Pretrial Preparation

The Actual Trial Schedule

1 – Jury Selection

2 – Opening Statements

3 – Presenting Evidence: The Company’s Case in Chief

     Cross Examination

4 – Motion for Directed Verdict

5 – Putting On Your Case: Evidence!

6 – Rebuttal

7 – Renewed Motion for Directed Verdict

8 – Jury Instructions

9 – Closing Argument

10 – Jury Verdict

12 – The Judge Must Render the “Final Judgment”

13 – Notice of Appeal

CHAPTER 8 – Evidenciary Issues

Direct Examination

Approaching the Witness


Making Objections

The Rule against Hearsay

The Business Records Exception to the Rule Against Hearsay

Offers of Proof

CHAPTER 9.- Where to Go from Here



Appendix I