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Miscellaneous Articles and Videos

 

These are videos that are hard to categorize, but that are helpful to people deciding whether to defend themselves or in the midst of doing so. For many more resources, become a member. Most of these videos are available to nonmembers. Videos that are available only to members are marked with an asterisk ("*").

Amending Pleadings

Filing Motions to Amend

An Answer to a Petition doesn't have to be perfect, but it must be timely. What do you do if you made some mistakes in what you filed? This article tells you how and why to amend your petition and provides a (simple) sample motion.

Bankruptcy


Bankruptcy as a Solution to Debt Troubles

If you have debt troubles, can bankruptcy help? It seems like it should be able to, but in fact there are big limitations. This video discusses some of the pros and cons of bankruptcy.

Is Bankruptcy an Option for You?

When people are being sued for debts, they often panic and look for the quickest, easiest, or least scary way out. And bankruptcy often occurs to them as the solution. I believe there are often much more effective ways to handle old debt, especially credit card or merchant account debt that has been sold to a debt collector, than bankruptcy. Panic is not necessary, and bankruptcy—at least at first--is seldom the best solution in a real-world sense. Here's why.

Bankruptcy Is Often Not the Best Option

If you're being sued for debt, even by many debt collectors, bankruptcy is often not your best choice. You can beat the debt collectors and reduce some of the harm the debts are doing you. This video helps you consider your options.

Collection Issues

Can They Garnish My Social Security Benefits

Are you on Social Security benefits? They aren't supposed to be reached by debt collectors, but you need to do some things to protect yourself. This video discusses the risks and options.

Can they Garnish Your Social Security

If you are an elderly or disabled  American—or are receiving Social Security Payments for any other  reason—you may fear that debt collectors could seize or garnish  your income. The debt collectors may have suggested they could, or would do so if you do not pay them. Can they do it?

Secret Danger of Garnishment to Social Security Recipients and Others

If you have a judgment against you - or are in danger of getting one, you are not the only one at risk of garnishment. Anyone whose assets have your name associated with them is also at risk. Especially the elderly - you may need legal advice.

Counterclaims

Affidavits - Was There an Affidavit Attached?

Debt collectors use a lot of dirty tricks to get people to default. They want you to think that they have more evidence than they do have so you won't fight. One way they do this is by attaching affidavits about things they couldn't know or testify about in a trial. This video tells you why that's wrong and some of the opportunities it opens up for you.

How and Why to Create a Counterclaim when Sued for Debt

Third in the Seven Steps series of videos and articles, this one discusses the definition and purpose of counterclaims and how to make one if you're being sued for debt..

Importance of Counterclaims

Having a counterclaim - especially a good one, but even a weak one if necessary - gives you a big advantage. This video discusses why and what you should do about that.

"In the Shoes of the Original Creditor" and Other Lies of Debt Collectors

Another of the dirty tricks of debt collectors is to pretend that they are the ones who lent you the money or gave you credit. This is designed to get you to think they have more information or legal rights than they do. If they make this mistake, you need to know what to do.

Should You Sue the Debt Collector's Lawyer?

Lawyers representing debt collectors are usually debt collectors themselves in the eyes of the law, and you can sue them personally for the things they do to you. Should you? This video discusses some of the pros and cons of suing the debt collector's lawyer and firm.

Court

What to Expect Your First Day in Court

People are usually more nervous about going to court on that first day - the date mentioned in the summons - than any other. This video tells you what to expect and how to prepare. You could come out of this day with a big advantage if you know what to do if the opportunity comes up.

Debt Trouble

Blaming the Victims

Debt Collectors often blame consumers for getting over their heads in debt. But banks' business model for the past thirty years has encouraged consumers to get behind in payments and owe increasing amounts of money. That's the way banks make most of their money. Debt ridden consumers are more the victims than the banks - reject debt collector morality and fight back.

Should You Give Debt Collectors Money?

Should you give a debt collector money? what happens if you do? This video discusses the reasons people give money to debt collectors and the legal effects of doing so.

Requiring Verification-Your Secret Weapon

When debt collectors contact you for the first time they're supposed to tell you certain things. One of these things is that you can require them to "verify" or "validate" the debt. They're not supposed to take any further action to collect the debt until they do that if you ask. This video discusses how important this weapon is for consumers. (But don't try it if you're being sued whether they give you the warning or not.)

Scam Alert - Payday Loans and 100 Days Till Debt Slavery

This video shows how an online company tries to lure people into self-destruction by offering easy cash and, supposedly, easy extensions on repayment, all within about an hour. This video dissects some of the tricks this company uses.

Silence Is Golden - Talking (or not) to Debt Collectors

Should you talk to a debt collector? What should you say? It depends on the situation and what you want, but generally you want to control the flow of information as much as possible. Any information you give helps reduce the debt collector's "collection risk" (the chance they'll win but not be able to collect). Any information you give helps them find your assets.

Silver Bullet - Is there an Easy Way out of Debt?

Is there an easy way out of debt? some magic formula to make it go away? A silver bullet to kill the debt collectors? No. But there are things you can do to give yourself a good chance to win if a debt collector sues you.

What to Do if Sued

A lot of people panic when they're sued for debt. The legal system is scary, the debt collectors and their lawyers are scary, and the possibility of having your wages garnished is scary. This video helps you settle down and take a look at your options. And actually, things aren't nearly as bad as you might think.

Why Your Chance to Win is So Good

Don't give up if you're sued for debt. Your chance of winning is actually very good. The debt collectors almost never have what they need to win - all you have to do is show that.

Default

Overcoming Default

What do you do if you did not go to court at the time on the summons and defaulted? What do you do to try to get back in the case to defend yourself? This video talks about how you try to get back in the game with a motion to vacate a default judgment.

Procedure for Moving to Vacate a Default

How do you go about filing a motion to vacate and what do you do after that? This video goes into some of the nuts and bolts of the motion to vacate and the procedures you need to follow.

Class War - How it Applies to Debt Collection

There's a class war going on, and if you're being sued for debt you're on the wrong side! Here's a little about that war and some ways you can fight back.

Debt Collector Dirty Trick

Debt collectors try very hard to get you not to show up, and one of their tricks is not to cooperate with you if the date happens to be inconvenient. Here's what to do if the date set on the summons for going to court is an inconvenient time for you and the other side won't cooperate with you in changing it.

Defend Yourself, Protect What's Yours

Don't let the debt collector take everything you own. This video shows you how you can begin to defend yourself and protect what you own.

Four Sneaky Tricks Debt Collectors Like to Use

Debt collectors want you not to show up in court to defend yourself and they have lots of tricks to scare you away. This video talks about four tricks you might see them try and what to do about it to make sure you don't lose your rights.

"Frivolous" Defenses and Other Made-up Dangers of Being Pro Se

Debt collectors make their money from people not defending themselves, and they do everything they can to persuade you to give up. One of those things they do is try to make you worry about paying extra fees for "frivolous" pleadings. Don't let them scare you. This video helps you figure out what the real risks are.

Mailbox Rule - How to Count Time in Lawsuits

This is what you might think: how to count time in the courts. When the rules give you 30 days to respond to something, when is it actually due? What days count toward that time? This video tells you how to figure it out.

"Opportunity Cost" - a key concept for pro se debt defendants

Maybe the biggest cost the debt collectors have if you fight back has nothing to do with whether you can win or not. It's what they have to give up to keep chasing you. This video helps you understand the debt collectors' "opportunity costs."

Pro Se Defense

As a person defending yourself you have certain advantages and disadvantages. This video discusses the special risks and opportunities of defending yourself and how the courts look at you when you do.

Is Defending Yourself "Hard"?

How hard is it to defend yourself? Will you be buried in books or on the internet? What's the hardest thing about standing up to the debt collectors? This video talks about why so many people give up - this site is designed to help you overcome it.

Mediation for Pro Se Defendants-Don't Lose Your Shirt

One of the big risks for pro se defendants is new things where you don't know what to expect. Mediation is supposed to help the parties reach an agreement, but if you're scheduled for mediation you need to know what's going to happen. Watch this video.

Seven Steps to Take if You Learn You're Being Sued for Debt, Part I

First video and article in a series designed to help people recover from the shock of being sued and begin to take the steps that will protect themselves from the debt collectors.

Seven Steps to Take if You Learn You're Being Sued for Debt, Part 2

Second video and article in a series designed to help people recover from the shock of being sued and begin to take the steps that will protect themselves from the debt collectors.

What if I Really Owe?

What if you (think) you really owe the debt collector the money? Should you just try to work something out? Try to pay without making them go to the trouble of suing you? No! You need to think this through, and this video will help give you some perspective on the legal and debt collection processes. Don't just pay before watching this one.

Rule-Mandated Discovery

In some jurisdictions the parties are required to give each other certain information. If you're in one of those jurisdictions, that's a huge advantage for you - you'll probably get everything you need to win. This video tells you what to expect and how to use what you get.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Here's a basic primer on the most important law that controls the debt collectors and your rights. There are other sources of rights, of course, but this is the most important one. You need to understand it.

Do Your Legal Leg Up Materials Work on Original Creditors?

If you're being sued by an "original creditor" - the person or company that originally claims to have lent you money or extended credit to you, the rules change. Does that mean the Your Legal Leg Up Materials don't work? or what can you do to defend yourself when you're sued by the original creditor? This video answers these questions.

Research

Easy Legal Research

If you're being sued on a debt, there's probably an excellent source of information nearby. This video tells you where it is and how to use it so taht you can save many hours of your time researching and writing.

Settlement

Before You Settle

There's settling - and then there's settling. If you're tempted to settle your case against the debt collectors just as a way of getting out of it quickly or to avoid some catastrophe, you need to watch this video. Settling can actually be worse than losing sometimes - and it can also sometimes be better than winning. Make sure you're on the right side.

Why Don't Debt Collectors Just Drop Your Case if You Fight Back?

If debt collectors don't really want to fight and probably can't win if you put up a determined fight, why don't they just give up as soon as you answer the petition? They have to think about other cases besides just yours. This video discusses some of the issues they must bear in mind - and how you can make it more likely they will just give up.

Start of Suit

Entry of Appearance and Other "Red Tape" of Defending Pro Se

Some things in lawsuits are exciting, but this video talks about boring stuff. It's just that you really need to know it. So make sure you do.

"Frivolous" Defenses and Other Made-up Dangers of Being Pro Se

Debt collectors want you to give up, and they know lawyers are expensive, so they try to discourage people from defending themselves. One of the ways they do this is by calling your defenses "frivolous." What's the risk, really? Do you really have to worry about paying more if you defend yourself?

Should You Sue the Debt Collector's Lawyer?

The lawyers who represent debt collectors are usually "debt collectors" themselves in the eyes of the law. You could sue them. Should you?

Sued for Debt-Why Your Chances Are So Good

Why do you have such an excellent chance of winning a suit brought by debt collectors if you'll just fight back? You have some great advantages, and this video takes a look at a few of them so you'll know why you should fight.

Sued for Debt-What to Do

A lot of people freeze when they get sued - like a deer in the headlights. There are some simple, fairly easy, steps you can take to protect yourself and what you own. You owe it to yourself to get started. This video will help you see what those steps are and how to do them.

Outsmart Dirty Debt Collectors - Make 'em Pay

If you're being sued by a debt collector and the petition included the warning: "this is an attempt by a debt collector to collect a debt" or "anything you say will be used to collect a debt," or - especially - "you have a right to dispute and ask to have the debt validated," you may have rights under the FDCPA. This video explains why you might counterclaim, and if you've defaulted, why you might use this in your Motion to Vacate the Default.

Sue the Debt Collector

Be Aggressive, Sued the Debt Collector

You don't have to wait for the debt collector to sue you. You can sue them. Should you, though? This video helps you through that process of deciding whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of suing the debt collector.

How to Sue the Debt Collector in Eight (Easy?) Steps

If you decide to sue the debt collector, how do you do it? This video takes you through 8 steps of deciding, and starting, to sue the debt collector.

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