This guide, based on the debt law process followed by most jurisdictions, should help you find which materials in this site will help you the most. Bookmark this page and come back often if you need guidance. We do have products for sale, of course, but most of the materials discussed here are free for you to use. Just click on the links, and you'll go to them.
Debt litigation is a sort of journey starting long before the suit is filed. Wherever you are, there are opportunities to improve your situation, and we offer help at every stage, whether you are in the early stages of bills piling up, being sued, or recovering either from debt or litigation.
The journey usually starts with being late with some payments. It goes through the dunning/bill collection phase, from almost casual reminders to pay by people who seem to like and respect you, through, all too often, some very nasty debt collectors. All along this part of the story, you are torn between trying to work things out with the debt collectors and either trying to avoid them. You may have grown up learning that the "adult" thing is to take responsibility for things - the rules are different now, though. You will want to assert some control over the process. For help with this stage of the process, you can find essays and videos at Debt Troubles. Or see Ending the Debt Nightmare.
If you want to try to negotiate and settle the debt with them, look at our materials on that, and we have a few of products that you will find useful, the Debt Negotiation Manual, Take Control of Your Life, and the Prepaid Legal Services program. These products might keep you out of litigation or, with the prepaid legal program, get you a lawyer if you get sued.
Litigation starts with filing and serving the suit, moves through the discovery phase where the sides learn some things about each other and the facts, and then heads into court. On the way, you'll have to decide whether service of the suit on you was adequate, whether the court has jurisdiction over you, how to answer the summons or whether you want to file a motion to dismiss, and whether or not you want a jury trial. The Debt Defense System is our main product that will help you start to defend yourself, but for a start you will want to see the Start of Suit materials in our Debt Defense tab
The discovery process is the way parties to a lawsuit discover what kind of evidence each other has. You'll find general information on the process in the Discovery section. Specifically, you'll want to consider interrogatories, requests for production, and requests for admissions. The Debt Defense System and the Members' area of the site have many more resources for helping you with discovery.
Next come the motions. If the other side won't give you the documents you need, you'll need to file a motion to compel. Debt litigation often depends on filing a motion to compel production. Because it's so important, I have developed a specific product to help with that, get the Motion to Compel Pack. If you think the facts established by the evidence provided in discovery could prove conclusively that you should win some part of the case, you'll want to file a motion for summary judgment. In debt law cases, though, it's usually the debt collectors who file motions for summary judgment, so you'll need to defend yourself from summary judgment. And then there are various pretrial motions you'll need to consider. Start by looking in the Motions section for articles and videos about all the motions.
You need to prepare for trial. And finally, post trial motions and appeals if necessary. For that you'll need the Debt Defense System for materials on how the trial is run and how to prevent unfavorable evidence from coming into the case by making objections. You'll find some help for that on site here at Trial Information.
After debt problems - whether or not they go all the way to and through litigation, you will probably have some "clean-up" you need to do to restore your credit and put you back on the road to the good life. We have a special product on credit repair, the Credit Repair Manual.
Historically we have focused on debt litigation, and our flagship product is the Debt Defense System. It gives you everything you need to defend yourself if you're being sued by a debt collector. Through the manual and on-site links available only to members you get everything you need to defend yourself, from sample Answers and Counterclaims, to discovery and motions, all the way to trial if necessary. You also get special informational emails, and regular teleconferences where you can get specific questions answered about the legal process as you prepare to do what it takes to win the lawsuit. A one-month renewing membership ir required with the Debt Defense System, as this is the way we provide you much of the information and support.
The debt problem is bigger than just litigation, however, so we now have materials designed to help you before and after any possible lawsuits. We have added the Debt Negotiation and Settlement Manual and the Credit Repair Manual to help you with these areas of concern.
We also offer many other products in this catalog. You might call them , more "situational." That is, you may or may not ever need them, depending on what the debt collectors are doing. Whatever product you are considering, if you are in a lawsuit we would urge you instead to get the Debt Defense System: it will not only provide you a full overview of the debt law process, but it will also give you both the systematic understanding that you really need to fight the debt collectors as well as any other products you are likely to need throughout the litigation process.