Resources on Debt Negotiation Issues

Many issues come up in the process of debt negotiation. The old saying is that people “negotiate in the shadow of the law,” which refers to the fact that what the other side can force you to do has a lot with what you will agree to do. With that in mind, many of the articles below address the realities of debt litigation. Materials that address just – or mostly just – the negotiation process are marked with an “*” but you will need to understand the legal background of your debt to make the right decisions.

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.

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.

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.

Business Debts and the FDCPA

What if the debt you are being pursued for or sued on was a debt on a business credit card? what if it was for your business? And what if it’s your business being sued? Does the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act apply? This article gives you a way to start answering these questions.

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?

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 Collection Is a Social Justice Issue * **

When banks screw up, they get bail-outs. When regular people end up in debt they are subjected to a system designed to rip them off and put them in debt slavery.

Debt Collectors vs. Debt Buyers

If you are negotiating, you need to know who you are dealing with – what their legal restrictions and definitions are. Sometimes a debt collector will hand you a key that can free you from your debt, and you would negotiate differently with them anyway.

Debt Defense Basic: Don’t Talk

You should only talk to a debt collector when you have a specific reason for doing so, and when you accomplish that goal, you should not talk to them any more. This video reviews this basic concept of debt defense and negotiation.

Debt Settlement – What You Need to Know about Negotiations and Safety *

Article on negotiation and protecting yourself by not getting the wrong deal or revealing too much.

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.

The Differences between Original Creditors and Debt Collectors

Original creditors and debt collectors are treated quite differently in the law, and if you are facing one or the other either in negotiations or litigation, you should know those differences.

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.

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.

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.

Prepaid Legal Service

If you are being threatened by debt collectors, or if you are in the process of negotiating with collectors or original creditors, we suggest that you get litigation “insurance,” which is a program that will cover you for a small cost if you get sued. This article and video discuss that.

Reaging, Reviving and “Novating” Old Debt

Debt collectors use many tricks to avoid the statute of limitations, and they will often break the rules by simply putting new dates on old debt, but they also have other tricks up their sleeves. Here are a few you need to look out for.

Repossession in the Real World

This article “pulls back the veil” and lets the average consumer take a look at what goes on in repossession. This should help you decide what to do if you’re struggling with car payments and wondering what repossession might do to you.

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.)

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.

Settling with the Debt Collector

We often view settlement as just a nice way of saying “losing,” and in debt cases it often is, but it can also be either a true settlement or even a victory. We discuss the ways settlements happen.

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.

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.

Should You Negotiate for Yourself? Or Hire Someone Else? *

Do you wonder whether you should do your own negotiations with creditors or debt collectors or whether you would be better off hiring someone else to do it? There are not special tricks or powers the negotiators have, and you are probably in a better place to negotiate for yourself than anyone you could hire.

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.

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.

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.

What Is Debt Negotiation and Settlement and How Does It Work

Most people have at least a vague idea of what debt negotiation and settlement are – you talk to your creditors and get them to agree to take less money for your debts. But how do you do this? And does it hurt you? If so, how can you reduce the harm and increase the benefits. Those are the questions this video is designed to answer.

What is My Case Worth to Debt Collectors?

If the debt collectors are after you, how much chance is there that they will let you go? It might depend on how much they consider that your case is worth. Here’s how they decide that.

What Matters to Original Creditors or Debt Collectors *

What are Original Creditors or Debt Collectors thinking about when deciding whether or not to pursue you for money? How do you evaluate what your case is worth to them and how far they’ll chase you? This article will give you a framework for answering those questions.

What to Do If You Have Debt Troubles, Pt. 1

This is the first of a series of videos and articles that will give you guidance in you are facing debt troubles. This starts putting the problems in context – sign up for the series to get the rest.

What to Do If You Have Debt Troubles, Pt. 2

This is the second of a series of videos and articles that will give you guidance in you are facing debt troubles. This starts putting the problems in context – sign up for the series to get the rest.

Why Original Creditors and Debt Collectors Will Negotiate with You *

If you’re planning to try to negotiate with either original creditors or debt collectors and you’re behind on a debt, you may wonder why they might give up anything if you ask them to. This article answers that question.

Why You Can Probably Beat the Debt Collectors

Debt collectors have much more money and experience in litigation than you do, so why is your chance to win so good? If you are negotiating with a debt collector, this article will help you plan your strategy.

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.

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.

Wishful Thinking – The Dreaded Enemy of People in Debt

It would be so nice if you could make the debt go away by arguing, once and for all, that only gold is money, that Federal Reserve Notes have no value so it doesn’t matter that you borrowed them, or that there was no contract for the credit card you used. These arguments usually don’t work but lead, instead, to disaster. Here’s why and what to do instead.