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Friday, August 17, 2007

Poll Result

Well the poll closed the results are as clear as a Florida election count. Less than 10% separates the two options. Clearly there was no decisive victor. With this feedback in hand, I will endeavour to tract both courses as equally as possible and thus try to satisfy everyone.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Coming Soon

Well, the poll is still churning along, but the current leader is a seed change to information on how to beat your debt. I'll continue to cater to the leader while the poll runs and then make up my mind after I see the final results. With that in mind, I've been thinking of some future offerings. I will shortly be posting a series on how to beat old medical bills and at least one installment on how to save your credit when faced with foreclosure. Check back to see how those turn out.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

How To Beat An Old Credit Card Debt: Part Three

Read the contract. Almost all debt collection law suits based upon aged credit card debts are breach of contract suits. What that means is that you are being sued for breaking your written promise to repay the debt. Therefore, the key to the suit is the actual written contract. In this case, that means the long, very fine printed, agreement you signed way back when you were first issued the credit card. You need to get a copy of this and read it, every word of it. Getting it may be difficult. If you are being sued in small claims type of court, you may not have the benefit of formal discovery. Formal discovery is used by lawyers to learn about the other sides case. One tool of formal discovery is the Request for Production of Documents. If the court you are being sued in is governed by Rules of Civil Procedure, then you may file a formal Request for Production of Documents before your trial date and obtain a copy of the contract. If the court is an informal or non-rule court, then you need to request a copy of the contract from the collection attorney. You need to make that request politely, in writing and by certified mail. That way if you aren't provided a copy and you see it for the first time at trial, the judge will be sympathetic with you and grant you either a break to review the document or a continuance. So now you have the contract, what are you looking for? You need to examine the maximum amount of interest you are allowed to be charged under the agreement. Has the debt buyer exceeded that amount? Has the debt buyer exceeded that amount by adding on collection fees and costs? Does the amount now sued for exceed your state's usury statute? Next, does the agreement require the suit to be brought in a particular jurisdiction or state? If so, you may be able to have the suit dismissed in your jurisdiction. Does the agreement require either arbitration or mediation? Again, if so you may be able to have the suit dismissed. In the last two examples, particularly with aged debt, the delay in having to either refile in the proper jurisdiction or in the proper forum may run the creditor past the statute of limitations we discussed in part one. So, the bottom line is get a copy of the contract and read it. Read every word of it.

Learn everything you need to know to beat a credit card debt lawsuit, forms included! Order your copy of How to Beat a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit with the Secrets of a Real Debt Collection Lawyer at 

Friday, August 10, 2007

How To Beat An Old Credit Card Debt: Part Two

The second best weapon to defeat a suit based upon an old credit card debt is CROSS EXAMINATION. The majority of collection suits filed by second or third hand debt buyers are based upon a sworn affidavit. That is an affidavit from someone who works for the debt buyer that says they are familiar with the books and records and your account and that you owe x number of dollars. If no one shows up on the day the matter is set in court, that document is sufficient to allow the debt collector to take a judgment. However, in all courts, you as the defendant have a Constitutional right to cross examination of the party testifying against your interests. And you cannot cross examine a piece of paper. What that means is that the company suing you has to produce a real live breathing witness who can truthfully and accurately testify about your account and be subject to being cross examined by you. Most credit card debt purchasers deal in a volume business and have no interest in going to the expense of making such a witness available in your jurisdiction. Many judges, however, will gloss over your right to cross examination unless you clearly assert that right and demand the opportunity. Your ability to actually cross examine is not as important as forcing the debt collector's hand in producing a live witness.

Learn everything you need to know to beat a credit card debt lawsuit, forms included! Order your copy of How to Beat a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit with the Secrets of a Real Debt Collection Lawyer at 

Thursday, August 09, 2007

How To Beat An Old Credit Card Debt: Part One

What is the best weapon to beat an old credit card debt? The answer is time or said in fancy legalese, the Statute of Limitations. The Statute of Limitations is a deadline you have to sue someone. The Statute of Limitations is different for every type of lawsuit and varies from state to state. For example, in the state of Tennessee the Statute of Limitations for an open account or contract is six years. That means that a company has six years to file a lawsuit against from the day you default on your agreement. One day beyond that six years, and their lawsuit is barred by the Statute of Limitations. So the questions are; what Statute of Limitations applies and When did default occur. The most applicable Statute of Limitations will likely either be one for contract (may be for breach of contract) or for open account. An open account is essentially a line of revolving credit. You can find your state's appropriate Statute of Limitation from a link on the right side of this blog entitled "Debt Law for All 50 States". Once you know how long the right Statute of Limitations is for your state, then you need to determine when did default occur. If you are being sued for an old credit card debt that has been sold several times, then it is likely that the current owner has no idea or more importantly, no proof, of when you defaulted. You should argue that your default occur ed the day your first payment was due that you did not pay. Hopefully, you have some written evidence of that; a past due bill, a collection letter, etc. If you do not, then file an affidavit alleging the date and then the burden will shift to the debt purchaser to prove that the suit was not brought in violation of the Statute of Limitations.

Learn everything you need to know to beat a credit card debt lawsuit, forms included! Order your copy of How to Beat a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit with the Secrets of a Real Debt Collection Lawyer at 

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Change In Course--Poll

I haven't written anything here for six months. That hiatus has been intentional. I have taken a leave from this blog because quite honestly I have been disturbed by the comments and emails it has generated. I have been considering whether to delete the blog completely, continue trudging down the path I have been traveling or concede to the obvious audience this site has garnered. I started this blog as an information sharing site for attorneys and professionals working in the debt collection field. My goal was a frank and honest discussion about our profession and I quite selfishly hoped I would learn some new methods and garner some new ideas on how to productively reach a resolution for all parties in this complex dance. That simply has not happened. The comments and emails this blog generates fall into two clear categories almost without fail. First, there are the obligatory "you suck", "you are scum", "debt collectors are going to hell", "you make me sick" responses. I don't mind those as they are easy enough to ignore and I am not so thin skinned as to let such feeble verbal sticks and stones harm me. The second group is completely different. These are people who for an infinite variety of reasons (some good, some bad, some fraudulent) cannot or do not want to pay their bills and are looking for a way out of the collection process that leaves them relatively unscathed. I began by trying to converse with these responders. My first question was always, "Is the debt yours, did you spend the money?" I was trying to appeal to the person's moral obligation to pay their debts. Very rarely, if ever, did I get a response to that question. Instead, I got chapter and verse on how they couldn't afford to pay the debt and how they were being hounded by terrible people who actually expected them to pay. So the audience this little blog has garnered is person looking to get out of debt the quick and easy way (it's never quick or easy) the new fangled way: don't pay it. And thus, I'm left with the choice, shut it down, ignore my audience and continue writing as if other debt collection attorney's were reading it or change the focus of the content to how to help you beat the collection industry. I haven't answered that question and I thought I would let you all answer it for me through a poll. So vote, your opinion matters.