Infamous Black Tuesday

Today is Thursday, but in 1929 the 29th of October fell on a Tuesday…so did the Stock Market.  In more recent history, we have encountered the Great Recession.  While we continue the recovery, sometimes old credit card debt comes back to haunt, making consumers victims of Zombie Debt. Zombie Debt is debt that has been dead for a while, but does not know it is dead, and walks the streets looking for a victim.  The problem with Zombie Debt is that the debt is matured when the consumer fails to make payments.  Once the debt is matured, then the Statute of Limitations clock begins to tick, and runs for five to seven years (depending on which state the credit card is initiated). Another problem with Zombie Debt is that Zombie Debt collectors will say anything to get you to reanimate the debt; they whisper sweet nothings like, “Send us five dollars.” Beware, even a penny can resurrect the dead debt. Even if you already have a Judgment against you for this debt, you could be faced with a second Judgment for the same debt. The business model for collecting on Zombie Debt is based on numbers—debt-buyers purchase debt in bulk […] Read More

Debt-Buyer Business Model

Buying delinquent consumer accounts has bloomed into an industry unto itself with its own business model, which thrives on certain practices, such as the following: * Purchase thousands of delinquent accounts for pennies on the dollar.  This gives debt-buyers a spreadsheet of data, which they do not verify; they purchase without representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information.  They do not know if the balance stated is correct, or if anything is owed at all. * Contact the consumer.  Contact the consumer a lot!  While there are regulations on fair debt collection practices, not all debt collectors are interested in fair debt collection.  The debt-buyer calls and writes to settle the account…and if that does not work: * File a Small Claims lawsuit.  A Small Claims Court notice can get lost in the paperwork shuffle, and the consumer does not show up for court (or does not defend) and the debt-buyer wins by default. * If the consumer does take time off work to launch a defense, ask for a continuance.  Repeat delay tactics until the consumer stops coming to court. * Have a judgment entered against the consumer.  That judgment is good for 20 years, so […] Read More

Why Defend?

Why be a defense attorney?  Because it keeps the people on the other side honest.  By protecting the rights of the defendant, we protect rights for everyone. In criminal cases, if the police think you are guilty, they may find something to arrest you for that you know nothing about.  In foreclosure cases, plaintiffs were making stuff up and having robo-signers sign off on it.  In consumer cases, zombie debt collection is a business model for going after debt that has been long dead.   Because attorneys get involved, people’s rights are protected.   Read More

Right to an Attorney

You have a Constitutional right to an attorney in a criminal case, not in a civil case.  That does not mean you should avoid hiring an attorney for cases of home foreclosure, credit card debt, or divorce.  Decisions in a legal conflict can be difficult to make on your own.  Attorneys remove the emotion so their clients can take the necessary steps to move through a legal problem. You may not be able to see every legal angle as effectively as an attorney, plus, you have to follow the rules and procedures of court—if you do not know what the rules and procedures are, you may miss opportunities to present key elements of your case.  The law is technical, and from a technical standpoint there are things you can mess up that will hurt what you are trying to accomplish. A lawyer can reframe the situation into business terms to help you look at the possible choices and consequences. The more you know, the less stress you have about the unknown.  Seek competent legal counsel to learn what choices you may have and to review the legal process of your case. If you think you cannot afford an attorney, contact […] Read More