Following up his excellent 2011 article on robo-signing in small-claims court, Peter Holland just wrote a quick-and-dirty guide to defending a debt collection lawsuit. In it, he summarizes the factual, procedural, and evidentiary problems debt collectors face in court, which we have been writing about here for years.
The article is meant as a guide for lawyers, because putting Holland’s strategies to work in court requires some decent legal research skills along with the ability to assemble a coherent legal argument and defend it in court. (I wrote a similar article for the William Mitchell Law Review back in 2009, complete with citations, but it only works for Minnesota cases.) But ambitious pro se defendants will find a lot of useful information in Holland’s article, too.
For more on defending debt collection lawsuits, see our Debt Collection Help resource page.
Guest post by Aaron Hall.
Minnesota consumers can now bring more cases to conciliation court, and many see this as good news. Unlike regular district court, conciliation court was created to handle “small claims” with relaxed rules and procedures so people don’t need to hire an attorney.
Caveat Emptor–buyer beware.
While it isn’t really the law of the land, the public is generally ignorant of the fact that it has rights and there are more than a few judges who are also clueless as to consumer rights, so that too often people get ripped off and abused simply because they don’t know.
As a consumer the best bit of advice is to avoid getting into problems in the first place. Educate yourself, research the product or service you are thinking of buying, and check out who you are buying it from. Before you sign anything, read everything that you are going to sign. Does it contain in writing everything the seller promised you? KEEP COPIES OF EVERYTHING!
I was a first-hour guest on the CTX Home & Wealth Show this morning. Sue, Alex, and I talked about foreclosures, including looking out for equity strippers and dishonest mortgage brokers, and about using conciliation court. It was a fun experience, and I hope to be invited back to follow up with other consumer topics. You can also listen to a podcast of the show as soon as it is posted.
If you were listening to the show, and you are new to this blog, browser the archives by using the tag cloud in the sidebar.