Your Answer: The lawyer will try to convince you that he can help you by getting you a lower amount in a settlement agreement. So he can get them to settle for maybe 80% of what they want now. So he can get them to come down to $5000 maybe. Saves you $2,000. That's a big savings right? And how much will he want? Maybe %500 to $1,000 for getting you that great deal. Let's look at the alternative. Let's put the settlement shoe on the other foot.
Maybe you would rather be like the Porterfields who live here in Oklahoma. They owe #10,350 plus court costs according to a well known law firm. They got their summons 3 days ago. I see the lawyers learned the last lesson I taught them and put a full Miranda warning in the top of the complaint but I also see they have some illegal wording in it. They probably got their new copy of the Miranda warning off of some Internet message board for lawyers or debt collectors. So they have a new lesson to learn which is not to put wording in Miranda warnings which sounds good but is highly illegal.
Then the summons gave the Porterfields 35 days to answer the summons but according to the complaint they have 30 days to demand validation of the debt. Now that seems a bit confusing to have both in the same document. People will fear the court action and forget to exercise their right to demand validation. If the attorney had given only the normal 20 days to respond that really would have been overshadowing. So maybe we can get them on overshadowing and maybe not.
But they sent another letter which was received just Saturday demanding payment. It contained two more violations of FDCPA. Then in this case we also have solid evidence of illegal misrepresentation of the legal status of the debt. Both the complaint and this new letter violate another portion of FDCPA which is providing false and misleading information to the consumer. Two more violations. Now what's that worth? Hard to tell for sure but if we can get #1,000 per violation that would be maybe $5,000 to #6,000 in violations, then #2,000 to #3,000 in attorney fees, another #3 to $4 hundred in costs and maybe a few thousand more in damages plus an agreement to dump their lawsuit in local court and never sell, assign or otherwise dispose of the debt nor attempt to collect it ever again. Then we will want a clause in the settlement agreement that says they can't ever reveal the terms of the settlement agreement to any 3rd party. The question then becomes one of whether they want to settle or go explain to a federal judge and jury why they committed all those violations. What do you think they will do, settle quickly and pay or fight all the way to court and pay a lot more than that in attorney fees?
I've had 5 other students in the past here in Oklahoma who were being sued by this same law firm in mortgage foreclosure actions. This law firm capitulated in all 5 cases and those people are still in their homes. I've had far more than 5 cases of mortgage foreclosures where they didn't want to fight and of course I don't know where they are today but they sure aren't living in their homes anymore.
I see this law firm didn't even have an affidavit in their lawsuit. Maybe that's a good thing for somebody including them because Mrs. Greene, another student from Illinois called me yesterday talking about the affidavit that was in an old judgment against her husband. She figured out how badly the affiant had lied in the affidavit presented to the court. She called up OSI, a huge collection agency and asked to speak to the lady who had notarized the affidavit. The lady answered the phone and admitted knowing Ger Xong, a former employee at OSI and having notarized many such affidavits. Mrs. Greene was recording the conversation, of course, and called up the police department in Duluth, Georgia and gave them all the information she had. According to Mrs. Greene the Duluth, Georgia police department is willing to take a criminal complaint and prosecute Ger Xong for her false statements. That will also have other consequences which will soon be taken up in federal court.
Scott from Kentucky didn't come out quite as well. His wife owed $13,000 to a debt collector and took them to federal court. In the settlement agreement Scott agreed to pay the debt collector just over $1,000 instead of $13,000 but he felt he made a big win because his wife is so afraid of having to go to court.
Or how about Bobby S. here in Oklahoma. He was sued for almost $1700 by a debt collector over an apartment lease. He should have won easily but it ended up the court gave judgment to the plaintiff for $80 plus about $30 in court costs and he had to pay the attorney 10 percent of the judgment ($8.00) for his time and trouble of preparing the case and spending about 2 days in court arguing with Bobby. Bobby could have taken the case federal where he would have won big but he is about 70 years old and still working every day at an auto auction here in OKC and didn't want to mess with it any more. He is happy because I spoke to him the other day at a local restaurant and they have never bothered to come after their $100.
I can go on and on like this for a lot more than anybody would want to read about and I can provide audio recordings and videos of happy people who have won against debt collectors telling their stories.
James Scurlock of California made a movie called MAXXED OUT which you can rent from Blockbuster. He came to Oklahoma twice and filmed me and students but didn't put any of it in the movie. He used other Oklahomans who lost children through suicide and had other tales of woe to tell instead but if you look at the credit screens at the end of the movie and watch the left hand side of the screen you will see my name in the credits list. It is an interesting movie. You might want to watch it.
So now it is up to you. What do you want to do? Pay somewhere around $5,000 and maybe a lot more than that if you don't have cash to pay or would you rather fight? Its up to you.
If you would rather pay then fight then fine, but if you want to fight and fight hard call me at 405-616-7901.
If you would like to listen to some of my students telling their stories here is your chance to do so.