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2011 Year in Review


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Well the end of the year is near, thought it would be a good time for an update. Here is the link to last years (2010) for any who are interested.

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forums/there-lawyer-house/305505-year-end-check-what-i-have-learned.html

2011 Year End Review-

Have completed another year in the defending our financial interests. This year was a bit slower really only had to defend 1 case, ended in victory. So here are the stats for year ending 2011.

If you recall we started with 14 accounts we decided to default on, these totaled just under $73K dollars. (You will note that the total debt has grown from last year, I just enter what the next collector says the amount is when I get their dunning letter) In any event we have disposed of 6 of the 14 accounts. We have eliminated just under $40K of the debt for $9200 dollars which includes attorney fees. This leaves a settlement/debt % at around 23%.

The great news is all of the really large debts have been dealt with. These are the debts that if lost could have forced us to file BK. It also means that there are 9 more accounts with much smaller balances that could be coming our way.

I think one of my key learning’s this year is still about using the correct strategy/plan for how I will handle each debt. I had an idea last year, but feel much more relaxed going into this year. This year is when we begin to clear SOL on all the remaining debts. By August of 2012 all (9) will go outside the SOL. So I will be either very busy in the next 7 months, or not.

I know that I have been very fortunate to have been able to afford using an attorney in fighting 3 of the larger debt cases. I know others would if they could afford to. Given that I can tell you I believe it makes a difference in your court records. It seems I will get a JDB that is hot to collect, and once they look up my name at the local court online and see I have been represented by an attorney, they slide into obscurity. The real test to this theory comes in 2012, when these accounts bump into the SOL.

Arbitration is still a good strong strategy for particular debts based on the amount and who the OC/JDB is. My rule of thumb would be if the amount is less than $6000 dollars, and the arbitration forum based on the contract is JAMS, arbitration is where I am heading. The cost to benefit for an OC or JDB is just too great and they will generally fold and move on. Be mindful that the strategy is evolving as the OC’s/JDB’s are trying different tactics, to get out of arbitration.

If you are going to consider the arbitration route, the strongest and most up to date information is found on at Debtorboards - Sue Your Creditor and Win! - Index. Certainly want to give a shout out to Linda7 here at CIC, she can certainly get you headed in the right direction. I know Iheart keeps an eye on that forum also, and I check it often.

For those that are new here and maybe facing your first time having to file an answer or answer discovery, don’t fret. You will be able to learn and get enough assistance to claim a victory for your situation.

Finally, let me share about victory. Each should choose what that means for them. At the end of year one and beginning of year two I was consumed with winning. Meaning I felt I was entitled to not pay anything and that would be victory. While this is a lofty goal and certainly attainable, with this goal comes the amount of time necessary to achieve it. Family life can suffer, work can suffer, your health can suffer so be mindful of this.

Determine what you can accept as victory, there is no shame in settling an account for an amount that fits your description of victory for your family and financial circumstances. It is easy to get caught up in reading of others triumphs and think I have the same outcome, no matter the cost.

Best of Luck to all in 2012, may your strategy bear the fruit you are hoping for!!!!

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Good post. I especially like what you said about determining what "victory" means to you. "Counterclaim" is a nice buzzword that gets thrown around, but for those of us who just want the problem to go away, "dismissed" will do in court for us, or "deleted" on the credit reports is A-OK. I'm a student, so my options are limited by time, coursework, and the near-poverty of being a student in these recessionary times.

Victory, to me, is being able to graduate with a very minimal amount of debt, and a credit report that accurately reflects my own financial affairs.

Here's to 2012!

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"For those that are new here and maybe facing your first time having to file an answer or answer discovery, don’t fret. You will be able to learn and get enough assistance to claim a victory for your situation."

Thank You Skippy for all your encouragement. It is so true what you wrote above. I read your original post of when you and your wife started your journey. Your experience will help me as well as others decide which way they would want to go or how they would handle a situation. Keep up the encouragement and the advice.

Hope your journey in 2012 will be a short and happy one for you and your wife.xdancex

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