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Saltmines

Worth it to hire a lawyer?

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So I have an upcoming MSC (9/5) w/Pride Acquisitions LLC (OC: Chase) and am starting to doubt my ability to handle this in pro se. Obviously I don't have piles of money to give to a debt defense atty, but I'd rather spend a little and do this right rather than screw it up and end up with a judgment.

I wondered if any of the forum experts could offer their thoughts/opinions on this...thanks in advance!

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99% of lawyers don't want credit card cases, there is no money in them and they fear they won't get paid. Most of them never defended one and don't know how, all they'll do is take your money and tell you to settle. There are exceptions, but they are rare.

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The lawyers I've spoken to will charge you based on the total sum of the lawsuit. In most cases, the attorney will most likely try to negotiate with the plaintiff instead of completely having your case thrown out. They will pretty much file the same documents you can do yourself (e.g. discovery, BOP, motions, etc.)

I've felt the same way you did but decided to stick to my guns and have faith in the information gathered in this forum and it paid off. I actually went as far as trying to acquire an attorney just to go the actual trial instead of me but the cost was the same as if he would of handled the case since the very beginning.

These CA will push you until the end trying to intimidate and if you follow the advise of what's in the forum, you might receive an overnight fedex letter from the plaintiff stating a request to dismiss the lawsuit with/without prejudice, just like in my case.

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99% of lawyers don't want credit card cases, there is no money in them and they fear they won't get paid. Most of them never defended one and don't know how, all they'll do is take your money and tell you to settle. There are exceptions, but they are rare.

This is true. And another factor too is that the amount of billable hours it would take for the attorney to have the case completely thrown out will likely be greater than the debt the plaintiff is alleging.

This is the number 1 reason why you will see attorneys taking on these cases and then just negotiating settlements.

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It's the "good news, bad news" scenario. I got you a $100,000 judgment, but your legal bill is $150,000. One more vote for studying up and going pro se.

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Well, that answers that. I guess I shouldn't let myself get intimidated. The only thing to file between now and MSC date is the BOP...how hard can that be?

Thanks guys :)

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Hi Saltmines,

Welcome...! You don't mention where you are in California, so here's a link to a site with lawyers who specialize in these type of (i.e. collection, junk debt, original creditor) cases.

National Association of Consumer Advocates | Consumer Protection Advocates and Attorneys - Help for Consumers

There's a search engine on the site, where you can look for someone based on your state.

You know how doctors can specialize after Medical School and become Pediatricians, Dermatologists, etc.? Well, attorneys also have the option to specialize. Some focus on Probate, others on Real Estate. When people get in touch w/attorneys that aren't specifically practicing "consumer law", then they encounter attorneys saying the things that have been shared above (by other members). Such lawyers don't take (or like) credit card cases.

Consumer attorneys LOVE credit card cases. Why? Because they know this area of the law, and they know that companies that prey on debtors have frequently broken consumer laws. Collectors breaking the law--makes it profitable for them to take on these cases. ;) When you find a really good one--they just dislike the collection agencies and junk debt buyers, and want to use their expertise to hold them accountable, under the the law.

Some consumer attorneys will take on such a case for a contingency (no money up front). Others may ask a flat fee (ranging from about $750 up) to handle the entire case for you. But you'll never know unless you check around and interview a few to see for yourself. Just make sure it's a consumer attorney--not just someone you find in the phone book and call at random.

So, don't let any naysayers lacking in actual experience with a consumer attorney, discourage you from at least making a phone call, to check out someone. There is no shame whatsoever in recognizing being a pro se is challenging and frequently overwhelming. Depending on your other life issues, it is sometimes worthwhile to hire someone to handle the case for you. It's your choice, entirely.

I've interviewed consumer attorneys and found everything I've said above to be true. The good ones are committed to getting result for their clients, not just settling w/the collector. Any questions, feel free to ask and/or pm me.

Good luck whatever you decide!

:mrgreen:

p.s. Yes, I was a pro se. Yes, I won my case (dismissed w/out predjudice). Yes, I've also hired a consumer attorney for a different matter. Had I known our consumer attorney when we got sued, we would not have hesitated to let them handle our case. Hope this helps!

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This is true. And another factor too is that the amount of billable hours it would take for the attorney to have the case completely thrown out will likely be greater than the debt the plaintiff is alleging.

This is the number 1 reason why you will see attorneys taking on these cases and then just negotiating settlements.

I respect your opinion, and know you do not say things you have not experienced personally. To be honest, I had a tough time finding attorneys to take on our case when we were sued. But at that time, I did not know there were consumer attorneys--and that they were different from the type of attorneys like those you seem to be speaking of.

We even got a letter in the mail from a firm preying on debt litigants, because they wanted a piece of what they believed was an inevitable settlement, waiting to happen. :rolleyes: We never called them.

When we were sued (over a year ago), we heard all the usual--attorneys recommending bankruptcy, settlement, etc.

I did research (on this forum), which shared about "consumer attorneys"...and how that's what I wanted to deal w/this kind of case. I found less than five consumer attorneys in or near my area, on the internet. Most that we contacted were crazy busy, as there are just so many people being sued by junk debt buyers/collection agents these days. Since the time our case was completed, I've noticed quite an increase in the number of consumer attorneys in practice.

Somehow I doubt that attorneys would be pursuing this specialty area, if it was not profitable in some way for them. ;)

With research I've learned that one of the ways that consumer law firms are able to make this work profitable, is by pursuing class action lawsuits against junk debt buyers and collection agents. Doing so also allows them to take on smaller cases. It's good for business future business, too. Most clients have more than one collector after them. Taking on one case, means they may have more coming after them eventually--which could be a potential class action, or some other kind of case (FDCPA, TCPA, etc.).

So while what you say may be true of generalists, it certainly is not true of consumer attorneys. :mrgreen:

Edited by tigger

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self-deletion of duplicate post.

:mrgreen:

Edited by tigger
duplicate from time out

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I will take debt collection suits on contingency, I will include my fees in the counterclaim. I am so certain I can beat the junk debt collectors it makes it worth it.

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The lawyers I've spoken to will charge you based on the total sum of the lawsuit. In most cases, the attorney will most likely try to negotiate with the plaintiff instead of completely having your case thrown out. They will pretty much file the same documents you can do yourself (e.g. discovery, BOP, motions, etc.)

I've felt the same way you did but decided to stick to my guns and have faith in the information gathered in this forum and it paid off. I actually went as far as trying to acquire an attorney just to go the actual trial instead of me but the cost was the same as if he would of handled the case since the very beginning.

These CA will push you until the end trying to intimidate and if you follow the advise of what's in the forum, you might receive an overnight fedex letter from the plaintiff stating a request to dismiss the lawsuit with/without prejudice, just like in my case.

Congratulations on your win....!

I'm sorry that the attorneys you contacted didn't offer options that were good for you. :( Just fyi, in the event anyone else comes after you--in cases of a credit card debt you want to contact a consumer attorney. You can google for them, or go directly to their membership site at National Association of Consumer Advocates | Consumer Protection Advocates and Attorneys - Help for Consumers. A generalist or an attorney not familiar w/consumer laws, will not be aware of all the options available to consumers in these situations.

You are right in that these companies will push and try to intimidate you relentlessly. Unfortunately, some members are sued once and achieve a dismissal, only to find themselves sued again by the same company (sometimes a new one). :evil:

Sometimes the only thing that makes them go away for good is coming out of their pockets (or the risk of doing so). In which case, a consumer attorney will get the job done. :mrgreen: These companies break so many laws, it is frequently simple for a knowledgeable attorney to find infractions to counter sue them on--allowing them to reach a settlement (in your favor)....making themselves some money, and making the company go away, forever.

Again, just fyi--hope you don't ever need this information. I just put it out there as you never know who may find themselves in need of this information.

:)++

Congratulations, again!

Edited by tigger

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There are plenty of attorneys who will defend JDB lawsuits. They consider them a scorn on their profession and they know they are easy cases to win because the JDB can rarely prove that they own the debt.

I came across an outstanding attorney while browsing through local court transcripts of previous JDB lawsuits. He had defended well over 100 cases and not lost one. I ended up hiring him after battling these idiots for over a year (achieved success in defeating their motion for summary judgment on my own) as I no longer had the time for all the research and also I was back to work and able to afford an attorney. Upon receiving the first thing he sent them they immediately dropped the suit.

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