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CIC cited in MSJ Ruling

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In granting my motion for summary judgment today, the judge included several references to my postings on this site.

"In April 2015, xxxx posted on www.creditinfocenter.com that he had received a letter from Asset Acceptance with this language and declared “Happy Statute of limitations birthday to me.”"

This site is cited a couple of other times in the memorandum order. I have attached the ruling if you want to be geeked out with 26 pages of legalese.

Just want to make it abundantly clear for everyone that posts here to realize:

1. Your online activity can be/is tracked and will be used by an opponent to discredit anything you say, or in my case allege that I was too smart to be tricked or that I essentially acted in bad faith.

2. If you are ever deposed and you are asked if you've ever posted online, be honest. They (the opposing side) already know the answer, and likely have a folder full of your posts that they will want your thoughts on in a few moments.  

3. Remember why you joined this site: to get help in dealing with debt collectors or collection suits. 10+ years ago, my family was in the darkest corner in the deepest cellar of our lives. I never wanted to join a site like this; I never wanted to struggle each and every day for years. We barely hung on, but we did. When the collection suits came, I didn't know what to do or where to turn, but what I DID know is that inaction would be the most expensive choice I could ever make. I'm glad that I joined and was able to prevail in the two collection suits filed against my wife and I and that others decided we weren't worth the time or effort and decided to more or less leave us alone. I am more proud that I was able to help many other people throughout the State and save their families many of thousands of dollars and give them confidence and a bit of relief. I have always fought for my family and I always will. I hope you do too.

Stay safe, stay well ~ KW


Memorandum Opinion & Order of 3-26-20_Court-Orders(1).PDF

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1 hour ago, gwheelock915 said:

If you are ever deposed and you are asked if you've ever posted online, be honest. They (the opposing side) already know the answer,

This is also true for testifying in court or representing yourself pro-se.  One of the first things taught in law schools is NEVER ask a question you do not already know the answer to.

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I was asked about my postings in a deposition once.  

I used a technique that had been recommended.

For that particular case, I did not post very many things.  In those days I usually posted on the "other" forum.  But since I was facing a depo, I created a new user name, and posted once about that case on this forum.  In the depo I was asked if I had posted anything online about the case.  I replied that I had posted on CIC.  They asked, in a rather derogatory manner, what the purpose of CIC was.  I said it was a credit repair web site.  

In short, everything I said in the depo was true.  

Some other techniques:

It is often a good idea to be a little vague about your case -- don't give up any personal information.  That makes it more difficult for them to figure out who you are.  There have been a few times when I was able to figure out who the poster was rather quickly.  And if I can do it, you'd better believe they could do it. 

For example, there was one time when a poster in my county posted enough information that within a few minutes, combined with online court records, I had her name, her address, her date of birth, and even the VIN for her car.  I also figured out that she had missed an important hearing that morning, and I alerted her.  She wound up with a default judgment.  Another poster gave her some advice on how to get the default judgment vacated.  She eventually won that case.  

Another example.  There was a rather notorious poster in my state who was absolutely hated by some of the law firms.  His user name on CIC was the name of a small company he owned.  With that information, I was able to figure out who he was in a few minutes, and I even found a magazine article that had been written about him when he was a teenager.  He was a small level elected official, as well (he has a higher office now).  It turns out one law firm was checking posts on CIC, and noticed a pattern of posts which corresponded to events in their case.  As in, someone would make a filing, and he would post about that filing on CIC.  The attorney spent thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, searching CIC for posts regarding the case.  At the depo they asked if he had made the posts.  He said he had.  It did not affect his case any.


My biggest mistake was I was so scared of the law firms figuring out what I was posting that I was often reluctant to ask advice when I needed to.  That cost me big time in a case once.  So please don't make that mistake.  You are allowed to ask questions, and to get advice and information.  I was too scared.  Not all law firms will look.  Not all firms that look will find you.  If they do find you, it is not necessarily something bad for you.  

Just don't be stupid in what you post.  There was a rather famous example in Debtorboards in which a poster used the forum to taunt the opposing counsel continuously during the case.  The opposing attorney asked Judge Susan Webber Wright to put a gag order on the poster.  The judge refused on First Amendment grounds.  However, at the end the judge imposed over $60,000 in sanctions.  This was one of the last cases for this famous judge.  

The moral -- don't be afraid to post, but try to keep as many detail as vague as possible.  For example, remove your name and the exact amount from any postings.  And don't post anything you wouldn't want a judge to read.  Asking for advice is OK.  Saying "I'm going to make this lawyer pay" or "this lawyer has a nice rack" are NOT things to ever post.  


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