Of course, you can go pro se

Of course, you can go pro se. You want peace of mind.

Try legal clinics at local law schools. You deal with law students but they are supervised by very competent seasoned practitioners. I have the same problem and I get special courtesy treatment. People need legal services.

I worked for a large Wall St. law firm. The clients think nothing of retaining a lawyer at the drop of a hat. I understand what the lawyers are saying. This is the chief problem with the legal system. It should not be available only to the wealthy. I could not afford myself! It is a long shot but try legal services for the poor.

Also, try FindLaw and do it yourself. I would be wary of anyone with a stake in the outcome.

I really feel for you. Afterthought–try a lawyer who has just graduated from a mediocre law school. They are still bright. They may actually have more expertise than someone from a national law school. I will ponder your problem. Let me know what happens.

Not to get off the subject, but I suggest finding someone who “passed the bar.” Law school education from any accredited school has a core of information that is the same nationwide and distinguished mostly by the state in which the school is located. Thus, the “mediocre” v “national” comment isn’t, in my opinion, the best distinguishing characteristic (if valid at all). I say this only to keep you from wasting time trying to distinguish what makes a “national” law school.

I agree, legal clinics are a possible option, but legal clinics vary and specialize in only certain types of claims. Don’t expect that any one school’s clinic with take your claim.

Let me also suggest that you consider contacting your state Attorney General’s Office. Knowing who you can validly sue or defend yourself from is half the battle. You never know; you may not be the only one experiencing this from this company.

You may also try a mid-size personal injury firm. Often, you can get a free consultation and pay a percentage of your recovery (a contingency fee) after the case is settled. Very rarely do these or most cases ever make it to trial.

My heart goes out to you. Just don’t take it laying down. Be willing to let them know you’ll fight the battle to the end. Remember, the resources they would spend trying to fight you (one person) may not be worth their time or money in the end. Again, only 3% of all cases make it to trial, so settlement is a good expectation to have.

You definitely need a lawyer!

Your local bar association can refer you to one. I practice law. I don’t know the level of expertise you need. A general lawyer who will be less expensive can probably handle it. If it is more complex, however, you would probably do better seeing someone with expertise in this particular field. Discuss it with your local bar association. Be prepared when you see the lawyer. Write down the salient points. While some lawyers provide free or low-cost consultations, you are on the meter after that. Don’t have long personal conversations about the weather–you are paying for the time. It is very important to control costs. Ask for an estimate for the entire job. Keep track of the hours you spend with your lawyer. Ask friends in the area how much they paid for similar legal services.

Also, pay attention to the retainer agreement. I had problems with a lawyer billing me. The charges were outrageous. I wrote a detailed letter stating my objections and proof that I was being billed for things that were not in the retainer agreement. He was furious but cancelled the bill. You do need a lawyer. It does not sound complex but there may be issues in your case that you are not aware of yet. I find that a client says something crucial as a side thought and the omission is crucial.

Yet finding a good lawyer one can afford is almost impossible in these parts. I had two free consultations, and in both cases after it was determined that I wasn’t worth millions, they both told me that it wasn’t worth their time open a file on me and my best bet was to negotiate on my own. This is because due to the real estate bubble, the current equity in my home is enough to pay off my debt. Unfortunately, this leaves me at age 59 with no place to live, a daughter in college and with no job since it’s my business that is going under.

Surely there must be some better advice out there. O. J. gets to play golf with millionaires in Florida while being bankrupt in California and I’m going to become a street musician in the New York subways if I’m lucky. After finding no decent legal advice, I think getting illegal advice is the next logical step. Where can I find some of that?

Need advice… quick!

I wrote a month or so ago about a company that was harassing me about a debt I had with Chase. My balance was approx. 9,000. I tried to set up a monthly pay plan and they would have none of that. So,a few weeks ago,I was out of state and one of the collectors called me to say he had a settlement agreement for me and faxed it to me that day.

When i received it, it said “0 balance. This letter serves as receipt for the matter noted above as agreed andis evidence of payment in full for above account”. That was that. Now, they are calling to say that the letter was an error and that because the amount “stated above” in the letter was not an agreed upon amount if it goes to court i would not have a leg to stand on.

I know this may not make sense as i am writing this but since i am in a state i am not familiar with any attorneys, can anyone tell me what i should do? I feel i need someone to look over the letter. However, they are saying they will start judgment proceedings 10/21/16 and of course they have scared me to death once again. I just dont understand..it clearly states “paid in full”.

Caroline that sounds pretty fishy. I don’t know if there are high pressure collection agencies in the US but actually that sounds just like how the loan sharks and scammers collect money in Japan. Check up on that company before any payment. Check with Chase and make sure that they’re farming out their collection work.

I think this goes for anyone out there. I know it’s standard procedure for a bank or corporation to farm out their debt collections to other companies but at the same time make sure they’re legitimate. It’s not that hard for someone to get data that you owe some company money. With that information anybody can come up with a bill and try to charge you for it.

Collection agencies are trained to be bullies. They believe they can scare people into paying their debt instead of trying to work with people.

My story to date. Two years ago I received a letter in the mail from a collection agency that a judgment was being filed on my house. Since I had other credit card debts I filed a chapter 13. This year my house was going to be foreclosed. So I put my house on the market to sell it before it gets foreclosed. Three weeks before the foreclosure date I got an offer on the house that the mortgage company would accept. But there was a problem. There was a judgment on my house which I had no knowledge of since I had filed bankruptcy 2 years ago. Sherman Acquisitions had the judgment on my house which shouldn’t have happened.

They are in my chapter 13 plan. I searched everywhere to find their phone number but couldn’t. So I contacted Sears credit center to get the phone number for Sherman Acquisitions. When I contacted Sherman Acquisitions they gave me their attorney’s phone number. I ended up having my attorney contact Sherman Acquisitions attorney to get the judgment lifted. Sherman Acquisitions attorney then filed the wrong paperwork. My attorney had to refile for the judgment to be lifted. The judgment was lifted just 2 days before my house went to auction. I got an extension on the foreclosure just minutes before the auction.

As you can see collection agencies are not just bullies but they are stupid. Being so focused on getting the money they don’t see anything else that happens.

Now about your story. I looked up online. The BBB has no complaints on the company you are dealing with. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to make a complaint to the BBB about them.