Every so often an article relating to some self proclaimed expert in debt collection cross my desk. This morning it was Julio Martinez-Clark, who has written a book entitled How to Legally Beat Debt Collectors. He is putting out some very bad, if not dangerous information to the public.
I represent debtors and creditors in debt collection. I enjoy working both sides of the proverbial fence because it makes me a better lawyer. After all, if you are a debtor, wouldn’t you want your lawyer to know what the creditor is thinking and how it is going to proceed? Well, I do. If you have followed my blog, you will see that I have put out a lot of very good and helpful information for debtors who are battling debt collectors. Mr. Martinez-Clark, unfortunately, is not helping anyone except for himself. For example, Mr. Martinez-Clark states:
1. Credit Card Contracts are usually not transferable. This is absolutely wrong. Just about any debt, especially consumer debt, is transferable.
2. Corporations must be prepared to show that their charters authorize lawsuits. Nope. In my 20 years of suing consumers who have been defended by very astute defense attorneys, this has never been an issue. Corporate charters (Articles of Incorporation here in Michigan) usually do not address a corporation’s ability to sue a party. What corporation would ever limit its own ability to sue someone or some entity that owed it money, especially a consumer lending type corporation? Common sense, anyone?
3. After judgment, there must always be an action in rem. Nope. Some debtors actually do the right thing and either make payment arrangements or pay the judgment. Moreover, while an action in rem is an action against property, a debt collector can also continue to pursue the debtor personally. I like to prepare and use creditors examination subpoenas. With this device, I have a debtor served with a subpoena wherein he is ordered to appear in court with his tax returns and other financial information. Then with this information, if I still have no cooperation, I then proceed against his property.
4. 99.99% of debt collection cases are done improperly and you can win. Nope. This is where Mr. Martinez-Clark cross the line from reality into make-believe. In Michigan, if you get sued by one of our debt collection law firms, your chances of beating the case are not 99.99%. While all hope is not lost if you get sued, and many cases are in fact defensible, that does not translate into the statistic that Mr. Martinez-Clark pulled out of his….hat. (?)
I could go on and on, but I have given enough time and attention to Mr. Martinez-Clark’s shameful efforts to raise money. I, on the other hand, simply want to raise awareness that there are plenty of snake oil salesmen giving debtors bad advice over the internet on how to get out their debt. Mr. Martinez-Clark is one such author.
Moral of the story – There is no substitution for professional legal assistance when dealing with debt collectors.