Can I Represent Myself on a Credit Card Lawsuit?
ABSOLUTELY!… If you want to lose that is… Handling a case yourself is a bad idea for many reasons and I’ll explain why.
- You are not an attorney.
- The debt collector has an attorney.
- You can be cross examined.
- Only fools represent themselves.
You are not an Attorney. Sure, you’ve seen one on TV, and you’ve read all of our website information. This can’t be that hard, can it? Well, that depends. Which case applies when the debt buyer attempts to use an Account Stated theory of recovery? Which case applies when they don’t have the proper Terms and Conditions? How about the case that says that they need to show a zero balance? Oh, and which case says that they need proper authentication from the original source? What if the debt collector testifies, what do you do? Don’t forget about the standing issue, did they prove it completely? How about those monthly statements, which code shows that they are not originals? I can go on and on here, and I’m sure that there aren’t many people who read this paragraph that can answer those questions.
The Debt Collector has an Attorney. I can say with strong conviction that the Attorney on the other side of your case has probably handled 10,000 or so claims just like yours. They’ve probably been in 1,000 or so trials. They know the cases, they know how to talk to a judge, they know how to cross examine you. What experience do you have that compares to that?
You can be Cross Examined. This is a pretty big one. If you represent yourself, you are at the hearing, obviously. Well, guess what, you are now the debt collector’s star witness. Did you have a Citibank account? Did you make purchases on it? Did you make payments on it? Did you stop making payments on it? That’s pretty much all that the debt collector needs. Unless you are going to commit perjury, you lose.
Only a fool represents himself. Even I don’t represent my self. Recently, I had a debt collector send a letter to me demanding immediate payment of $6,000. It was a little startling, considering what I do for a living, and considering that I’ve never been late on a bill in my life, but these things happen. This letter was a clear violation of the FDCPA…slam dunk for me to pursue. Well, guess what? I let my partner Clay handle the case. For me, its personal. For him, it’s another claim to handle. When its personal, things happen that shouldn’t happen. Adrenaline, taking it personal, these things can be blinders and cause you to take a mis-step.
Everything that was typed above is pretty common sense, and all of you already knew everything that I typed. I felt it was necessary to make this page because sometimes people just need to see the obvious in writing. If your claim has any value at all, and I mean anything over 750 dollars or so, don’t handle it yourself. Don’t risk losing a case that is a guaranteed winner just because you want to play attorney.