When it comes to consumers being sued by debt collectors in Arizona the overwhelming majority of consumer represent themselves in court. In fact, studies show that less than 1% of consumers being sued by a debt collector actually hire an attorney.
This makes sense because many times it doesn’t make financial sense to hire an attorney if the dollar amount being disputed is low, and other times people simply don’t have the extra money to hire an attorney.
The difficult part is the law can be complex – even on simply debt collection cases. And experience shows that most self represented consumers (often called “pro per” or “pro se”) don’t end up with a good result when they battle the debt collectors alone.
Arizona Law Requires Judges to Hold You to the Same Standards as a Lawyer
Arizona law allows individuals to represent themselves in court, however judges are required to hold self represented litigants to the same standards as they do attorneys. This means if you are representing yourself it will be assumed by the court that you have educated yourself on the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, the Arizona Rules of Evidence, and any relevant case law.
Most don’t even know where to being to find this information. With that in mind I put together the top 5 online legal resources to help bring you up to speed on the law and procedure as it relates to debt collection cases in Arizona.
#1. Legal Information Institute
The Legal Information Institute (“LII”) is associated with Cornell Law School and is a non-profit that is dedicated to providing open and free access to the law. This is a great resource for researching and learning about the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, the Arizona Rules of Evidence, and even the federal Bankruptcy Code.
#2. Google Scholar
Everyone knows that Google is king when it comes to searching for information on the internet. But many aren’t aware that Google has it’s own database of case law and access to the various Rules of Civil Procedure and Rules of Evidence. The information is not organized in any particular way, however if you know the name of a case, a case citation, or even a general topic you can find relevant case law and statutes through Google Scholar. You can even restrict your searches by state and the type of law.
#3. The Consumer Warrior Project – YouTube Channel
This one is a little self serving because I am the founder of the Consumer Warrior Project – an organization created to help consumers fight back against abusive debt collectors. The YouTube channel the Consumer Warrior Project has dozens of short videos that provide information on topics like debt collection, wage garnishment, bank levy, bankruptcy, defending collection lawsuits from companies like Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery Associates, and many more. Absolutely free access to my thoughts and strategies on defending debt collection lawsuits.
#4. Legal Coaching / Online Tutorials – Arizona Consumer Law Group
Did you know that this website has a library of online tutorials, downloadable forms and templates, and even legal coaching packages that can help you develop a case strategy, understand your legal defenses, and even help you draft documents for the court? Many people are perfectly willing and capable of representing themselves in court they just need a little guidance.
That is why I started offering legal coaching services – I have done more than 350 trials/arbitrations against junk debt buyers, filed more than 1,000 bankruptcy cases, and met with thousands more for debt settlement and debt resolution. Through legal coaching I can put my years of experience to work for you at a fraction of the costs of full representation.
#5. National Consumer Law Center
The National Consumer Law Center is a non-profit that is dedicated to helping low income consumers by providing them with information and resources that will educate consumers about the debt collection and legal process. NCLC’s website is full of great information, resources, and brochures that can assist you in your quest to be debt free.
Even if Your Are Representing Yourself You don’t have to Go It Alone!
The purpose of this posts is help you realize that there are numerous free and paid resources out there to help you in your battle against debt. And even if you can’t afford a lawyer to handle your case there are ways to bring yourself up to speed if you are wiling to put a little sweat equity into your case.
Legal Coaching, Online Tutorials, and Ghost Writing Services
At the Arizona Consumer Law Group we offer one-on-one legal coaching, access to detailed and informative online tutorials, and even ghost writing services where we draft documents on your behalf. If you would like to learn more contact us at (480) 420-4028 or click HERE to learn more.