I often hear people say, well this is easy for you, there’s no way I can hack-debt.
Listen, I know how that feels and I was there, until I began to see the vastness of the scam that these corporations are getting away with; When I realized how many violations they had gotten away with; That, I was too late to the game to sue for, I got pissed off. I assure you, if nothing else but rabid anger at a system gone mad is not enough to propel you into action, then the gratification of seeing the first check will.
I was nervous and unsure during my first debt-hack.
Seriously it was bad times, I was facing my lights being turned off, my gas had already been cut off. Luckily, it was a hot Chicago summer, so the ice cold showers didn’t entirely suck. (But you know they did.) I was scrounging for cigarette butts and rolling tiny pinner cigarettes out of the shake. Even though every cent I had went to feed that big grey cat, the cat was pretty pissed. Those was some tough days. The cable had been cut the month before. I was “borrowing” internet from a neighbor. I had nothing!
I had been researching this concept within with the Fair Credit Reporting Act at the time.
And while I had been researching that violation for months, I couldn’t stomach the thought of filing the case. What if I was wrong? What if what I was doing was illegal somehow? What if the lawyers counter-sued me? What if the court sanctioned me? What if I spent my last money on the train fare to downtown Chicago for nothing? What if it took months or years? What if I was just going to get my ass handed to me by some sharp-tongued, shark-skin suited attorney? I really had no Idea what to expect. And I feared the worst!
But my back was against the wall. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
So, I took the plunge and filed. Looking at those papers now, I laugh because there a million things I got wrong. They were served with the lawsuit. And after a few phone calls with their attorney the attorney, who never even mentioned the glaring errors, he offered to pay me $500.00! Now that might sound like nothing. But if you can imagine my situation at the time, this was everything!!
Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to negotiate.
I didn’t know anything except some general terms and what I had filed. And that filing was laughable. But passable. I didn’t have a winner to hold my hand and show me the way. I had to figure this out all on my own.
Well, I took the money.
I know now what that case was really worth and I cringe and laugh, then cry a little, then cringe at the fact that I am cringing, laughing and crying. (Yeah it gets nuts here) . But at that time after a week or two that check showed up. It wasn’t much. But it paid some bills. Kept the lights on. Fed the cats Bought some cigarettes. And some beers.
While that case didn’t solve everything, what that case did do was prove to me that this isn’t a hoax.
That this is real. That filing a legitimate lawsuit means something. Even when it wasn’t perfect, it meant that they were going to have to defend it. And while they took advantage of my naiveté in that case, the lesson I learned was that I could do this. That with an investment of time, and energy, a bit of money and a commitment to learning, with a dash of patience, I learned that THIS IS DOABLE.
it was obviously going to be unfamiliar at first. Obviously, lawyers would be more learn-ed.
But filing a case means something. It means I am serious. And so, they will take it seriously. This is a far cry from calling in and threatening to sue, when talking to a call center. When I filed and served them people were mobilized. Lawyers were retained. Defenses examined. Insurance companies initiated. Papers were being drafted. People were being interviewed. Evidence was being culled. My little piece of paper, once filed, meant that they had to prepare to defend. And in that case, it was a lot easier to pay me $500.00 to go away than it was to spend $30,000.00 on a federal lawsuit and risk the chance of paying me much more. I never forgot that lesson, obviously.
It’s OK to fear all these concepts at first.
That is normal. The failure or success comes from what is done in the face of that fear. But just as in my first case, there are vast rewards even in the losses.