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Sock it to me!

August 19, 2009 - Michael Palmer
The old adage says, “Don’t talk politics or religion if you don’t want to offend people.” I’m going to take a chance and discuss politics.

The government was divided into three separate branches to provide a system of checks and balances to keep any one branch from becoming too powerful. The executive, the legislative and the judicial. The problem occurs when you elect lawyers as lawmakers and now even the executive is an attorney.

So what is the problem? I think the legal system is out of control. Of course, this is not a sweeping condemnation of all member of the legal profession. There are both good and bad people practicing law, to quote Shakespeare, “even the devil can recite Scripture for his own purpose.”

Lawmakers have legislated themselves into a superior or elite status, where they have better pay, benefits and even answer to a different, more lenient set of rules than the common voters have. Beyond just their health insurance, lifetime retirement plans and benefits, there are other avenues that are open for all of the politicians.

Say your 401K is on life support, what investments are open to you? How about this one: You buy up unpaid loans and credit card debts that have already been written off for tax credit by financial institutions like banks and finance companies for pennies on the dollar. Then you collect on these debts for the entire value plus all accrued interest and get to keep it all, 100 percent.

With so many Americans underwater on their mortgages, behind on car payments and deep in credit card debt, this is no time for the fox to be in charge of the chicken coop. These attorneys can file for a judgment in any court they choose fit. It does not have to be your local court, but you may well be required to show up in person for the hearing. The attorney? No, they will not be there; they can file for and are almost never denied a motion to try the case by telephone. This is NOT an option for you.

Sock it to me, sock it to me, here comes the judge! What if you don’t show? Well, the best-case scenario is that the judge will rule in the favor of the plaintiff and the worst case is a warrant for failure to appear will be issued for your arrest.

Should you survive round one without being jailed, then the fun really begins. The attorneys are allowed to remove any or all of the judgment from your bank accounts. No notice is required to be given and the only saving grace for you may be that the money is social security or disability benefits. All other funds are subject to collection regardless of the unfortunate consequences that this may cause, like having two or three other attorneys standing in line to suck your grocery and gas money out of the bank.

So how do you get to work? Pay for utilities, gas, and food? Not their problem.

What if you don’t have direct deposit or manage to find a way to keep them out of your bank accounts? They will file a new motion to have you appear before them with all of your belongings; cars, real estate and savings or retirement and take whatever they want. The legal system also allows them to take 25 percent of your wages through garnishment. This is done without any calculations to determine what further damage this will do to your credit and regardless of if; this action will cause you to be unable to even afford to get to work.

Sound ridiculous? No, it can happen, even if the debt is from identity theft. The burden of proof is on the victim and the legal system assumes guilt, not innocence in the period between when the collection process begins and when or if you ever manage to get the process stopped.

Therefore, here you are, living paycheck-to-paycheck like most of your fellow working class slobs. Being preyed upon by a multi-million dollar law firm with infinite resources - you try to find a way to fight back. You can hire an attorney. Wait, you just lost one-fourth of the little money you manage to bring home in this economy. Better, take another look at the budget and see which of the items you can cut.

Let us see; will it be our medication or maybe we can put off paying one of the other bills. While the Obama administration bails out insurance and banking firms so their executives can maintain their bonus pay and spa vacation meetings, the rest of us are left to suffer on our own.

This is not the first place you will see these words, the worst is yet to come. You may be just one paycheck away from being caught up in this mess. As more people slip beneath the sea of debt, the suffering will increase and these vultures in their $50,000 luxury cars will continue to get fat off the carnage.


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