As a practicing lawyer representing plaintiffs and debt collection defendants, I read with amusement your “Access to justice»Editorial of December 29. The most likely reason for 98 percent of collection cases that do not have a lawyer representing the defendant is that the money is owed.
Rule 11 of the Rules of Civil Procedure governs both parties and lawyers. The rule prohibits parties or their lawyers from filing unfounded pleadings. No moral or ethical lawyer should file a response contesting a debt that is rightly owed. This would expose the defendant client not only to the initial debt, but also to an increase in the opposing party’s attorney fees, as well as attorney fees for their own attorney.
The 65% that is by default (your number) are smarter than what you assign to them. They don’t want to file a bogus response by submitting to additional attorney fees or possible penalties from the court. Rule 73 of the same rules has a sliding scale of fees approved by our Supreme Court when there is a default (the defendant does not respond). The scale starts at $ 250 for cases up to $ 1,500 and tops out at $ 775 for cases over $ 4,500.01.
If you rob a bank and take money that does not belong to you, you risk a heavy prison sentence. You can, however, borrow money or contract a debt that you have no intention of repaying and at worst, a judgment will be pronounced against you.
Perhaps the real crisis is not the problem of access to justice alleged in your editorial, but a failure on the part of debtors to pay their just debts when they fall due or sincerely try to settle them. things with the person / entity to whom they owe money previously. it goes to court.
James T. Dunn, Southern Jordan