I recently finished reading Nick Freeman’s The Art Of The Loophole, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! “Hooray” to Angela Epstein who was the ghost writer of the book (it scares me when I mention writers by name, as I think one day they may read my words and wonder about my education, or lack of), it is written in such a way that we can all understand what is normally cloaked in legal jargon.
Why do I recommend The Art of the Loophole?
Personally I think this book is a must read for everyone. Throughout our lives we will all face circumstances where we require the services of a solicitor, or through lack of funds we have to defend our selves. Besides being an enjoyable read, it also gives you an insight of not only some of the workings of the law, but also what to expect from a solicitor. This should also be one of the first books that student should read if they are going on to study law.
I would like to think that if anyone employs a solicitor, they are actually getting real value for money. Reading this book will give you an insight of what your solicitor should be doing for you. It might also be worth asking your solicitor if he has read the book?
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Debt and The Art of the Loophole
OK most people reading this article will be in debt and therefore also be saying “how the hell can I afford a lawyer?” The book itself concentrates mainly on Traffic offence, such as drink driving etc. So what is the point of reading this book? Well, the thing the crops up again and again is procedure. Constantly Nick is looking to see if the correct procedure has been followed by the prosecution. If it has not, then this is something that he uses to his/clients benefit.
For those who have ended up in court because a creditor has issued a County Court Judgment (CCJ); you can also be certain that a creditor will often follow this up with a charging order, so as to secure an unsecured loan on your property. Court can be a rather scary place to be. Also as a debtor you feel as though you are not on a level playing field when in the court. There is poor old you, a lawyer acting on behalf of the claimant/creditor and the Judge. The Judge and the claimant speak another language, and you feel that you are feebly putting your case to them.
Debt and Your Defence
From the insight the book has to offer, I get the feeling that procedure and presentation will weigh greater in your favour, than just you telling them the facts relating to your debt.
What I often find frustrating is that it seems to me that when a case gets to court, it is a bit of pot luck if the Judge rules in favour of the defendant (most cases go in favour of the claimant). It often seem that the defendant can turn up at court with lots of evidence that they have collected, but the judge often only seems to care if a debt is owed?? Sometimes it seems that any evidence supplied by the defendant is only briefly acknowledged. The system seems to be so biased towards the creditor!
This got me thinking and also trying to find a solution as to how any defence could be better presented. If you turn up in court and just present the evidence that you have collected are you doing your case any good? Would it be better to include evidence that you have gathered, using court documents and procedures? Maybe doing this carries more weight? I am sure that a Judge sees it day in a day out people using every excuse to wriggle completely out of their obligations i.e. trying to pull a fast one. However, if you are trying to get the Judge to view a case and actually take all the evidence into account, maybe Procedure plays a very important part.
Lets say you contacted the creditors with a SAR’s (Subject Access Request) and as a result got very little back that can be used as evidence. So you say to the Judge, that you did request from the creditors items 1-8, but only got back items 5&6. The creditor could then say, “we never received that request”. If however, you were to use the courts to request this information (therefore, you, the Court and the creditors have a copy of this request), would this give your case a boost?
Creditors and Debtors
Creditors have a massive advantage, they have money and legal clout! Debtors, can not afford to take on the creditors, but wouldn’t it be nice to have the tools to at least give the creditor a headache?
If as a debtor you have had success through the courts, then please do write to me and tell me. I will then be able to publish this for others to read and act upon.
Finally: Nick Freeman, should you ever read this, excellent book! I would love to one day have a chat and quiz you on the subject of a better defence for for the poor debtor.
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