Self Help Legal Information
If you are being harrassed by debt collectors, you should consider taking one or more of the eight steps in this brochure. Also in Spanish/Español (You must have a PDF reader on your computer to open this document. To get Adobe’s PDF Reader, click on the Get Adobe Reader icon to download.)
If you owe money to a person or business and cannot pay, they will try to collect. If a creditor sues you and gets a court judgment, the creditor may have the right to execute against your property. This document explains how a creditor does this and what you can do to protect your property.
If you use credit cards, owe money on a personal loan or are paying on a home mortgage, you are a "debtor." If you fall behind in making payments, a "debt collector" may call or write to you. Federal law says debt collectors must treat you fairly. This document explains how you are protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
This fact sheet provides a summary of your rights when dealing with debt collectors and some guidelines for determining what debts should be given priority in a financial crisis. Even when you do not have the money to pay your bills, you do not have to be subjected to collector pressure tactics.
Should you be getting child support? Do you qualify for food stamps? Can your children get free or low-cost health insurance? Can you get a lower telephone bill? Do you need help filing your income taxes? Read this for information about 10 often-overlooked benefits available to many low-income people.
PS-19: Do NOT use this form for Evictions OR Divorces. If you are being sued, a Plaintiff listed you in the Complaint. If you disagree with the Plaintiff's claims, you MUST fill out and deliver this Answer by the deadline. You must also tell the court how you want to handle the case. Please read the form for more information.