"Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see." This
judiciously intelligent quote was birthed from the lips of Benjamin Franklin,
who was one of the founding fathers of this great nation. I find it safe
to prophesize that a man who left behind a legacy of scientific and political
achievement would find this quote to be quite appropriate for the modernly
technological times we live in.
The Internet has proven to serve as a mini superhero in our day to day
tasks. She is our personal expert Chef when we are in need of a Cuisine
Recipe and can provide directions anywhere imaginable while giving you
useful information on the weather, estimated time of travel, and traffic
while factoring on if you are travelling by car, bus, or foot. However,
as much of an incredible and dependent component it has become, it can
be just as dangerous. For example the Internet could create financial
misfortune, if you were to choose the tech route to taking on plumbing
issues on your own instead of hiring a certified plumber to do the job.
Or could be life threatening if you turn to Google in order to diagnose
your family instead of going to see a Physician. "Believe none of
what you hear and half of what you see."
Although it may not be as apparent, but the same concept applies when you're
dealing with matters revolving around your home, more specifically foreclosure.
Don't go pro se, get an Attorney! Pro se Litigants are known as parties
representing themselves in court without the assistance of an attorney.
"Pro se" is Latin for "in one's own behalf." The
majority of pro se litigants who try to tackle these foreclosure lawsuits
on their own, almost always end up seeking the assistance of an attorney.
Often times, this happens when it is too late.
To be honest, there is a lot of beneficial information online, but probably
twice as much useless information that create a blur to the reality of
one's situation. Just because one homeowner was able to go against
JP Morgan Chase and gain a successful outcome, does not mean the same
will happen for you. Just because you bank with Bank of America and they
lost a huge lawsuit against a pair of homeowners in 2008 does not mean
your case will share the same positive conclusion. "Believe none
of what you hear and half of what you see."
Often times, I meet clients who have drafted pleadings from samples provided
by the internet. Unless it was a sample of an answer which was timely
filed, it doesn't really make a big difference in your case. Also,
do not believe that all judges will treat pro se litigants more fairly
than an attorney; HUGE MISCONCEPTION in foreclosure court! If you cannot
afford an attorney, go to Legal Aid for assistance for free. If not, "Believe
none of what you hear and half of what you see."
You may be thinking to yourselves that it's some sort of conspiracy
for one attorney to advise hiring another about any legal matter. However,
if I am unfamiliar with a certain area of law, I would hire an attorney
who specializes in that field. Think of it as a Podiatrist trying to perform
his own stitches on his stomach; seek professional help!
Remember, although Google may be helpful for looking up all kinds of information
you need clarity on, please keep the whispers of Benjamin Franklin on
replay close to your ear; "Believe none of what you hear and half
of what you see."
At the corner of pro se and search,
Sonja-Lucienne Cajuste, Esq.