Borrowers in financial difficulty have been warned to stay away from organisations that claim to give legal advice with no legal training.

The Law Society of Ireland and barristers working in the area of debt have advised borrowers in trouble to stay away from groups that claim to have “a secret formula” for circumventing Irish law based on “false imaginings of what the law might be”.

There has been a growth in groups and organisations aimed at helping people in debt to hold on to their homes or businesses. And while most include legal advice from people with legal training, some claim to be able to circumvent the legal system in Ireland.

Name as trademark Among the philosophies that have sprung up in recent years is that espoused by Freemen on the Land, a movement with origins in America. Freemen believe all statute law is contractual, and only applies if an individual consents to be governed by it. In Ireland, freemen give advice via the website¬†freemanireland.ning.com. Advice includes that in court a person should not obey any orders or follow requests because if they do they have “granted jurisdiction”. They claim their name is a trademark, separate from who they are, a “flesh and blood” person.

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