Again, you don't know the details of the hardship program and how it works while I do. I've done the math here, you have not and it seems that you want to argue to no end.
Let me remind you that even a bad defense is better than none and if one is smart, can use it to delay and frustrate. It's a strategy, hence the name of the post.
I owe about ~$7500 to Chase. It’s been about 18 months since I last paid them. They are now sending me settlement letters they’re offering to settle for ~$2500. So I would be settling for about 33% of the amount owed. In your collective experience, does Chase go for less than this? Should I negotiate them down, wait for more letters...what do you guys think?
If they refuse to sign, you will get the letter back and when discovery happens, you can present that to the judge who would not be happy.
You need proof that they received it. Otherwise they will say that they did not receive it and you will have no real tangible proof otherwise.
And if they say not on time, simply file your answer and renegotiate on the courthouse steps with a real lawyer rather than a debt collector claiming to be a paralegal. You can settle a debt anytime before the judge says "I have reached a decision."
OK, to take this a point further, if a creditor really wanted to mitigate damages, they would have taken you to court the day after you defaulted. Certainly the courts will not entertain that because they would become so clogged that no one will get their case heard.
Also, to counter your point, all they would have to show the judge is that putting you into such a hardship program would cause more damage than simply following the current path. Remember that they have Mathematicians and Computer Programmers on staff who can probably put in the parameters of your case and see what the best outcome would be. Would not be surprised if they did that when you applied for the hardship program and simply show the evidence to the judge. Especially in a creditor friendly state such as Georgia.
And you can take it out of Magistrates Court in the end anyways. It is called appeal to either the State or Supreme Court where you get a Trial De Novo which means new trial.