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Help! so Confused.

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Due to a layoff I had an account charged off in Dec of 06. Not knowing, I made a payment of $150.00 to get caught up. Anyway, I tried to call immediately to make payment arrangemnts, but they were unreasonalbe and then I got laid off again (I am a contractor) a couple of months later. I am in the process of disputing items on my credit report and received an alert that a Judgemnt had been placed on my report. I have never been served and when I received a copy of my Equifax report it wasn't on there so didn't think it had been put on there, but come to find out it's on my Experian. Its not in the public records yet.


1) I wrote a letter before realizing the Judgment was actually on there asking to settle for less then half the balance b/c I'm willing to pay half the balance - No responce to that yet.

2) Can you negoitate a settlement on a Judgement for less then the balance???? I don't want to go to court - b/c I owe this charge, but don't feel after paying in good faith for 7 years it should be the full amount.

3) IF I do have to go to court and get what my reading about here (a vacate of the Judgement) what does that mean? If I lose in court - what does that mean? Do they want the full balance immediately after they win??? I owe $8,000.00 and have been paying since 2000 until I got behind and it was charged off.

Also, I received a letter from a collection Agency and now a lawyer with that collection agency so who do I deal with? SUpposedly the orignal creditor put the judgement on my credit so why did they sell it to a collection agency??? Who should I contact for payment arrangements or settlement.

HELP!!! Obviously I've never been in this situation before. Do I need an Attorney to help me negotiate a settlement?

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