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How to counter settlement offer by CACH attorney?


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My spouse is being sued by attornies on behalf of CACH - without going into lengthy particulars, we answered the summons, etc. but we are wanting to settle and they broached the subject by phone yesterday - we have CMC soon and would like to proceed with a settlement asap. The actual debt was $5000 and has ballooned to just over $5700.  They offered a $4300 settlement. The debt is valid and my spouse just wants it OVER...will NOT consider fighting, so we dont even need to go there in this forum at this time. We would like to counter but are unsure of how AND how much to offer?  We do want to get this settled but dont know how to proceed. We are communicating at this point via email as they put a 48 hr. time limit on this first offer.  Your thoughts...advice? Greatly appreciated!

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I appreciate that BrunotheJDBkiller! and if it were solely my decision, we would fight it and may be in that situation in the future on a couple accounts of my own but with this particular debt (solely my spouse's) we are needing to settle as he will not go to court. Debt is valid but I agree they paid so little for it but am not confident about making a counter offer...can someone proffer a sample with wording, suggested amount, etc? Do we point out they paid very little for the debt in the counter offer? Do we expect they will then counter us with something in between the two amounts?  thank you for your assistance!

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CACH will settle for far less than that offer, but not if you have no leverage. I can understand you not wanting to fight them, but, CACH will not need to negotiate with you if you are not willing to fight, and already want to settle. If you won't fight , then bluff, like in  a poker match. If they think you might fight tooth and nail, or can't or won't pay them, even if they get a judgment, then you have some leverage, and they have more of a reason to negotiate. If you call them and tell them to forget the offer, and go to the CMC (which is no big deal) and get a court date, then you can bargain with them. They will settle for 1-2 K, if they think it's going to trial and they need a witness.

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I predict they will not budge much, why would they.  They know you really want to settle and they realize they have you scared of court.  I am no expert by any means but what I have seen on the board is your absolute best settlement opportunity is just before trial.

 

Keep in mind they paid probably paid around $150.00 for this account.  And, by the way, in my view it is not valid because they never loaned you anything.  So keeping that in mind, you’ll need to come up with a number you can live with and that they will accept.  Right now that number is apparently $4,300.00.

 

In any negotiation you loose virtually ALL of your power if you are not willing to walk away, meaning you’re not willing to fight or at least giving them the impression you are willing to fight.  You could always come back at them with a low ball offer with your own deadline and tell them if they do not accept you are going to move the court for arbitration?  Again, I’m no expert but from what I gather, arbitration costs them a boatload of money and they may be willing to take something and go away rather than spend a bunch of money chasing this.

 

Just an idea, your call and good luck,

 

rt

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I understand their mentality.  I guess I should be more clear - spouse WILL NOT go to court.  I was able to convince him to file an answer just to give us some time to get our tax refund :) Its unfortunate, I know.  He is very old fashioned, the debt is valid and is willing to pay whatever is reasonable (what is actually owing) if it means this will go away.  Has no interest in fighting.  He would pay the amount offered today! If I can assist in reducing it by a counter-offer then he will go along with that. I just hate to give them that entire amount if its possible to get them to agree AT THIS POINT to less...not further down the line, as the line needs to stop here :(

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...can someone proffer a sample with wording, suggested amount, etc? Do we point out they paid very little for the debt in the counter offer? Do we expect they will then counter us with something in between the two amounts?  thank you for your assistance!

Dear bottom feeder;

Although I do appreciate your settlement offer on the alleged debt I am currently unable to pay the amount in your settlement offer. I can however at this time pay $1000 dollars to settle the dispute, and avoid the expense of litigation. If this offer is acceptable I am prepared to settle immediately. I it is not acceptable; I will respect the fact that you have filed a lawsuit against me and will defend against it in a court of law..

 

And yes, you can expect them to counter with something in between. They cannot be trusted with payments however. You need 1 lump sum, and get it all in writing BEFORE you pay them. Good Luck.

You don't have to go to court, just appear to be willing to.

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I have a JAMS fee schedule, they get $6,000 per day. CACH has to pay for it, if it is in the cardholder agreement. Would you do this to collect MAYBE 5,000? Neither will they. We need more info, who the original creditor was, when the last time was you paid on the account, etc. For all we know this could be beyond the statute of limitations.

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Thank you Rivertime. I don't think at this point we have led them to believe anything one way or the other as to whether we will settle or not? I simply answered a call from their rep and listened to her proffer and exchanged email addresses, stating that I would like to see that in writing to share with my husband.  With the CMC date approaching and him not wanting to go to court I dont seem many options.

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I understand their mentality.  I guess I should be more clear - spouse WILL NOT go to court. 

 

You could look at it this way: 

 

What was the value of goods actually purchased. What was your credit limit? You know you owe at least that much, right?

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And yes, you can expect them to counter with something in between. They cannot be trusted with payments however. You need 1 lump sum, and get it all in writing BEFORE you pay them. Good Luck.

 

I can’t stress this enough.  Although your spouse is old fashioned and undoubtedly a good person, these slimy bottom feeders are not and they will get money from you and not honor their agreement.  GET EVERYTHING ON LETTERHEAD AND IN WRITING BEFORE YOU GIVE THEN A DIME.

 

Good luck,

 

rt

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I have a JAMS fee schedule, they get $6,000 per day. CACH has to pay for it, if it is in the cardholder agreement. Would you do this to collect MAYBE 5,000? Neither will they. We need more info, who the original creditor was, when the last time was you paid on the account, etc. For all we know this could be beyond the statute of limitations.

OC is Direct Merchants Bank, and last payment was 18 mos ago.  Thank you Anon Amos, the wording is extremely helpful!

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Bruno made a good point regarding JAMS, and the SOL. I am usually not a fan of arbitration, but in your case electing JAMS may end it. A cmc is not at all like being in a trial, I know your husband does not like the idea, but you have to expect some inconvenience, being in a lawsuit. You may even be able to appear at the cmc by phone. Also, CACH is huge for breaking laws, and has no morale compass whatsoever, so I would not feel bad sticking it to them. If you could get your husband to search Youtube for debt collector abuse, he may come around a bit.

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Agreed, Nascar!  That is the way my husband looks at the situation. Almost the "honorable" thing is to pay what you owe.  Unfortunately we were unable to do so at one point and now we are in this mess.  He does not feel he should not pay what he owes, even though its to a JDB...its the principle to him.

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I could be wrong here but I’m not so sure NOT showing up for a CMC is terminal?  Someone else chime in here that actually knows this or not, but you might be able to get away with just filing the CMC statement?  Again, I don’t know this, I’m just guessing.

 

Then you threaten JAMS if its in your cc agreement and voila, you have negotiating power.

 

Just trying to brainstorm here… LOL!

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Bruno made a good point regarding JAMS, and the SOL. I am usually not a fan of arbitration, but in your case electing JAMS may end it. A cmc is not at all like being in a trial, I know your husband does not like the idea, but you have to expect some inconvenience, being in a lawsuit. You may even be able to appear at the cmc by phone. Also, CACH is huge for breaking laws, and has no morale compass whatsoever, so I would not feel bad sticking it to them. If you could get your husband to search Youtube for debt collector abuse, he may come around a bit.

 

It's a non-issue...he will not go to CMC and courtcall is not available to us. HE wouldn't do it anyway.

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I could be wrong here but I’m not so sure NOT showing up for a CMC is terminal?  Someone else chime in here that actually knows this or not, but you might be able to get away with just filing the CMC statement?  Again, I don’t know this, I’m just guessing.

 

Then you threaten JAMS if its in your cc agreement and voila, you have negotiating power.

 

Just trying to brainstorm here… LOL!

Interesting...sure would like to know for sure.  I actually was a courtroom clerk here for a few years.  If I recall when a party did not appear for CMC we set another hearing 30-60 days out with a notice to appear? I have blocked so much of that info out of my mind...super stressful work :(

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It's a non-issue...he will not go to CMC and courtcall is not available to us. HE wouldn't do it anyway.

Understandable. I would then go with the bluff technique and try to get as low of an amount as possible. Maybe you can get an extension on the cmc hearing to buy some time.

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Interesting...sure would like to know for sure.  I actually was a courtroom clerk here for a few years.  If I recall when a party did not appear for CMC we set another hearing 30-60 days out with a notice to appear? I have blocked so much of that info out of my mind...super stressful work :(

I was thinking the same thing. Lawyers miss the cmc hearing all the time. I think it is a bigger deal not filing the cmc statement than it is to just blow off the hearing. The judge will have the statement, and will know what's going on with the case, which is the main purpose in the first place. And the judge knows there is not much going on with the case at this stage. A cmc hearing usually last about 5 minutes, the ones I have seen where no one shows were extended. But like Rivertime said; I don't know either.

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Will do, Anon Amos.  Meanwhile,I have drafted a counter-offer email and have reached out to a couple friends with the court and will let you know what I find out about non-appearance at a CMC but I do believe it will not be a huge detriment, just another delay.  Hopefully when they receive the BOP they will feel we are not going to just roll over...possibly we can meet in the middle moneywise.

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Will do, Anon Amos.  Meanwhile,I have drafted a counter-offer email and have reached out to a couple friends with the court and will let you know what I find out about non-appearance at a CMC but I do believe it will not be a huge detriment, just another delay.  Hopefully when they receive the BOP they will feel we are not going to just roll over...possibly we can meet in the middle moneywise.

Exactly. The BOP will send a good message. I think you would be better off just sending the cmc statement and not showing for the hearing, if the husband is not going to fight it, or maybe an extension. The fact that you have experience with the court (having been a clerk) is going to be very helpful. If you can slow the pace of the case, then you can fight them a bit without going to the court.

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