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My wife was given a summons in my name today after saying yes she was my wife.  I just now get it and find I have to be in Court on April 1st 8am.  I know of the debt and want to pay it but couldn't pay till yesterday. Can I settle at a pretrial conference? or can I settle this before that.?  I really don't want to pay more than my debt.

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When you show up for court, the Plaintiff's attorney will probably be in the hallway outside of the courtroom offering a discount to settle. You can settle at any time. Just be on the lookout for additions such as their atty fees and them filing a 1099C with the IRS. You can negotiate.

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I settled with an original creditior the night before court for 50% of the debt.  You might call them beforehand and offer half of the debt, they will counter you.  When they ask where you are going to get the money to pay that 50% you can say you will be borrowing it from a family member, you don't want them to know you have that stashed away, or they may want way more.

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"borrowing it from a family member"

a demanding one who won't give it to me knowing you'll be filing a 1099 C and I'll have to borrow from him again for the tax bill.

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