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EdRooney

Debt Settlement Before Trial

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Not sure if I should post this here or in the legal area, but here goes.  I've been sued by CACH, LLC via a California law firm for a cc debt.  I have gone through the legal back-and-forth as suggested in the forum posts in that area.  Trial date is within a few months.  I'm afraid a judgement, in case I lose, would make my credit score take a hit after just starting to recover.  The amount is a little less than $5,000.  Anyone have an idea of the success rate of settling this close to trial? 

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@EdRooney

 

Yes, it is possible to settle before a trial.  If a judgment was awarded against you, you're credit score would only be affected if the judgment was noted on your credit report.    However, don't give up yet.

 

Please copy and answer to this thread the questions in the following link.

 

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/community/topic/242744-qs-to-answer-when-posting-in-this-forum-please-read/

 

Then provide as much information as you can to inform CA posters of what has taken place so far.

 

@calawyer  @Anon Amos  @RyanEX

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California has good codes/laws for us consumers when it comes to cc lawsuits. Definitely don't give up. Post up answers to the questions BV80 linked and we'll help you out.

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Agreed. Success is not usually a result of giving up.

If someone must settle however, the closer to trial the better.

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I appreciate the help and words of encouragement.  The case is actually against my spouse, and he/she has NO desire to go into the court room for this, just wants to make it go away.  The fact that this is in the public record is bad enough.  I was taking this down to the wire hoping for the law firm to lose interest or decide it wasn't worth the effort, or possibly make some mistake alone the way.  They are not asking for legal fees in addition to the amount owed so any monetary output in that department is money lost for the plaintiff.

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JDBs will not give up at this point in the game. When a defendant does the right things and a JDB knows they are beat, they will still bluff you to the very end, even up until the morning of trial. Nothing critical has taken place in your case up to this point, so your spouse really don't have any leverage and will get the worst deal CACH cares to offer. If the amount is $5,000, then you're looking at a few thousand to pay them off in a lump sum, or the full $5K if you spread it out in payments.

 

The critical things start taking place about 45 days before trial, up to about five or 10 days before trial. If your spouse truly doesn't want to risk going into a courtroom I'd still advise doing everything you should until that point and then get your deal. When the defendant does fight properly, the earliest I have read a JDB give up & dismiss is about a week before trial, but usually it's the morning of trial.

 

That's how it worked in my case. At trial call their rent a lawyer called me over and asked if I was interested in settling and for how much. I told her I wasn't interested. She came back and told me that Midland was willing do a mutual dismissal if I signed some paperwork that promised not to go after them in the future. I've read this same thing in other threads as of recent. Anyhow, I declined. She requested dismissal 10 minutes later.

 

I now have a judgment against them for my filing fees and process server fee.

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The problem is, the creditors use fear to try and scare you into paying. They prey on the weak and the timid that don't want to fight or go to court, when in most cases they can fight them and win. We have had many people on here afraid to fight yet did so and won. Don't be one of the few that are scared off and end up paying, or paying more than they should have. Your choice.

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Trial date is a week away.  I'm thinking of sending them a letter with 1/2 the amount due and stating that if the check is accepted and cashed they will be accepting the terms of the agreement which are that the debt will be listed as 'paid in full'.  Any other suggestions as to what I should put on the settlement agreement?

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Trial date is a week away.  I'm thinking of sending them a letter with 1/2 the amount due and stating that if the check is accepted and cashed they will be accepting the terms of the agreement which are that the debt will be listed as 'paid in full'.  Any other suggestions as to what I should put on the settlement agreement?

 

Your conditional endorsement "cash this check and you accept the terms" won't hold up in court.  Get a signed settlement agreement from them and then pay otherwise all you have done is hand over free money to them and reset the SOL for collections.

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Your conditional endorsement "cash this check and you accept the terms" won't hold up in court.  Get a signed settlement agreement from them and then pay otherwise all you have done is hand over free money to them and reset the SOL for collections.

 

Up to this point all correspondence has been done using mail or FedEx and proof-of-service with court-friendly document paper.  If I just fax a settlement agreement letter will that breach some kind judicial etiquette?  I'm running out of time.

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The courts prefer you settle your differences on your own, out of court. You aren't going to break any judicial etiquette by trying to reach a settlement by fax or any other means. That's a better idea then sending them a check.

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 So when I came home today I found a letter with an offer of 60% of the outstanding balance in a lump sum to settle the debt.  Should I counter and if so what is a good target percentage?  Also,  is there anything else I should I ask for?

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Tell them the best you can do is 45% and you would also like a paid for delete. Doubt that you will get it and also request that they not sell the balance to another JDB. You can not hope for a non 1099-C in this as they would be violating the law that the IRS has that says "any amount over $600.00" MUST be reported. If they don't send one, they are in violation and the IRS will eventually find out. They say that you know you owe it and if you don't receive a 1099, you ARE to estimate the amount and pay it. READ the IRS rules and laws regarding reporting.

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Tell them the best you can do is 45% and you would also like a paid for delete. Doubt that you will get it and also request that they not sell the balance to another JDB. You can not hope for a non 1099-C in this as they would be violating the law that the IRS has that says "any amount over $600.00" MUST be reported. If they don't send one, they are in violation and the IRS will eventually find out. They say that you know you owe it and if you don't receive a 1099, you ARE to estimate the amount and pay it. READ the IRS rules and laws regarding reporting.

 

 

The time frame they gave me to accept the offer is after the trial date.  If I accept it the day before the trial, would I still need to go to the trial?  If I get a judgement against me and I pay off the account within a month will the judgement still show on my credit report?

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YES! You will still need to go to court and fight this no matter what! Failure to show is an automatic default. It will probably still show up on your CR.

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YES! You will still need to go to court and fight this no matter what! Failure to show is an automatic default. It will probably still show up on your CR.

 

Wow, I was really hoping to avoid the actual trial.  Any idea how it will go?  Can a spouse represent me (or do the talking)?  If I agree to terms before the trial will the judge just postpone the judgment for 30 days or so?

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NO! A spouse can not represent you. Even if you are told that you don't have to appear in court, you MAKE sure that you go at the appointed time. Failure to do so is when the creditors will do their worst. Just make sure you attend.

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If you reach a settlement then there won't be a trial or judgement.

If you reach an agreement and they say they will dismiss; you may have to show up on trial day just in case they really don't dismiss (unless you see on court docket that it is in fact dismissed).

Your husband will not be allowed to represent you.

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