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Settling judgement with Midland or...... ??


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A few years back I lost a case to Midland Funding in Wisconsin.  Between $6k and $7k when all was said and done.  I fought it.  They were represented competently by Kohn and I consulted the resources of this board to attempt to defend myself.  The court immediately sided with them and the judge ruled in their favor.  I don't believe I have any grounds to appeal or have it excused.

 

They tried to garnish my wages.  They tried to seize funds from my bank account.  I fought it.  I won.  They have not collected a dime.  It has been 3 years since they won this judgement and they have not contacted me or attempted to collect.

 

The state of Wisconsin did place a lien against my property, though.  

 

Since then, my credit has rebounded.  My income has increased.  Financially, I'm in a good place with no consumer debt, no auto loan, no outstanding obligations outside of a mortgage.  And I would like to refinance.  But.... this pesky lien is in the way.  I'm willing to pay them to make it go away.  But I expect a substantial discount, of course.

 

I am hesitant to reach out to Midland as I wonder if I'll wake a sleeping giant and they'll try to seize funds from my bank account or attempt to garnish my wages again.  I feel like I've slipped through the cracks and poking them in the eye with a stick might be stupid.  What would you do if you were me?

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I doubt you will get much of a discount with this being only 3 years old and the judgement is good for 20 years. I figure you will also wake up the hornets nest if you do try to offer a settlement and they will indeed start garnishment and/or seize bank account.

Also, if the judgement was made before Dec 1 2011, the interest rate on the judgement is 12%. After 2001, it is 4.25% and can change with the federal reserve rate. This means that the debt is now well over $7k and could be as much as $9k. I am also doubting that they will accept the original judgement without the interest.

If you have equity in your home, you could consider paying this off in the refinance. That is legal and would certainly work if you will get the refinance savings of more than the closing costs and the judgement. That is one option.

Another option is to simply not refinance. This would keep things the way they are but you are risking someone at Midland going over the books, realizing that they have this judgement (or it being sold on to someone else), and suddenly grabbing a bank account or garnishing your wages. You probably had exemptions available to you when they originally did this that are not available.

The final option would be to pay this off in full (if you cannot get a settlement). I know that is not palatable to many members on this board but sometimes you just have to grin and bare it and this might be one of those times. This might be a good idea if the refinance can be done and you will save more in the long run and you will not have to worry about them grabbing funds suddenly.

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I think Wisconsin has something called Chapter 128 where you can slowly pay off a judgment.  I don't know how that would impact a judgment lien, and your ability to refinance, or if you can use it this long after the judgment was awarded.  But it's something you might look into.

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I agree with Whocares, I would not awaken the sleeping dogs, yet move to protect my money from being garnished. Lay low, ride it out.

 

This is what I've been doing for the past year. Laying low.  I'm probably looking at 25-35k in savings over the life of the loan so it makes sense to try and do something.  Unfortunately, I probably cannot borrow additional money to repay the judgement (FHA refinancing will not let you take cash out during the process.)  And there's also something about giving these bastards anything close to the judgement just because they are such incredible dirtbags......

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If you want to awaken them I guess you could use the approach of you're broke but have a relative willing to lend you funds to pay this off so you keep it all third party, must run everything past Uncle Fester under terms he's comfortable with. Fester's not big on 1099s from a JDB.

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Yes, but that is a refinance that includes an appraisal and credit pull.  I was hoping to refinance under the streamline program which would get me out of those two requirements but not allow any cash out.

 

It does look like there's a way for FHA to refinance with a lien, but the second lien would need to subordinate.  I'm not sure if Midland would agree to this, and again.... I'm sure it would put their wheels in motion on collection.

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