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SeattleSlew

Should I pay this judgment in full or try to settle?

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Hello,

 

I'm new to this forum but I'm very impressed how helpful everyone is.  I'm hoping I can get some advice from some of the experts here.

 

As a real estate agent, I ran into trouble in 2008-2009 and had to give up paying on some credit cards to take care of other family needs. 

 

One of those credit cards, a Disover Card, got a summary judgment against me on 7/6/11 for the principal of $9165.78 as well as the filing fee of $230, the service of process for $79.50, the ex-parte of $30 and the attorney's fee of $500 for a total of $10,005.28 and interest accrueing at 12% per annum.  They were represented by Krista L. White and Associates in Snohomish County, WA.

 

Though I was served papers, I was ignorant to the process and didn't attend the hearing.  

 

In 2010, they totally cleaned out our main bank account of nearly $1000 which I believe is illegal.  I don't think they can take everything out of your bank account.  Then, last year they tried to garnish my wages, which they did for a month, before my employer figured out the can't garnish wages for independant contractors.

 

Now, they've put a judgment lien on a rental property that I own and would like to refinance.  The lender won't refinance the property with the lien on it.  I would also like to buy a home in the next couple years, and I don't think I'll be able to with the judgment.

 

A couple months ago, I received a letter from Suttell, Hammer, & White in Bellevue, WA saying that Discover Bank has now retained their firm to collect the debt owed.

 

So, is Discover Card still involved or do the attorneys now call all the shots?  My question is, would Suttell, Hammer, and White ever consider a settlement offer in a case like this or will they always hold out for the full amount? 

 

I also have MCM coming after me for a $22,500 Juniper credit card debt where they're offering me 70% off if I pay that amount right away.  Just from reading the forums, I don't think I'll go for that at this point.

 

Thank you in advance.

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It sounds like Discover still owns the one debt if Suttell listed them as its client.  Suttell is a mass-lawsuit-producing debt collector law firm in WA. I believe they would always settle for lower with a promised lump sum. -they would fare better with money now, then later on your rental when you sell some day... You would need to be well calculated and find some angle against them to get them to agree.  Have you even seen the lawsuit they filed and got a judgment on? Was it a default judgment, i.e. you did not Answer, so they won?

 

I would propose that you read up as much as you can about Suttell -also I think used to be called hammer & hammer or something.  Google them every which way to Sunday, and read case law. They are problematic in their ways, yet not held accountable too often.  Read what others have said in dealings with them -do the research to find your advantage, then prepare a scheme to beat them down with a well thought out plan over time, and not just one call of demands. treat it like a business deal. Develop relationships. Get a plan and execute it very carefully. There's always an angle, you just have to find it. Dig deep. Find their "currency' and use it to your advantage. You can also negotiate terms in a lump settlement that they delete tradelines, no 1099-C, etc.

 

I really do not respect "law firms" like Suttell...When I was at the courthouse recently doing my own case research, there was some rent a lawyer at the clerk's window filing LITERALLY a 5 inch stack of motions for default judgment. But alas, he was so nice, and let me go ahead of him -I was just dropping off my pleading in my case. What a sweetheart he was. Yuck.

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It sounds like Discover still owns the one debt if Suttell listed them as its client. Suttell is a mass-lawsuit-producing debt collector law firm in WA. I believe they would always settle for lower with a promised lump sum. -they would fare better with money now, then later on your rental when you sell some day... You would need to be well calculated and find some angle against them to get them to agree. Have you even seen the lawsuit they filed and got a judgment on? Was it a default judgment, i.e. you did not Answer, so they won?

I would propose that you read up as much as you can about Suttell -also I think used to be called hammer & hammer or something. Google them every which way to Sunday, and read case law. They are problematic in their ways, yet not held accountable too often. Read what others have said in dealings with them -do the research to find your advantage, then prepare a scheme to beat them down with a well thought out plan over time, and not just one call of demands. treat it like a business deal. Develop relationships. Get a plan and execute it very carefully. There's always an angle, you just have to find it. Dig deep. Find their "currency' and use it to your advantage. You can also negotiate terms in a lump settlement that they delete tradelines, no 1099-C, etc.

I really do not respect "law firms" like Suttell...When I was at the courthouse recently doing my own case research, there was some rent a lawyer at the clerk's window filing LITERALLY a 5 inch stack of motions for default judgment. But alas, he was so nice, and let me go ahead of him -I was just dropping off my pleading in my case. What a sweetheart he was. Yuck.

@WhipItGood @SeattleSlew

The law-firm is "Suttell,Hammer&White, APC in WA,98009.

They are no different than most JDB (researched about them), fight smart and never missed your date line.

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In 2010, they totally cleaned out our main bank account of nearly $1000 which I believe is illegal.  I don't think they can take everything out of your bank account.  

 

Levying a bank account is VERY much legal and they can do it.  They can take out the entire amount of the judgment if there is sufficient funds in the account.  If there are not funds in the amount of the judgment they can empty the account as you have found out.

 

The only time they cannot do a bank levy is if the funds in the account are from an exempt source such as social security, disability, or a pension.

 

So, is Discover Card still involved or do the attorneys now call all the shots?  My question is, would Suttell, Hammer, and White ever consider a settlement offer in a case like this or will they always hold out for the full amount? 

 

Yes, Discover still owns the judgment they have merely retained a law firm to collect.  You have nothing to lose by making a settlement offer.  They will either accept it, reject it, or make a counter offer.

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@SeattleSlew

 

I also have MCM coming after me for a $22,500 Juniper credit card debt where they're offering me 70% off if I pay that amount right away.  Just from reading the forums, I don't think I'll go for that at this point.

 

 

What do you mean by "coming after" you?   What is the date you made the last payment on that account?

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Levying a bank account is VERY much legal and they can do it.  They can take out the entire amount of the judgment if there is sufficient funds in the account.  If there are not funds in the amount of the judgment they can empty the account as you have found out.

 

The only time they cannot do a bank levy is if the funds in the account are from an exempt source such as social security, disability, or a pension.

 

$500 in bank accounts is exempt in WA, if one claims that on a special form, which they are supposed to send to the garnishee, after they got a judgment

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