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Gemini 5

Have payment arrangement, now being sued

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I made payment arrangements with a law firm back in October, 2014. They have since disbanded and are seeking payment in full. I have made all my payments according to the payment plan, they have cashed my checks & are still continuing to cash my checks. They have now filed a lawsuit demanding payment in full. I need to file my answer. I am not denying the debit. However, I am denying paying it in full since I have a payment arrangement prior to this. What do I use for my defense in my answer to the lawsuit?

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42 minutes ago, Gemini 5 said:

What do I use for my defense in my answer to the lawsuit?

Breach of contract.  They entered into an agreement and their business dysfunction doesn't give them the right to breach the written agreement.  Go to NACA Attorney and get a free initial consultation with a consumer lawyer.  My personal opinion is this lawyer/firm who filed also violated the FDCPA by misrepresenting the amount of the debt to the court by suing for the entire amount and not crediting 2 years worth of payments.

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The big question is do you have that agreement in writing?  If you do, it will be a big help.  If you do not, you should still seek an attorney consultation, they might still have some way to help.  It would also help us if you could clarify some details, such as what exactly they claimed in their complaint.

15 minutes ago, Clydesmom said:

Breach of contract.  They entered into an agreement and their business dysfunction doesn't give them the right to breach the written agreement.  

You are assuming that there is a written agreement.  If this was done over the phone, for example, then the law firm did not breach any written agreement because there would have been no written agreement.  We cannot assume things like this, it's too big of a difference between written vs. verbal only.

16 minutes ago, Clydesmom said:

My personal opinion is this lawyer/firm who filed also violated the FDCPA by misrepresenting the amount of the debt to the court by suing for the entire amount and not crediting 2 years worth of payments.

You are assuming that the lawsuit seeks the full balance as though nothing has been credited.  The OP did not say that.  He only said that they are seeking payment in full.  That does not mean that they didn't credit 2 years worth of payments.  It simply means that they are seeking a court order against the OP to enforce the full amount of the original debt.  Nothing that the OP told us mentions that they are not giving credit for the payments he already made.  If the original amount was $5000 and they agreed to settle for $3000, this only means that they are now seeking the full $5000 in total.  It does not mean that they actually sued him and stated in the complaint that he owes them $5000 and has not paid a dime.  They could have just as easily said that the original amount was $xxxx, and defendant has already made payments totaling $xxxx, which leaves $xxxx still owed and outstanding.  You cannot assume your way through these situations, there are too many variables that were not stated in the OP's post. 

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They are not suing for the entire amount, only amount owed to date. There was not an agreement made in writing. But doesn't them cashing my checks and accepting payment a type of accepting of terms?

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@Gemini 5

What was the reason for the payment arrangement?   Is there a judgement against you?   Was this a stipulated judgment in which they agreed not to enter a judgment as long as you paid the original full amount? 

With nothing in writing, the only "terms" are that you owe money and are making payments. 

 

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This is why it is not good to do payments in a situation like this and to get any agreements in writing. Without the written agreement, you really have nothing to go on.

The truth is, they can sue you for what it left and are willing to so because they figure they can get their money faster though attaching your paycheck and bank accounts rather than wait for you to make payments. If you had a written agreement with the new payments, you might have been able to starve this off. Without that, you are not at the will of the new creditor.

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