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Yort

Are judgements for the full amounts?

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Long story short, I am being sued for a Capital One debt of $7200 by the Illinois law firm Blitt and Gaines. I called them and offered to pay $2000 to settle. I explained that I was layed off last year and have several other creditors that I owe money and I am considering filing for bankruptcy if I can't negotiate settlements. They refused the offer and said 'see you in court'.

My court date is next week, should I ask for a trial or a judgement? If I concede the debt will a judgement be for the full amount of $7200 or is it up to the judges discretion?

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3 hours ago, Yort said:

If I concede the debt will a judgement be for the full amount of $7200 or is it up to the judges discretion?

If you mean does the judge have the discretion to award them $2000 because you are unable to pay the answer is no.  If they are unable to prove the amount of the debt the judge can lower the amount to what they can prove.  That rarely happens with an original creditor.  Capital One will have all their own records to prove the amount of $7200.

3 hours ago, Yort said:

I am considering filing for bankruptcy if I can't negotiate settlements.

Most BK attorneys will do a consult for free. You can probably even get one for tomorrow.  If you can't get at least one before the trial date ask for a continuance then consult a few.  They can advise you based on your circumstances what the best course of action is.

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Capital one will ask for a judgment in the full amount of the debt plus legal fees, court costs and post-judgment interest that will continue to accrue until the judgment is satisfied. Unless you successfully defend this case (i.e. sol, id theft, etc.) the court will issue judgment for the full amount. "I can't pay" isn't a defense. 

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Thank you for your replies.

One more question, is it possible to still negotiate with Capital One?

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It's always possible. Even after they get a judgment, they'll negotiate. It just won't be a very good deal for you at that time.  The sooner you can come to an agreement, the better deal you'll get. In the simplest terms, they are going to want to recover any money they spend obtaining a judgment. Generally, the less you make them spend, the more you can save yourself.

Keep in mind, you're dealing with the original creditor here, and Cap 1 is one of the more hardline of the bunch. Your best window of opportunity to work out a favorable settlement was before you got sued. They will absolutely allow you to enter info a payment agreement with them, but one of the conditions will be requiring a stipulated judgment. This means if you miss a payment, they effectively have a default judgment and can get a court order to levy your bank accounts and put liens on your personal property (cars, houses, etc.). Technically they could go so far as to seize your property, but i haven't heard of a judgment creditor doing that in ages. Stipulated judgments almost always end in default, so i advise against them when at all possible. 

If you truly have a large amount of debt, i would encourage you to heed clydesmom's advice and take a serious look at bankruptcy. It's sole purpose is to give people a clean start. 

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Thanks Harry for your reply.

I will try to call Capital One to see if they will still negotiate a settlement. They had offered a settlement of $3500 a few months ago but at the time I didn't have the money. If that doesn't go well I will ask for a continuance so I have more time to consider my options. I would really prefer to negotiate a settlement than get a judgement. I really got into a mess here and have learned a lesson. Thanks again.

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