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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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A law suite has been filed for credit debt of $15,000 in ...

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A law suite has been filed for credit debt of $15,000 in circuit court. I have 20 days to respond. Is it too late to ask for a lower settlement? What would be a reasonable reduction? Can payement still be set up? or do I need to come up with a lump sum?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 8 years ago.

Hello and thank you for allowing me to address your legal question.

It is not too late to attempt to settle. That’s not to say that the creditor will accept a smaller amount than what you legally owe, but you can certainly ask. The creditor may be inclined to settle because paying an attorney to go to court and prove that you owe the money could cost the creditor a few thousand dollars (of course, that may be added to your debt, but the creditor is also taking the risk that it can even collect from you). The longer you wait, the more money the creditor will have invested in suing you. Therefore, the longer you wait, the less likely the creditor will be to settle for less.

It’s impossible to say how much the creditor will accept to settle the case, but you may want to start with a 50% lump sum and work your way up. If you can’t afford to pay a lump sum, then you may want to see if the creditor will be willing to dismiss the case in return for you signing a note to pay monthly installments.

The botXXXXX XXXXXne, though, is that the creditor is not obligated to accept anything less than 100% of what you owe.

If the information that I provided was helpful, please remember to ACCEPT my post as that is the only way I will receive credit and compensation for my answer. Thank you and good luck!

DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be sufficiently addressed in this setting. Accordingly, my post is intended as general information only, and should neither be construed as specific legal advice, nor as an adequate substitute for the retention of legal counsel.

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