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jbrlaw
jbrlaw, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 269
Experience:  Creditors' rights lawyer involving collections, foreclosures and bankruptcies for almost 19 years.
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A debt collector contacted me requesting payment. They ...

Customer Question

A debt collector contacted me requesting payment. They put a judgement against me back in 2005. I had no idea. I never received any papers. The told me that they could only accept full payment or 8 payments of $356. If I did not pay they would take me back to court. I went to the county court and pulled a copy of the judgement. The judgement was made for payments of $200 until the balance is paid in full with a 7% interest. The collecter wants $356 with an interest of 11%. Can they change the terms of the judgement?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  jbrlaw replied 6 years ago.
Well, first check to see how the original papers were served. If they were not served on you personally or by certified mail or whatever your jurisdiction requires, then the judgment is invalid and may be set aside. You need to file a petition to do that.

However, if you assume that the judgment is valid, then the terms are probably being changed because of the time since the judgment was entered. There may be more interest and costs assessed. In any event, the judgment has been sitting for 3 years already. That tells me that it is unlikely that the creditor intends to execute on your assets to satisfy the judgment. So, it seems to me that you are in a very good position to negotiate a deal that you can live with. The debt collector has no expectation that you are going to pay the full amount. If you are inclined to settle, Itypically if you offer less than the judgment amount, he or she would agree to accept no more than the amount of the judgment. Often, debt collectors have 60% to 70% as their targets. So, if yo uoffer up 50%, then you'll get the collector in the ballpark.

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Please note that I may not be licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction. As such, my above comments shall not be construed as legal advice and shall not be deemed to form an attorney-client relationship.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply toCustomers Post: I was not served properly but I do remember that account. I am not refusing to pay, I just refuse to pay the $356 a month when the judgement was made for $200 a month. The collector does not know that I obtained a copy of the judgement. They are telling me that they cannot work a payment plan with me. That they will not accept anything less than $356 a month. The judgement was for $200. Can I refuse to pay the $356 and only send $200 a month?
Expert:  jbrlaw replied 6 years ago.
You'll be able to force a deal at some point. Just keep telling them that you can't pay such a high amount.

In addition, don't just pay attention to the monthly payment; you should also make sure that the total amount is not artificially high. I am sure that the amount that you are meing charged includes excessive costs, interest and penalties. You should be able to negotiate most of this away. Otherwise, you'll be paying these folks forever.

In addition, the judgment was for the total amount, not the monthly payment. So, I would expect that, now that 3 years have passed, the collector doesn't want payments to be spread out for too much longer. That's why I would think the payments went up so much.

If you can afford to pay a lump sum, the creditor should accept the judgment amount without all of the extra interest -- or some portion of it.

***************************************************
Please note that I may not be licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction. As such, my above comments shall not be construed as legal advice and shall not be deemed to form an attorney-client relationship.


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