In general and IME, creditors are willing to settle quickly if the debtor offers as little as half of what's owed, or sometimes as much as 80% of the balance, if it is paid in one lump-sum payment within 30 day.
Installment plans generally get approved for settlement either with a $2K+ "down payment" and monthly payments of at least what was called for under the contract
In any installment plan, a shrewd creditor will "secure" the new agreement with a "confession of judgment", which authorizes filing the paperwork with the appropriate court about 30 seconds after the debtor misses a payment. This is harsh, because execution or wage garnishment
can start within a few days or weeks after that!
With a summons and complaint being served, there is now an attorney involved, who will want to be paid. That's where the "down payment" comes in and is also often a source of at least $1K being added to the debt.
Money talks loudest in these situations. If they won't take an offer of $4,750 "down" and some payments for anything more they want to collect (start with the offer of half, no questions asked, within two weeks if you really can do it, then see how much *more* they would want after getting that much money), then you might want to consider bankruptcy to just get the debt discharged.
The most important thing is to avoid getting a judgment entered against you. That opens the door to wage garnishment, or attachment of any bank account(s)k, or seizure and sale of any non-exempt property. For most people, those collection actions spell financial disaster.
Get any agreements, including for an "extension of time" to answer the complaint, IN WRITING. E-mail counts, but the writing has to be from THEM.