Information you provided: There is a judgement against me. I was evicted owing two months rent at $690. It has been 4 years since I evicted. They state I owe $3520. They will not settle at all.
Your question: Do you think that they will eventually settle (i.e. later ask for a higher settlement amount) or will they keep that position?
INFORMATION REQUEST: They could be doing either, and given how completely unpredictable landlords can be, there is no way to know. Frequently, landlords who have smaller businesses are more likely to take being owed rent personally, so they may be less inclined to settle, whereas landlords that are large companies generally see it as a business decision and will often settle just to get it off their books. But, I have seen small landlords settle, and big companies hold out for it all, so it really is a guessing game. I would be lying to you if I said I knew what they were doing.
However, if you can tell me more about the type of landlords they were, I may be able to give you a slightly more educated guess. For example, if the landlords were an elderly couple who rented you the home they raised their kids in so they could move to assisted living, and they think you trashed it, then they will likely not settle since they may see it as a matter of principle. But, if it was a large company who rented you a standard apartment, then they will often settle because to them it's all about getting as much money as they can as soon as they can, and they couldn't care less about "principle."
Also, plaintiffs in these types of lawsuits are getting a little more sophisticated regarding settlement. They will often request data from the state workforce development agency to see if you are employed, and if so, they may be less willing to settle since they know they can garnish your wages and likely collect the entire amount. Also, they can visit the GIS website for the county in which you reside to see if you own real estate. If you do, they might surmise they have a lien on your real estate, so they often won't settle since they hope you will want to refinance or sell your real estate in the next 7 years (the period they have to collect a judgment in Georgia, § 9-12-60), at which point you'll have to pay them since no title insurance company will cover the refi/sale with a judgment lien sitting against the property.
However, even if they are holding out for the whole amount now, as the 7-year deadline before the judgment becomes dormant gets closer, they may become more pliable to your request to settle (though they can renew the judgment for up to 3 years after it becomes dormant and get another 7 years to collect, but I haven't seen many plaintiffs use the renewal option).
Finally, the terms of the offer you made them may impact whether they are bluffing or if they really don't want to settle. For example, if you called and offered them a single payment of $100 to settle the whole $3,520 judgment, then they probably thought settlement wasn't worth discussing for such a low amount, so they said no deal. But, if you offered them, say, $2,000, and they said no, then they are probably serious that they don't want to settle since most people who want to settle will take an offer that's reasonably close to the judgment amount like that. Or, if you tried to settle by offering them monthly payments for some reduced amount, they usually won't take it since they almost always want their settlement in a very short time (often in a single payment within a few days).
So, if you can provide a little more info about the landlord and the terms you offered, I may be able to give you a little better insight, but really this is a question no one can answer besides the landlord.
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