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socrateaser
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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My case was dismissed under rule 3-506(b) and the terms were

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My case was dismissed under rule 3-506(b) and the terms were for payments for a year. I missed several payments but they were amenable and worked with me. The creditor never kept a record and when I sent 2 payments a month ago they sent one back and without notice filed to reopen and placed the judgement. They are now asking for a tremendous amount of interest and the total will be with the 7500 dollars I have already paid over 21,000 on an original debt of 14K. I have email records of the settlement amount of 10,400 from the law firm representing the creditor but it is not in the settlement agreement. In fact that is vague. Can I based upon my email records revise this stipulation as broken because they never filed for judgment when I first missed and worked with me, and also on the exhorbitant interest? Do I have any legal recourse? I just want to pay the rest of the debt left and not have the judgment on my report.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 4 years ago.
Can I based upon my email records revise this stipulation as broken because they never filed for judgment when I first missed and worked with me, and also on the exorbitant interest?

A: Extrinsic evidence, such as email can be used to supplement or explain a contract (including a settlement agreement), but may not be used to contradict the terms and conditions of that agreement. I can't tell from your facts whether or not the email clarifies the parties' respective understanding of the settlement, or creates new/additional terms. If the former, then the evidence could be used to show you are not in breach, or that the creditor waived its right to reopen the case and sue for judgment. But, that's what you would have to prove in order to stop the court from entering judgment, whether for the lesser or greater amount.

I don't know your financial circumstances, but the alternative to fighting over a debt is frequently a bankruptcy petition. If you are in a position to file bankruptcy, then sometimes the threat of doing so can stop the creditor in its tracks, because the creditor's lawyer knows that if you file Chapter 7, then the creditor (and the attorney) will get nothing!

Hope this helps.

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