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We are behind on some large bills from a customer delaying

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We are behind on some large bills from a customer delaying substantial orders. Current issue:$70k payable from January paid down to $56k in June/July. Then we were sued. Local counsel, out of state supplier. Supplier said "talk to the lawyer," not me.

Lawyer seems reasonable, but wants us to stipulate that if we miss a payment on our yet-to-be-negotiated plan, we would stipulate judgment that would allow them to attach our bank account for the total.
1) is there a reasonable settlement that does NOT include that stipulation? Dismiss the suit, promise to pay, have penalties if we miss... lawyer seemed resistant, but I don't have context for reasonableness.
2) are there rules of thumb for paying this down? Web site references? We can probably afford to pay $3k/month, but not more. I'm guessing a judge would agree with our plan if they chose to fight this in court, but I'm only guessing.
3) because of a bad handoff with our regular attorney, whom we can't afford, we may be up against some deadlines. Can we put close pandora's box with new counsel if necessary?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Legalinfomd replied 1 year ago.

Legalinfomd :

Hello. I will respond to your question.

Legalinfomd :

There is no rule of thumb as to what payment terms are reasonable. It is based solely upon the debtor's ability to pay, and the creditor's willingness to stretch the obligation out over time (as well as whether the creditor would be able to collect on a judgment at this time).

Legalinfomd :

When a payment plan is agreed upon, it is customary for the creditor to insist that the debtor consent to the entry of a judgment for the full amount of the debt, with a stipulation that the creditor will not undertake collection efforts as long as the payments are timely remitted as agreed.

Legalinfomd :

A common alternative to avoid the negative aspects of having a judgment of record is for the creditor to dismiss without prejudice (i.e. can refile), and for the debtor to sign a consent to judgment that gets held in the file of the creditor's attorney, and does not get filed in court until and unless there is a default.

Legalinfomd :

My suggestions: Do not agree to a payment plan that you are not confident you can live up to. Ask for a discount on the total sum due if you pay as agreed. Stop any accrual of interest as long as you pay as agreed.

Legalinfomd :

I hope that the information provided has been helpful. Please be sure to leave a positive rating for my response so that I will be credited for my time. Thank you and good luck with your matter.

Customer:

helpful!

Legalinfomd, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 150
Experience: Attorney with 24 years of experience in business law.
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