A law firm agreed to settle my account for 40% of the balance, and said it will be considered paid in full. What should I make sure the settlement letter says? I don't want to be sued again or sought out at a later date to pay the balance of the remaining 60%. I haven't signed anything so was wondering if it's too unreasonable to ask for them to agree to vacate the judgment and dismiss with prejudice? I just want to ensure this is finished for good. Thank you.
State/Country relating to question: New York
Hello, I will be happy to assist you with your question. Please note that I cannot provide legal advice – I can only give you information concerning the legal issues raised by your question. I DO NOT receive credit for my work until you rate my answer as OK service” or higher. Please DO NOT RATE MY ANSWER as "Bad service" or "Poor service" (or the 2 stars on the left if you see stars), as such a rating leaves negative feedback for me personally. Instead, if you feel one of those ratings would be appropriate, please reply to me via the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with the issue you have, and I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.Your Answer:You want a settlement and release agreement that releases you from all other claims of any type. The standard language for such a release is contained in the following sample settlement and release agreement:http://www.legaldocs.com/htsgif.d/xrelease.htmGenerally when such a matter is settled, they will not vacate the judgment – instead they will file a satisfaction of judgment and dismissal with prejudice. That is standard and certainly something to ask for.As noted above, if you need clarification, please do let me know. And, again, I DO NOT receive credit for my work until you rate my answer as “OK service” or higher. Bonuses are always appreciated.If you later open a new question and would like my assistance, please begin the question with “To TMcJD….” This will ensure that only I answer the question. Thanks.
So I need to specifically ask for a settlement and release agreement, now how can I verify they have filed a satisfaction of judgment and dismissal with prejudice? I assume I need to pay prior to them doing so. Does this also need to be specifically outlined in the agreement?
Yes, you want to ask for a settlement and release agreement. Once you sign the agreement, they sign the agreement, and you have paid, they will file the satisfaction of judgment and dismissal.To confirm that those items are filed, make sure that in the contract it specifies that those items will be filed after payment and a copy of the filed document provided to you. It should require them to file those documents within (say 15 days).You could also confirm the filing of those documents by looking at the court records, which are public records you can review at the court clerk's office.If you need additional clarification, please do let me know. And, again, I DO NOT receive credit for my work until you rate my answer as “OK service” or higher. Bonuses are always appreciated.If you later open a new question and would like my assistance, please begin the question with “To TMcJD….” This will ensure that only I answer the question. Thanks.
Sorry for the second follow-up but I will rate you appropriately. So I need to sign and send back? They gave me the impression they would just send me a letter saying upon clearance of payment, balance paid in full. Is this not enough I assume? Idk if it's too much for this service but what are the must provisions of a settlement? I need to make sure it says they will release me of all obligations and file a satisfaction with the clerk, if they agree, is it just enough that they mail me a letter that says this or must I sign and return? Thanks.
The letter would be sufficient to show that the debt was paid in full, if it uses that language, but a settlement and release agreement is better because it covers every contingency under the sun.The law firm will have done it before so it's not asking for the moon.If you need additional clarification, please do let me know. And, again, I DO NOT receive credit for my work until you rate my answer as “OK service” or higher. Bonuses are always appreciated.If you later open a new question and would like my assistance, please begin the question with “To TMcJD….” This will ensure that only I answer the question. Thanks.
Experienced in general consumer protection law
Just realized one last aspect of my issue. Is it unreasonable to ask them to agree to vacate? Wouldn't that be the best remedy to the case? If so, I assume they need to agree they will vacate judgment and dismiss with prejudice in writing? Thanks.
As noted in my initial answer, it is not typical for them to vacate a judgment. You can ask them to but they probably will not agree. RAther, they'll want to file a satisfaction of judgment.Whatever they agree to should be in writing and part of the settlement and release agreement.
Thank you again. As soon as I get the settlement, I may post the text on this site prior to agreeing, to ensure it is legally sound and I am safe.
If you do so, just do it in a new post that is addressed to me: "To TMcJD ...."Thanks.
I will do that tomorrow, thanks.
Just got the letter:
This letter will confirm that we will accept in full satisfaction of the above referenced matter a lum sum payment of $500.
Please fwd payment to...
Upon receipt of the above payment, the above referenced acct will be deemed settled and this office shall prepare a Stipulation of Discontinuance or a Satisfaction of Judgment, if applicable.
This offer shall remain valid provided payment is received by...
They say settled, should I request to say in full. Anything missing? Thanks.
"Settled" vs. "settled in full" is just a matter of semantics -- both mean the same thing, so you don't need to have them add "in full."
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