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If the lawyer won’t cooperate, you could simply put the money aside that you can afford each month, and then wait for him to sue. If he sues and wins, he can go after some of your assets (if you have any), and possibly garnish your wages, but the most he can garnish is 25%. Therefore, even his garnishments would not be a set amount if your wages truly vary from month to month. That may be something to point out … and you could always consider bankruptcy. If you filed for bankruptcy, he would probably get nothing (though the nature of the debt could be such that it’s not discharged … it depends). Suing you may force you into bankruptcy, and he wouldn’t want that.
So, if I were you I’d tell him that you can only pay what you can afford, and that he won’t get any more than 25% of your wages even if he sues and wins, so he may as well make a deal that works better for you. I wouldn’t necessarily threaten bankruptcy, but you could mention that you’re trying to stay afloat so you don’t have to file for bankruptcy. That will probably catch his ear.
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