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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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I recently received a warrant in debt for an amount of $5,900.

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I recently received a warrant in debt for an amount of $5,900. I have not yet been officially served; this came through snail mail from a law firm. Then debt was sold from Chase to a third party, equable ascent financial. I have a civil trial date for March 11 in Henrico, Virginia.

I've been on various message boards trying to figure out the best course of action. The debt is mine and I'd like to take care of the situation as swiftly as possible. I'm not able to take care of the entire amount right now, but could pay a percentage or over time in a plan. This is partly because I just (finally) struck an installment agreement with the federal government after an attempt at a bank levy and wage garnishment.

Do I contact equable ascent financial now? Do I wait for the case date. From what I understand, most folks don't show, and when you do there are two options: 1) plead guilty and attempt to negotiate with the company or 2) say the claim isn't valid and request a trial date.

Any advice you could offer regarding the best way to proceed for a relatively quickly and painless (financially) outcome would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
XXXXX XXXXX

Hello and welcome.

I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service. First, I have some questions for you so I can determine what information to provide you.


Do you have the means to set up a payment arrangement with the creditor? Have you already attempted to negotiate a settlement with them or the previous creditor?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Tina,


 


Thanks for responding. I have not previously attempted to set up an agreement with either party. There were a few times that they offered amounts less than the total owed as a possible settlement, but I did not respond.

I do have the means of setting up a payment arrangement. I make a solid salary, but just have some events from my past that have caused me current financial difficulty. I'm interested in pursuing whatever is the best way for making happen, whether it's pre-court date (preferably) or in court.

I wish I knew how much my debt was purchased for so that I knew what would be a fair amount.

Hello again, Mike.

The creditors are not likely to disclose the details of their transaction unfortunately, but given that the debt was purchased by a new creditor who is taking legal action against you, it would typically be best to limit their expenses in pursuing the debt since the more they invest in the debt, the higher the amount will be that they are willing to settle for normally.

So it would typically be best to contact their attorneys and attempt to set up a payment arrangement as soon as possible, negotiating a settlement of the debt and having the case dismissed.

If they are not willing to negotiate with you, then you would typically need to file an answer to the summons, but the time to do so does not normally begin until you have been personally served unless you waive service.

At any hearing, you can request that a payment arrangement be ordered but a court is not bound to grant that, so you may wish to deny the creditor's allegations and force them to produce proof that the debt is legitimate, which they may not have since they are not the original creditor.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you.

It has been my pleasure to assist you. Kindly remember to rate my answer when our communication is completed so I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested. If you feel the need to provide a low rating, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I am able to explain your concern to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to you or not, so please don’t shoot the messenger. Thank you and all the best to you in 2013.

Tina

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks, Tina.


 


Three quick follow-ups if you're able to help:


 


1) Should I contact the company who bought the debt or the law firm representing them (my assumption is that the company wants to save on the lawyers, so I go to them).

2) How do I waive service? How would I communicate that.


 


3) Could you offer a ballpark for what I should consider for a lump sum settlement? The account was closed two years ago. Or if a monthly plan, what would be a reasonable payment?

Thanks again,
Mike

Hello again, Mike. You are very welcome!

1) Should I contact the company who bought the debt or the law firm representing them (my assumption is that the company wants to save on the lawyers, so I go to them).

 

ANSWER: The company will likely refer you to their attorneys and if you are served at some point, it is typically appropriate to respond to their counsel, not the party directly.

2) How do I waive service? How would I communicate that.

 

ANSWER: There is a document the creditor would typically have you sign if you agree to waive service. Make sure any agreement you settle on is in writing and signed by both parties to ensure the creditor does not later change their mind on the terms of any agreement you enter into.

 


3) Could you offer a ballpark for what I should consider for a lump sum settlement? The account was closed two years ago. Or if a monthly plan, what would be a reasonable payment?

ANSWER: That's not something I can provide, not having the opportunity to review the case, but it might be around 50% of the debt owed. If the debt could be paid off in a couple of years, that payment plan would normally be reasonable.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you.

It has been my pleasure to assist you. Kindly remember to rate my answer when our communication is completed so I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested. If you feel the need to provide a low rating, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I am able to explain your concern to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to you or not, so please don’t shoot the messenger. Thank you and all the best to you in 2013.

Tina

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:

http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-tina/

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