How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joseph Your Own Question
Joseph
Joseph, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7280
Experience:  I have 15 years experience in the legal field, currently specializing in criminal and family law
18539850
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Joseph is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am being sued by a credit card company for defaulting on

Customer Question

I am being sued by a credit card company for defaulting on my account. After finding out I was being sued (through a debt relief company, hadn't even been served yet) I sent a letter directly to the credit card company proposing to settle out of court and enclosed a payment. That payment was cashed and about a week later I received an overnight mail package postmarked feb 16, 2011 with a settlement offer letter in it that was dated june 2010. I called the credit card company the following day to accept and they told me that offer was only vaild for a month from the date of the letter and I had to speak with the lawyer. After speaking with their lawyer, I agreed to a payment plan that was for the original amount owed plus legal fees, I just didn't want a judgment. They said they would send me the paperwork. Almost a month later I called and let them know I hadn't received the paperwork (but I still made my first payment as per the paperwork I had yet to receive). They lied and said the paperwork was sent out 3 days prior...I never received it. So the court date came and I showed up and they didn't. I never filed intent to defend ag first because I didn't intend to until I never received paperwork. So now a trial has been set, a merit trial. My goal is that I would like to be able to pay on the offer of the reduced amount that I received months too late and had never received in the first place at the correct time. The lawyers office finally sent me the original paperwork they lied about postmarked yesterday. My main questions are, if I go to trial can a judge force them to uphold the original reduced offer or is it more likely that I will receive a judg,ent against me even though I am willing to pay even the full amount but feel I should be entitled to the reduced amount since neither the credit card company nor the lawyers office has acted in a professional/efficient manner and I have gone to extremes to do everything correctly at this point. I have physical proof of all phone calls and paperwork/postmarks and payments i've made being cashed.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Joseph replied 6 years ago.

Unfortunately, offers of settlement are considered irrelevant in court. The theory is that, just because some offer was made, the entity making the offer is not obligated to keep the offer available.

 

While I understand your point completely, the judge simply cannot make them abide by the offer they extended. So, to answer your question, it is more likely that they would prevail and a judgment would be entered.

 

Having said that, I would encourage you to continue to act in a "professional/efficient manner". If you can contact the attorneys office and/or the credit card company and get this thing finalized, you can still obtain your goal, that being a negotiated settlement that does not include a judgment.

 

I regret that my answer is unfavorable, but please understand that it would be unfair to you (and unprofessional of me) to provide you with anything less than a truthful response. With that in mind, I hope that you found value in my answer.

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Joseph and 11 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your response. I will accept your answer, I just wanted a little more followup. Do you think that in light of the information I have that the lawyer's office would be more willing to negotiate now and settle for less than the original amount? SHould I make them aware of all the information I have? I was even able to use the tracking number on the envelope of the reduced settlement offer to prove that the credit card company only mailed the pre-dated letter on February 16, 2011 and when I called the very next day they told me they weren't able to uphold that because of the date of the letter, yet they clearly sent that out AFTER receiving my payment and proposal in order to cover themselves for not having sent me any offer in the first place. That's falsifying information in some form isn't it? Any other information you could offer would really help. Do you think it would be worth presenting my information to a local attorney or simply continue to try to deal directly with the credit card company (letting them know I have proof of their fraudulent activities) and attorney's myself with the hopes of them realizing I have negative information against both as professional organizations and them being more willing to accept a reduced amount?
Expert:  Joseph replied 6 years ago.

Do you think that in light of the information I have that the lawyer's office would be more willing to negotiate now and settle for less than the original amount?

  • I wouldn't think that their less than efficient practices would effect their negotiating tactics. As I outlined above, settlement negotiations have nothing to do with the court presentation of the case. With that in mind, there is no legal reason to change their offer of settlement. Having said that, perhaps you can approach them from a more personal, as opposed to legal, perspective and explain the matter as, "hey, look at all I've been trying to accomplish."

 

 

SHould I make them aware of all the information I have?

  • Certainly. As I was stating to the prior question, you may very well be able to use this information to your advantage as it paints you as a person trying to do the right thing and to negotiate a reasonable settlement.

 

 

I was even able to use the tracking number on the envelope of the reduced settlement offer to prove that the credit card company only mailed the pre-dated letter on February 16, 2011 and when I called the very next day they told me they weren't able to uphold that because of the date of the letter, yet they clearly sent that out AFTER receiving my payment and proposal in order to cover themselves for not having sent me any offer in the first place. That's falsifying information in some form isn't it?

  • Hard to say. We need to keep in mind that the credit card company is a very large company, likely with thousands of employees. As such, things certainly get lost in translation and slip through the cracks. My guess is that the law firm they are using is likely quite large as well. Additionally, as I've been explaining, the settlement process is hugely irrelevant in court anyway.

 

 

Do you think it would be worth presenting my information to a local attorney or simply continue to try to deal directly with the credit card company (letting them know I have proof of their fraudulent activities) and attorney's myself with the hopes of them realizing I have negative information against both as professional organizations and them being more willing to accept a reduced amount?

  • If you believe you are close to a resolution, it probably wouldn't be worth the expense of an attorney. Conversely, if you don't think you can reach a settlement, it might be prudent to look into bringing an attorney into the equation. I would suggest that another factor should be the amount of the debt. If the debt is relatively small, perhaps a couple thousand dollars, then it would cost as much to hire the attorney...probably not a prudent investment. However, if it is more, then the expense may very well be prudent.

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.