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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102506
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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A few years ago, I built up serious credit card debt and it

Customer Question

A few years ago, I built up serious credit card debt and it snowballed on me. A judgement was taken out on me and I am required to repay the amount in installments, which I have been doing monthly to the local Sherriff's office, as stated I should in my judgement. This judgement will be used against me for 10 years. Now I have a lawyer's office saying they can settle this with me if I pay them directly. I'm confused on what to do. If I pay the lawyer's office the installments what will happen when the debt is paid? Will it be taken off my credit? And if I do pay the lawyer's office instead of continuing to send my money to the Clerk's office, what happens to the money I have already sent in towards this debt? Like I said early, this whole debt has snowballed on me and I want to make things right and straighten my credit up. I just don't know what to do in this situation. Any advice?? THANKS!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 4 years ago.
Hello friend. My name is Ely, and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation.

First of all, confirm that the law office is indeed representing the Plaintiff credit card company, even if it means calling the credit card company and confirming this - it is important - so you do not end up paying money to some scammer.

Now, once this is confirmed, then allow me to explain how this works.

At the moment, you are paying to your local Sheriff's office that is then sending the money to the plaintiff. The judgment total is calculated by the Clerk's Office and the Sheriff's Office is in charge of collecting the judgment and distributing it to the plaintiff in North Carolina.

If you make a lump sum payment directly to the Plaintiff, this is also allowed. However, one should keep careful records and also ask for a receipt every time. When the judgment is paid off, one in your situation will want to make sure that the law firm then fills out and turns in a Certificate of Payment / Satisfaction of Judgment form - see here. Once this is done, then your payments are reflected in the system as being all paid off and the matter would terminate.

If I pay the lawyer's office the installments what will happen when the debt is paid?

Whatever you pay to the lawyer directly should also register in the system as they should credit you for it.

Will it be taken off my credit?

Once the judgment is paid off, the law firm should also send you a letter of satisfaction. This letter of satisfaction can then be mailed to each of the three credit bureaus to reflect that the matter is satisfied and the judgment shall be marked as 'paid,' which should improve your credit rating.

And if I do pay the lawyer's office instead of continuing to send my money to the Clerk's office, what happens to the money I have already sent in towards this debt?

One still receives credit for the money paid before via the Sheriff's Office as well.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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