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LegalKnowledge, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  10+ years handling Legal, Real Estate, Criminal Law, Family Law, Traffic matters.
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I have a pretrial of credit card debit of 12000 "American Express"

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I have a pretrial of credit card debit of 12000 "American Express" scheduled on May 30th. I need to see what is my best defense and if I can reduce this amount and pay less. I have no money in bank and I have no job. They sent me a settlement 4 month ago of half the money and at that time I did not have the money. What are my options? Can I still ask the judge to honor this settlement even though it was expired. What if I challenged the debit and ask for receipt, would that work?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 4 years ago.
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good afternoon. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. It is likely when you appear, that the Judge will send the matter to mediation, if you have not gone already. The Judge would rather have you and the plaintiff try and settle this, rather then proceed to trial. If the Judge does not order it, you can always request it and advise the Judge you would like a chance to speak with the plaintiff and settle. If the previous offer has expired, the Judge can not force them to accept it. However, you can make a new offer and see if they will accept less then what is owed, in satisfaction of the debt. Normally, when the debt is discounted, a lump sum payment is offered or expected. Nonetheless, you can still make an offer and see if they will accept it. If not, then you can contest this matter and make them prove you owe the debt. The burden would be on the moving party to show this debt belongs to you and was acquired by you on the card. If they have a weak case and no evidence or little evidence to support their cause of action, they may be more inclined to settle. Certainly make sure you appear and if you make them an offer, make sure you can stick to the payment plan, unless you pay in a lump sum. If they do not want to work with you, then you can decide to contest this and make they prove the debt is owed and raise any good faith defenses that you may have.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your feedback.
How can I contest the case. They have sent me all AMEX transactions since the first time I used the card. Can I ask them for receipts with my signatures? what are the best ways to content the suite?
What is the probability for them to settle? would the judge force them to settle? will the judge offer a judgement against me even if I asked for a time to settle this down with them?
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 4 years ago.
You are welcome. The Judge CAN NOT force them to settle. They can only do so if they want to. You stated above that you have no job and no money, so even if they obtained a judgment, they may not be able to enforce it, if you have nothing for them to go after. At the same time, you said you wanted to settle but how would you be able to pay them? It is something to keep in the back of your mind. As far as contesting it, you can deny the allegations in the complaint and make they prove the amount owed. That burden is on them. They will need to likely show transactions, signatures and payments, to establish the money is owed. If the charges were fraudulent, you would have contested them at the time, Since nothing was contested and partial payments were made, there would be a presumption you owe the debt. If you think the amount is wrong, contest it and show what it should be. The mere allegation alone is not enough for a judgment. Attached to the complaint should have been proof to show the debt and they may bring forward additional documentation, depending on what happens at the pre-trial. They would certainly rather settle then go to trial but they need to be confident that you will pay, so they will not have to come back again.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks. My parents will pay for me.

So to summarize,

1. I should show up
2. Let them know that I need a settlement
3. If they rejected, I deny part of the amount and ask them to have my sigatures and documentation for it.

Can you provide me please the best way to proceed and the order in which I should move.

Can they take my home or seize my bank account? I have only 2000 in it.
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 4 years ago.
I may not tell them directly that you need a settlement but advise the court you would like to try and settle this and possible go to mediation to resolve this. If a settlement can not be reached, then the case will go to trial and they will have to prove the debt is owed and you can respond and contest the evidence presented, accordingly. If they obtain a judgment, they can likely enforce it, going after your bank account through garnishment and could try and place a lien on the home but it would not be taken.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Will they get on a judgement on the pre-trial or it has to be on the actual trial?
do I need to hire a lawyer in the actual trial?
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 4 years ago.
There has to be a trial for the Judge to find in favor of them and for them to obtain a judgment. The pre-trial is a chance to work things out and to avoid going to trial and to address any other issues, which are relevant to the case. If you are thinking about hiring an attorney, do so now so they can represent you through the whole process.
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