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LegalKnowledge, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 28043
Experience:  10+ years handling Legal, Real Estate, Criminal Law, Family Law, Traffic matters.
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My question involves an entry of judgement in the State of:,

Customer Question

My question involves an entry of judgement in the State of: Washington, DC
Three years ago a debt collector sued me for a credit card debt. We settled and a judgement was NOT entered. As long as I made $75 dollar payments a month until the payment was paid off, then debt would be resolved.
Fast forward, early 2015 I was told my last payment was due on August 2015. I made my "last" payment in August of last year. Three months later I'm being sued and entry of default has been set against me because I didn't make the last two payments.
It seems, that sometime between August 2015 and December 2015, the law firm that I originally dealt with and settled with, was sold to a bigger law firm. They, the bigger law firm, now want the entire amount. I tried explaining to them that I was told the last payment was in August but of course, I can't remember who I talked to. I also was never given a reminder that I was late on a payment.
Anyway, 98% of my payments were made on green dot pre-paid credit cards. I learned online to never pay debt collectors/law firms using personal checks or credit cards. The other 2-3% were made via money orders. I still have all of the green dot cards but because I didn't register my name and information, I'm trying to get them to send me records.
Anyhow I requested from the new law firm a history of my account. A few days later, I received by mail my account history. It included the entire history of my account from the first payment made in December 2012 until the last payment which was August 2015. It CLEARLY shows - that I made all my payments every month with the exception of the last two $75 payments.
I got a court date this Wednesday. Is there anything I can say to the Judge to avoid this to turn into a judgement? I will provide to the judge the account history that was mailed to me complete with the envelope. I will also provide the original agreement. It will clearly show that I missed only two payments.
Thank you ....
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. Just to be clear, you do have a written agreement with the previous company, evidencing what the settlement/payment plan is? Also, you shared that they told you at one point you had one payment left but was this an error and you knew you owed two more or it really was correct and the new company is trying to get the balance? Finally, how much is owed right now, which they are suing for?

Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 year ago.

Hi, are you still with me?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do have a written agreement. We went to court about this in 2012. The original debt amount was a little over $4000 dollars. However, we settled for $2700 as long as I made monthly $75 payments.Fast forward to 2015, I was told early in 2015 that my last payment would be in August 2015. Please keep in mind that by that time, I had been paying faithfully every month since 2012, and even 3 months, I paid over the amount. So, I knew that I would end paying this off a little earlier than what was in the agreement. What I didn’t know for sure was how early. So, that’s why I had asked the law firm. I just wanted to make sure my records were in alignment with theirs. I actually thought I would end in July but that wasn’t the case.. They told me and I confirmed that I would end in August. So, August came. I made the “last” payment. Anyhow, I get a summons to appear in court, in December, for entry of judgment because I was told that I was in default. I contacted the Law firm and they said I missed two payments. Keep in mind the original law firm I was dealing with has now been acquired. The debt was NOT sold - again. So, I had the new law firm mail me an account history. It showed all of the payments I made with the exception of the last two payments. Again, my monthly payment amount was $75. So, I owed them $150. Now because I’m in default they want the entire original debt amount of $4113.00. When I went to court 3 years ago. The original law firm settled for $2700.00. I paid them $2500.00. They won’t even deduct that amount from the $4113.00 they want.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just re-read this. I was not told in writing that my last payment would be in August 2015. I was told this over the phone. They do record their conversations though,
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. The new firm would step into the shoes of the old firm and would need to still honor any agreement. If they provided you with a payment history and it shows and confirms what you have paid to date, that only shows compliance over the years. Now, if they do record their conversations, a demand for the audio could be made when it could and it can be determined if you were in fact told that your last payment would be owed and made on X. Moreover, if they did not send you any notice or statement thereafter, advising that additional money was owed, it could further evidence what you were saying. I am not sure if they sent you a statement each month or you simply sent the money on your own, so that could be an issue, since they may come back and say the accounting was your responsibility and you needed to know how much of the balance was left, based upon the payments made over all these years. Like you shared though, someone told you it was paid in full, so there is dispute. Now, it would make no sense for you to stop paying the last $150 when doing so could result in you having to pay the full amount, so you can always argue and object that your actions were based upon the representation of an employee but again, there needs to be proof. You could also argue that once the payment was missed, they did not inform you of this or the acceleration of the full debt, since you would have cured it and to simply file suit when no notice was given, would be in bad faith. You can contact them today and see if they will settle and allow you to pay the balance plus any other fees owed, to avoid the whole amount. What you are saying makes sense, as far as a time line, so the goal is to convince them that you were told one thing and complied and had no notice or idea anything else was owed or else you would have just paid it.

Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 year ago.

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