i owe a credit card company about 12000 dollars on one account and a few thousand dollars on 2 other accounts with the same company. i entered a debt management program for all my accounts through credit counseling but it appears like the rejected the proposal for the higher amount. it has been about six months since i made a payment due to hardship(financial). the company rushed and hired an attorney who hastened to file a motion for judgement. the charge card company will not discuss the debt and only refers me to the attorney. i am not able to even appear for the motion hearing as i live overeas 90% of the year. how do i fend this off, i may be able to pay a small monthly installment especially if they can reconsider the credit counseling proposal.
Most attorneys don't like credit counselling programs because there is no guarantee that they will work & very few utilize attorneys to handle the legal problems that crop up. The result - credit counselors engaging in what is marginally the unauthorized practice of law and not giving the clients what they are paying for.
What I think you are asking for may not be possible. Creditors won't settle for small monthly payments once they file suit - they are looking for a lump sum of cash, or they will get a judgment. Having an attorney represent you can help you to obtain the best settlement offer, but again, if you don't have cash, not much even the best attorney can do. And of course, none of us goes to work without expecting to get paid!
You may wish to look into asset protection strategies in order to minimize the impact on your financial condition. If you have a substantial amount of debt, bankruptcy could also be an option.
Hope this perspective helps!
The short answer is that you don't. You cannot force them to settle less than what you owe. If the original creditor is suing and you have no disputes, then expect a judgment. You can always try to negotiate a settlement before or even after a judgment. Once they get a judgment, they need to try to collect. If you are overseas 90% of the time, that may be difficult.
Most people who start down the path of "debt settlement" file bankruptcy. I have found that you (with perhaps a little coaching) will achieve as good a result in negotiation as someone you might hire. The primary reason is that creditors assume that if you have enough money to hire someone to negotiate then you are not that bad off.
I agree that collecting from a person out of the country is difficult or impossible so that's an idea to remember.