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Is there still time to settle a debt if they are already suing me?

Pine Bush, NY |

I am being sued by an attorney representing the original debt holder and a preliminary conference has been scheduled for next week. I am able to pay it at this time so is it still possible to settle out of court so that I don't get a judgement against me (I don't want a judgment affecting my credit on top of everything else)?

Attorney Answers 6


  1. Assuming each side is willing, parties to litigation can settle any time before a verdict has been reached.

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  2. Debt collection lawyers are usually willing to make a deal..... that is how they get paid. Shoot for 50 cents on the dollar on the principle with a waiver of any accrued interest. Ask them for a demand and see where you go.

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  3. Yes. Even if you do go to Court, you can always negotiate a settlement before trial. When you negotiate, request that the case be dismissed upon full payment so that the case does not result in a judgment against you. Also, an important term of your settlement should be that the creditor report to the Credit Reporting Agencies that the case is settled.


  4. Absolutely! Your prompt payment will cause a Stipulation of Discontinuance to be filed and will avoid a judgment being entered against you--which is also much better on your credit report. Be sure you obtain the Stip so you have proof the debt was paid prior to judgment. As for negotiating a lower amount, that, of course, is up to you.


  5. Yes. You have an opportunity to settle and avoid a money jusgment. Consider asking an attorney for help negotiating a a better deal.

    This communication is intended only to provide general information. No attorney-client relationship is created.


  6. You can negotiat a settlement. How much and on what terms will depend on who the creditor is, who their lawyer is, and the willingness of the Court to help. It will also depend on the answer you filed ( I hope you filed one!).

    A lawyer might help at this time. Courts are often eager to ram a settlement down everyone's throat to clear its calendar,and sometimes the collection lawyer will take advantage of this to get more out of you. Don't rule out engaging a consumer lawyer who deals with collection attorneys often.

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