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Law firm handling my debt accepted my settlement offer but won't sign the written agreement I sent them. What to do next?

Carpentersville, IL |

I had sent them a written agreement for debt settlement detailing the terms; amount to be paid, due date, requiring once settlement is paid account is final and closed and no further legal action will be taken on their part. They refuse to sign it. I don't feel comfortable moving forward with this without it. What should I do next? I've tried talking with the creditor but they say I need to talk to the law firm. I'm getting nowhere!

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

You should insist the reason why they feel your written settlement statement is insufficient and/or request that they provide you with a settlement statement prepared by them which incorporates the same terms. Unless the law firm owns the debt, then you will want them to present the agreement to their client, which they are ethically obligated to do.

Do not pay them until you have the settlement evidence in writing and signed by both parties. You will also want them to make affirmative representations that they are the current owner of the debt and that it has not been sold. Many times these debts are sold and transferred so many times that you will want to make sure that if you are making payment, it is going to the lawful owner of the debt.

Good luck!

This response is being provided for information purposes only and does not constitute an attorney client relationship. Furthermore, I am only licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. While there are oftentimes similarities between States' laws, there can also be large differences. You should not rely on this response as legal advice and are highly encouraged to speak to an attorney licensed in your State for an accurate legal answer.

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Posted

Not uncommon. Generally, the collection agency/law firm will require that that settlement be prepared by them, they never sign one generated by the debtor (and if I were representing a creditor firm, that is what I would advise).

Ask them to send you something in writing confirming the settlement, that is the best you are going to get. My guess is, you are including a bunch of extraneous provisions that the firm probably can't agree to anyway.

Keep in mind, nothing requires them to settle with you.

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Posted

Find out what terms they object too. And then see what they are willing to do.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Illinois. Responses are answers to general legal questions and the receiver of such question should consult a local attorney for specific answers to questions.

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Posted

Go ahead and send them the money if you are sure they are a law firm (and you are POSITIVE) you both understand, at least verbally, the terms to be the same. If they try any "funny business" hire someone to sue them under the FDCPA! Debt Collectors Hate Us!

I am an attorney licensed to practice law in Ohio and some Federal Courts throughout the United States. I am not answering your question to solicit you as a client and there is a good chance that I am not licensed to practice law in the state that you reside. I hope that you find my assistance beneficial and, at most, use my advise as a finger pointing in the right direction. An attorney client relationship is not established by posting back and forth online. One of the most beneficial aspects of working with an attorney is the attorney client privilege which does not exist when you post personal facts online to faceless strangers. Hire an attorney if you want specific legal advise. If you cannot afford one, call your local bar association or search "(your city) legal aid" online. The fact that you took the time to post your question online likely means that you could use the aid of an attorney. Call around your area and see if any local attorneys offer free consultations.

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Posted

I would be really careful NOT to send a lump sum of money to a debt collector OR a debt collection attorney without an agreement in writing that the money paid is in full settlement of your debt. If you don't have something in writing and simply send a check that the law firm cashes, there's nothing that precludes them from continuing to seek the balance of the debt from you. Once you have an agreement in writing to settle the debt, you should have an experienced attorney review it before you sign. Good luck!

The responses, information and materials on this Web site are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. We attempt to provide quality information, but the law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information provided is general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance. An attorney and client relationship should not be implied. Nothing on this Web site or in my response is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, therefore if you require legal advice please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

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