If I were in your position, I would file an answer including affirmative defenses and possibly counterclaims as in my experience this will stop most lawsuits from proceeding. The collection agency's lawyers are usually in the business of getting default judgments and have no interest in litigating these types of lawsuits with pro-Se defendants. I would demand to depose the debt buyer's officers as they will try to avoid this at all costs. Then you can probably do a low settlement to get rid of the case. I would also negotiate to have the account stricken from your credit reports as part of the settlement. Good luck. You can contact me if you have additional questions.
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There is no set amount or "guidance" to offer - they may not be willing to settle at all. Given your situation, if I were on the other side, I'd be curious - you have no income, yet you can come up with a sum of money to pay off a percentage of the debt you owe? I'd be suspicious. That said, you can always make an offer and see what they'll do.
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I agree with the prior comment. Companies are all over the place as far as what their internal policies will allow them to settle for. Some would rather write everything off rather than settle for a small amount. It sounds like you are trying to avoid a Chater 7. However, from a credit score perspective one year from now, your credit score will be in a better place if you discharge the debt now and close the issue, rather than leaving the issue open and unresolved. Many times a person's credit score is higher a year after bankruptcy than before they filed bankruptcy. It may be the best option to hire a very affordable Bankruptcy attorney.
Information I provide in this forum is not legal advice. The information provided is only general information that may or may not apply to you and may or may not be based on current law. I am NOT YOUR attorney. For specific legal advice you need to contact an attorney and enter into a retainer with that attorney.
it depends on many factors (debt buyer, amount owed, any positive facts re provability of case, whether debtor has lawyer!!!! and whether they are aggressive, collectibility, time of the month, etc.)
You really should talk to a collection defense attorney. I handle these cases all the time. You need to defend the lawsuit and avoid being held in default.
Have you thoroughly explored the bankruptcy option with an attorney? Do you have significant other debts apart from this one? While bankruptcy is certainly not always the best option, particularly if you have substantial non-retirement assets, it would make sense to contact an experienced debtor's attorney to review the pros and cons given your situation. Many seem to believe their credit will be forever ruined or that seeking bankruptcy protection is somehow shameful. Walt Disney filed bankruptcy, and American Airlines certainly does not feel ashamed of having sought bankruptcy protection.
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