It depends on the details of you case. My best advice is to start low. Very low.
The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney until we sign a retainer agreement.
They could not use your offer against you. Offers to compromise are inadmissible to show liability.
I'm not sure that telling them you are close to bankruptcy would help. Most people being sued for credit card debts are close to bankruptcy, and they have heard that a million times.
I agree with the other attorneys, but all that being said, make your best effort to settle with them and try to start off with a very low offer, letting them know that you have other debts and are close to bankruptcy is not a bad thing if that is true, it certainly can't hurt your settlement negotiations.
Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any statements are made for general informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client privilege is created by this communication. Attorney is licensed in California only.