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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!

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Attorney answers 5


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!

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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.


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

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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!

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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!

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