Can I offer to settle a judgement?

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by OtherTerri, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. OtherTerri

    OtherTerri New Member

    Can I offer to settle a judgment for less money? I am trying to get my mortgage approved, and I do not have the money to pay this. I have disputed it off EXP and TU, but it is still on EQ.

    I disputed it again with EQ on this month, but I am under a time crunch here to be approved.

    I would have to take out a loan to pay it, and I'm not even sure I can do that, so the less I have to borrow to pay them off the better.

    Would there be any reason that they would be willing to accept less than the judgement amount?

    It is from 7-99, $1900 owed, $2400 judgment, filed by an attorney.

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    Hi Terri,

    There is no reason you cannot settle a judgment for less than what is owed. It is done all the time.

    Do not let the attorney know you are trying to buy a house though. This will reduce your bargaining power.

    Try to get the plaintiff to join you in a motion to vacate the judgment as part of your settlement agreement. That way you can get it removed completely from your report.

    Good luck to you.

    Jeff
     
  3. OtherTerri

    OtherTerri New Member

    Thanks for the advice Jeff, but I am not bright enough to understand it!

    Do I contact the creditor or the attorney?

    How much do I offer to settle?

    Is there a letter here I can use?

    Thanks!
     
  4. LKH

    LKH New Member

    Since they are represented by an atty., I think it would be best to contact the atty. Just make an offer you can live with. If you owe $1900, then offer 60 - 70 %. The worst that can happen is they say no. Ask them to agree to a joint motion to vacate judgment. If they agree, I'm sure we can help you write one up.
     
  5. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    I would probably contact the creditor by letter. They may refer you to the attorney however. You will probably get a better deal if you can keep the attorney out of it.

    In your letter explain that you would like to discuss a settlement. Keep you letter brief and invite them to contact you to work out the details. It has been long enough that they may be anxious to settle for a reduced amount.

    When you pay a judgment a 'satisfaction of judgment' should be filed. This will show the judgment has been satisfied and it should be reported as paid on your report. A 'motion to vacate judgment' would likely be approved by the judge if you file the motion jointly with the creditor. You can ask that this be part of your settlement. If the judgment is vacated you can then have it deleted from your report easily.

    Your mortgage lender will really only want to know that the judgment is paid. I just thought that if you are going to negotiate a settlement this would be prime time to get it vacated and off your report completely. The creditor probably could not care less whether it is vacated if they get their money. Just a suggestion :)
     
  6. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    I agree LKH that it is more appropriate to contact the attorney, but since Terri is not a lawyer I think not following the protocol is OK. My thinking is that she may get a better deal if she can somehow bypass the attorney. It may not be possible.
     
  7. OtherTerri

    OtherTerri New Member

    Thanks Jeff and LKH. I think I will try a letter to the creditor first, then see if they refer me to the attorney. I am afraid to try this, but I will just have to pray for things to work out!
     
  8. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    Hope all works out well for you Terri!

    Jeff
     
  9. OtherTerri

    OtherTerri New Member

    Thanks, Jeff.
     
  10. OtherTerri

    OtherTerri New Member

    Letter

    OK, Here is my first attempt at this letter:

    For Settlement Purposes OnlySeptember 18, 2002I understand that you have a judgment against me. I would like to make an agreement with you to settle the debt. I am in the process of trying to settle old debts, and I would like to settle this one next.I can get $650.00 and send it to you immediately. Would you be willing to accept this amount as payment in full for the debt? I have a large family to support and I am hoping you will understand that I have worked hard to find a way to get this amount so I could offer it to you in hopes of settling for the sake of my wife and children.If you agree, please sign the enclosed letter and return it to me. I will mail a cashierâ??s check to you (certified mail) in the amount of $650.00 within 48 hours of receiving the signed form.Thank you,

    ************************************
    For Settlement Purposes OnlyDate_______________________We (creditor) and (husband) agree to the following:Creditor is willing to accept $650.00 as payment in full for debt against husband of $2464.00.( Judgment CVF 1999 4567) We creditor agree not to sell the remaining portion of the debt to be collected by another party.We creditor agree that we will enter into a motion to vacate judgment order with husband.

    ***************
    Is this too simple???

    I have searched for state laws, and forms to be used for vacating judgments. I was hoping to find some language or the exact law allowing this, but I had no luck.

    Thanks for any input :)
     
  11. OtherTerri

    OtherTerri New Member

    Re: Letter

    One BUMP, then I have to send as is. I am out of time!!!!
     
  12. OtherTerri

    OtherTerri New Member

    Update

    I received a letter today from the attorney, which is what I thought would happen.

    They said the offer is not enough. I called the atty. office and left a message asking him to find out what the oc would accept to settle, and call me with the amount.

    I'm sad. This is the largest debt we have. I am nervous about being able to get it paid.
     
  13. DISPUTER

    DISPUTER New Member

    Re: Update

    Sorry to hear that Terri. Don't give up yet. Maybe try to be tough and tell that is all you can offer. If they don't want it, you will use it to settle another debt. Just a suggestion. I used something similar to this with a CA.
     
  14. OtherTerri

    OtherTerri New Member

    Re: Update

    Thanks Disputer. I will try that. It is my husband's debt, I am going to try telling the attorney that it is his debt, not mine, and that I am trying to settle it because I am upset about it. (all true, BTW). I don't know whether that will make want to work with me or not.
     
  15. jo

    jo New Member

    Re: Update

    Terry;
    Here is what I would do. First not be in a hurry to buy a house. If time is on your side you can get rid of this without paying through the nose. The, 'I have to have it now', syndrome costs money, you pay for immediacy in many ways. This is neither good nor bad it's simply fact. If you have the money and wish to pay the opportunity cost, that is certainly your choice.

    I'd let the house fall through and get a statement it was because of Equifax's refusal to remove a judgement. The same judgement that the other two bureaus could NOT verify. (damages)

    I'd send a procedure request (this is assuming you have the initial verification request and certified return receipt and their action), to Eq asking how they verified. If you do not have paper proof of first verification then begin there (you need to show you did everything in your power to get Eq to correct). Next I'd sue them in the appropriate venue of your choice ie small claims or superior court.

    You have (1) their duty to you, responsibility for correctness of your report, (2) their breach of this duty, the judgement the other two have removed and why it's not yours/incorrect, and (3) damages, the loss of your house. All of this is substantiated by your careful paper trail.

    Let Eq pay part for your down or closing costs.

    Jackpot
     
  16. OtherTerri

    OtherTerri New Member

    Re: Update

    Jo,

    Thank you for the advice. However, I cannot do this because my landlord is selling my house and I have to move. We started the process of buying the house last January. I fell behind in my credit work because my Mother became ill and died this year.

    The house is almost finished. We should be moving in about a month or so.

    I wish I did have more time!!!
     
  17. keepmine

    keepmine New Member

    Re: Update

    Jo,

    The problem with this line of though is, it is a valid judgment. Eqiufax has done nothing wrong in this case.
     
  18. jo

    jo New Member

    Re: Update

    Terri;
    First there are places to rent. Nothing but your wishes are deciding the time of your purchase even if you need to move soon. Again if you choose to spend this money for whatever reason that is certainly your choice. I am just pointing out you have other choices available.

    Keepmine
    Just because it's a 'valid' judgement doesn't mean it is their valid judgement nor does it mean it should be reflected on their report if that reflection is innaccurate. Further if the CRA's breach of duty (accurate reporting), creates financial damages they are civilly responsible for their action. Since this is a duty they voluntarily assumed and get paid for it also sets a higher standard.

    How did the CRA verify it was theirs? Name/address misspellings are common in public records, further dates and amounts are another source of significant error. If there is any substantial innaccuracy it needs to come off. Your credit reports are to be substantially accurate.
     
  19. OtherTerri

    OtherTerri New Member

    Re: Update

    >>>Terry;
    Here is what I would do. First not be in a hurry to buy a house. If time is on your side you can get rid of this without paying through the nose. The, 'I have to have it now', syndrome costs money, you pay for immediacy in many ways. This is neither good nor bad it's simply fact. If you have the money and wish to pay the opportunity cost, that is certainly your choice.

    I'd let the house fall through and get a statement it was because of Equifax's refusal to remove a judgement. The same judgement that the other two bureaus could NOT verify. (damages) >>>>

    >>Terri;
    First there are places to rent. c Again if you choose to spend this money for whatever reason that is certainly your choice. I am just pointing out you have other choices available. >>



    Jo,

    I do not have the "I have to have it now" syndrome. I am not a toddler who wants a piece of candy.

    I do not want to "let the house fall through" because I would lose the money I have paid down.

    In your other post you are kind enough to inform me that there are "places to rent."
    I am well aware of this.

    >>Nothing but your wishes are deciding the time of your purchase even if you need to move soon.>>

    How do you know this???

    My life is not quite as simple as you make it out to be!! There are many complications that I have not shared here, including reasons that it IS the best time for us to buy.

    I am buying a house with zero downpayment. If I rent, I will have to pay out deposits and first and last months rent. Right now, I will get money back at closing.

    I also have a large family and it is very, very difficult for us to find rentals that work for us in safe neighborhoods. And even if I were to find one, it would be VERY expensive. It took me MONTHS to find our current home. Since that time our family has increased by 2. I would not even know where to look, and there is no possible way the landlord would wait.

    I cannot imagine telling my children that we may be homeless because someone on Creditnet thought I should give up our new house to start a fight with a cra that hasn't done anything wrong!

    Equifax has not done anything wrong. I WANT to pay the debt. I was just hoping to settle it for less than the total amount.

    As I told you above, we PLANNED this. We started the mortgage process in January. My plans were side tracked by the death of my mother, after we had signed the paperwork to buy the house.

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion. However, I feel that you are attacking me and trying to make me appear foolish.
     
  20. OtherTerri

    OtherTerri New Member

    Re: Update

    Keepmine,

    Thank you for helping me to clarify my situation to Jo.

    I am sorry for the comments you received in return. :)

    I think you understand my position.
     

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