I took the plunge today and I have started working on tackling my debts in order to rebuild my credit. The absolute first thing I wanted to take care of was a judgement against me from an old apartment complex. The complex was really nice and advised me of the original balance but unfortunately couldn't accept any payments as their lawyer was handling the debt now. So even though I know it is frowned upon, I contacted the lawyer. I figured I had nothing to loose because they had already been awarded a total of $3995 for me not being able to show up to court. Long story short the office gave me two options:
1. I could set up monthly payments to pay off the debt and they would vacate once satisfied
2. I could settle for an agreed amount and FULL payment due within 60 days and vacated once satisfied.
The strange part was that they didn't want to tell me what they would accept they just kept saying that by law I was already ordered to pay $3995 so I needed to let them know what I could do. I have done alot of homework prior so I knew to start low because I know they can and probably will come back with a counter offer. I offered 25% of the balance and payment in full within 30 days. (chose 30 days to make it seem a little better than the 60 days). The lawyer stated she had all the information and would need to get this offer approved by her client (the apartment complex) and would get back to me tomorrow.
Fingers crossed that they accept my offer. At first I was just considering filing Chap. 7 BK but I am REALLY trying to avoid that. This item was really the only thing making me feel like bk was my only option. I can deal with the foreclosure on my record but a BK has me a little on edge.
I will update as soon as I hear back.
Make sure you get the agreement in writing.
Thank you! I will definitely make sure to get the agreement in writing before making any payments.
Well the attorney contacted me back and their client (the apartment complex) declined my settlement offer. They went back to option 1 and in a moment of frustration I told the lawyer I refuse to pay 3x the original amount when I really don't owe them anything. I really don't want to file chap 7 but at this point I don't know what to do. I am NOT going to pay them the judgement amount $3995 because I don't technically owe them anything. Should I try to counter back at 45% in sake of trying to save/ rebuild my credit or go ahead and spend the money I would use to settle the judgement to pay the chap 7 lawyer?
Really need advise. Thanks in advance.
A judgment is only awarded after both parties have had the opportunity at trial to raise any issues regarding the legitimacy of the debt.
The court has ruled the debt valid. Were you present at court to raise your "debt not mine" issues before the judge?
A statement that you wont comply with a judgment is not wise. They have a court order instructing you to pay.
If a judgment remains unsatisfied, they can go back to the judgment court and request a separate writ of satisfaction, which could order wage garnishment.
They may use any statement that the consumer has overtly refused to pay the judgment as influence on the court.
They have the upper-hand.
Thanks Robert for your reply. I know that was unwise the lawyer was just being SOOO RUDE and NASTY! Another question: the judgement was issued in TN, however I do not currently live in TN or work in TN. Can a Tn judge issue a writ to still garnish wages in a different state? I live in GA.