Can I Settle My Debt Before the Court Date?

Question:

Dear Steve,

I am being sued for a credit card debt for $602.30. It was bought by a couple of groups and finally, LVNV owns it and they went to Ga Magistrate court.

I did reply basically saying I could not verify so I have a court date in about 10 days.

They did have a copy of the statements and documents showing the chain of custody and ownership, etc. About 29 pages. The only thing I do not see if the terms of the card, just all the statements and custody ownership. I do believe this is my debt, however.

I want to avoid a judgment in court to show up on my credit, I have been doing a lot to make it much better now.

I do not mind paying the debt off but is there a way I can reach out and make an offer to settle?

I was also wondering would they show up in court for a $600.00 debt, it seems like it would cost them more to have an attorney even if they paid a small fraction of the debt to buy it.

Should I just go to court and see if they show or offer to settle there before the case? Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated.

Great site and very helpful by the way.

Bob

Answer:

Dear Bob,

The fact they filed the suit is already going to appear on your credit report.

You should absolutely contact the attorney as soon as possible and make an offer to settle. There is no need to wait to do that.

Forget trying to figure out the logic for suing you on a small balance. Accounts just get dumped in the hopper and accounts just get dumped in the hopper for action. It’s not logic. Just process.

If they do agree to the settlement, keep in mind the settlement will appear on your credit report and you should get some documentation of the settlement agreement and never lose that document. You may need it in the future to show that your less than full balance payment was for full satisfaction of the debt.

Steve Rhode
Get Out of Debt GuyTwitter, G+, Facebook

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This article by Steve Rhode first appeared on Get Out of Debt Guy and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.