After a payment arrangement is made, can it be changed after some of the monies are already paid?

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After a payment arrangement is made, can it be changed after some of the monies are already paid?

I set up a payment arrangement with a creditor over a bad check. I paid the first half of the arrangement and the $30 bad check charge, but a couple days before I made the final payment I received court paperwork that they were suing me for an extra $1200. I called the company and they stated to me that someone had send it to the attorneys and now I have to pay the final installment, plus $200 for attorney fees or go to court. Is this legal or extortion?

Asked on April 30, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Kansas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, no, the agreement is a contract - better if it is in writing - but it is a contract.  I am hoping that you took down names and dates when you spoke with the people to make the payment arrangements and it appears that the arrangement pre-dates the filing in court.  You need to answer the court proceeding and put is what are known as  affirmative defenses: accord and satisfaction; bad faith (a biggie here); prior agreement - whatever.  Some of these are not in "legal-ese" and really they do not have to be.  But you need to get before a Judge and ask that the matter be dismissed and that the company and the attorneys be hit with "bad faith" as they negotiated  "in bad faith."  See the emphasis?  Good luck.


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