Should I contact the attorney representinga credit card companyto settle out of court or is it better to present a settlement in court?

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Should I contact the attorney representinga credit card companyto settle out of court or is it better to present a settlement in court?

I received a summons to appear in court from a law firm representing a debt collector for $1400. Should I try to settle out of court or is it better to present my case in court? On the summons it does not have instructions on how to answer the complaint; it just states to appear in court.

Asked on June 27, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I guess that being an attorney I should tell you that you should contact the attorney first to discuss a settlement - and I do think that that is the case.  You have to make a good faith effort to settle he matter before you go in to court.  But I have met many an attorney for a debt collector that loses sight on the humanity in a situation and that people fall on hard times.  And I feel that credit card companies make it too easy for people to obtain an unrealistic credit line and that the in part help to put you in the position you are now.  So go to the court house and ask the clerk to file an answer.  File an answer with a general denial.  Assert an "affirmative defense" of improper service and if you think that the amount is incorrect, that too.  Then call and try and settle.  They will want too much money I am sure but you made the effort.  Try and whittle them down.  No judge will make you go in to debt paying off the debt.  That is a given.  If you can get them down to a reasonable payment then do it.  But if you can not wait until you go before a Judge and explain that you tried to settle but they want too much money that you can not afford.  Judge's are reasonable people - most of the time.  Good luck.


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