Things You Should Know before You Settle with the Debt Collector
If you’re being sued by a debt collector, you’re probably worried–of course you are–but think twice before settling the case just to make it go away. Sometimes that can be a very bad idea, and if you will hang in there and fight a little bit, you’ll be in much better shape.
A Few Basic Facts about Settling Debt Cases
The lawyers for the debt collector never worry about losing a suit – they always assume they will win. And has nothing to do with the evidence, because they rarely have any idea of what the evidence is or what they could prove if they have to. Their confidence comes from two things: they don’t worry about losing a case because they have many of them and they’re cheap. And they don’t think you – a non-lawyer – have much of a chance against them anyway. So going to court and claiming they’ll win (if you try to negotiate) is nothing to them at all – and it should mean nothing to you, either.
So what do the lawyers for the debt collector fear? They fear wasting time – or spending it at all. That’s why they never do more than glance at your case before you show up. They have the business down to spending just a very few minutes per case.
They can do this because they do lots of cases at the same time and because most people give up or default.
So in Order to Settle in Any Meaningful Way
In order for you to get them to take you seriously, you will need to do a little work – and you will need to make them do a little work. Before that happens, they might knock off 20-30% of what the case is seeking if you ask (or they might not), but they won’t do serious negotiation. To settle, you have to file an answer and begin to defend yourself. Once you file an Answer and serve them some discovery, they start noticing you, and after that the chances of settling just get better and better.
And so do your chances of winning outright.
So hang tough for a bit and do a few things – they’re easy to do and not really scary. And if you want to settle eventually you can be sure that you will have made that easier and better. Or keep fighting and see if you can make them give up.