Munster, IN asked in Contracts and Civil Litigation for Virginia

Q: What happens if I don't pay the agreed settlement as a defendant?

I agreed to a settlement, but unfortunately I don't think I can pay. There are no penalties besides continuing to trial and a clause that says "In the event any litigation arises out of this Agreement, the prevailing party shall be entitled to its reasonable expenses incurred to enforce the terms of this agreement", which lists attorneys fees, expenses ect. Does this mean if I break it I have to pay extra costs? Can they use this failed agreement against me in court? It's a mutual release agreement as well, so does this mean I can no longer countersue?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Shafeek Seddiq
Shafeek Seddiq
Answered
  • Reston, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: Contract governs the agreement. So, if you default or breach, go to court and lose, most likely you will pay the additional cost associated with the matter. You should look at the clause(s) where it might say how to get out of it if you cannot pay or show this document to an attorney to help you understand it.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof
Answered
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: The answers to your questions will depend on what the attorney for the other party will do. The other party may ask the Judge to enforce the Agreement and ask for costs and attorney's fees. The other party may just proceed with the trail and ask the Judge for monetary damages as well as costs and attorney's fees. Without reviewing the release it is hard to determine the answer that you asked but generally a mutual release is enforceable only if the settlement is entered by the Court without you breaking the settlement agreement or without going to trial. You should seek a formal opinion from an attorney who practices before the court where the trial is scheduled.

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