Selma, CA asked in Consumer Law for California

Q: Hello, I’ve recently been sued by a debt collector and they didn’t want to settle for the amount I offered.

I can’t afford to do payment plans since I’m currently unemployed and husbands job slowed down. Please advice me on what’s the best route to take . I can’t afford a lawyer nor do I know how to go about this . Thank you in advance .

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3 Lawyer Answers
Scott Richard Kaufman
Scott Richard Kaufman
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Los Altos, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Lawyers who specialize in this area of law are not too hard to find and you may be surprised, in that, even if you actually owe the debt, sometimes there are legal ways out. Look up folks who handle FDCPA and FCRA cases for more help.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Very sorry to hear that you are in this situation, it has to be stressful. You can talk to a collection agency until you are blue in the face and cannot make them take what you offer. Sometimes they just want to have the numbers on a piece of paper rather than money, but really, isn't that their problem?? If you can't pay, you can't pay. You can always negotiate a lesser payment even when there is a judgment, and the person on the other side decides they want to get some cash for the numbers on paper. Also, you are probably dealing with very low level people at the attorney/collection office now, just clerks, and they have no discretion. Try writing a letter explaining your situation and making an offer. There is a process in Court called a 998 offer (CCP 998) and if they don't do better than that to get a judgment, it cuts off attorney fees and costs. You need the advice of an attorney before you do that, look for a legal aid society in your area, contact your county bar association for a referral.

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William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Bankruptcy is an option if the debt isn't barred by the statute of limitations.

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