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Posted in Paying Your Bills
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Question By
Tiredoftreading

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Collections now in court. Options to settle still available?

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Top Contributor
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Were you served by a process server?  Do you have a court date?  Or, was this just a letter saying they were going to sue?  You need to understand the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Statute of Limitations on Collections, and several other aspects of collections because there are few things that cannot be negotiated and settled.  Please read the articles on this site and look up Dave Ramsey's site for information on bill settlements.  I took the time to learn this, and you would benefit from doing so, also.

Top Contributor
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Are you sure that they are actually taking you to court or did you receive a "scare letter" from the debt collector? You will need to be more specific about your situation to get decent advice. If it is a just a letter threatening you with court, they may have violated the FDCPA. If they are actually taking you to court, make sure that you show up or you automatically lose. Nine times out of ten when a debt collector sends a letter about court, it is just a scare tactic, if that is the case, keep the letter from them and all other info from them and you can most likely sue them and get this removed from your credit reports.

Top Contributor
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The above responses covered the "it might be a scare tactic" scenario quite well, so I'll skip that part. If you deternine that it is real and they ARE taking you to court, for goodness' sake try to settle with them before it gets there! You already have a collection on your report; having a judgment as well will be devastating to your credit. Not to mention if they win, the judgment can be executed (collected) at any time for many, many years. They can also be renewed, so if the time limit for collecting a judgment in your state is ten years, it can be renewed for another ten years. Execution can be done by levying your bank account, garnishing your wages, or putting a lien on your home. You may think you have nothing to sue for now, but if you ever DO have something worth taking (wages from a decent job? Good tax return just landed in your bank account?), they can swoop in without notice and take it, and there's not a darn thing you can do about it. Talk about a nasty surprise. Avoid all this and just settle with them. You DO owe the money, so just pay it. 

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Reply by
Krissie72

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115 People Helped

Even if it IS just a scare tactic letter, you're better off having a closed collection account than an open one. Not necessarily better for your score, but anyone looking at the report will be less apt to be scared off by a closed collection than an open collection. They're totally different animals.

Top Contributor
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If it is a "scare tactic letter" the OP would be extremely foolish to pay it anyway just to close it. A "scare tactic letter" is a violation of the FDCPA and the OP could get a lawyer with no out-of-pocket costs, file a lawsuit, watch the collection vanish from the reports and make a few bucks in the process.

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