My question involves judgment recovery in the State of: MA
Very helpful forum, thank you! Apologies in advance for the missive.
BACKGROUND: Hi - I had a MA default judgment issued against me a year and a half ago (was improperly served summons and complaint at old address, but time lapsed before I could request judgment to be vacated). For a credit card balance + interest and fees. Unemployed at the time, so plaintiff's attorney rescheduled payment hearing for 6 months later.
A few days before the hearing, I called the plaintiff's attorney, made a 17% payment on balance owed, and agreed to pay balance in 2 years w/monthly payments. Plaintiff's attorney informed me that arrangements were acceptable, they would inform the court, and I would not need to appear in court for the hearing. I had just started a new job that I didn't want to jeopardize with time off, so I didn't attend hearing (I know, huge mistake--plaintiff didn't inform the court of anything, and a capias warrant was issued!).
CURRENT STATUS: Almost a year has passed, and I've paid as agreed. In a position now to pay the balance in full, I've contacted the plaintiff's attorney for a payoff amount. Their response? A settlement offer: if I pay ~80% of what I owe within 7 days, they'll mark the account as paid in full. (I choose to pay in full--I've read incidents that creditors will settle for less, and then go after debtor for the balance. Also read that, from a creditworthiness perspective, a Default-Paid in Full is worth more than Default-Settled).
He also said the capias warrant was no good--it expires after a year (although it was 2 months shy of 1 year issuance).
1) Does a capias warrant in Massachusetts really expire in 1 year (rendering it unenforceable)?
2) Why would a plaintiff with a capias warrant and a court judgment for full amount bother to settle for less?
3) What is the best way to proceed with paying off the plaintiff and to obtain assurances (to the court? to credit agencies?) that this debt has been paid in full?
Thank you to any and all who take the time to answer!