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  1. #1

    Unhappy Can You Settle a Collections Lawsuit Without Going to Court

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: MD
    I received a summons yesterday for an old debt, I'd completely forgotten about it. I'm a full time working student, and don't have time to go to court. Is there a way to work something out with the collection agency without going to court? It's only $662 so a short payment plant would be feasible. What do I do? And how do I answer the summons?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    16,766

    Default Re: Can You Settle a Collections Lawsuit Without Going to Court

    Is there a way to work something out with the collection agency without going to court?
    Yes.

    You just call up the collection agency and say "I want to pay and get the lawsuit dismissed. Where do I bring the check?" Then deliver the check and get the dismissal papers at the same time. Keep in mind that you don't just owe $662. You also owe the filing and process service fees along with maybe accrued interest and attorney fees depending on what kind of debt.

    You can, of course, ask for a payment plan and see how that goes.

    how do I answer the summons?
    If the summons says you have to file an answer withing a specific amount of time you can use the same format as the complaint, admit or deny the allegations, file the answer with the court and send a copy to the plaintiff.

    How long ago did you default on the debt?

    The statute of limitations in MD is 3 years. If the default was more than 3 years ago you can raise the SOL as an affirmative defense in your answer and get the lawsuit dismissed as time barred.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can You Settle a Collections Lawsuit Without Going to Court

    Hi I called the debt collector and paid 40% of the down payment and worked out reasonable payment for the rest. Do I still need to file a response to the summons within 15 days?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
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    35,894

    Default Re: Can You Settle a Collections Lawsuit Without Going to Court

    Quote Quoting Deathcabforchristina
    View Post
    Hi I called the debt collector and paid 40% of the down payment and worked out reasonable payment for the rest. Do I still need to file a response to the summons within 15 days?
    You just reset the SOL clock; you may have had a valid defense otherwise.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,766

    Default Re: Can You Settle a Collections Lawsuit Without Going to Court

    Quote Quoting Deathcabforchristina
    View Post
    Hi I called the debt collector and paid 40% of the down payment and worked out reasonable payment for the rest. Do I still need to file a response to the summons within 15 days?
    Yes.

    If you don't, the creditor will get a default judgment.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can You Settle a Collections Lawsuit Without Going to Court

    1. They were within the statute of limitations, I checked.

    2. When filing a response, can I mail it to the court or do I physically have take it in? And when I file a response do I agree or deny since I have come to a payment agreement with the debtor?

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