Here is a redacted copy of an email we wrote to one of our DIY Lawsuit Defense clients recently. Midland in this case is Midland Funding, a purchaser of debt, not an original creditor.
I saw that Eric exchanged emails with you about the Case Management Statement. I will now address your questions about the possibility of settlement and “what’s stopping them from going through with the whole thing and getting a judgment against me?”
Regarding the possibility of Midland “going through with the whole thing”, it is certainly possible for Midland to do this, that is, go all the way to trial and do the work of obtaining a judgment. However, it is not common practice for them to actually do that. Midland has gone to trial against one of our clients (the ones who used our services from the beginning like you) only once in three years. It’s just not a substantial part of their business model. They prefer to settle cases or obtain judgments from people who do not defend themselves properly. Also, if they do go to trial, they have to work harder than the original creditor to prove up their case.
Regarding settlement negotiations, you may certainly go that route with no damage to your defense. Just don’t admit that you owe the money. I suggest a letter to Midland’s attorney, short and to the point. “Dear Sir or Madame: I am willing to settle this matter for $__________ (start at 20%). Please respond in writing. I am not an attorney and I am not comfortable negotiating by telephone. Very truly yours, (your name).” If they call you, repeat the same thing, ask them to write you, and politely end the call. If they write you, you can call or email us and ask our advice on how to respond.
Hope this helps, R.