Author Topic: $15,000 judgment settled for pennies on the dollar!  (Read 34073 times)

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FLMechanic

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$15,000 judgment settled for pennies on the dollar!
« on: April 29, 2012 03:43:30 AM »
I didn't win this one, but 3 years later, I feel like I did!

I lost the court case over 3 years ago, and was on the edge of bankruptcy. My attorney had botched the case, by failing to submit a proposed order on time, and I got dinged for over $15,000.

Using tactics described on this board, I laid low, and became judgment proof (while living frugally and saving money).

I was able to settle the judgment for less than $1500.00.... Considering that I had offered them $3000 to go away during the case, and that it cost them over $4000 in attorneys fees to get the judgment-- I feel like I came out ahead.

Even when things go terribly wrong, it isn't over until the fat lady sings.

Thank you for your help!

deepkimchee

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Re: $15,000 judgment settled for pennies on the dollar!
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2012 05:36:45 AM »
I am thinking about the possiblility of doing the same thing.  I am afraid to kick the dog at this point.

How did you approach them?  Was there a lot of haggeling? 
I refuse to let a piece of paper intimidate me

My statements are educated/non-educated guesses, not legal advice

FLMechanic

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Re: $15,000 judgment settled for pennies on the dollar!
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012 07:27:40 AM »
There were about 2 minutes of haggling.

Here's the back story:

After the case, I called the attorney for the other side. I told him "I'll give you $250 bucks to settle the debt, or I'm going to declare chapter 7 in the next 7 days and you'll get nothing."

Of course, the Attorney being a true professional, began insulting and berating me on the phone.

I hung up and never contacted him again. I can only imagine he told his clients that I was about to declare bankruptcy. They sold the debt very quickly to a local "judgment buyer" for very little money.

The "judgment buyer" went belly up and it's portfolio was bought by another local S. Fla company. One of the partners happened to call my former job (which was now my current job again). I know this might have been a violation-- but I wasn't going to bring my $1000 claim against a $15000 judgment.

I called him back-- told him that I was unemployed, heard about him from my old employer, had very little money, and would be willing to beg/borrow/steal to get him $1500 to completely satisfy the debt.

They accepted. I got my peace of mind back. No more worries about garnishment or attachment if they finally found out where I lived, banked. or worked.

deepkimchee

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Re: $15,000 judgment settled for pennies on the dollar!
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2012 09:35:05 AM »
That's wonderful!!  I was just telling my son, that knowledge is money.

My judgment is with the OC still, so I doubt I would have that kind of luck.  They are asleep at the moment so I will let them sleep for a while.
I refuse to let a piece of paper intimidate me

My statements are educated/non-educated guesses, not legal advice

KFMAN

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Re: $15,000 judgment settled for pennies on the dollar!
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2012 03:04:47 PM »
There were about 2 minutes of haggling.

Here's the back story:

After the case, I called the attorney for the other side. I told him "I'll give you $250 bucks to settle the debt, or I'm going to declare chapter 7 in the next 7 days and you'll get nothing."

Of course, the Attorney being a true professional, began insulting and berating me on the phone.

I hung up and never contacted him again. I can only imagine he told his clients that I was about to declare bankruptcy. They sold the debt very quickly to a local "judgment buyer" for very little money.

The "judgment buyer" went belly up and it's portfolio was bought by another local S. Fla company. One of the partners happened to call my former job (which was now my current job again). I know this might have been a violation-- but I wasn't going to bring my $1000 claim against a $15000 judgment.

I called him back-- told him that I was unemployed, heard about him from my old employer, had very little money, and would be willing to beg/borrow/steal to get him $1500 to completely satisfy the debt.

They accepted. I got my peace of mind back. No more worries about garnishment or attachment if they finally found out where I lived, banked. or worked.
Most JDB can't prove you owe anything, so a $15,000 judgment was unlikely.

FLMechanic

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Re: $15,000 judgment settled for pennies on the dollar!
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2012 06:20:33 PM »
Unfortunately for me, it was a judgment, not an alleged debt.

They had bill of sale, copy of the entire court file, final judgment signed by judge, copy of judgment creditor's passport (The President of the LLC) ....

KFMAN

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Re: $15,000 judgment settled for pennies on the dollar!
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2012 07:53:10 PM »
Unfortunately for me, it was a judgment, not an alleged debt.

They had bill of sale, copy of the entire court file, final judgment signed by judge, copy of judgment creditor's passport (The President of the LLC) ....
Did you know about JAMS arb at the time?

trueq

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Re: $15,000 judgment settled for pennies on the dollar!
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2012 09:14:51 PM »
This is a great story on why judgments are not the end of the world.

They are "negotiable" just like anything else.

I agree judgments are not nearly as negotiable as the debt may be before judgment, but garnishment, lien, levys take time, money, and effort.

A judgment does not mean one will get paid.

One of the judgments, I negotiated to about 2/3'd's of the amount owed and got a stipulation to vacate the judgment like it never happened!   (In a nutshell, it turned out like negotitating a 66% settlement before judgment.)

Granted, a 66% setttlement is nothing to write home about, but when you defeat everyone else to 0%, its about a 3% settlement on the total problem.

Stuff happens.  If you took the shot and lost, this is an excellent way to fix the issue...write a check for less than your owe and ask for a stipulation to vacate the judgment as part of the deal.

20% settlement on a judgment?   I got to give you props on that one.   

That is impressive even by penny pinching TrueQ standards!!!!

Great job!
My free speech is not legal advice.  If you need legal advice, you need to talk to a lawyer.

Litigation Defense record
Arbitration record:   9 wins * 0 loses
Court Record:         2 wins * 2 judgments (1 of the 2 judgments has been vacated, other judgment upheld on appeal, marked "satisfied", because I wrote a check.)

The one bank that beat me in court, I now have a $2200 limit credit card from them again.
Redemption is always possible.

Midas10k

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Re: $15,000 judgment settled for pennies on the dollar!
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2012 12:35:09 AM »
Was the plaintiff with the original judgement an OC or JDB?

If it was a JDB, was their Bill of Sale for a portfolio of debts?   

If so, did you demand evidence that showed your specific alleged debt was part of the portfolio Bill of Sale?

Either way, congrats on bartering ingenuity!

debtfree2b

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Re: $15,000 judgment settled for pennies on the dollar!
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2012 02:28:05 AM »
Knowledge IS power! Congratulations and wonderful that you will sleep better not  having this looming in the background somewhere.

FLMechanic

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Re: $15,000 judgment settled for pennies on the dollar!
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2012 02:42:33 AM »

Did you know about JAMS arb at the time?
This was a contractual debt, not subject to an ARB clause. This was not a credit card or bank loan.

Was the plaintiff with the original judgement an OC or JDB?

If it was a JDB, was their Bill of Sale for a portfolio of debts?   

If so, did you demand evidence that showed your specific alleged debt was part of the portfolio Bill of Sale?

Either way, congrats on bartering ingenuity!

Judgment was with the original real estate investment firm, this was not a credit card. It was sold as an individual debt, not as part of a portfolio.

The tactics I'd have used against a JDB w/ a portfolio sale didn't apply here.

doneinny

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Re: $15,000 judgment settled for pennies on the dollar!
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2012 06:00:41 PM »
Congratulations!

I've had several such offers to settle debts for pennies on the dollar.

They are enticing, but combined they total far more than the $2,000 to go bankrupt.

Can you suggest some good reasons why settling would be better than bankruptcy?

I too am judgement proof, but would like to stop having to live off the radar.

Thanks.


RoadLessTraveled

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Re: $15,000 judgment settled for pennies on the dollar!
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2012 06:47:03 PM »

Can you suggest some good reasons why settling would be better than bankruptcy?



According to a recent book I read, a well-considered decision to file for bankruptcy could depend in part, upon whether you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 and other factors such as your age.

According to the author, downside to filing Chapter 13 is that although your creditors may be less likely to fight the discharge of your debts, you'll be under the government's thumb for three to five years.  Lots of restrictions worth researching.

With Chapter 7, you're done more quickly, but if something really big happens -- un-payable medical bills, etc., -- you won't be able to file again for several years.  Plus, some creditors have been known to fight the discharge. 

One of the frequent posters on this board --who's won several battles in court -- says he likes to view bankruptcy as a last resort.  Could be a negotiation strategy, or something to do, only if you lose.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck and keep reading!


 

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