Update: Lawyer calls, makes a small offer to settle this matter and says that is all you can get. During the phone call the lawyer raises their voice, tries to pressure me into settling for peanuts, keeps bringing up information that isn't relevant, and tells me what is wrong with my complaint. I am standing firm in this matter and will take it as far as I have to, in order to get in the area of my desired outcome.
Does FDCPA apply during settlement offers and can I talk to the judge about this in our phone conference?
This is why I demand that all communications be by email. If it is a rules required "conference" then record.
as to whether or not FDCPA applies ....
If the attorney brings up payment of or offset of any award by the amount of the debt (thereby attempting to collect it) ... he has made himself/herself a debt collector and liable under the FDCPA ... seperately from his client (if different).
the actual debt, the validity and/or the amount of it .... is irrelevant to a FDCPA action so don't discuss it. If it is brought up, simply tell them that you are not open to discuss the alleged debt.
I would never ever allow anything other than ... you pay me the settlement amount or the awarded amount and I will pay the creditor directly. Why? Because this just muddies the waters. You are leaving proof of payment in the hands of a third party. On top of that, if you were to play that game, you would have to make sure they properly notate the check to make it clear that it is to pay the specific debt. Then get copies of the check, a receipt from the creditor and a copy of the front and back of the check once cashed and retured. Its just more of a headache than its worth.