What to do about an attorneys office that now wants us to pay more than we can?

UPDATED: May 2, 2011

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What to do about an attorneys office that now wants us to pay more than we can?

Bought a car, couldn’t afford it, surrendered it and after auction have been paying on the difference ever since. the collection agency has now gave it to an attorneys office. We have been paying regularly $100/month. Now they say without an automatic bank draft of $450/month. The case will come under”legal review”, whatever that is. What should we do or not do?

Asked on May 2, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

"Legal review" is not an official term in the law; it probably means here that teey will review the case to see if they should file a lawsuit against you.

The problem for you is that a creditor is not obligated to accept anything less than payment in full, on time (or immediately, if the debt is already past due). Therefore, the creditor (or their collection agency, lawyer, etc.) is within their rights to say  "Pay $450/month automatically or we will sue you." You can certainly try to negotiate with them, but they are  not obligated to meet you halfway or take cognizance of what you can afford--they are allowed to hold out for what they want, as long as it's not more than you legally owe.

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