Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Missouri

If you been served a summons for a debt you owe, can you pay the debt before you go to court.

Asked on 3/29/13, 1:22 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Anthony Smith LawSmith

I know of no bar to paying an alleged debt, unless you have a pending bankruptcy case. There can be advatages to paying adebt prior to court. Included, not exclusive, is the benefit of avoiding having to pay attonrey fees in some courts, as well as not having a judgment against you.

Beware, Many people who think they paid the entire debt, are sorry later to find out that they did not pay everthing, and still get a judgment against them. judgments earn interest and carry additional fees and costs. They can also act as lien agsint your real property, and effect one's credit rating. if you intend to oay the debt, or settle the amoutn alleged, get a Release in writing, or have the Plaitniff (or their attorney) inform the Court that the case has been fully resolved.

If you beleive that you owe at least most of what they say you do, and especially if the plaintiff is represnted by counsel, I reccoment you call to make an agreement to pay the debt. The attorney represnting the palitniff, may be able to accept full payment of the principal, and waive interest, court costs and attorney fees. They would have to prove the case, in light of any defenses you raise, and woudl then have to collect the amount awarded in any judgment. After getting served, and before the intitial Answer docket, is an opprtune time to settle a case. They may be willing to discoount the amoutn owed, rather thatn have to litigate. In that case, you could save significant money compared to the person who ignores their Summons, or just thinks they will automatically be allowed to make motnhly payments of what they think they can afford to pay, and maintain their standard of living.

If you do not feel that you owe a significant portion of what they allege, defend your position. Deny all teh allegations that you honestly can, and raise your affirmative defenses timely. This may require you consulting direclty with a civil practice attorney in your area, long before the court date on your Summons.. You will need advice specific to the facts of your case. Many attonreys offer a free or low cost intial consultation. You might be wise to consult with one in regards to settling the case..

Good luck

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Answered on 3/29/13, 4:15 pm

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