That feeling when you settle your debt in Arizona ^^
Summary: If you’ve been sued for debt in Arizona, SoloSettle can help you settle the debt once and for all. Just be sure to respond to the lawsuit with an Answer, send a settlement offer, and get the agreement in writing.
Few things are as stressful as a lawsuit. If you’re an Arizona resident who’s been sued over debt, you have a limited window in which to act. What are your next steps? How can you settle your debt as quickly as possible? Here’s a simple, step-by-step guide to help you settle a debt in Arizona.
Follow these three steps to settle a debt in Arizona
To settle a debt in Arizona, simply follow these three steps:
Respond to the debt lawsuit with an Answer.
Make a settlement offer to start negotiations.
Get the settlement agreement in writing when an offer is accepted.
Below, we’ll discuss each of the steps in detail. You can also watch this video to learn more:
1. Respond to the debt lawsuit with an Answer
An Answer is a legal document that addresses each claim listed in a lawsuit. In your Answer, you can dispute these claims or indicate your plans to contest the lawsuit in court.
Act quickly after you receive a notice of a lawsuit; In Arizona, you only have 20 days to file an Answer with the court. Failure to meet this deadline could lead to a default judgment against you, making you responsible for the entire amount listed in the lawsuit.
If you’ve already contacted the debt collector directly, you should still file an Answer with the court. Otherwise, sneaky collectors can go behind your back and request a default judgment anyway. Having an Answer on file alerts the courts to your wishes and communicates your willingness to fight the lawsuit.
Your first offer should be roughly 60% of the total debt.
In your offer, include the amount you are willing to pay, the case number associated with the lawsuit, and a deadline for the creditor to accept the offer or make a counteroffer.
Don’t expect the debt collector to accept your first offer. They can respond with a counteroffer, which you can accept or decline. The point is to at least start the negotiation process and come to an agreement on how much you can pay to settle the debt.
3. Get the settlement agreement in writing when an offer is accepted
Once your offer has been accepted, don’t make a payment until you get the settlement agreement in writing. Otherwise, the debt collector could claim that you still owe the rest of the debt. Save all the supporting documentation and communication with the collector, including any emails that you sent or received.
A typical debt settlement agreement will look something like this:
Now, let’s take a look at an example of how to settle a debt in Arizona.
Example: Mark was recently sued for debt. Fortunately, he was able to use SoloSuit to file an Answer by the 20-day Arizona deadline. After receiving Mark’s answer, the creditor concluded that they were unlikely to win a lawsuit in court. Instead, they agreed to settle for 60% of the original debt. Today, Mark is working to rebuild his credit and is thankful for the help of SoloSuit!
Arizona’s debt collection and settlement laws can protect you
Arizona debt collectors fall under regulation at the federal level by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and at the state level through a series of requirements and prohibitions. Just be aware that Arizona’s state-level regulations represent criminal statutes, which means that you can’t sue a debt collector for violating these rules.
These laws prevent debt collectors from practices that include:
Requesting a collection fee, court costs, or other expenses.
Threatening you with additional charges if the debt is not paid.
Threatening to sell your debt to another person or business entity.
Falsifying the amount of debt you owe.
Falsely claiming to practice law or have a legal department.
Imitating a government entity or legal representative, including a lawyer.
Since these laws are criminal statutes, you cannot sue the creditor for violating them. However, violation of these rules is a Class 1 misdemeanor (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 32-1056). Report any violation to your local city or county prosecutor immediately.
Finally, the Federal Trade Commission has recently amended the Telemarketing Sales Rule to expand debt settlement regulations to all debt relief organizations and companies. All 50 states, including Louisiana, are governed by this Rule as it relates to debt settlement practice.
Under the new Rule, any company that provides debt relief services, namely debt settlement companies, cannot:
Charge upfront fees. Debt settlement companies cannot collect any fees from a consumer before the debt has been effectively settled or otherwise resolved.
Fail to disclose certain information about its services before a consumer enrolls in the program. This includes how much the service costs, how long it takes to see results, how much money must be saved before a settlement offer is made, consequences that may occur if the consumer fails to make payments on time, customer’s rights, and other important terms.
Misrepresent their services. No false or unsubstantiated claims can be made regarding a debt settlement company’s services.
What’s the best debt settlement company?
When choosing to work with a debt settlement company, be careful. There are several risks that come with debt settlement companies and agencies, including expensive fees, hurting your credit score, and even being scammed.
That being said, you have options when it comes to debt settlement in Arizona. Here are some of today’s top companies to consider.
SoloSuit is already a trusted brand, and the SoloSettle service is an extension of that good name. What gives SoloSettle an edge over other debt settlement companies?
No minimum requirements, letting you settle debts of any size.
SoloSettle works to secure settlement offers.
SoloSettle has built-in legal defenses to block lawsuits.
In a world full of scams, you deserve a company that focuses on your best interests. SoloSettle helps you settle the debt on your own with a less traditional debt settlement route.
Century Support Services
Accredited by the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC), Century Support Services offers a variety of resources and tools through the company website. However, the company also has a reputation for hidden fees, and you’ll need at least $10,000 of debt to qualify.
Freedom Debt Relief
Freedom Debt Relief offers a convenient online client portal and great customer service. Just be aware that you’ll need $7,500 of debt to use its service, and the company has faced lawsuits regarding unlawful charges and a lack of financial transparency.
National Debt Relief
The National Debt Relief website includes tools and resources that can help debtors, and the company is AFCC-accredited. However, debtors need at least $7,500 of debt to qualify, and the company takes as much as 25% of the settlement amount in fees.
New Era Debt Solutions
New Era Debt Solutions is also AFCC-accredited and offers live chat through the company website. Unfortunately, the company is less than forthright about eligibility requirements and related fees, and it only offers customer support on weekdays.
Choose the best method to contact the collector
How should you submit an offer to the debt collector? Generally speaking, you want a method that offers speed, along with a paper trail that you can use to document the exchange and the final offer.
Email: This can be a great method since it’s instantaneous, can be used everywhere, and records the conversation in writing. If you can find the debt collector’s email address, this method is preferred for its speed and its paper trail.
Mail: The postal system can also provide you with a paper trail, especially if you send a certified letter. But mail has its pros and cons. Naturally, paper mail is slow, which can prolong negotiations and take longer for you to reach a settlement. On the other hand, this may give you time to think over any counteroffer you receive and put you in a better position to negotiate.
Phone: Phone calls can be risky unless you’re able to provide proof of the conversation. Fortunately, Arizona is classified as a one-party consent state, which means that you can legally record a conversation that you’re party to even without the other person’s consent (see AZ Rev Stat § 13-3005). The real danger, though, is facing a trained negotiator who can manipulate you into accepting an offer that’s less than fair. Be wary of collectors who insist on phone calls, and always be ready to record the conversation for your records.
FAQs about how to settle a debt in Arizona
What is a reasonable offer to settle a debt?
Your first offer should be roughly 60% of the total debt that you owe. In most instances, this is a perfectly reasonable offer, though not every debt collector will be satisfied with this amount. Be prepared for a counteroffer, which you can accept or reject. The most important thing is to start the negotiation process to reduce your total obligation.
For example, debt collectors are not allowed to sue you for credit card debt that is over three years old or for medical debt over six years old.
Is it better to settle a debt or pay it off?
Your best option is to pay off your debt. Loan officers will look more favorably on you if they see the words “paid in full” in your financial history.
With that being said, paying off your debt may not be possible, or the financial hardship involved could prevent you from achieving your other financial goals. Settling your debt can be the better option since it reduces your overall burden, removes your debt quickly, and starts you on the road to financial recovery.
You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.
SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.
And 50% of our customers' cases have been dismissed in the past.
"Finding yourself on the wrong side of the law unexpectedly is kinda scary. I started researching on YouTube and found SoloSuit's channel. The videos were so helpful, easy to understand and encouraging. When I reached out to SoloSuit they were on it. Very professional, impeccably prompt. Thanks for the service!" - Heather