Sarah Edwards | December 16, 2022
Summary: You have 30 days to respond to a debt lawsuit in Mississippi, but you can reach out to your creditor or debt collector to settle a debt at any stage of the lawsuit process. First, respond to your lawsuit with a written Answer. Next, send a settlement offer to start negotiations. Last, get the settlement agreement in writing. SoloSettle takes care of the settlement process for you.
Do you have an unpaid debt you wish would disappear? Have you had a lawsuit filed against you by a creditor in an attempt to collect a debt? If so, you may be wondering what to do next. After all, ignoring the lawsuit won’t make it go away and will probably make matters worse.
If you’re struggling with debt in Mississippi and are facing a lawsuit because of it, you can settle your debt for less and regain your financial freedom.
Debt settlement allows you to work out an agreement with your creditor or debt collector to repay a portion of the debt in exchange for dismissing the lawsuit and blocking further collection activity.
With a little help, you may be able to settle the debt on your own. Keep reading to learn how to settle a debt in Mississippi
You’ll need to go through these three steps to settle a debt before your court date.
SoloSettle, powered by SoloSuit, can help you settle a debt by yourself in Mississippi. Below, we’ll take a close look at each one of these steps.
You can also watch this video to learn more:
Your creditor begins the debt lawsuit process by filing a Summons and Complaint against you with the court. The Complaint will lay out information about your debt, including the principal balance you owe, interest and fees, and court costs. It may include other information as well.
Once you receive the court documents, don’t ignore them. If you do, the court may grant a default judgment against you. Even though you plan to settle the debt with your creditor before your court date, you’ll need to file an Answer into the case before the deadline. An Answer prevents any judge from issuing a default judgment.
In Mississippi, you have 30 days to respond to a debt lawsuit before you lose automatically by default judgment.
Think of your Answer as extra protection and defense. You’ll list reasons for not paying the debt, such as a lack of jurisdiction over your case or the expiration of the statute of limitations. You can use multiple reasons to defend yourself, but only if they are true.
If you fail to settle the debt before the court date, a judge must review your Answer and supporting evidence before granting a decision. You’ll also have the opportunity to present an oral argument.
Make sure to send a copy of your Answer to the opposing lawyer after you file it with the court. Keep a copy for yourself, too.
If you need help preparing your Answer, SoloSuit has you covered. We can help you draft and file a debt lawsuit Answer in Mississippi online in minutes.
Before you make your offer to start the negotiation process, you’ll need to figure out what you can afford to pay. Assess your current savings and upcoming paychecks. If you’re short on funds, consider selling a few things you don’t need or borrowing some money from family members or friends.
Next, determine how much your creditor or debt collector might accept. This can get tricky, but doing some research online can give you a good idea of how much they might settle for. Here are some questions to consider:
Knowing the answers to these questions can help determine the best amount for your initial settlement offer.
On average, consumers can settle a debt for 50% of the original debt value when working with a debt settlement company.
However, for the greatest chance of success in settling your debt before your court date, we suggest you offer your creditor at least 60% of the total amount you owe. For instance, if the debt collector is suing you for $5,000, you’d offer $3,000 in a settlement.
Be prepared for the creditor to reject your offer and ask for a higher number. It often takes several negotiation rounds to agree on an amount in a settlement.
Don’t make any payments until you have an agreement in writing. The agreement should thoroughly outline the terms of the contract, including how much you will repay and when it will be due. It should also state that the payment fully satisfies your obligation and that the creditor will release you from any further collection activity.
You should ask your creditor to have the contract notarized before making your payment. A notarized agreement further solidifies the deal, and you’ll be able to refer to it if the collection agency decides to come after you later.
Most creditors and debt collectors will take care of drafting the agreement and filling it into the court case. Just be sure to review it carefully before signing.
Below is a debt settlement agreement example:
Now, let’s consider an example of settling a debt in Mississippi.
Example: Marie is being sued by her credit card company in Mississippi. She uses SoloSuit to respond to the case, giving herself time to reach out to the creditor and work out a settlement. After doing some research on the credit card company, Maries decides she can pay off as much as 80% of the debt. She uses SoloSettle to send her initial settlement offer. She starts low by offering 55% of the debt. After a few rounds of negotiations, the credit card company accepts a settlement of 70% of the debt. Marie signs the agreement and it gets filed into the case, along with a voluntary case dismissal by the creditor.
Mississippi has no state-specific debt collection laws other than the statute of limitations. However, Mississippi adheres to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which prevents debt collectors from using harassing or abusive techniques to collect a debt.
Some activities that the FDCPA expressly forbids include the following:
Mississippi has a specific statute of limitations that creditors must follow if they attempt to collect a debt from you via lawsuit.
Under MS Code § 15-1-29 (2020), creditors have three years to collect on oral debts or open accounts. Debt collectors who have a domestic or foreign judgment against an individual have up to seven years to pursue the debt through legal means, according to MS Code § 15-1-43 (2013).
If a debt collector tries to collect on a debt past the statute of limitations, the consumer can ask for a complete dismissal of the case.
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 Alabama, 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:
Depending on your needs, you should consider one of these three debt settlement companies.
If you are facing an immediate lawsuit for debt, we recommend contacting SoloSettle.
Many consumers prefer SoloSettle over traditional debt settlement companies for a few reasons:
Check out this review from a real SoloSettle customer:
“I'm very thankful for SoloSettle. Having a third party negotiate the settlement was instrumental in resolving this case and saved me from two giant headaches: 1) I didn't have to deal with the plaintiff's lawyer and 2) I didn't have to go to court. I also love that the payment was processed through SoloSettle. I was nervous about sharing my personal financial data with the other side, but SoloSettle protected that for me. I hope I never get sued again, but if I do, I would use SoloSettle again in a heartbeat.”
National Debt Relief is the nation’s largest debt settlement company. Since 2009, the company has settled over $1 billion in outstanding debts for its clients. Clients who enroll with National Debt Relief can expect to complete their program within two to four years. There is a program fee of 15% to 25% of the total value of the consumer’s debts.
Another large provider of debt settlement services is Freedom Debt Relief. The company has helped over 650,000 clients resolve their debts since 2002. Those interested in the program can expect it to last between two and four years. Like National Debt Relief, Freedom Debt Relief charges clients a 15% to 25% fee.
If you’re interested in handling the debt settlement process on your own, you can contact your creditor via one of three different means: sending a letter, writing an email, or making a phone call.
Consumers facing a debt lawsuit are better off using email or a phone call to start the process. Both methods are quick, and you should be able to come to an agreement well before your court date.
If you choose to call the debt collector, we advise recording your phone call. Under Mississippi’s MS Code § 41-29-531, only one party has to give consent to tape a conversation. You’ll be the one giving consent, and you can use the recording if the creditor decides to pursue further collection activities despite making an oral agreement.
Below are some frequently asked questions about settling a debt in Mississippi.
According to America Fair Credit Council’s Regan Report, the average consumer can reach a debt settlement of 50% when working with a debt settlement company.
However, we recommend that you start your negotiations with at least 60% of the value of the debt. This number will convince the creditor that you’re serious about settling your obligation.
You can start your offer lower if you can’t afford to pay that much. It may help if you describe the financial hardship you’re facing, like a lack of savings or a job loss.
Yes, some people have had success with DIY debt settlement in Mississippi. With a bit of time and elbow grease, you can negotiate settlements with your debt collectors, potentially saving lots of money in the process. However, you’ll need to set aside some money and learn how debt settlement works before you begin negotiating with creditors.
Mississippi Debt Relief is an organization that advises people in Mississippi on their options for getting out of debt. It is not a debt settlement company. People who sign up for help with Mississippi Debt Relief will receive advice on managing their personal finances.
SoloSuit has several other guides we’ve compiled about overcoming debt in Mississippi. Check out our links below:
We get it: Dealing with debt collectors and creditors can be a daunting, exhausting task. However, at some point, you’ll need to face up to the debt you owe and make arrangements to pay it or settle it. If you don’t, your debt collector may pursue a lawsuit against you.
Take advantage of our helpful tools during the debt settlement process. With SoloSuit, you can get on your way to breaking free from debt.
SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.
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.
Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.
You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now are are just look for support, we're here for you.
Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.
Out Debt Validation Letter is the best way to respond to a collection letter. Many debt collectors will simply give up after receiving it.
"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