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How to Settle a Debt in Nebraska

Sarah Edwards | March 06, 2023

Sarah Edwards
Legal Expert
Sarah Edwards, BS

Sarah Edwards is a professional researcher and writer specializing in legal content. An Emerson College alumna, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the prestigious Boston institution.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Settling your Nebraska debt feels good.

Summary: If you’ve been sued for unpaid debt in Nebraska, you can try to negotiate a debt settlement before your court date. To settle, you should respond to the lawsuit, send a settlement offer to kickstart negotiations, and get the settlement agreement in writing. SoloSettle can help you with all these steps and more.

Debt is something most people deal with. Whether it’s credit cards, an auto loan, or a mortgage, everyone has obligations to pay. However, sometimes consumers get trapped in too much debt, or something happens that prevents them from being able to meet their regular payments.

When you stop making payments to a creditor, they take notice. They’ll likely begin calling you and sending you letters. If enough time goes by, they may charge off your account or start a debt collection lawsuit against you.

If you receive notice of a debt collection lawsuit, you face a potential judgment from the court. A judgment grants creditors and debt collectors additional rights, allowing them to garnish your wages or place a freeze on your bank account. Depending on the type of case they have, they might even be able to seize your property.

Fortunately, settling your debt is usually possible before your court date. Debt settlement helps you avoid a judgment and move on from the obligation.

If you’re interested in settling your debt in Nebraska, there are a few steps you’ll need to take.

Follow these 3 steps to settle a debt in Nebraska

To start the debt settlement process, you can follow these three steps:

  1. Respond to the debt lawsuit with an Answer.
  2. Make an offer to start the negotiations process.
  3. Be sure to get the settlement agreement in writing

Keep reading to learn more about each of these steps. Otherwise, check out this video:

1. Respond to a debt lawsuit with an Answer

A debt lawsuit begins when you receive a Summons and Complaint from a creditor or debt collector. The Summons notifies you of the suit, while the Complaint lists the reasons for the lawsuit, which will include not adhering to your repayment terms for the obligation, the total balance you owe, and any interest or penalties.

Most people don’t realize they must file a legal response to their creditors to avoid a default judgment. The legal response, known as an Answer, indicates the creditor's reasons for failing to repay the debt. Examples of defenses you can use in your Answer include improper validation of the debt, or the statute of limitations has passed.

In Nebraska, you have 30 days to respond to a debt lawsuit. If you don’t respond with an Answer before the deadline, you will most likely lose the case by default judgment. With a default judgment, creditors and debt collectors can garnish your wages and put liens on your property.

Even if you plan to settle the debt before your court date, you should still file an Answer into the case. This protects you from a judgment if your settlement efforts don’t work out.

Filing an Answer isn’t too complicated, but it does require a few steps. You can use SoloSuit to draft and file an Answer in all 50 states.

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2. Make an offer to start the negotiations process

The next step is determining how much you have to offer in a settlement. Review your savings account and any money you have from upcoming paychecks. If you don’t have much available cash, consider finding a side job, selling personal items you no longer need, or seeking help from friends and family.

We recommend offering your debt settlement company around 60% of the total value of your obligation. That amount is significant enough for your creditor to weigh accepting the offer versus going through with a lawsuit.

Most creditors and collectors will counter your offer with one of their own. You may go through several rounds of negotiations before you reach a deal. Remember to maintain your composure throughout the process and not accept an offer you know you can’t fulfill.

When creditors or debt collectors refuse to cooperate, you can explain your financial circumstances. They may become more understanding and accept a lower offer.

If you accept a settlement and file to meet its terms, your lawsuit will proceed and you’ll likely have a judgment ordered against you.

SoloSettle negotiates your debt settlement for you.

3. Be sure to get the settlement agreement in writing

Before transferring any money to your creditor, get the agreement in writing. A written agreement ensures that you and your creditor understand its terms.

In your settlement agreement, you’ll list the amount you’ll repay, when it’s due, and how you’ll transfer the funds. You should include language that stipulates your payment waives the creditor's right to the remaining amount due. It should also require them to drop the lawsuit against you.

We recommend that you provide a place for you and your creditor to notarize the agreement. A notary will witness your contract, adding further legal credibility to the deal.

Here’s a debt settlement agreement example, with a preview attached below, so you know what to look for:

Debt Settlement Agreement Example

SoloSettle manages the debt settlement agreement on your behalf.

Here’s an example of how to settle a debt in Nebraska.:

Example: Nora receives a subpoena notifying her of a pending debt lawsuit against her from Payday Loans 4 Everyone. The amount of the lawsuit is $1,000. She can’t afford to repay the entire amount before the court date, so she decides to go through the settlement process. Nora files an Answer to the lawsuit, then contacts Payday Loans 4 Everyone. To start the negotiation process, Nora uses SoloSettle to make her first offer at 40% of the debt, or $400. Payday Loans 4 Everyone counters with an offer of $600, which Nora accepts. SoloSettle helps Nora set up a debt settlement agreement that both she and Payday Loans sign before her money is transferred for the settlement. Payday Loans 4 Everyone drops the lawsuit against Nora, and she ends up saving hundreds.

What are Nebraska’s debt collection and debt settlement laws?

Nebraska adheres to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). Under the FDCPA, debt collectors cannot take certain actions, including:

  • Calling consumers before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Using obscene or threatening language to collect a debt
  • Telling the creditor they’ll go to jail for failing to repay a debt
  • Contacting a consumer more than seven times over seven days
  • Calling the consumer at work despite the consumer requesting them not to

In addition to the guidelines under the FDCPA, Nebraska enacted its own legislation concerning debt collection practices. NE Code § 45-1047 (2012) prohibits collectors from:

  • Telling the borrower they’ve committed a crime when they haven’t
  • Threatening the consumer with legal action they can’t take
  • Soliciting a postdated check with the intention of threatening criminal prosecution
  • Falsely represent the amount of the debt due

Like other states, Nebraska has statute of limitations laws that limit the collection of a debt. Under NE § 25-205, creditors can pursue written debts for five years. NE § 25-206 notes that oral accounts have a statute of limitations of four years. NE § 25-212 has a statute of limitations of four years on debts with open accounts.

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 Nebraska, 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.

Which debt settlement company is the best?

There are several debt settlement companies you can consider if you need help settling debts. However, be warned that debt settlement agencies often end up being scams or charging exorbitant fees that cancel out whatever amount you save upon settling.

While there are hundreds of debt relief agencies out there that can assist with debt settlement services, none of them operate quite like SoloSettle.

SoloSettle, powered by SoloSuit, specifically helps individuals facing a debt lawsuit. Our tech-based approach to debt settlement sends and receives settlement offers on your behalf until an agreement is reached. You don’t pay any upfront fees until the debt is settled, and SoloSettle manages your payment and settlement agreement for you.

On top of all that, SoloSettle is more affordable than your typical debt settlement company. We also take an active approach to settlement, instead of waiting for creditors or debt collectors to reach out.

Finally, SoloSettle is different because we accept any amount of debt. While traditional debt settlers only take on cases involving debts of $15,000 or more, SoloSettle can help you settle a debt of any size.

Discover how SoloSettle can make debt settlement easier.

Below are other trusted debt settlement companies you might consider:

  • Freedom Debt Relief: One of the nation’s largest debt settlement companies, Freedom Debt Relief has helped over 750,000 people resolve their outstanding debts with creditors. You can bundle multiple debts for settlement with the company, which will negotiate directly with your debt collectors. Services from Freedom Debt Relief range from 15 to 25% of your total debt’s value.
  • Accredited Debt Relief: Offers debt settlement services to individuals with unsecured debt, like credit cards and medical obligations. Individuals must carry at least $10,000 in debt to qualify for their services. Accredited Debt Relief charges 15 to 25% for their services, and programs last between two to four years.
  • National Debt Relief: Specializes in unsecured debt like credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans and has helped over 400,000 people obtain debt relief through its programs. National Debt Relief charges fees ranging from 15 to 25% of the consumer’s total debt, and people can expect to complete their programs within two to four years.
  • Century Support Services: Another debt relief company that’s popular with customers. Since 2012, the organization has helped customers resolve more than $1.7 billion in debt. Century Support Services charges clients 18% to 25%, depending on how much debt they seek to settle.

What’s the best way to contact a creditor?

If you’re ready to start the debt settlement process, you can contact your creditor via email, phone, or letter.

We recommend email since it’s quick and allows you to keep a written record of your communications. You’ll be able to consider your responses before replying to the debt collector.

However, some people prefer to speak with their creditors directly over the phone. You should record the conversation if you decide to call your debt collector. Under NE Code § 86-290, recording a conversation with one party’s consent is legal. You’ll be the person consenting to the recording.

Nebraska debt settlement FAQs

You likely have a lot of questions concerning debt settlement in Nebraska. Here are a few of the most common inquiries people have:

Q. What percentage of debt should I offer to settle?

The amount you offer to pay in a settlement depends on what you can afford. The higher your offer, the more likely your debt collector is to accept the settlement. An offer of at least 60% is what we recommend.

However, if that’s too much for you, explain your financial circumstances. Your debt collector may be willing to work with you to find a mutually satisfying arrangement.

Q. When does debt become uncollectible in Nebraska?

Your creditor cannot take legal action against you once the statute of limitations for debt passes. Oral and debts on account have a statute of limitations of four years, while the statute of limitations for written accounts is five years. However, even if the debt passes the statute of limitations, your sneaky creditor can continue to report the account adversely.

Q. Can I settle my debt on my own?

Yes, it is possible to handle your own debt settlement. Research the process to understand how it works and save some money toward your settlement. Once you’re ready, contact your creditor to begin the procedure.

How to get debt relief in Nebraska

If you have more questions about debt settlement in Nebraska, we have answers! Read through some of our other guides for assistance.

You can accomplish debt settlement with some work

We’ll be honest — debt settlement isn’t a fun process. However, once you finish it and satisfy your obligation, you can move on from a difficult financial time. You won’t need to worry about further legal actions or calls from debt collectors.

Learn how SoloSuit can help you resolve your debts!

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