Sarah Edwards | March 20, 2023
Summary: If you’re facing a debt lawsuit in New Hampshire, you can reach out to your creditor or debt collector to discuss debt settlement at any stage of the process. Just be sure to follow these three steps to avoid any troubles: respond to the debt lawsuit with an Answer, make an offer to start negotiations, and get the settlement agreement in writing. SoloSettle can help with all these steps and more.
If you’ve stopped making regular payments on an obligation, your creditors have probably noticed. You might get calls, letters, and emails asking you to resume your payments. If you don’t get back on track, your creditor may charge off your account and sell it to a collection agency. In some cases, they’ll take legal action against you.
A debt lawsuit is your creditor’s opportunity to obtain a judgment against you. A judgment allows your creditor to take additional measures, such as garnishing your wages or freezing your bank account. If your obligation concerns property, like a mortgage or auto loan, the creditor may gain the right to seize it.
You’ll want to avoid a judgment at all costs. You can do so by settling a debt before your court date.
In this article, we’ll explain how to settle a debt in New Hampshire and avoid going to court. Let’s get right to it.
If you’ve been sued for a debt in New Hampshire, it’s not too late to settle the debt once and for all. In fact, you can reach out to negotiate a debt settlement at any stage of the debt lawsuit process. Follow these three steps to settle your New Hampshire debt for good:
Below, we’ll explore each of these steps in detail. Don’t like reading? Watch this video to learn more instead:
Creditors and debt collectors initiate the legal process against you by filing a Complaint with your local New Hampshire court. The Complaint will list all the claims against you, including lack of payments, interest, and court fees.
Most people don’t realize they must respond to the creditor’s Complaint to defend themselves in the lawsuit. The proper legal response is known as an Answer.
In New Hampshire, you have 30 days to respond to your debt lawsuit with an Answer. If you don’t respond before the deadline, you will lose automatically when a default judgment is ordered against you.
In your Answer, you’ll list your defenses to the lawsuit.
Several defenses may be appropriate to your case. They might include insufficient validation of the debt or the expiration of the statute of limitations. If neither of those defenses aligns with your situation, look for one that does.
You might ask why you must file an Answer if you plan on settling the lawsuit. An Answer prevents a default judgment if your efforts at settlement fail. The judge will need to review your Answer and supporting documentation before granting a decision.
Next, you’ll want to evaluate your financial circumstances to determine how much you can offer in a settlement. Check your savings and evaluate the money you expect from upcoming paychecks. If you don’t have much cash, seek assistance from friends or family, or consider selling a few items you don’t need.
Use this formula to determine how much you should offer to settle your debt:
Amount available to settle = (monthly income – monthly costs) + savings
We recommend that you start with at least 60% of the total value of your debt in a settlement offer. That amount is enough to make your creditor consider whether a lawsuit is worthwhile or if accepting a lump-sum payment is more cost-effective.
Next, research how much your creditor or debt collector will be likely to accept.
Debts settle within a broad range of amounts. They can settle for amounts ranging from 1% to over 100% of the total amount of the debt. 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.
All of that said, a 50% settlement is not easy to get. We don’t see it much. An 80% settlement is easy in most cases, as most creditors and debt collectors are willing to drop to that amount. Usually, we see debts settle for somewhere within that range. Around 60% is pretty common.
Creditors aren’t out to make your life miserable. They don’t like appearing in court any more than you do. They simply want to collect the money due to them, but they understand that sometimes a complete collection isn’t possible. Many would rather cut their losses than go through a time-consuming legal process.
Once you have a deal with the creditor or collector, you’ll need to get it in writing. A written agreement ensures that both parties fully understand the terms of the agreement.
Your settlement agreement should specify the amount you’ll repay, a due date, and a payment method. It should also release you from further claims on the debt. Essentially, your creditor agrees to drop the legal process against you and accepts your payment as fulfilling your obligation.
We recommend you include a space in your agreement for a notary to sign. A notary is a witness to the agreement and adds additional legal credibility.
Here’s a debt settlement agreement example so you know what to look for in yours.
Now that you understand the three steps to debt settlement, consider the following hypothetical example.
Example: Nora is being sued by LVNV Funding for an old credit card debt of $5,000. She uses SoloSuit to respond to the lawsuit before New Hampshire’s deadline, which is 30 days. This gives her time to work out a plan to settle the debt once and for all. Nora examines her financial situation and decides she has enough to pay 60% of the amount right now, or $3,000. Nora uses SoloSettle to contact LVNV Funding and send her initial settlement offer. She starts low, offering $2,000 at 40% of the original amount. After a few rounds of negotiations, LVNV Funding settles at 55% of the debt, or $2,750, and dismisses the case after SoloSettle transfers Nora’s payment over. Nora saves thousands, avoids going to court, and gets a financial reset.
New Hampshire adheres to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which prohibits individuals from taking specific actions against consumers. Among the practices barred include the following:
Under NH Rev Stat § 508:4 (2018), contracts and open accounts have a statute of limitations of three years. NH Rev Stat § 382-A:9-109 (1996 through Reg Sess) provides that notes or negotiable instruments have a statute of limitations of six years.
Well, we’ll let you decide on this one. Many consumers prefer SoloSettle over traditional debt settlement companies for a few reasons:
Below is a list of other great debt settlement companies to consider:
You can contact your creditor via email, phone, or letter.
We recommend emailing as the best method. An email is quick, and you’ll usually reach a resolution within a day or two. You’ll have a written conversation record, which is helpful when preparing your settlement agreement.
However, some individuals prefer speaking directly with their creditors. A phone conversation is preferable if you don’t have much time before your court date or if you have extenuating financial circumstances you’d like to explain.
If you call your creditor, you’ll want to record the conversation. Under NH Rev Stat § 570-A:2, both parties must consent to record the call. This means that you must ask your creditor for permission before beginning your recording.
You probably have other questions concerning debt settlement in New Hampshire. Here are a few of the most common we hear.
You’ll want to offer as much as possible to settle a debt. Your creditor is more likely to entertain higher offers, such as 60% or more. However, if that’s too much money, you can offer less and explain your financial circumstances. Sometimes creditors will accept a lesser offer if they understand your difficulties.
Most debts fall under the three-year statute of limitations in New Hampshire. However, notes and convertible instruments have a six-year statute of limitations. Once your debt passes the appropriate time frame, creditors can no longer sue you.
You can handle your debt settlement with the right tools and resources. Save your money toward your settlement and learn how the process works. Before sending any money to your creditor, get a written agreement.
If you’d like to learn more about debt relief options in New Hampshire and the laws concerning debt collection, check out our helpful articles below.
No one wants to face a potential judgment for the debts they owe. Debt settlement can help you avoid a judgment and recover your financial health. Review our steps to debt settlement, and make sure to get your agreement in writing before sending your money.
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