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How to Settle a Debt in New Hampshire

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.

Debt settlement takes 3 steps.

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:

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

Below, we’ll explore each of these steps in detail. Don’t like reading? Watch this video to learn more instead:

1. Respond to the debt lawsuit with an Answer

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.

Make the right defense the right way with SoloSuit.

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.

2. Make an offer to start negotiations

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.

SoloSettle takes care of the negotiations.

3. Get the settlement agreement in writing

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.

SoloSettle manages the debt settlement agreement documentation.

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.

What are New Hampshire’s debt collection and debt settlement laws?

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:

  • Calling a debtor before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Telling a consumer they’ll go to prison if they don’t repay a debt.
  • Using templates designed to look like legal processes when communicating with a consumer.
  • Calling a debtor more than seven times over a week.
  • Publishing a consumer’s debt in any public medium, including social media platforms or newspapers.
  • Contacting a debtor at work if they ask the creditor not to contact them there.
  • Harassing a consumer’s employer to gain access to the employee.

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.

What’s the best debt settlement company?

Well, we’ll let you decide on this one. Many consumers prefer SoloSettle over traditional debt settlement companies for a few reasons:

  • You can settle debts of any size with SoloSettle. Many debt settlement companies require you to have a debt over $15k.
  • SoloSettle actively attempts to settle your debt, whereas many debt settlement companies take a more passive role, waiting for settlement offers to come to them.
  • SoloSettle is offered by SoloSuit, a trusted brand and a legitimate company. Many traditional debt settlement companies are actual scams.
  • SoloSettle has legal defense built in with SoloSuit. While settling, you can use SoloSuit to block lawsuits if you need. Most debt settlement companies don’t provide legal defense; if you’re sued for a debt you are on your own.

Settle with SoloSettle

Make an Offer

Below is a list of other great debt settlement companies to consider:

  • Freedom Debt Relief
  • Century
  • National Debt Relief
  • Accredited Debt Relief
  • Citizens Debt Relief
  • CuraDebt

What are the best ways to contact a creditor?

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.

FAQs about debt settlement in New Hampshire

You probably have other questions concerning debt settlement in New Hampshire. Here are a few of the most common we hear.

Q. What percentage should I offer to settle debt?

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.

Q. How long can creditors pursue a debt in New Hampshire?

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.

Q. Can I handle my own debt settlement?

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.

How to get debt relief in New Hampshire

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.

Debt settlement in New Hampshire is possible

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.

When you need help with your debts, SoloSuit has options.

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