Start My Answer

Can You Settle a Warrant in Debt Before Court?

Dena Standley | April 11, 2024

Dena Standley
Legal Expert, Paralegal
Dena Standley, BA

Dena Standley is a seasoned paralegal with more than 20 years of experience in legal research and writing, having received a certification as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal from Southern Technical College.

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.

Fact-checked by George Simons, JD/MBA

George Simons
Co-Founder of SoloSuit
George Simons, JD/MBA

George Simons is the co-founder and CEO of SoloSuit. He has helped Americans protect over $1 billion from predatory debt lawsuits. George graduated from BYU Law school in 2020 with a JD/MBA. In his spare time, George likes to cook, because he likes to eat.

Summary: Yes, you can settle a warrant in debt before you go to court. If you are being sued for a debt, you should respond to the lawsuit as quickly as possible. You can reach out to the person or company suing you at any point to settle the debt. You may have to pay it off in full, but there is a good chance the opposing party will settle for less. Make a settlement offer with the help of SoloSettle in a matter of minutes.

Getting sued for an old debt is frustrating and stressful. The case against you is going to court, and you have a limited timeframe to take action to protect your rights.

You’ll need to take action if you don’t want the case to become part of your public record. You have a few alternatives: pay off the debt in full before your court date, attempt to come to a settlement agreement with your creditor, or file an Answer and fight the case.

Settle with SoloSettle

Make an Offer

Should I pay off the debt before the court date?

If you know you owe money to the creditor and that they own your debt, paying the debt protects you from a potential default judgment. To avoid a judgment, you’ll need to pay the total amount before your court date.

Paying the total amount ensures that you won’t need to worry about future legal action from the creditor. The creditor will drop the lawsuit against you since you no longer owe them money.

However, paying off the debt in full may not be an available option if you don’t have the financial means. If you can’t afford to pay the debt before your court date, you should attempt to work out a payment arrangement or settlement with the creditor.

How do I work out a payment arrangement with the creditor?

A payment arrangement with the creditor allows you to make monthly payments for a given period until you pay off the debt. Payment arrangements are helpful for individuals who want to avoid a judgment but don’t have the money available to pay the entire debt before the court case.

Not all creditors will agree to a payment arrangement, especially if they’re pursuing a warrant in debt. If the court grants them a judgment against you, they can use it to collect the money from you quickly, typically by garnishing your wages or freezing your bank account.

A payment arrangement might not be a satisfactory choice for your creditor, especially if they don’t believe you’ll keep up with the agreement. The creditor can find themselves in the same position of having to sue you if you don’t adhere to the plan.

If you want to negotiate a payment arrangement, offer as much as possible in monthly payments to satisfy the debt. It would be best if you attempted to pay the debt within four to six months. Paying off the debt in a short timeframe shows the creditor you’re serious about eliminating your obligation to them.

Is it possible to settle the debt for less than I owe?

Your creditor may agree to a settlement, even if they filed a warrant in debt against you.

If you want to settle your debt, start the process quickly. Send the creditor an email explaining your financial situation and what you’d like to offer them in exchange for wiping out your remaining balance.

It’s best to start with an offer of at least 60% of the value of the total obligation. The creditor will likely counter your offer with one of their own. You may go through several negotiation rounds before reaching a favorable agreement.

You can start the settlement negotiation process by sending an offer with the help of SoloSettle. You may go through several rounds of negotiations before you reach an agreement, but luckily, SoloSettle can assist you through the entire process.

Once you agree, make sure to get it in writing. Ask the creditor to report the debt as paid in full to all three credit reporting bureaus. Most debt collectors and creditors will agree to your request even if you’re not paying the entire amount due.

Make sure to abide by the terms of the settlement agreement exactly. If you fail to adhere to the terms, the debt collector can cancel the deal, and you may face another lawsuit.

Should I respond to the warrant in debt with an Answer?

Yes, even if you plan to pay the debt or settle it before your court date, filing an Answer is still essential. An Answer stops the creditor from obtaining a default judgment against you. Sometimes, debt collectors will use sneaky tactics to get a default judgment, even if there’s an existing settlement agreement.

In your Answer, you should respond to all of the points in the Complaint against you. If you don’t believe the debt is valid, include the reasons why in your Answer.

Some people find that the statute of limitations has expired, and the collector can no longer pursue the case in court.

Other people may be victims of identity theft. If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, you shouldn’t owe any money. You’ll want to take specific steps to restore your identity, like reporting the case to the police and the FTC.

SoloSuit can help you draft and file an Answer to your debt lawsuit in all 50 states. Check out this video to learn more:

What is SoloSuit?

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.

Respond to a warrant in debt.

How much should I offer to settle my warrant in debt?

This is a common question we receive at SoloSuit, so we asked a debt lawyer about it. In an interview with John Skiba, we discussed how much to offer to settle a warrant debt. Here’s what we learned:

Making a realistic debt settlement offer depends on several factors, such as:

  • Income
  • Disability
  • Other financial hardships
  • Whether you’re dealing with a debt buyer or the original creditor

There are two types of debt holders: junk debt buyers and original creditors. Debt buyers purchase debt portfolios from creditors at a discounted rate and try to collect the full amount, making a huge profit. Original creditors are banks, credit unions, and credit card companies that initially lend the money.

Negotiating debt settlement with debt buyers might look a bit different than negotiating with creditors because they have less at stake. Let’s take a closer look at how this works.

Settle with debt buyers

Debt buyers may be willing to accept low offers, typically between 10-40% of the total debt. You may be able to reach a better deal with a collector if you offer a lump-sum payment to be made within 30 days of the agreement.

Settle with creditors

Original creditors expect a higher settlement amount, usually between 50-75% of the total balance. Lump sum settlements are generally lower, while payment plans often result in higher total payments. For example, American Express is known to extend lengthy payment plans, such as 72 months, to collect the full debt amount.

Regardless of who is suing you, start negotiations with a plan. Create a realistic offer with a feasible payment plan or settlement amount for your budget, and initiate the discussion with your offer rather than waiting for the creditor’s typically higher initial demand.

Watch the following video for more tips on how much to offer to settle debt:

How to Answer a Summons for debt collection in all 50 states

Here's a list of guides on how to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in each state:

The Ultimate 50 State Guide

Guides on how to resolve debt with every debt collector

Are you being sued by a debt collector? We’re making guides on how to resolve debt with each one.

We have answers

Join our community of over 40,000 people.

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.

Get Started

Resolve your debt with your creditor

Some creditors, banks, and lenders have an internal collections department. If they come after you for a debt, Solosuit can still help you respond and resolve the debt. Here’s a list of guides on how to resolve debt with different creditors.

Settle your medical debt

Having a health challenge is stressful, but dealing medical debt on top of it is overwhelming. Here are some resources on how to manage medical debt.

Guides on arbitration

If the thought of going to court stresses you out, you’re not alone. Many Americans who are sued for credit card debt utilize a Motion to Compel Arbitration to push their case out of court and into arbitration.

Below are some resources on how to use an arbitration clause to your advantage and win a debt lawsuit.

Stop calls from debt collectors

Do you keep getting calls from an unknown number, only to realize that it’s a debt collector on the other line? If you’ve been called by any of the following numbers, chances are you have collectors coming after you, and we’ll tell you how to stop them.

Federal debt collection laws can protect you

Knowing your rights makes it easier to stand up for your rights. Below, we’ve compiled all our articles on federal debt collection laws that protect you from unfair practices.

Get debt relief in your state

We’ve created a specialized guide on how to find debt relief in all 50 states, complete with steps to take to find relief, state-specific resources, and more.

Debt collection laws in all 50 states

Debt collection laws vary by state, so we have compiled a guide to each state’s debt collection laws to make it easier for you to stand up for your rights—no matter where you live.

Statute of limitations on debt state guides

Like all debt collection laws, the statute of limitations on debt varies by state. So, we wrote a guide on each state’s statutes. Check it out below.

Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection by State (Best Guide)

Check the status of your court case

Don’t have time to go to your local courthouse to check the status of your case? We’ve created a guide on how to check the status of your case in every state, complete with online search tools and court directories.

How to stop wage garnishment in your state

Forgot to respond to your debt lawsuit? The judge may have ordered a default judgment against you, and with a default judgment, debt collectors can garnish your wages. Here are our guides on how to stop wage garnishment in all 50 states.

How to settle a debt in your state

Debt settlement is one of the most effective ways to resolve a debt and save money. We’ve created a guide on how to settle your debt in all 50 states. Find out how to settle in your state with a simple click and explore other debt settlement resources below.

How to settle with every debt collector

Not sure how to negotiate a debt settlement with a debt collector? We are creating guides to help you know how to start the settlement conversation and increase your chances of coming to an agreement with every debt collector.

Other debt settlement resources

Personal loan and debt relief reviews

We give a factual review of the following debt consolidation, debt settlement, and loan organizations and companies to help you make an informed decision before you take on a debt.

Civil law legal definitions

You can represent yourself in court. Save yourself the time and cost of finding an attorney, and use the following resources to understand legal definitions better and how they may apply to your case.

Get answers to these FAQs on debt collection

How-to debt guides

Learn more with these additional debt resources

Not sued yet?

Use our Debt Validation Letter.

Out Debt Validation Letter is the best way to respond to a collection letter. Many debt collectors will simply give up after receiving it.

Let's Do It

It only takes 15 minutes.

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

Get Started