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Answered 2008-08-13 13:31:54

The defendant debtor can negotiate with the plaintiff creditor up until the time the judge awards a judgment for the debt owed, and sometimes after a judgment has been handed down. Often the presiding judge will request the two parties meet with an indpendent mediator to attempt to settle the issue without it being necessary for the court to make a decision. A judgment is issued after the case has been heard. If the debtor has already received a notice of final judgment that would indicate that the plaintiff creditor has won the case and can execute the judgment in the time and in the way the laws of the state allows. It is in the best interest of the judgment debtor to try and reach a settlement with the judgment creditor. Some creditors will negotiate for a lesser amount even after a judgment award just to have the matter finished, but many will not if they believe they can collect a larger amount by letting the judgment stand. Judgments can be valid 5 to 20 years and many are renewable, they will continue to accrue interest until they are paid or settled and the debtor can end up owing considerably more then the original debt.

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