Part 9: Can I Just Give Up?
The ability to just walk away after turning a debt over to attorneys for legal collection depends on a few things. Legally, it depends whether the debtor has responded to the lawsuit by raising a counterclaim. If so, one can’t just fold the tent and go home, at least not without negotiating a “washout” or other settlement with the debtor. If the defenses are merely defenses, there is generally no difficulty in filing a voluntary dismissal and ending the case.
Contractually, the creditor may have a financial obligation to the agency or the lawyer if the creditor has engaged them and used their time to get to this point while letting them think the creditor was going to proceed in good faith. Typically, creditors only turn tail and run in reasonable circumstances where there costs are just outrageous. Even then, most will allow their counsel the opportunity to settle out the claim for some amount, thereby allowing the agency and the lawyer to recoup some of the investment they’ve made in the creditor’s claim.