Ive had a judgment filed against me for an old, unpaid medical bill. The original amount was $2,500, but now it has increased to $3,200. Can I negotiate this with the lawyer? Ive asked him for a detailed statement of the account several times, but all Ive gotten is a payment booklet.
When it comes to paying off bills or debt, you should always pay whats owed if you have the money. Theres a moral, as well as legal, responsibility involved. That being said, if you dont have $3,200, offer him whatever youve got $2,000 or the original $2,500 as a settlement.
Make sure he understands that youre not offering to pay the amount you have on the debt, but that its being offered as settlement in full if the debt is cleared.
The reason you havent gotten what youve asked for so far is you may have been talking to some low-level staffer or paralegal. If you have been talking directly to the lawyer, then hes probably running a small debt collections or debt lawsuit machine. That means youre just one of dozens of widgets coming down the line. To you, this is very personal. But to him, youre just another account. You might have to do something to get his attention and wake him up.
If this is the case, he probably gets a piece of whatever he collects. So, if he gets a third of $2,000 or $2,500 it might make his house payment this month. You could also talk to the hospital administrator, too, and let them know youll bring a couple thousand down there today if theyll accept it as payment in full. At this point, youve just got to do something to get off the conveyor belt.
Annuities for long-term retirement?
Are annuities good for long-term retirement?
The short answer is no. There might be a rare exception when Id use a variable annuity which is a mutual fund inside of an annuity but as a rule I dont use annuities. And I certainly dont use fixed annuities for anything, because theyre just crap. Basically, theyre a CD with a huge set of fees. Its just an insurance agents product, really.
The place for variable annuities might be when youve got everything else maxed out and your house is paid off. If youve reached that point, you can talk to your advisor about some of the possible benefits of a variable annuity. You can leave a beneficiary on it, so that it passes outside of probate, and youve got some principle guarantees and return guarantees that are decent. The returns are a little lower, though, because youll get hit with both the annuity fee and the mutual fund fee.
So, by and large the answer is no for most people, because they dont have their house paid off and arent maxing out all other retirement options. If youre doing all that, and you want to do something in this area, then I might think about it.
Dave Ramsey is Americas trusted voice on money and business, and CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 11 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations and digital outlets. Daves latest project, EveryDollar, provides a free online budget tool. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.