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I am a landlord who got a settlement via garnishment of my ex tenant's account. The total of money owed came to about $30,000. I have collected about $11,000 and would like to get cash for what is left. The money is consistently paid every two weeks and the debtor has had the same job for more than 20 years, so it is quite secure. How I can get what is left in a lump sum?

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    What does a tenant have to do to owe a landlord $30,000? – Azor Ahai Jan 5 at 6:24
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    Depends on what "money is consistently paid every two weeks" - 1$ or 1000$? – Hagen von Eitzen Jan 5 at 13:29
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    Just because the debtor is (apparently) "quite secure" doesn't mean he/she has any savings. Some people run their finances on a "spend as you earn" basis. – alephzero Jan 5 at 20:01
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    Queue the J G Wentworth jingle here. – corsiKa Jan 5 at 20:43
  • @corsiKa: I never thought such a legitimate opportunity would arise to ref that! youtube.com/watch?v=HlL3y3j8ofc – BrenBarn Jan 6 at 19:12
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Have you considered contacting the debtor directly and offering them a cash settlement? If they have any money set aside, they may be minded to accept a discount in return for giving you a lump sum. Instead of accepting pennies in the dollar from a "settlement services" company, you could end up gaining a much bigger chunk.

Dear Debtor,
As you have been successfully making payments now for x years, I would like to offer you the opportunity to make a full and final settlement by making a single cash payment of $whatever. This offer is made without prejudice. You are under no obligation to accept and you are free to continue making payments as before. Please note that failure to accept will not result in this discount being applied to your previously agreed settlement figure of $xyz

I look forward to hearing from you in the next 30 days if this is of interest. If you do not respond, I will assume that you simply wish continue the present arrangement.

Yours etc,
Landlord.

If you start off with quite a high figure (say, 85% of the final settlement), the debtor, if they've got any sense, will try to haggle you down to a more friendly number. You simply need to decide how low you're willing to go.

The great thing is that with a settlement order in place, there's very little risk to you since you can always turn around and say "sorry, too low" and the existing order will remain in place.

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    This should be the preferred answer. Negotiating directly with the debtor over such a small debt is likely to provide landlord with a much higher payout. It eliminates collections/due diligence costs, and information asymmetry risk. The debtor may jump at a relatively small discount. And if a deal can't be reached immediately, it opens the door to doing this later when the debtor gets in a better financial situation. – SafeFastExpressive Jan 4 at 21:43
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    I expect the debtor to say "am unable" or something to that effect. – Joshua Jan 4 at 22:16
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    @Joshua - But asking them hurts nobody. If they say "no thanks", then it's no-harm, no-foul and OP can carry on collecting their money in little dribs and drabs. But for all you know, they may say "Ok then" and then OP has their money, minus a small discount – Valorum Jan 4 at 22:26
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    "such a small debt", seriously? – Gras Double Jan 6 at 1:04
  • @GrasDouble - See how the other half live, eh? – Valorum Jan 6 at 10:19
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I won't list a specific one here, but there are tons of structured settlement companies that will buy your settlement agreement at a discounted price. You have probably see tons of these ads on daytime tv. I have never needed this type of service, but I can quote the phone number from memory because of those dang catchy jingles.

I suggest Googling "structured settlement" to find a few examples, but keep in mind you will be giving up perhaps as much as 15% of the money you are owed for this service. Other terms that might yield results is "Annuity purchasers" and "Settlement advance"

This website provides some information about how this process works.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – JohnFx Jan 5 at 16:33
  • Thanks for your suggestions but I checked with them and they all say they only deal with insurance companies. – Yogirl Jan 7 at 22:14
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Your own bank may accept the note on this loan as collateral for another (probably smaller) loan to you; this is not quite the same as getting someone to buy the note outright, but would have the effect of generating some cash flow for you, while not devaluing the loan too much.

Of course there would also be interest on your loan, so you'd want to run some numbers first, but it is an option worth investigating.

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