I’m currently in the process of evicting a family from one of my 2 bedroom apartments. The set out date is supposed to be Thursday. This weekend I was mowing the lawn at that duplex. The lady came out to ask if I could write up a payment plan so they can pay off the $1800 judgement I won against them after they move out. This totally boggles my mind. They couldn’t pay the rent when they lived there, but now they want me to believe they’re going to pay rent to someone else, plus make payments to me? I can’t figure out what the catch is. Are there any reasons not to write up the payment plan?
Ask your lawyer! You need to know what the ramifications are of writing up a payment agreement. Will that keep you from garnishing her wages? Will that alter or negate the judgement or make it otherwise more difficult to collect?
I would be interested in hearing your attorney’s answer.
Take the get-a-lawyer advice.
A written promissary note should make it easier to get a judgement against them, since they have admitted in writting that they owe you that amount.
But… if they have a payment agreement, will a judge allow them to stay? Some times local judges do what they want and disregard the law. If there is a payment agreement at the time of the original hearing, a judge will allow them to stay as long as they make the payments as agreed. So what is your local judge going to do if you have a payment agreement before set-out date?
If you aren’t careful about the wording, they can claim that is all they owe you and you are going to find a lot of damage that you’d like to go after them for.
The promissary note should state that they will be out by the set out date and that they might possibly owe additional amount if there is property damage. Have your lawyer lok at the note before anybody signs.
It could be that all the tenant is doing is trying to prevent you from getting a judgement against her. If you’ve agreed on a payment plan, and she makes the payments, you don’t have grounds for a judgement.
You’ve lost nothing with that becasue if you get a judgement, the judge is going to put her on a payment plan, anyway.
Evictions vary immensely by state, by city, and even by judge. Get local advice.
So my lawyer called back this morning. He said here in PA, the judgement can’t be superceded by a payment agreement, so no matter what I sign a contract with them for, the judgement stands at $1800. He said it’s unusual to request the payment plan since most judgements are uncollectable but perhaps the tenant wants to resolve it for credit purposes. In any case, he said a written agreement isn’t even necessary since I don’t need to bind them to a contract since they have to pay the full amount anyway. If I give them a written agreement, it won’t be until after they’re out anyway, so that makes it moot thinking they can stay with a payment plan.