What Does "Settlement" Mean?

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The word “settlement” gets thrown around quite a bit when discussing financial compensation after a legal case. Although most people have a vague sense of what it means, it’s useful to have a precise definition of the word so that you’re equipped to understand every component of your potential case.

Definition of Settlement

At its core, a settlement is an agreement that the two legal parties make so that they won’t have to ultimately pursue a trial. The defendant may see the evidence and choose not to fight it (such as if the charges are true or the defendant doesn’t have the time or energy). At that point, the defendant can choose to settle with the other party so that they won’t have to go through a trial.

When people talk about settlements in the legal sense, they’re most likely talking about financial settlement. In the broadest sense, a settlement is just an agreement, but it’s more often than not a financial settlement.

Settlements and FDCPA

Settlements could end up playing a part in your FDCPA claim. If you file an FDCPA claim against a third-party collection company and the company believes that your case has merit but doesn’t want to fight it, the company may choose to settle out of court with you. In this case, the settlement would most likely be a financial one. You could ignore the settlement offer and choose to go to court anyway, but the best way to make that decision is by talking to an experienced FDCPA lawyer.