Q: I have had a judgment of $8,600 on my credit report for the past six years. Although the judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff, I never owed that money and I believe I lost only because I didn’t have an attorney. Now, I wish to become a first-time homebuyer.

My credit union tells me I could qualify based on my credit score and income, but I would have to pay off the judgment or arrange to make payments with the creditor before the credit union would preapprove me for a loan. I contacted the creditor’s attorney, who was sarcastic and said he couldn’t force his client to respond to my payment proposal. I asked him to counteroffer if necessary, but I haven’t heard from them in two weeks. I really want to buy a home but this presents an obstacle. What should I do now?

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