Served Summons & Complaint

I was recently served civil suit papers for a old debt I cannot afford to pay.

I was recently served civil suit papers for an old unsecured debt I cannot afford to pay. What should I do?

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Bill's Answer
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Bills.com Team
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Highlights


  • A summons and complaint is an official notice of a lawsuit.
  • A defendant must respond to a summons or risk default judgment.
  • Consult with a lawyer in your state if you receive a summons.

Although I will provide general information that will help you understand how to resolve this matter, I urge you to consult with an attorney in your state who has experience with consumer rights issues. I will explain more about a summons and complaint in just a moment.

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Statute of Limitations

You mentioned this concerns an "old" debt, so I will discuss a legal concept called "statute of limitations." All states have a body of statutes in their codes of law called, "Limitations of Actions," commonly referred to as the statutes of limitations. The idea behind these laws is that we as a society have decided that we don’t want old debts hanging around forever — we want people and businesses to be able to move on with their lives without worrying about being sued.

The length of time a creditor has to sue you depends on your state of residence and the type of debt. For example, many states allow longer for creditors to file suit to collect on closed-ended consumer loans than on credit card debts. Most states give credit card issuers three to four years to file suit after default, but some states allow as many as 10 years.

Check out the Bills.com Collection Laws and Statute of Limitations page to see a list of by state. If a creditor files a lawsuit after the allowed time, the court will usually throw the case out and not allow the creditor to file suit again (called dismissed with prejudice).

However, you must raise the issue of expired statute of limitations in a written response to the lawsuit, or else the court will not know that the statute of limitations has expired. The judge will not make the statute of limitations for you.

The periods vary from state to state. See the Bills.com article Which Statute of Limitations Applies to Your Situation if you have a question about which state statute of limitations the court may follow.

Remember: The clock running out on a statute of limitations does not mean a creditor may not sue you (in most states). It means if a lawsuit is filed you should have an strong defense against the lawsuit if you raise the defense.

You must take action by either going to court or hiring an attorney to do so. Also, keep in mind that the passage of the SOL does not prevent a creditor from calling you to collect on the debt; it simply provides you a defense in court if the creditor files suit.

Summons and Complaint

The civil suit papers you refer to in your question are frequently called a Summons and Complaint. The summons, which should be the first page of the documents you received from the court, should state the time period in which you have to file a response to the complaint with your local courts. If you decide that you would like to respond to the complaint, the court clerk should be able to provide you with the necessary forms.

If you do not have a statute of limitations defense, I recommend you attempt to resolve this debt with the creditor or the creditor’s attorney before they take any further collection action. If you obtain a fairly sizable portion of the balance, the creditor may be willing to settle the debt.

For example, if you can offer 40% or 50% of the outstanding balance in a lump-sum payment, the creditor may be willing to forgive the remaining balance and dismiss the court case. Contact the creditor’s attorney to discuss settlement of the debt.

If you don't have a lump sum to settle the debt, the creditor may be willing to accept monthly payments to stop further collection activity, but will probably not dismiss the case against you. The creditor will want to obtain a judgment against you just in case you do not make your scheduled monthly payments. Again, contact the creditor’s attorney to discuss possible repayment plans.

If you do not resolve this matter, the creditor will likely obtain a judgment and proceed to attempt to collect on the judgment. Depending on the state you live in, judgment execution could include wage garnishment, bank levies, and property liens, and other actions. (See Collections Advice for more information about collections.)

I encourage you to consult with an attorney to discuss the implications of a judgment against you, and what is the best course of action to resolve the account. Even if you think you have a statute of limitations defense, your best course of action is to seek representation. (See How to Answer a Summons & Complaint for general information.)

You Cannot Afford an Attorney

If you cannot afford an attorney, contact your country bar association, and ask for information on reaching the organization in your area that provides legal aid to low- and no-income people.

Make an appointment with that organization, and bring all of the documentation you have regarding the debt and the summons and complaint to that meeting. If you think you have a statute of limitations defense, mention that to the attorney or paralegal in your meeting. Make a plan of action with the attorney or paralegal, and be sure to follow through with the plan.

For more information about debt, and for debt help resources, I encourage you to visit the Bills.com debt help page.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

165 Comments

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  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    L
    Hi, I live in California and today I was served with a summons to appear on Tues 2/14 for a debt with Chase credit card. The debt defaulted on 12/2009 so the SOL has not yet expired. The debt is for $ 2168.37. Would a settlement offer for $400 be resonable? I canot afford any more since I work partime and go to school full time. Should I got to the court hearing and bring this up to the judge or I have better chances of the creditor accepting my settlement before going to court? I also plan to file for BK7 since I have several accounts on default.
    24 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Jennifer
    If I entered into an agreement over the phone with my original debtor for them to take monthly with drawls from my account, would this be considered an oral contract? I live in CA, and the creditor is the one that breached our contract. After a year or so, they stopped taking with drawls from my account. The debt has been sold about 3 times and now I am being sued for this debt. It was back in 2008 that the last with drawl was taken out from the original creditor.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      A contract you created by speaking on the telephone is considered an oral contract.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    kellie
    I am several months delinquent on credit card payments and several accounts. I got advice from a bankruptcy lawyer, she advised me that they could do nothing in the state of North Carolina except harass you or put a judgment against you. If you are served with civil papers, if you don't show up there is nothing they can do except obtain a judgment. kcj NC
    1 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      In North Carolina, a judgment-creditor may levy bank or credit union accounts, and place a lien on the judgment-debtor's property. However, a North Carolina judgment-creditor may not garnish a judgment-debtor's wages, unless the judgment was domesticated from another state. See the Bills.com resource North Carolina Collection Laws to learn more.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2011
    Aimee
    I just want to clarify something in regards to the initial question posted on this thread. I have been diligently working to settle with the debtor in my case for the past 3 weeks. I was served a summons and complaint yesterday. According to what is written here, I can still pay them the lump sum we are working out and then installments correct? What will happen to the summons? Do I still need to answer it?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2011
      Bill
      The key issue here is clear communications between the parties. No two negotiations are the same. However, in the situation you described here, you and the other party are free to settle your dispute out of court before the trial. In fact, the court will encourage both of you to do so to help unclog its docket.

      It is in your best interest to negotiate a lump-sum settlement to the dispute. A lump-sum settlement is one where both parties agree to resolve, settle, or make a final agreement to end the claims against each other in exchange for one making one payment to the other. Typically, this payment is for less than the amount claimed.

      For a credit card debt, to pick one common case, the parties will agree to a settlement in exchange for a single lump-sum payment of 40-60 cents on the dollar. It would be unusual, in my experience, for the parties to agree to both a lump-sum payment followed by a series of installments. However, I hasten to add that I know nothing about your circumstances.

      When parties agree to an out-of-court settlement, one component of the contract is that the plaintiff (the creditor in this case) promises to ask the court to dismiss the case. Usually, the dismissal is conditioned on and triggered by receipt of payment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2011
    Ben
    Hello! I have a problem with two debts, one on a credit card and another on a "line of credit". The line of credit was used by the bank to pay off an overdraft resulting in a loop of fees. I lost quite a lot of money in their cycle before I closed all accounts. They were so difficult to work with about this I refuse to pay. Further complicating matters, I now live in Europe and have lived here for he past three years. So, I have very little money in us accounts for them to garnish and have no employer in the US (or file tax returns). I recently received a "warning letter" from an attorney firm threating to sue. Is this likely? Must I be legally served in person? If they receive the judgement, how long will it be in effect, etc? Thanks! Ben from Wisconsin
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2011
      Bill
      First of all the creditor can sue you and does not to legally serve you in person. Since you are not in the US, the statute of limitations may also run for a longer period of time. See Bills.com page about statute of limitations. Since you are abroad, 'tolling' may apply and the standard limits may not be in place.

      Since you have no U.S. wages, it is very difficult for the creditor to collect. It could sue you and then domesticate the judgment in a foreign country. This is likelier if the debt is quite large and if the country in which you reside has reciprocal financial arrangements with the US. Of course, if, at any point, you have any income sources in the US, 1099 or wages, it will be much easier for a creditor to collect.

      It seems prudent to speak with an attorney where you currently reside, to hear an experienced opinion about the 'warning letter' you received, the likelihood of collections being permitted against your current income, and the requirements a creditor would need to meet in order to collect from you.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    JOHN
    Sorry let me word it correctly..How much time does a lawyer have after consumer answers summons before a trial can be heard. Can I ask for a dismissal due to the lawyer stalling and not bringing to trial. Consumer credit
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      State civil procedure rules create a timed sequence of events that must occur according to a calendar created by the state legislature. Each state legislature created their own civil procedure rules, as did the US Congress for federal matters. I would not serve you well if I tried to condense your state's civil procedure rules, which typically take a full semester to study in law school, into a paragraph or two.

      Consult with a lawyer in your state who has civil litigation experience. He or she will help guide you though the litigation process.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    JOHN
    After answering a consumer credit summons how long can the party hold me up before a trial or court date. Is there a limit of time. It has been over 30 days since answering summons but no movement on case.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      I do not know what you mean when you say, "hold me up before a trial or court date." Consult with a lawyer in your state who has civil litigation experience to learn more about the rules of civil procedure relevant to where you are in the lifecycle of your case.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Jim
    I was told I am receiving a summons from a South Carolina court and being sued by a debt collection agency for property we sold 9 1/2 years ago. Court records show the case, debt collector will not give me any information on the case. After two weeks summons has not arrived. Arizona lawyer said they cannot help. I am mid 70's and have trouble traveling. What should I do at this point.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      You wrote, "Court records show the case..." I assume a court Web site you accessed reports a case was filed. Your best option is to call a lawyer in the county in which the case is filed, and ask him or her to represent you.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    rhonda
    I had a credit card back in 2004 for the amount of $300.00 and now today my employee gave me papers about being garnished for an amount of $1,279.00 I never did receive the papers to report to court. I want to know if can i be garnished for a 7-year-old credit card debt in Mississippi because i didn't receive any summons papers.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Civil procedure rules are designed to make a law suits fair for both sides. One cornerstone of civil procedure law is the idea that both sides should give each other and the court fair and complete notices of what they are doing. If one side does not give the other adequate notices, the court can dismiss the case if no decision has been made. If the defendant was never given any notice of the case, then the court can vacate the decision.

      You did not receive a notice of the lawsuit filed against you, or the hearing where a judge decided on your case. It is fair to say the law firm representing the plaintiff (the creditor) did not give you adequate notice of the hearing in your state court. The question becomes, what do you do about it?

      Consult with a lawyer who has civil litigation or consumer law experience. If you cannot afford a lawyer, call your county bar association and ask for the names of the organizations in your area that provide no-cost legal services to people with no or low income. Make an appointment with that organization, and bring all of the documents you have regarding the debt and the wage garnishment to your meeting. The lawyer you meet will advise you accordingly.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    vetya
    I have lots of debt from different credit card companies and I lost my job, so I have no way to pay any of it. I do not own a house, just a car and I'm planning to start travel and live a life on a low budget. If they send me summons (mail or door) I won't be able to know because I won't be " at the former "home" nor I will be able to get my mail. What will it happen? Does the summons have to be signed when they are received in order to be valid? Can they freeze my bank accounts? Whats worst scenario? Thanks
    1 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Your question regards civil procedure, and boils down to, "What can a creditor who wishes to complete a service of process do if it cannot find me?" That answer varies by state. Civil procedure laws are very precise, and no two states are alike. Your most prudent course of action is to consult with a lawyer in your state who has experience in civil litigation. He or she will answer your question precisely, because as I mentioned, civil procedure rules are exact.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Vetya
      Well I currently live in OH and I can't afford a lawyer. I'm trying to find some answers online.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Call your county bar association and ask for the names of the organizations in your area that provide no-cost legal services to people with low and no-income. Make an appointment with that organization and bring all of the documents you have relating to the debt. The lawyer you meet will answer your civil procedure question, as well as give you ideas on resolving the debt.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Kevin
    My wife was recently served with papers at her work for some of my past medical bills, they served her with papers for her and papers for me. My wife was not ask to give me papers or even told that a copy was for me. She has never signed any medical papers for me. There are two complants: breach of contract (witch I contend she never entered into) and unjust enrichment (she didn't recieve any) Question 1# Have I been properly served? Qestion 2# Is she responsable for any of my debt?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      You are asking for legal advice regarding a civil procedure question. Consult with a lawyer in your state who has civil litigation experience. He or she will analyze the facts in your case, and apply your state statute and case law to create a precise answer.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Lee
    Quick Question. If a debt collection agency is a foreign corporation that is not registered to do business in the State of Alabama, can they still bring suit and obtain hundreds of judgements in the State as they have done? Are they somehow exempt from registration?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      I do not have enough facts to offer a yes or no answer. In general, foreign corporations and lawyers operating or otherwise conducting business in a state have no immunity or exemption from that state's laws.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Michael
    If a lawsuit was filed back in 2007, was never served, and its well past the SOL... can the person refile the lawsuit with a new court hearing date or case, and use that first cases date as the date of the original case was filed bypassing the SOL? I'm just thinking she will try and say she originally filed it before the SOL and she should be able to go off of that.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      There are not enough facts for me to answer this question. Who filed the lawsuit (debtor or creditor)? What kind of debt was it (secured, unsecured, student loan, etc.)? What state is it in? Who owns the debt? A lot more needs to be known, before any reasoned assessment of this question can be given.

      My advice is to consult with an attorney experienced in consumer law.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    lisa
    Hi I recently received a summons delivered to me at home. I checked my credit bureau report and I can not find the last date that I paid this loan. I think it is paid off, but it seems that it is not. I will go to the clerks office as list as a defense that I do not have a copy of the contract, proof of debt. What date is used as the SOL? Is it the state in which the credit issuer does business? In this case it is Cap One in Va or is it NY, my state. I received this summons from an atty that lists that they are exempt from getting a license and that due to new regulations they can collect on old debt . Thanks Lisa
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      It is usually your state of residence that determines the SOL. Sometimes, however there is a choice-of-laws clause that can make your agreement under a different state's jurisdiction.

      In most states, the SOL starts from the date of your last payment. In some states, it starts from the date of first delinquency.

      What you wrote about what the attorney collecting on the debt said concerns me. It may be a scam to get you to pay a debt that you don't need to pay. Consult with a lawyer to learn more and please report back, so readers can learn what you find out.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Al
    I was contacted by phone and asked for my information by a law firm so that they may serve to me a summons of complaint. They had left a message about this on the same day when the SOL is set to expire (3 years). If I don't respond with my information by the end of the day, would that mean that they would be unable to file suit because of the SOL expiration?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      Unless you receive a subpoena or are otherwise ordered by a court to provide information to someone, you have no obligation to provide any personal information about yourself unless you want to. The exception to this rule is that people arrested must identify themselves.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Al
      So, if I do not respond and the SOL expires, would that also mean that I have an absolute defense against the suit?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      I see three possibilities:
      1. The creditor made it to the court clerk's office before the statute of limitations expired and filed the lawsuit against you. It now seeks to follow your state's civil procedure rules and serve you the summons in accordance with the law. That is why it seeks your accurate current address. If this is the case, then you might as well give them your address.
      2. The creditor thinks the statute of limitations is near, does not realized it has passed, and wants your address so that it can identify you completely and accurately in the lawsuit it seeks to file.
      3. There is no law firm and no law suit, and the caller wants to frighten you into talking to a collection agent so that you avoid a lawsuit. Threatening someone with a lawsuit a person does not intend to file is illegal under federal law.

      If the creditor files a lawsuit a day after the statute of limitations expires, then the consumer has an affirmative defense of statute of limitations. However, if the creditor files a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, there may be other defenses available to the consumer, but the statute of limitations is not one of them.

      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2011
    Patrick
    I got Civil Summons for past credit due of $4,400 in Kentucky, when i picked the summons up the deputy mark a number for me to call. Since i been reading this, should I do call the number will I still need to do any paper work for summons so doesnt go on default. I am jobless at moment, barly have enough money to pay for Child support and my car. Right now I am searching for new job, no money to even offer any amt to settle. Even with min. wage job if I do get one I could barly could afford to live and pay high monthly payments. I live in the country so they're are no buses for me to get to work. I am worried they garnish my wages point where I can't either pay for my car payements or child support end up losing it all. If I do need file paper work what do I put down so I can go to court and explain my side of story and what I can pay.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2011
      Bill
      I encourage you to use your right to have your say in court.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Carmen
      I received a summons but have only a week left to answer. I contacted an attorney but no call back yet. Should hear from him tomorrow but i called the attorney who served the papers and they gave me options to settle but all include a large down payment or a lump sum payment to settle. I don't have access to a large down payment but can make payment arrangements. Can i answer the summons and explain this and request a monthly payment? I want to prevent a judgment but definitely do not want garnishment etc. How should i proceed?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      Consult with a lawyer in your state to understand your rights and liabilities. Writing a letter to the court will almost certainly prove ineffective, and may be counterproductive if you have a statute of limitations or other defense.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2011
    Brittany
    My husband was served a summons back in Feb. for an old credit card. We contacted the company & set up payment arrangments & have been paying ever since. Last night at 9:30 while we were all asleep a man started beating on our door. I was so scared because they kept beating almost like someone saying hurry help me. I woke my husband & he first talked to the man through the door. Finally he opened the door & took the paper. I called the company today & they were confused why we received a second summons. What should we do?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2011
      Bill
      I presume the idiot banging on your door at 9:30 pm was a process server. I use the word "idiot" carefully here because any person with common sense knows that pounding on another's door late at night while shouting could get them maimed or worse by an armed and frightened homeowner. Consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law experience to learn if you have a cause of action for breach of contract against the law firm that dispatched the process server to serve you or your spouse for a debt that is in the process of being settled out of court.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Tom
      Banging on a door at 9:30pm at night her in Alabama is considered a possible home invasion and we have the right to protect our property here. This idiot should have been shot dead. Problem solved! No more process server!
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2011
    Rendi
    Thank you very much for this information.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2011
    Rendi
    I received a phone call Teusday from a courier who said she has papers to serve me on Friday. She said she was not able to give me any information on the papers since it was illegal to open the packet however she gave me a phone number and a case number and said if I could settle the issue wothout her coming out there it would be great. I called and the company informed me I owed on an old pay day loan which I forgot about that was in the process of litigation and that if I made a payment or paid in full they would stop the litigation. I agreed to pay $100 and said I would try to pay the rest later in the month since they said they needed all the money in June. I currently owe $300 but I cannot afford to pay anymore this month. I still felt rather uneasy about it and started doing some research and I found a website with people complaining that this company was threatening to sue but is not actually going through with lawsuits and that the company was fairly new and was violating Federal Trade Commission laws. I was also told that a courier would not call you first but would just come and serve you papers. I had never before received any letters or phone calls from this company regarding this debt. If I had I could have mde arrangements to pay a small amoutn each month rather than go through this hassle. Have I been a fool? Have I made some sort of mistake by paying on the debt? Have I lost any right to Validate the Debt? Is there anything else I can do?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2011
      Bill
      Bills.com received several reader messages lately that begin with facts similar to yours, including the "courier" asking when to serve the reader with mystery legal documents they could not divulge, but provided a telephone number to call to resolve the issue before the caller could deliver the documents. I suppose some process servers foreshadow their arrival, but in my experience they do not. In other words, I think the "courier" is a fake and a ploy to instill a sense of urgency on the part of the consumer to resolve the debt. The flair for the dramatic is clever, but misleading and illegal if the collection agent has no intention of filing a lawsuit.

      Consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law experience. If you cannot afford a lawyer, call your county bar association and ask for the name of the organization in your area that provides no-cost legal advice to people with low or no income. Make an appointment with that organization, and bring all of the documents regarding the debt to your meeting. A lawyer will advise you about your liabilities and rights under your state law. In particular, ask about the collection call, and the statute of limitations on the debt.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2011
    Michelle
    I live in TN. This morning a Civil Summons was served to me on behalf of my husband and myself for a medical bill that seems to occurred in 2009. I have read a lot on here and I wonder if I can still ask for verification for the debt in this instance? Since neither I nor my husband remember ever getting a bill from the hospital, and since the whole family is covered by insurance to begin with, I really want to know what this is about. A few months ago my husband was served papers at work (while he was home sick), someone else signed for him and he didn't receive the papers from this person at his work for a week. By that time the time to take action was gone. He ended up having his wadges garnished at 25% of his weekly pay, no matter how many hours he worked. Luckily that was only for $400 so it was over fairly quickly. We can't allow this to go to garnishment because its over $1400 (including attorney fees and court costs). We barely made it through the last time. I tried to get my husband to call the court and creditor to work out something with those people even though it said on the paper it was late, but he never would, and they refused to talk to me because my name was not on the account or the summons (no, they didn't care if I was his wife of 9 years). Now it seems that suddenly everyone who we may have owed money to has come out of the wood work. Some people who I didn't even realize, such as this hospital. Is it possible that once that bill was paid via a garnishment that the information was put on his credit report and now these other creditors want to do the same? A few last questions, and I'll be done. If a person has a garnishment against them, in the state of TN it says they have 75% of their wadges safe, and $4000 in accounts. First, if more than 1 creditor files a wadge garnishment can they totally only take 25%, or is that per garnishment? Second, if $4000 of accounts are protected, then can a company you default payments on (agreed to after summons) take any and all money from the debtor's account even if its less than $4000? I read here on the summons that $4000 in personal property but only if you file a written list, under oath, of the items you wish to claim as exempt with the clerk of the court. So does that mean if you don't file your bank accounts they (creditors) have the right to take those funds in an effort to reclaim their money? Thank you for all the great information you provide and the questions have helped so much - I just wish I had found this site years ago.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2011
      Bill
      First, validate any old debt, and in particular, any debts that surprise you. Second, the fact that these debts surprise you tells me someone may have stolen your identity or the hospital made a billing error. Third, consult with a Tennessee lawyer about the debt(s) and judgment. If you were surprised by the judgment, then you did not receive proper notification of the summons and complaint. You may be able to have the judgment vacated.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2011
    Nicky
    I received a summons on a credit card debt about 2 years ago. I called the attorney and made payment arrangements. I have been unemployed for two years and have consistently made payments to this debt. I am now at the point of wanting to settle because I am still not working and have no additional funds. When I initially called I agreed to pay $250 a month. The lawyer or paralegal stated that in 6 mos the payment would go up because they did not want to keep the debt any longer than necessary. This was two years ago. My payment is still 250. I have not heard from the lawyer since the day I spoke with them. As I stated I want to settle. I have paid $5,500. The total amount was approx $8k and some change (that includes all the fees that was tacked on to the original debt). How do I go about settling this debt without having to give them another dime?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      Bill
      A settlement discussion is a negotiation between you and the creditor, collection agency, or lawyer who holds or is empowered to collect on the debt. I think what you propose, not paying a single penny more, is a tough negotiating position to take. It would have been better to start a negotiation earlier, in my opinion than to try to ask them to forgive the remaining balance as of now.

      Try offering them a small percentage of what you currently owe. Your chances of success are greater if you can demonstrate a financial hardship that is based not only on your two-year history of unemployment, but also based on a lack of assets and other income. I think it is reasonable to assume that the creditor will ask how you were able to maintain payment during the past two years. If you can show that you no longer can maintain that payment, your chances of settling the debt improve. You have nothing to lose by trying to settle the debt.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2011
      keecha
      I received a call from some legal agency stating they have a complaint against me for a debt that I already paid back in 2009. they were so rude and would not give me any info. they called me from a private number and they stated that are sending me a summons and it's too late. this was for an online loan that I made 2 years ago and I already satisfied that amt it was for 500.00 and they stated they were attorney and buy debts. after the woman hung up on me I called back and i refuse to send them anything. what should I do should I believe them? or wait for the summons. I did call my attorney and he is aware of the situation
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2011
      Bill
      If a stranger called you and said you won a trip to the moon, would you believe them? Of course not, because you know that just because a person calls you on the telephone and makes a wild claim does not make that claim true. And just because a rude caller says they work at a law office does make them honest, either.

      First, validate the debt immediately. Debt that cannot be validated cannot be reported on your credit report, nor can it be collected. If the rude caller refuses to give you enough information for you to attempt to validate the debt, then you are almost certainly dealing with a fake debt collector.

      Second, if the caller persists, gather all of the information you can about him or her, and file a complaint with your state attorney general. Your attorney general may not be able to do something for you immediately, but if enough citizens in your state complain, the attorney general will launch an investigation that will make the caller wish he or she chose an honest line of work.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Adam
      I got a summons yesterday saying I had 28 days to reply. Its really confusing. I have no way of paying for the credit card debt I have no job, car, house I don't have any assets to sell to help make payments. I don't have the funds to get a lawyer and I called legal aid and spoke to someone in intake they said they really cant do any thing to me since I'm not working. but I have to write a letter and send it to both the court and the lawyer that filed the summons thing. I then said what should I say and she responded. You will have to figure that out yourself as I'm not a lawyer.... I'm so confused, scared and worried because I'm not sure what will happen. I live in Ohio please help me..
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      I understand your concern, but you don't need to panic. It is likely that a judgment will be entered against you, if you don't dispute that the debt is truly yours. You don't have to worry about criminal issues; it is not illegal to default on a debt.

      The primary ways the creditor can collect on the debt, after the judgment is issued, is by garnishing your wages and levying your bank account. If you are not working, then you can't be garnished. Keep funds in your bank account to a minimum (and I realize that is likely reality and not a strategic choice you need to make). Once you start working, you will have to work out a payment, try to negotiate a settlement, or risk having your wages garnished.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2011
    lashay
    I was wondering if you could answer this for me. I was told by a debt collector that the arrangments I set up with them would prevent me from being contacted by an attorny. I then received a letter from an attorny and I called the collection agency and was told that I would not receive anything else from the lawyers and then I received a summons to appear for court for the exact same debt. Doesn't that violate the fair debt collection act? If so what can I do now?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      Bill
      The collection agent may have been a fake, a con artist. To determine if my guess is correct, send proof of your payment to the law firm that filed a lawsuit against you. If the law firm has no knowledge of this collection agent, then you are probably a fraud victim. Another way to learn if the collection agent is legitimate is to call him or her. If the collection agency exists, it will work with you to convince the lawyer the debt was paid. If the collection agency is no longer in business or otherwise vanished, you are probably a fraud victim. See the link I mentioned for steps you can take if you were defrauded.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2011
    Vanessa
    I recently called to make payment arrangements on a student loan only to find out a judgement had already been filed. The representatived indicated the paperwork had already been signed and I had personally recieved a summons. I did not receive the summons and I suspect someone I don't get along with may have received it in my place. While I do owe the money, I am upset this will result in a default judgement. I am told if I agree to settle the company will allow me to file an unemployment deferment request. Once I begin working I must pay 25% of my income. Is this agreement my best option and is there anything I can do about the summons I did not recieve? If so, is it worth the effort or is it better to let it go?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      Bill
      Talk to a lawyer about vacating the judgment, if there really is one. If you cannot afford a lawyer, call your county bar association and ask for the name of the organization in your area that provides no-cost legal services to people with low or no income. Make an appointment with that organization and bring all of your documents regarding the debt to your meeting. The lawyer you meet will advise you accordingly.

      The "deal" offered you is what you would expect if there was a judgment and a wage garnishment order. Talk to the lawyer you meet about the offer. He or she will probably caution you against agreeing to the offer. For example, what if you accept, temporarily, a minimum wage job? Under the deal offered, you would have to remit 25% of your wages, even though that might impoverish you.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2011
    SB
    I am being sued in NJ civil court for $3500 by a credit card I was forced to stop paying last year when my financial situation got really bad. It still hasn't improved and I can barely pay rent and gas let alone a CC. The summons is from NJ to my OLD NJ address (I moved in Dec to PA). The summons was forwarded to my PA address since I had instructed the PO to do so and I signed for it when in arrived. My question is regarding the discrepancy. Is this suit valid as served given my address is wrong and they are suing me in a state that I am not a resident of? I have to give an Answer by next week and the 2 choices I see are 1) dispute the amount owed and/or 2) fill in the "other" section w/ the info about the wrong address. My goal is to delay any proceedings until I finish selling my house in NJ so I can declare bankruptcy afterwards. Thoughts? Thanks!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      There are two issues here. First, a summons is intended to give the defendant adequate notice of the action taken against him or her. Here, you received notice even though it was sent to an address where you no longer reside. I assume you meant you signed a return receipt, which proves to the court and plaintiff the delivery of the notice was flawed but successful. The second issue is a bit trickier. The court has jurisdiction over the case if it has the authority to hear the case (called subject matter jurisdiction) and has authority over the plaintiff and defendant (called personal jurisdiction). Personal jurisdiction rules are among the trickiest in all of civil procedure, and these rules vary by state. You mentioned New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which are two states where I have no experience or training in civil procedure, and am not licensed to practice law in either state. Therefore, I am not competent to answer your specific questions about your rights. Consult with a New Jersey or Pennsylvania lawyer who has experience in civil litigation.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Tiffany
      I was called at my job by what I believe was a collection agency MFG Associates is what the guy told me his name was, I tried to search them online I couldn't find anything. I even did a reverse look up on their phone number on White Pages and got no results 888-572-3114. The guy said they were going to sue me for a Citi Bank/Verizon credit card that he said was opened in 2005 and kept current until 2006 and the balance was $3,200.00 I don't ever remember this debt, it's not on my credit report and he said that his company couldn't report it but that the original creditor did. (Which they didn't) He also stated the company told them that I refused to pay and told them to do whatever they had to do. (I never spoke to the company) He asked me what I could afford to pay right now as a settelment and he would "throw it" out there for the Attorney. I told him to send me something verifying the debt. He said he couldn't do that unless it went to court and all he could send me what a letter from their company. I said I am not paying his company anything until I see some statements, bills, documents of some kind and he siad "Okay I'll see you in court then" The debt is in my maiden name and they had the wrong DOB for me as well. What should I do. I live in California.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      Everything you wrote suggests you are dealing with a fake debt collector. Trust your memory, and do not pay a debt a collection agent cannot validate. The collection agent's statement that the debt would be validated in court is contrary to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If this scammer calls you again, get the maximum amount of information you can about him and his employer, and file a complaint with the FTC.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      michelle
      they are coming after me for account from 07 and the law office handling this case todl me she could settle for a lump sum of 556 i am a single mother who does not get child support and i live paycheck to paycheck. will they garnish my wages or will they enter a default judgement and what does that mean
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      Bill
      A default judgment is where the defendant fails to respond the the summons and complaint. Because the defendant fails to respond, the court is left with no choice but to decide in favor of the plaintiff.

      You mentioned you have limited income. Call your county bar association and ask for the name of the organization in your area that provides no-cost legal services to people with low or no income. Make an appointment with that organization, and bring all of the documents you have relating to the debt and the summons and complaint to your meeting. The lawyer you meet will advise you accordingly, and if you so chose, can help you file a response to the summons.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2011
    Traci
    Hello - we received summons/complaint letter. We are planning to file Bankruptcy in 3 months. If we include that information in the response will that stop the legal/judgment actions? Or we would we have to consider filing bankruptcy sooner? This is for one of our major credits that will be included in the bankruptcy.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Bill
      I recommend that you speak with a bankruptcy attorney ASAP. The attorney can best advise you whether simply informing the creditor of your plan to file bankruptcy will stop the creditors collection efforts or if you will have to actually file for bankruptcy to stop them.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2011
    Nancy
    My husband and I bought a boat in 2008. He then became unemployed. I tried in vain to work this out with the lender who is in California. We live in Florida. They were not willing to work with us and 2 years ago, repossessed the boat. They sold it but for less that what was owed. Now I got a letter stating they were willing to work with me to resolve it. When I called, they refused the monthly amount I am able to pay and said they were sending it on to a collection agency. I have lost my job twice in the past year and have told them that. They are not willing to help me. They said it will cost me a lot more now. Can they garnish my wages? I can only make ends meet now that I am employed. They are in California, with no branches in FL, I am scared, and have tried to work with them. What can I do now?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2011
      Bill
      Garnishment is a possibility. See the Bills.com resource Florida Collection Laws to learn more about your rights and liabilities as a Florida resident.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2011
    jaime
    A levy was placed on my account by Capital One however i never received a summons or any type of court paperwork.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2011
      Bill
      A key point drilled into law students brains in Civil Procedure 101 is giving the opposing party proper notice. There are three reasons for this:
      1. It is fundamentally unfair to sue a party and have them unaware of the action taken against them
      2. Judges hate wasting their time, and they hate deciding the same case twice, which is what happens when a judgment is vacated and the case is retried.
      3. Lawyers seem to forget No 1. and No. 2

      Consult with a lawyer in your state who has experience with civil litigation or consumer law. He or she will probably discuss filing a motion to vacate the judgment. The grounds for doing so are defective notice. If you cannot afford an attorney, call your county bar association and ask for the name of the organization in your area that provides no-cost legal services to people with no or low income. Make an appointment with that organization. When you attend your meeting, bring all of the documents relating to the debt and judgment. The attorney you meet with will advise you accordingly. My guess, note that word choice, is that the attorney will fire-off a sternly worded letter to the collector/attorney and advise them you plan to file a motion to vacate the judgment. This will set off a round of negotiations that may result in your reaching a lump-sum settlement for considerably less than the amount shown in the judgment.

      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Anna
      I received an appearance summons without a complaint (with only 5 days to answer) and was required to file an answer with the court, I did that and the next thing I knew a judgment by the junk debt collector was obtained. The law firm called me and the first thing this person said was we sent you a summons and then proceeded to ask me for my SSN. I refused to give it to him and so know I am in a lot of trouble and will lose everything that I own. Didn't know about the judgment until I received a letter from a law firm that I had look into whether or not the debt collector violated the FDCPA. They filed the lawsuit before the 30 days I had to respond to their letter which was back in October 2010, the funny thing is that it was the same month that the SOL expired. I am in the state of Illinois and now I have no money to pay them and they will probably freeze my bank account. The judgment is for $5,000 and I am on a fixed income getting government assistance. This is a sad day for me and now I have to find $5,000 to pay these people, wish I had of hired an attorney or something, don't know what I am going to do.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Bill
      Call your county bar association. Ask for the name of the organization that gives no-cost legal advice to people in your area with no or low income. Make an appointment with that organization and bring all of your documents relating to the debt and judgment to your meeting. The lawyer you meet will review the documents in person and advise you accordingly. You mentioned you reside in Illinois. Read the Bills.com resource Illinois Collection Laws to learn more about your rights and liabilities.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2011
    Joel
    I recently received a "summons" from a law firm stating that a hospital I owed money to has started a lawsuit against me. It was sent directly from the lawyer's office and has no case number or date of appearance. Is this a legal summons?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Bill
      Depends on the state. For example, in Minnesota, summons to appear notices in civil cases can come from a lawyer. (This is a tremendous error in Minnesota law, in my humble opinion, that should be changed.) There may be other states with this ill-considered civil procedure rule as well. You did not mention your state of residence so I cannot say whether there is any legal basis to the letter you received. The smart thing for you to do is take the document in question to a lawyer in your state who practices civil litigation. He or she will be able to give you a precise answer in 1 minute.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2011
    Brody
    Do not admit to anything. Most of these lawsuits come from 3rd party debt buyers that purchased your defaulted debt from the original creditor for 1 or 2 pennies on the dollar. 99.9% of the time these debt buyers have nothing more than your name and the amount you allegedly owe. They then tack on ridiculous made-up fees and interest and try to sue you for an inflated amount hoping you do not respond to the complaint so that they receive summary judgment from the court. DENY! DENY! DENY! Admit to nothing. Make them prove you owe the debt in court with contracts, receipts, assignments, etc. and they will not be able to produce them and the case will be thrown out.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Bill
      Thank your for your contribution. Undocumented collection accounts are known as bare accounts, and as you suggest are insufficient to prove in court the existence of the debt. Find a lawyer in your state who has experience in civil litigation or consumer law for advice in building a successful defense.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2010
    I am in Arkansas and received a summons and complaint today concerning a Citibank (SD) credit card debt that I have tried to work out with them for the past four years. We reduced the debt from 21K to 14K using what ended up being three separate 12m programs. After 3 years they would only say that there are no relief programs that fit our account due to something called \"Offer 4\" on our account prior to the first default in 2006. In Nov 09 after several months in default #2 we were told (not recorded) that if we paid a given amount related to \"Offer4\" balance, this would remove the restriction and allow a new program to be started. We paid this amount in Dec 09 giving us a new SOL start date and in January there were still no program available which repeated month after month on each call. Any advice on my response/answer? Thanks.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2010
      Bill
      If the summons and complaint is from an Arkansas court, then consult with an Arkansas attorney immediately. If you cannot afford an attorney, then call your county bar association and ask for the name of the local group that provides pro bono counseling for low- and no-income people in your area. Make an appointment with that organization, and bring all of your documentation regarding the debt, the credit card agreement, and recent negotiations to that meeting.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2010
      michal
      This is good site for every one because this site has good information.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2010
    Candice
    I stopped paying on credit card debit in 2006 do to financial hardship and more recently had my financial income increase and would like to start repaying this outstanding debt. With all of the recent bank mergers how can I figure out which bank I still owe money too? Any other suggestions to improve my credit score would be appreciated.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2010
      Bill
      Given the amount of time that passed, it is a fair guess that your accounts were sold by the original creditors to collection agents. There is no good way to determine who owns your collection accounts. The best way, which is by no means perfect, is to get a copy of your credit report and review it to see who the credit reporting agencies think owns your collection accounts. Contact these collection agents, and explain that you would like to settle the claim they have against you. Do not admit the debt is yours -- say you want to settle their claim. Collection agents buy debt for pennies on the dollar. Offer the collection agent a lump-sum settlement of 15 cents on the dollar, and take the negotiations from there. See the Bills.com resource Boost Credit Score for more.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2010
    Joanne
    I was served a summons and complaint letter in New York State and it says a process server will be serving me as well. This was for credit card debt where I agreed to a payment plan but was subsequently laid off. I plan to file bankruptcy in roughly 4 months if I cannot obtain employment to cover other credit card debt. The Creditor has stated that the court is in an area where I no longer live and they do have my forwarding address( which is howI received their mail). Can you advise me what to do?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2010
      Bill
      There is a common-nonlaw perception that if a process server cannot find a defendant to a civil suit and hand-deliver the summons there is no valid service of process and therefore a trial cannot proceed. This urban myth may have sprung from Hollywood movies that followed old California law where that rule once was true. No more, at least in jurisdictions I know of. I will assume you are still a New York resident. If this is so, then you have constructive notice of the New York lawsuit, and I urge you to either negotiate an out-of-court settlement before the hearing or attend the hearing. If you are no longer a New York resident, send a return-receipt letter to the law firm informing them of your new state of residence.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2010
    Bill
    You are asking a civil procedure question that requires a precise knowledge of Georgia and Florida law. Generally speaking, the service of process must follow an exact procedure or it will be considered defective by the court. This is to protect the defendant. For an answer to your question, consult with an attorney in Florida who has experience litigating civil cases. I have no such experience, and am not competent to answer your question. I realize this is not the answer you sought. However, I would rather not answer your question than study Florida statutes, make an incorrect assumption, and advise you incorrectly.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2010
    Gloria
    If I want to serve my mortgage company with a law suit and I live in another state. What do I do to have them served. I live in Georgia, but they are in Florida? I know I have to file in my county courthouse, but how do I get a processor in GA to serve in Florida?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2010
    Bill
    I am unaware of any state of Florida Web site that contains the forms necessary to answer a summons and complaint. I realized you said you cannot afford an attorney. I disagree. You need to find the money to pay an attorney so that you are represented vigorously.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2010
    Debbie
    Ijoined a debt management co. 2 yrs. ago and now my credit card attorney will not settle. I got served with a summons and a complaint for the full amount. Is there a form that I need to use to answer the complaint? I am in Florida. I cannot afford to hire an attorney but I make too much for legal aid.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2010
    Bill
    What you described is illegal if the creditor never took the steps it is required to accomplish when filing a lawsuit against a defendant. Consult with an attorney in your state who has experience in consumer law to unwind the judgment against you and to possibly file a lawsuit against the creditor for failing to follow your state's civil procedure laws.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2010
    Felicia
    I live in the state of Georgia. Can a creditor garnish my wages if I was never served a summons alerting me of a judgement being placed against me? I just received a notice from a law office (offering me their services)stating that a garnishment has been placed against me, but I was never served or allowed to dispute the debt. What can I do now to dispute this?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2010
    Bill
    Save the envelope! It may be evidence of misconduct you can use in a lawsuit against the law firm that drafted and sent the document. Contact your debt settlement company immediately and alert them to this summons and complaint. Do it now, today, pronto. The debt settlement company should have a legal department set up specifically for customers in the situation you described. If not, consult with an attorney in your state about drafting an appropriate response.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2010
    kelley
    I have been working with a debt settlement company for the last year and have settled 80% of my accounts. One that is still pending sent me a summons in the mail...summons was dated 6/22/10 and it was post marked 7/23/10. I have 30 days to respond...hopefully from the post marked date as 30 days past the summons date has past. My question is how do i respond? Do i admit the debt and say that i am working with a debt relief company to settle my accounts or do I deny charges to give me time to settle?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2010
    Bill
    Keith: You may have a cause of action (a legal reason to sue) for malicious prosecution, and may have a cause of action against the plaintiff for failing to follow your state's civil procedure rules. Consult with an attorney in your state about your case.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2010
    Bill
    TG: See my reply to Denise dated 03/24/2010. You may have a cause of action under federal law. However, I do not see a defamation case unless the facts in the summons and complaint are incorrect.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2010
    keith
    i had been paying my hosptal bill at the hospital and only liked a few hunders dollars I received a summons 2 days after i paid my hospital bill from a collection company today i received a (regular mail) notice to appear in court for summary judgmentfor lawyers fees, court cost and interest on that amount.Since I had no notice of the court filing prior to my summons at which time the bill was already paid, where do I stand now
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2010
    TG
    I received a summons today from an attorney representing a credit card company due to default. I live in Indiana, but the thing is it was never served to my house. It was served to my neighbor across the street! Do I have a case against them for defamation of my character or the fact that now my neighbors know my private business? Thanks.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    Bill
    Does the law firm own the collection account? Or, is the law firm working on behalf of a collection agent? I cannot answer those questions for you. Call the law firm and ask if it owns the collection account. If so, negotiate with the law firm. If not, then ask the law firm if they are authorized to negotiate a settlement agreement with you. If so, then begin negotiating with the law firm. Do not ignore the summons and complaint. If you do not reach a settlement agreement before the trial date be sure to appear, and explain your side of the story to the court.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    Ann
    I have received a summons and complaint by a Lawyer representing a collection agency. I am being charged their lawyer fees in addition to the amount I owe. Who should I call to try and reach a settlement? The lawyer or the agency?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    Bill
    1) There is no usual range of time I have noticed as to when when a creditor will file a lawsuit. 2) Almost always a collection agent will file suit -- most banks do not want to be the bad guy. 3) A collection agent that has purchased the collection account -- usually for pennies on the dollar -- will be willing to negotiate a lower settlement than the original creditor. However, this is a generalization and like all generalizations there are exceptions. Regarding your June 2009 date of last payment, your account should no longer be in the original creditors current accounts file, and should either be in the original creditor's late accounts department or either assigned or sold to a collection agent.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    Edward
    I reside in California and have a few questions about credit card debt: (1) What is the usual timeframe when a creditor will file a Summons & Complaint to ultimately pursue a judgment (e.g., when account charged off, before SoL expires, etc.). (2) Who sues, the original credit card creditor or collection agency? (3) Who is better to discuss settlement, original creditor or collection agency? FYI, June 2009 was the last payment made to the accouht to the original creditor (no activity since then).
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Bill
    Denise: Under the Fair Debt Collection Protection Act, a federal law, yes it is illegal for a creditor to disclose to a third party (aside from a credit reporting agency) the existence of a debt. However, in some states, the plaintiff must include the facts about a case in a summons and complaint. Therefore, it is possible the plaintiff-creditor violated the FDCPA when it served the complaint to someone other than the defendant. Here, the defendant-debtor should consult with an attorney in her state who has experience in consumer law, to determine if she has a cause of action against the creditor. Unfortunately, Congress set very low limits for damages for violations of the FDCPA.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Bill
    Richard: Your fear is unjustified. For public policy reasons, the statute of limitations does not reset if you negotiate a settlement with a creditor. The reason for this policy is the law encourages parties to settle disputes out of court, and if negotiations reset a statute of limitations then parties would have a disincentive to negotiate.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Denise
    Recently, someone served papers to my cousin's father's address, from an attorney, suing her for a debt. She is well into adulthood and has not lived with her father for some time. The papers, containing her personal information and her debt information were NOT served in an envelope, leaving all of her personal and debt information exposed for her father to see. Isn't there a law that protects consumers from this kind of information not being protected??
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Richard
    I know that the credit card SOL for the creditor is counted from the date of the last payment. I am receiving calls from creditors which I am not answering because I fear that if I even just talk with them and acknowledge the debt that this might reset the clock. Is my fear justified?? ie. is it O.K. to talk with them about the debt and the reasons for being late, etc.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Warren
    The clock resets when you make a payment (even one dollar), or it can be extended if they sue you and win a judgment. But, they can still call and harass you for a much longer period, they just cannot sue you after statute of limiations expires. Make sense?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    richard
    regarding defaulted credit card, somewhere I read that the clock on the SOL for time to sue (3 years in California?) is reset anytime you acknowledge that you owe the debt. Is it important to be very careful when contacting the creditors? I already am aware that the clock starts from the date of the last payment.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Bill
    I cannot answer yes or no to your question because I do not know enough about your situation. You may not need to declare bankruptcy. Read the Bills.com resource What Are My Debt Consolidation Options? to learn more about the choices available to you.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Luis
    Hi, I just received a Summons from the bank that i used to have my business and me it says personal service on an individual, they want 19,000 dollars from me, and haven't done any business for the past 5 month, so my question is, i dont have the money to pay this amount, should i declare my company and me in bankrupcy or should i suggest try to reduce the debt and take payment plans? thanks
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Bill
    Review my replies to readers above who are in a situation similar to yours. My second thought is there is no harm in your contacting the attorney now and explaining your present financial situation. The attorney may say, "See you in court." If so, appear in court, explain your situation to the judge, and see what happens. Since you are unemployed and have access to the Internet, educate yourself about your rights under Michigan law and make yourself your own best advocate.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    David
    I received a summons and complaint order today. Its in regards to a credit card debt I owe. I live in Michigan and I have not worked since Sept. 08. I am living with my mother.I do not have the money to pay this debt right now. I do not know what to do. I don't even have a bank account anymore. I know I should contact the plantiffs attorney to try to settle this matter, but I have no money at all. How can I even make a payment arrangement? Any advise for me I would greatly appreciate it. Thank You.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Bill
    If you ever receive a summons you should do as it instructs! This is not just a social invitation that you can ignore. In the hearing, the judge will decide if the creditor should be allowed to collect the debt. If the debtor fails to appear, the judge has no choice but to decide on behalf of the creditor. Therefore, if you receive a summons, the first thing you should do is contact the law firm representing the creditor.Open a negotiation to see if they are willing to settle the debt. If not, it would be wise to respond as indicated in the summons. I encourage you to read an article I wrote which provides you with collections advice.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Dee
    I have recvd a summons and complaint from a hosptial bill. It states i need to file an answer. I have no idea how to do that. I do owe the bills 2018.00, my husband lost his job 3 months after having my child at this hospital. Is there a way to settle out of court? I do not have $ for an attorney, who do i contact their attorney, clerks office? I am losing sleep.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Dana
    Thank you for your quick response.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Bill
    As a general rule, I do not make observations about situations where the reader has already consulted with an attorney. The attorney was able to ask questions, review documents, and gain a richer understanding of the reader's situation. The attorney is also versed in the reader's state laws. Here, I do not know in which state you reside, so I cannot review your state's statutes or case law. Accordingly, I will not comment further, other than to say keep working with your attorney.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Aleta
    In short we were served a summons on the eve of Feb 2nd which states we must answer the complaint within 20 days (exclusive of the date of service). Since then we have paid half the balance to the original creditor and set up monthly guaranteed payments for the balance. The creditor says they have our file back from the collection/ law firm agency. After working all of this through we found out last week we should still answer the complaint in writing, which we did on what I consider to be the 18th day after service of summons. I checked my certified mail receipt and see that the company was delivered my answer today, which is the 20th day (exclusive of date I was served). Does it sound like, because of the close proximity to the deadline, they could still try and go for judgement. We have been advised not to have any verbal contact with this collection/ legal company, by both a lawyer and the rep at the original creditor's office that we worked with.thanx
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Bill
    Each person's situation is unique, and it would be folly for me to or anyone else to create a response to a court without knowing the specifics of your situation. Consult with a Florida attorney regarding your summons and the debt the creditor claims you owe, and your options for responding.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Luis
    what is the process in the State Florida after being served for credit card debt? and what letter do we need to submit to the court before the 20 days are up?...in case we need to explain our situation, and will that help any in reducing or forgiving our debt...kinda confused about letter we need to write people keep mentioning to us Please help!!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Bill
    Settling out of court is usually a win-win. Argue for a lump-sum settlement and start at 10 cents on the dollar. Go to court if you think the interest and fees are illegal under Michigan law. Michigan allows a judgment-creditor to charge 13% interest on a judgment. Regarding your response, I suggest you contact your county bar association and ask for the name of the local group that provides legal services to low- and no-income people in your area. Make an appointment with the pro bono group at that organization, and bring all of the documents you have regarding the debt. The paralegal or lawyer there will advise you accordingly.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Ral
    Hi Bill, this is an amazing resource, by the way, thanks for all the advice. I live in Michigan, and I was served with a "Summons and Complaint" with 21, now 18, days to respond. I am being sued for an Arbitration Award issued by Nat. Arb. Forum via CAV (which has MANY names) via MBNA, and now pursued by a Michigan attorney for $4500. I realize that I owe this debt and have no good argument against it, however half of the entire debt is 27% interest rates, fines, and attorney fees. I'm wondering if my options to settle this outside court with a payment plan are still an option with arbitration awards. From my reading I need to respond, but I don't know what to say. Also, what is reasonable for a payment plan if I can barely afford maybe $50-75 a month? Thanks!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Bill
    Contact the attorney. Ask the attorney if his/her law firm now owns the debt or is merely representing the creditor. If the attorney owns the debt then begin negotiating a settlement. If the attorney does not own the debt then tell him/her that you wish to open negotiations to settle the debt, and ask if you should negotiate with the law firm or the creditor. Proceed accordingly. See Debt Negotiation and Settlement Advice for tips and tactics.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Suzy
    I have just been served with a summons to appear in court on 3/4/09 on an old credit card debt from a few years back. I know I owe the money & am not disputing the debt. I would like pay the debt & avoid going to court, who should I call the Atty listed on the summons or the collection agency? I live in MO.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Bill
    Today, now, immediately do this: 1) Make a list of your unpaid creditors. 2) Contact them and tell them that you still exist, have had financial difficulty, and want to know if they offer a payment plan. Do not commit to anything, and explain you are working out a plan for repaying all of your creditors. 3) Read the following Bills.com resources: Collections Advice and Debt Negotiation and Settlement Advice and What Are My Debt Consolidation Options? 4) Regarding the summons, read Served Summons and Complaint, 5) Insist that your husband appear at the hearing, and then take steps to make sure that he actually appears.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Tish
    My Husband was served a complaint by a Hawaii attorney's office on Jan 11, and It is for a loan that he took out in 2008. We where paying every month and on time until the economy went south and my husband lost his job. After finding another job with less pay, we starting falling behind on everything and still were not able to catch up. Even with this job that he has now we still can't afford to pay for this bill and all of our other bill's because it's all going to our home so we don't loose it. I know that the money is owed but we don't have it. What do I do. I have 20 day's to respond. How do I respond to them and tell them that we don't have the money to pay at this time.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Bill
    What you ask is if the collection agency can be trusted to withdraw only the amount they promise from your checking or savings account. Although I am certain many collection agents are trustworthy, upstanding pillars in their community, Bills.com receives e-mail from consumers who deal with collections agents who are none of these things. I cannot predict if your collection agent is honest or planning to pillage your account. Accordingly, to be safe you may wish to consider sending the collection agent a cashier's check via certified mail (or FedEx, UPS two-day, or USPS priority).
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Betty
    I was served with a summons (in NM) on friday from a law firm (collection agency) who says they are representing capitol one. Upon receiving the summons I called this firm to work on a settlement. The settlement was to pay a certain amount on jan 15th and two additional lesser payments, one in feb and one in march. They told me there was no need to answer the summons as long as I made good on the settlement. I am inclined to believe that I really should answer the summons. When answering the summons do I include the fact that we have worked out a settlement? Also, they are wanting me to pay via check over phone come friday. I'm not sure if I should really trust this way of payment. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2009
    Bill
    State laws vary on this issue, and unfortunately I do not know what state you reside in. See Am I Liable for Debt My Wife Incurred Before Marriage and Is My Spouse Liable for My Credit Card Debt? to read more about spousal liability for pre-marital and marital debt.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2009
    M'Shell
    My husband received a summons for a previous debt that fell out of Debt management. The collection agency is suing him. At the time, the debt was in his name only, but they are suing me. Can they do that if the debt incurred at the time was in his name (only)before we got married.?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Bill
    This is a civil procedure question, although the underlying issue regards real property. The answer form would be the same regardless. I do not have access to forms for Florida. You mentioned you are studying to be a paralegal. Ask one of your professors if they can send you the form you need, or check with your fellow students, one of which may already be working for an attorney.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Mary
    I am studying Paralegal but have not gotten into Real Estate yet. I was served a Civil Action Summons and must answer withing 20 days. I know I must file this in the 11th Jucicial Circuit Court. But I need the ANSWER FORM to file my answer in court. It is in reference to Foreclosure on my property and I want to let them know that I am doing a loan modification with the investor that holds the note on my property. I just need the blank ANSWER form so I can file it asap in the Miami Courthouse. Please help???
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Bill
    No other clues? Do you have the contact information of the process server to ask them who their client was? Have any cruel friends playing a practical joke on you? Was there a mysterious van down the street with a camera sticking out of it pointed in your direction? Seriously, you need to follow-up with the process server and track down the firm who hired them. My guess is that an overworked paralegal did not include all of the documents in your envelope. If you can't track them down, then be certain to take pictures of the envelope and its contents so that in the future you have proof the notice was defective.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Jade
    I am in Colorado. I just received a summons from a process server and there is nothing on it. There is no case number, division number, or even a room number. There is a date and a time to show up (which I will if it is legitimate) but nothing else. I called the courthouse where they said it was filed but the clerk said there is nothing filed against me. What do I do? I cant respond to the courthouse if there isnt even a case against me.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2009
    Mark
    Thank you for the clarification! We strive to give accurate information. As we see here, each state is sovereign and free to create its own civil and criminal laws. There are general rules, but the local rules are the ones that count for you. That is why we remind readers to consult with an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction when you have a legal question.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2009
    Smith
    Hi, you wrote in #16: A summons will always come from the court's clerk office and not the attorneys'. This is not true. In Minnesota an attorney can send you a summons and complaint and have it served by processor or even send it by mail. They do not have to file it in court first. If someone doesn't answer the summons in 20 days, then the attorney for the creditor can file for a default judgment with the court. Thanks for providing this website, however. Lots of useful info.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2009
    Mark
    I am a little confused by a sentence in your message: "This company paid my balance now I guess I owe them." If YOU (or a friend or family member) paid-off the debt, then you should not be receiving any collections calls. The debt is retired, finished, kaput. However, if you mean that the original creditor sold the debt to a collection agent, then the rest of your message makes sense. The rest of my answer will assume the later explanation. A summons and complaint is an order by the court that you make a response by the date indicated. DO IT! Write a letter to the judge explaining your side of the story. Make it no more than two pages in length. Use simple language. Rewrite the letter several times so that you express your thoughts so clearly that even a child can understand what you mean. If you are jobless and have no income explain that. If you paid off the debt, tell the court the date you paid, how much, and provide copies of receipts. Send it to the court before the deadline. You will not go to jail -- no one has gone to jail over debt since the 1800s. If the process is overwhelming see if your county offers a legal aid organization for people with low income.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2009
    Tina
    I got served a summons and complaint that says I have 21 days to file a written answer with the court. What does this mean? It's over an old credit debt. This company paid my balance now I guess I owe them. Will I go to jail? I lost my job the first of the year and still looking for work, I live with my family in public housing unable to pay rent let alone payments. could you please give me advice.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2009
    Mark
    Going to court can be intimidating, but you may not need to. A lawsuit is complaint filed with a civil court (there are civil courts with rules that govern disputes between parties, and criminal courts for handling crimes). If you do nothing and the company that bought your debt takes your case to trial, they will win a default judgment. Therefore, a lawsuit is not the same as a judgment. Call the company that bought the debt and try to determine if they are threatening to sue you, or if they have already obtained a judgment. If they are still in the threatening stage, then try to negotiate with them to settle the debt. If, however, the summons and complaint is an order from a judge for you to appear in his or her court, then DO IT. If the process is at all unclear to you I strongly urge you to contact an attorney in your area and spend an hour discussing your rights and obligations for this debt in your state. An attorney's time is not cheap, but may end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. Regarding your question about your credit report, the answer is yes, a judgment can appear on your credit report, and the results of which are very damaging to your FICO score.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2009
    ada
    I am being sued by a company who claim to have purchased my credit card debt from my original creditor - Bank. The account was opened 1999 and closed and transferred 2004. I tried to contact the bank in 2005 to see what they can do to me. They told me the account was closed for not paying as agreed. I did not here back since then. I received Summons and Complaint to answer questions within 21 days this week from another company. I am confused and no idea what to do. What can I do? Please help. I never been in court. Is lawsuit/judgment reported to consumer credit agencies? Thank you! I live in MI. Please any help is better than none!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2009
    Stew
    Have you looked into the availability of reduced-cost legal services in your area, such a Legal Aid? One really good resource for finding free or low-cost legal representation in many states is http://www.ptla.org/ptlasite/links/links.htm. You may also want to contact any law schools in your area to inquire about free legal clinics offered by many schools. The reason I am encouraging you to look into low cost legal services is that I strongly believe that someone in your situation should not be forced to make a decision without competent legal advice simply because he doesn't have a lot of money. Given your financial difficulties, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy protection; filing bankruptcy would stop this legal action and would likely lead to all of your unsecured debts being discharged. Again, I encourage you to consult with an attorney for guidance if you think that bankruptcy may be a viable option for you. I wish you the best of luck!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2009
    Deborah
    I have a credit card account that I had to stop paying payments on due to loss of wages, illness, etc. after the credit card company pulled a credit report and increase my interest rate and minimum payments. They have filed a summons/complaint to which I responded "pro se" as I cannot afford an Attorney. They have now sent papers requesting answers to Interrogatories,etc.. I have no money and am having extreme difficulty paying my normal bills. I do have some property that I would agree for them to put a second lien on, but have been advised not to agree to that because it would make unsecured debt secured. We have a court date on July 22nd, 2009. Any advise?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2009
    Bill
    It is best if you could go to court and file a reply, you do not want to deal with a judgement on your credit report just because of your non-appearance. Trust me, I have heard many instances just like yours where folks have reached a settlement with the creditors outside the court and the company goes ahead with the judgment anyways. Better to be safe than sorry. In most cases, you can get the forms to reply to the notice, at the court house that sent you notice, or online if they have a website.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2009
    Brenda
    I received a summons regarding old credit card debt. I have since called the attorney and have worked out a settlement. The attorneys office states that they will contact the court and dismiss the summons within 30 days, however I only have 10 days to respond to the summons I received (9 now... I received it yesterday). I prefer not to take time off of work to go to the courthouse, and it says that I do not have to appear in person. Would writing a letter to the court be sufficient, or where would I obtain the proper forms to notify the court that we have reached a settlement so that a judgment is not made against me? (I live in NY.)
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2009
    Bill
    Reply to the summons or better yet go and see the court clerk directly, if you can make the payment, you can easily avoid this judgment. Just make sure you take care of all the paperwork. Remember that this is just a summons and NOT A JUDGMENT, yet.
    1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2009
    Shannon
    State of Michigan, I received a summons regarding a debt to a hospital. I had no idea I had an outstanding bill -- I can pay the amount. Any chance I would be able to keep this out of court? What should I do?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2009
    Bill
    Are you sure that this is for the same credit card account? even if it is, you should appear in court without fail and present yourself because if you don't, the court will pass a default judgment against you. In court, you can tell the judg as to what exactly happened and see what they say.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2009
    Ken
    I received court filings for my past credit card debt, but has since called the attorney and settled on a payment plan without going to court. I have been making payments for the past 2 months and hasnt missed one since. However I just received a new letter from the court stating: Attention: A summons and complaint has been filed on a consumer credit transaction asking the court to render a judgement against you. I dont understand why I would get this when I signed the settlement plan already.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2009
    Bill
    Yes, looks like you could counter sue, but please make sure to get the help of a an attorney.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2009
    Gaby
    I am being sued, a default judgment has already been entered against me. I never received a summons and complaint therefore I didn't know I was being sued nor that I had to answer. I went to the courthouse to file an objection. While reviewing my case file, I discovered that the summons and complained was forged. On the back of the form there is a section called "Aknowledgment of Service". Not only was my name forged, it was the incorrect name, it was my maiden name which I have not used in almost 5 years, it was signed on a workday when I can prove I was at work, and it was served at the wrong address. That is obviously forgery and maybe even fraud. They did not give my an opportunity to answer and automatically entered a judgment. What should I do? Can I countersue for fraud?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2009
    Sam
    You need to make an appointment with an attorney in your area as soon as possible to discuss this situation. The rules of civil procedure, which outline the process of filing a lawsuit and serving a defendant, vary significantly from state to state, so it is impossible for me to tell you whether or not the summons you have received is valid. However, an attorney familiar with your state's court rules should be able to make that determination by looking at the documents and making a few phone calls. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney yourself, your county Bar Association should be able to provide you with a referral to an attorney who can provide you with legal advice at a reduced fee. I wish you the best of luck!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Michelle
    I had wrote before about receiving a summons and complaint. I believe they aren't from the court. Is there anything visible that would make me see to make sure. They even sent garnishment papers to my work and keep calling there but they have nothing filed against me at the court house, not even a case number on the summons. And when I signed and sent back my summons within the 20 days and told them I believed this debt was invalid, they told me by signing it meant it was a default judgement! I am shocked that I am not even getting a chance to fight this debt in court. Whats a person to do???? Thank u.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Lou
    I received letter from a debt relief company stating that I was about to be served a summons from a credit card debt. They said that if thier letter reached me before the summons I should call them and they could help. I check court records the best I could and cannot find anywhere, that a summons had been issued. Is this possible they would know before me?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Bill
    Lou, it is most likely that they were informed by the law firm that a summons or lawsuit would be filed. Make sure that they give you good advice and work the case quickly, as you can do several things including settling the debt or setting up a payment plan, frequently referred to as a stipulated judgment. Good luck Lou.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Bill
    Cassie - A summons to appear in court is only sent out by the court and not by a specific lawyer. If you do get a summons, it will be for a local court. Most of the times, you do not need a paid lawyer to handle it because if you go to the courthouse, they will provide you with the forms that you will need to file in your reply. But for now, this seems to be just a letter from an attorney. Collections companies will often do this, but it does not mean that the case has gone to court yet. You state that you don't recall ever opening this account, in that case you should send this company a request for debt validation. You can find more information and sample debt validation letters here: http://credit.about.com/od/debtcollection/qt/debtvalidation.htm
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Cassie
    I was served a summons and complaint from the lawyer of an old credit card account. I don't recall ever having the credit card account which was opened in 2005 or receiving any information about an overdue/past due balance of any kind. I would like to fight the debt but I don't have money for a lawyer. What's the best ways to dispute this debt? Thanks
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2009
    Bill
    A summons will always come from the court's clerk office and not the attorneys'.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2009
    Michelle
    I was served a complaint and summons from an attorneys office. Now I have been told that a complaint and summons should come from a courthouse and bear the courts seal and be signed by a clerk of the court. Is this true? Because my papers don't and I just want to make sure that they are not sending fraudulent papers. And I was never offered a court hearing to dispute and they are treatening to garnish my wages. I am super confused and am not sure what to do next. Thank u.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2009
    Bill
    You HAVE to respond to then summons, if you do not, then a default judgment can be entered against you. Trust me, you do not want that to happen. Even though the debt might fall under the purview of the statute of limitations, you still have to present yourself in court just so that you present your side of the facts. If the judge is convinced that the statute of limitations has exopired, then he will dismiss the case, but you definitely have to reply to the summons, regardless of whether it was in your maiden name or not. The debt is still on your social security number.
    1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2009
    June
    I received a summons and complaint from an old credit account, The summons is in my maiden name and I have been married for 9 years. Also, my husband and I have been going through extreme economic hardship due to the fact that he was unemployed for over 10 months and even though he is currently working his net income is 1/3 of what he was making before. How do I respond to this summons? Is there a statute of limitations on debt collection in Indiana if he debt was acquired prior to 5/2000?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2008
    Bill
    That depends on whether they honor the agreement. From what you state, it seems like they emailed you the format of the agreement for you to fill on paper and send it back to them. You should have asked for the settlement agreement from them in writing so that if they ever try to rescind the agreement, you have proof that they had agreed to it before. If you have not done so already, please ask for that settlement agreement in writing, stating that once paid off, they will report it to the credit bureaus as a zero balance account. Once they give you that letter I doubt they can come after you again.
    1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2008
    Nitin
    You will have to contact the firm that has filed the lawsuit to see what options you may have, I doubt that you can keep it out of court considering that you have received the summons already. You should also get help from a qualified attorney to represent you. Do not, under any circumstances, ignore this summons as doing so will result in a default judgment being passed against you.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2008
    connie
    I have been served a summons and complaint for an old car bill,I made arrangement with the collection company before I was sebt the summons and complaint and I defalted, I could not pay the amount? Do you think I could still possibly keep this out of court?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2008
    Bill
    Yes, you still have to inform the court of your intentions. If you do not, then they might pass a default judgment and that would complicate the matters unnecessarily.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2008
    Dan
    if i file for bankruptcy will that stop the lawsuit? do i still have to answer the complaint?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2008
    connie
    I received a summons and complaint on Saturday. I called the collection agency that filed the complaint against me today(monday)and they were willing to work out a new settlement agreement with me, i had the company write up our agreement and send it to my email, i signed it and scanned it back to the company. My question is can they still go after me since we have a new agreement? I know that i have 20 days to answer to ensure that the case doesn't automatically defalt.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2008
    Nathan
    The forms differ from state to state. I would need to know which state to advice on on the correct form.
    1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2008
    Christina
    I am being sued by my credit company, I was served with a summons, what form(s)/form numbers to respond to the court. Please help, my time is limited since I need to respond ASAP. Thanks so much!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2007
    Nithin
    If you have settled a credit card account, then you need not include the account in a bankruptcy filing, as a settled account should reflect a $0 balance. However, if you reached a payment agreement with the creditor, and have not completed the payment arrangement, you should be able to include any unpaid balance in a bankruptcy filing. The fact that you may have entered into a payment arrangement with the creditor should not change the nature of the debt, and being an unsecured credit card debt, the debt should be dischargeable in bankruptcy. If you are considering filing bankruptcy, I encourage you to speak with an attorney in your area to discuss the options available to you.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2007
    Cindy
    If I settle with a cc company to pay off debt monthly (after being served) payments, will I be able to claim that on bankruptsy later on? I believe my debt is default status and just wondered if I could later dismiss thru bankruptsy. Thanks so much.
    1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2008
    Nathan
    Please keep records of all your letters and communication with the creditors. Yes, you will have to present your case at the court hearing. Make sure that you respond to the court notice or else they might enter a default judgment against you. Once you present your case, the Judge will take into consideration, your present financial condition.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2008
    Nancy
    I was recently served civil suit papers for a credit card debt that I can't afford to pay. I want to file a response stating that I am going through an extreme economic hardship, my exhusband is in jail, I am not receiving child support on my 4 children, and I AM RECEIVING ASSISTANCE FROM THE GOVERNMENT in the form of FOOD STAMPS BECAUSE I don't make enough money. After a response, will they send me a a court date? I've been reading that if I file a response you have a 50 chance that they will not pursue the case. Does my inability to pay at this time be taken into consideration when i go to court? Is that suitable to right in a response?
    0 Votes