First of all, I am not an attorney, so I cannot provide you with legal advice. You may want to consult with an attorney in your area regarding this legal matter. However, I will provide you with some general information that may help you in resolving this matter.
The civil suit papers or court summons 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.
I would recommend that 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 sizeable portion of the balance, the creditor may be willing to settle the debt. For example, if you can offer 60% 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 and keep trying to negotiate. If you come to a dead-end there, you have the option to set up a payment plan.
If you cannot access 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 creditorÂ’s attorney to discuss possible repayment plans and ask them about a stipulated judgment payment plan.
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. I encourage you to speak with an attorney licensed in your area to discuss the implications of a judgment against you, and what is the best course of action to resolve the account. You can review your own state's collection laws and statutes of limitations.
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.