Hey WalletHubbers! Today we’ll go over how to respond to a
court summons for credit card debt. In general, receiving a summons for credit
card debt means you’re at least 180 days behind on payment. Creditors can sue earlier than that, but they
rarely will. The right response is still key here. With that being said, here are the steps you
should and should not take when responding to a court summons for credit card debt. The worst thing you can do is ignore the summons. Instead, you should start by trying to work
things out. Call up your creditor and explain that you
can’t afford the full amount due but are willing to pay some of it. You might be able to strike a deal, and avoid
court but don’t make any payment till you have an agreement in place. Third, you’ll need to answer the summons
if you can’t come to an agreement with your creditor. It will have a number of claims about your
debt on it, to which you must agree, disagree or partially agree/express that you’re not
sure. This is like pleading “guilty” or “not
guilty,” except the charges aren’t criminal. When you disagree, you need to write out an
explanation. It would be a good idea to talk to an attorney
before writing your response – if you can afford it, or find a reputable nonprofit that
specializes in this area. Fourth, you might need to go to court. When the credit card company or collections
agency brings the claim against you, ask for proof. If they don’t have all the proper documentation,
the court may reject their claim. And finally, decide what to do next if the
court rules against you. You can try once more to settle the debt. You could contest the ruling. Or just comply and pay the amount you owe. You could also declare bankruptcy, but that’s
a last resort. With that, you have a high level understanding
of how to respond to a court summons for credit card debt. But if you find yourself in this situation,
you’ll need more of an education. In particular, you should start researching
your state’s statute of limitations for unpaid debt. The answer could save you big time. Good luck, WalletHubbers!