If your debt winds up in court in an attempt to make a collection, how should you answer the summons?
When you are served court papers as an attempt to collect on a debt, you need to know what can happen, as well as what you should do.
Here's the rule:
if you get served papers. . . respond.
I repeat. . . if you get a court summons, do not just ignore the summons, that is the WORST thing you can do. In fact your creditors are banking on it.
When you don't respond to a demand to go to court for your debt, you are behaving the way your creditors want you to behave. If they serve you papers, and you don't respond, then your creditors will automatically get a default judgment. A default judgment gives creditors a couple of new ways to collect on the debt.
Their collection options vary from state to state, but in most states the creditor receives the right to either garnish wages, or place a lien on a personal property, most often a home mortgage.
So if you get something from your creditor who is trying to take you to court, then you absolutely MUST respond, if only to throw up a roadblock and by you some time.
When you reply to the court about a debt, you should clearly state why you are in the situation you are in, and what your ability is to currently pay back the debt. Even if you can't pay anything, say so, and why.
What you are basically doing is giving the judge your side of the story. If you have tried to work with the creditor, and they were not cooperative, let the judge know. If you say nothing, you are guilty by default. Stand up for yourself! Don't let the creditors push you around! They are banking on the fact that you won't do anything, and then they can come in and try to get there money with a default judgment.
Moral of the story:
If you get something about your debt in the mail, or you are served papers for court, be sure to reply so your creditor doesn't win a judgment by default.
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