A civil summons for a debt simply means your creditor has decided to take you to court for the debt that you owe. Your creditor can sue you directly or sell your debt to a debt collection agent. It is common for most consumers not to respond to debt summonses. If you do not respond, you will lose the case by default and the court gives judgment against you. It is in your best interest therefore to respond. The following steps will help you greatly, especially if you don’t want to waste money on attorney fees.
1. Write down the court date in your diary so you do not forget. Plan to have that day free. You might spend most of that day in court.
2. Write a 2 to 3 pages reply to the summons. This is to put the collection attorney on notice that you will be available to defend your case. Usually you have 20 days to reply but the earlier you do it the better. If you are not sure what to write, write whatever you can and then get an attorney to check it for you for a small fee. Other things might come up and you will forget.
3. Get as many documents as you can concern the debt. You have to know exactly where you stand. Some debts might no longer be valid. Documents to that purpose will prove your case. Get any canceled checks, bankruptcy papers that can add to your defense. Court cases are not decided by word of mouth. Collection attorneys sometimes have trouble accounting for the exact amount of money they owed and this can work in your favor
4. Check the state of your finances to determine if and how you can pay the debt or part of it. The collection attorney more often than not will ask you to agree to an out of court settlement.
5. Now, if your financial life is in a state of confusion, these tips might not work for you. You will be better off hiring an attorney that has experience in handling debt cases.
Check out the link below
Debt Information Center the internet’s No.1 center for free information on debt management and consolidation.