If Ihave been served a summons for an unpaid credit card of $8100, what is my best option?

Do nothing, answer the summons and go to court, or file bankruptcy. In 09/09 I was unable to pay credit card after my wife lost her job. Also stopped paying mortgage. Got mortgage going again in 07/10 but have fallen behind 5 months since. Can’t pay the house so I certainly can’t pay the credit card.

Asked on March 7, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Do NOT simply ignore the summons--if you do, you lose by default and the creditor gets a judgment that they can try to enforce against (e.g. with wage garnishment, with liens, etc.) for *years* to come. Definitely--while deciding what to do in a larger sense--file your answer, make your appearance, etc.; do it pro se (on you own; no attorney) if you need to, but at least this way, you'll force the process to unfold, buying time, rather than losing immediately by not responding.

You probably should consider bankrupty in your position. While bankruptcy clearly will hurt your credit rating, it arguably will not hurt it more (or least much more) than defaulting on a number of debts and having judgments against you--plus, it will let you get out from under the debts and start over. You should consult with a bankrutpcy attorney.


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