If a credit card collector failed to serve me a summons but there is a hearing on the case in about a week’s time, is it wise to go to the hearing?

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If a credit card collector failed to serve me a summons but there is a hearing on the case in about a week’s time, is it wise to go to the hearing?

I owe a credit card company who has filed a suit. So far, they failed to serve me a summons but I was able to get a copy of the summons from the debt counsellors trying to help me out. From what the summons says, there will be a hearing on my case in one week’s time, despite not being served a summons directly. The debt counselors say it rather late to reply the summons and that my best move is court on hearing day to make my case for hardship and ask for more time. Is this a sound advice? I owe this card company $34K but have other pressing creditors too. What are the most acceptable cases for hardship and what are the chances of garnishing my income?

Asked on April 25, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What is the hearing for?  Is it for a default judgement?  If they get a default then yes, they can garnish.  I think that it is always wise to answer and raise an affirmative defense of service in the answer.  And yes, I would indeed show up in court.  Some counties have lawyers for a day or attorneys that do pro bono work in the court to help those like you.  Try and speak with them.  You have a substantial amount of debt.  You could consult with an attorney as to your option besides claiming hardship.  Good luck.


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