What to do if I’m being sued by a debt collector for a credit card debt and can’t afford to pay?

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What to do if I’m being sued by a debt collector for a credit card debt and can’t afford to pay?

I just recently recieved a summons from a debt collector tjat me for a debt. My problem is this, I’ve was out of work collecting unemployment, so I was unable to keep up with the payments. The credit card company refused to help me and it was either pay them what I couldn’t afford or keep my lights on and buy food. Now I have gotten a part-time job and collect partial unemployment. They are suing me for the debt, yet I still do not make enough money to even attempt to pay them. What do I do? And I did file bankruptcy in 2005 already (lost my job then too).

Asked on July 19, 2011 Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may not have much you can do, yet. No matter how much you feel you made the right choice in not paying the credit card company, they have a right to be paid--you have no right to not pay them. And they also are under no obligation to help you out; they can insist on being paid as per the terms that you had agreed to. You can try to negotiate with them, but can't make them come to an agreement. It may be that your best bet, given that it's already more than half-way through 2011, is to seek to delay matters--e.g. file an answer to the summons and complaint, so you don't lose by default--as long as possible, until enough time has passed that you will have the option of filing bankruptcy again in relation to this (and any other debts) if you so chose. Good luck.


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