If I can’t afford to pay my credit card debt, what do I do next?

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If I can’t afford to pay my credit card debt, what do I do next?

My credit card debit has been bought out by an attorneys office and they have filed court paperwork. I am not trying to evade my debt, however, I am unable to pay to amount they are looking to have me pay. I am not sure what to do at this point?

Asked on June 18, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You don't need to do anything until you are served with the summons and complaint (the complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons).  When you are served, you will need to file an answer to the complaint with the court and serve it by mail on the opposing party's attorney within the time set forth in the summons.  If you don't file an answer to the complaint with the court and serve it by mail on the opposing party's attorney within the time set forth in the summons, a default judgment will be entered against you.  This means you will have lost; however, you can still then file a motion to set aside the default and if the judge grants the motion, the case will be back on track and litigation will continue.

The answer to the complaint denies the allegations in the complaint.  At the law library, look for answer to complaint in the index of Pleading and Practice.  This will give you the general format for an answer to a complaint.  At the end of the answer is the verification which you sign and date under penalty of perjury attesting to the veracity of your statements in the answer to the complaint.  Attach a proof of service to the answer to the complaint with verification and file it with the court.  Mail a copy to the opposing attorney.  You can use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own proof of service, it just says that you are over eighteen and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless stated otherwise to ___________ (name and address of opposing attorney) on ___________ (date).  You sign and date at the bottom.  The date you sign should be the same as the date of mailing and the same date you file your documents with the court.


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