How do I respond to a credit card summons?

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How do I respond to a credit card summons?

My home mortgage rate adjusted and I was unable to pay my bills. The suit is for about $2500, plus interest and lawyer fees. The debt is mine but if I can negotiate other terms, I’d like to. Based on that, what form or forms do I need to complete to respond to my summons?

Asked on May 2, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First thing first: if you've received the summons and complaint, then the lawsuit has been initiated and you need to file an "answer" to respond to it and avoid losing by default. You should be able to get sample, model, or template answers from your court system (try their website) or even by doing a web search. You will deny anything that you can, in good faith and honesty, deny; admit that which is incontrovertible; and raise an defenses you may have (e.g. accord and satisfaction--that you already paid). Once you do that, to make sure you don't default, contract the creditor's lawyers and make a settlement offer--see what you can work out with them. Bear in mind that the creditor is under no obligation to settle; it  is voluntary.


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