What to do if I’m being sued for a credit card balance of just under $1600?

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What to do if I’m being sued for a credit card balance of just under $1600?

I was served my summons and complaint this pass Monday. I have no job, no income, no money, and no assets. It’s been like this for me for the past 5 years, which is also around the same time I had made my last payment to the credit card company. The court would like a written answer and for me to give a copy to the plaintiff. What advice can you give me on the best way to proceed?

Asked on November 28, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you dispute that you owe the amount, or dispute the amount that you owe, you would clearly want to file an answer and raise your defenses to see if you can't avoid liability or reduce what you'd have to pay. It is better to not have a judgment on your credit record if possible; and also better to reduce what you might owe, if possible, since (as discussed below), the judgment could be enforced against you in the future.

If you don't have any defenses (you do owe the money, and can't prove otherwise) you might choose to not try to defend--not spend any time or money on it--and allow the creditor to get a default judgment against you.

Be aware that even if you don't have income, money, or assets at present, a judgment can be enforced for many years after it is obtained; so if you later come into or acquire any income, assets, etc., the creditor could look to get the money from you then.


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