What can I do if I recieved a summons for a debt collection and haveno cluehow to go about answering it?

UPDATED: Mar 1, 2011

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What can I do if I recieved a summons for a debt collection and haveno cluehow to go about answering it?

What’s needed? I would like to settle out of court and I contacted the plaintiff 2 times now with no response. I can’t afford a lawyer and have no clue about the process. Could someone please help me?

Asked on March 1, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Delaware


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You're doing what you should--trying to contact the other party. If that person or business has an attorney, try to contact the attorney too--maybe the plaintiff will not deal with your directly. At the end of the day, however, you can't make them talk to you or setttle; that is voluntary. What you should do is keep copies of your offers to settle and send them in some way that you can prove they were delivered (e.g. maybe fed ex, cert. mail with return receipt, and fax--all three). That way, when you get to court--and make sure you show up for it! and also that you send an Answer in to the summons (you can contact your court on-line or in person and explain you are a "pro se" litigant; there should be sample forms and instructions available to help you)--you can show your good faith efforts to resolve the matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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