If my parents are filing bankruptcy do they still need to appear in court regarding a summons for a credit card debt?

UPDATED: Jun 19, 2011

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If my parents are filing bankruptcy do they still need to appear in court regarding a summons for a credit card debt?

My parents received a summons from an attorney for a credit card default. Do they need to appear? I am going to file Chapter 7 for them but am not sure what to do about the summons. I know that we do not want to go to a secured debt.Both my parents are retired; their only asset is their apartment that is worth $300,000.00.

Asked on June 19, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Maine


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First, be aware that unless you an attorney, you can't file Chapter 7 for them--at some point, if you do too much to help them., you may be taken to be practicing law without a license.

Second, do your parents have a defense to the debt--either to it entirely (e.g. they can show there's an error and its not their credit card debt) or to its amount (e.g. they can dispute some charges, or show they already made some payments). If they have a defense, it's definitely worth responding. After all, bankruptcy typically results in the debtor still having to pay *something* on the debt, even if it's only dimes or pennies on the dollar; the more debt they can eliminate before bankruptcy, such as by defending a lawsuit, the better off they are.

If they have no defenses, then it might not be worth defending (given that they are intending to file bankruptcy), though if they simply respond to the summons and complaint with an Answer, they may buy more time to consider their options.

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