What do I do if a bank is suing me for not paying a credit card?

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What do I do if a bank is suing me for not paying a credit card?

I just received a summons to appear in court. I am being suingfor not paying a credit card. I lost my job and have not been employed for over a year. I’m on food stamps and am barely making ends meet. I realize I should show up for the case; any advice as to what I can say? Should I remove what little money I have in the bank in case a judgement is made against me? Any advice? I’m willing to start paying it back if/when I actually find employment.

Asked on December 21, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Maryland

Answers:

Michael Duffy / Duffy Law, LLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the case is in court, you're already very far down the collection process. You might have had opportunities to negotiate a payment plan or lesser amount, but that time has probably long passed. Really, you should defend yourself in court, if possible. If you lose, there will be a judgment against you. The creditor will try to collect on that judgment. Just how they do so will dend on the laws of your state and probably the amount in question, but it may involve lians on your assets, garnishing your wages, etc. Taking your money out of the bank will only remove one means of getting at your assets - and they won't just go away, that judgment will remain and their collections efforts will likely continue.

If you are truly unable to pay your debts, you may want to consider bankruptcy. This could lead to a discharge of your debts, giving you a "fresh start". As to whether this is a viable option for you, and just what type of bankruptcy might be appropriate, you would have to consult a bankrptcy attorney.


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