Debt Consolidation

Responding To Credit Card Summons

When it comes to responding to credit card summons, one has to be very careful. You must be well aware of the kind of options you have. Besides that, it is also important to note that the laws have provided you certain legal rights in this regard. You also need to be aware of the procedure when and how summons is issued. As per the laws, a credit card company charges off an outstanding debt if no payments have been made for consecutive six months. After six months, the debt account is sold to a collection agency. The agency then pursues the debts through phone calls and letters. If these standard collection methods also fail, the agency then files a lawsuit against the debtor for the payments. This is when the debtor receives a summons that notifies them that a lawsuit has been filed against them. The plaintiff (the agency) will win the case by default if you do not respond to the summons within a specified period of time. Following is a brief rundown on what you can do after receiving summons.

Read The Summons Thoroughly

Before responding to credit card summons, you must first read the details provided in it thoroughly and very carefully. Make sure that whatever charges they have placed against you is accurate and that the debt belongs to you.

Check The Age Of The Debt

It is also very important for you to keep in mind that the statute of limitations varies significantly from one state to another. The statute of limitations is the time period during which the debt can be collected. The debtors cannot be held liable to make the repayment on debts if the time frame specified by the statute of limitations has already passed. For example, In Texas, the statute of limitations is four years. It means the collection agencies or your creditors cannot file a lawsuit against you if you are in Texas and the credit card debts you owe are older than four years. Therefore, before responding to credit card summons, you must also carefully check the age of the debt to find out if you are still legally liable to pay off the same.

Notice Of Appearance

When you are sure that you are still legally responsible to make the repayment on the debt you have received the summons for, you must immediately file a notice of appearance with the court the complaint and summons were issued from. You need to mention in the notice of appearance that you want to defend yourself and that you are ready to appear in the court.

In Case The Details In The Summons Are Inaccurate

Responding to credit card summons is necessary even in those cases, where you find out that the debts are very old ones and that statute of limitations has already passed. Sometimes, only a few parts of the summons are not accurate. In such cases, you must mention those facts when you file your answer with the court.

Declaration Of Exempt Assets And Income

If you are going through financial hardship and are presently living on a very low income, you must file a declaration of exempt assets and income. You must also mention other facts, such as whether you are receiving Social Security benefits (which cannot be garnished). Depending upon the details you provide in this declaration, the lawsuit against you might be dropped.

Discovery Request

Another effective way to defend yourself while you are responding to credit card summons is to file a discovery request with the court. When you file it, it means you are challenging the debts and are requesting the court to ask for proofs from the debtors that the debts belong to you. You can use this strategy even if you are sure that the debts are valid and belong to you only. As per the laws, the responsibility to prove that a particular debt belongs to a person is on the creditor, not on the debtor. If you are lucky enough and the creditors fail to provide sufficient documents to prove the same, the lawsuit will straightaway be dismissed.

If you are not sure on how you should handle the situation yourself, you must consider hiring a credit attorney to assist you with the process while you are responding to credit card summons. They will help you defend yourself in a more efficient way.


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