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How To Answer A Summons For Credit Card Debt
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How To Answer A Summons for Credit Card Debt

A credit card company may file a lawsuit against delinquent borrowers whose accounts are substantially past due. If you are a subject of a lawsuit, you will receive a court ordered summons. Summons is a notification that you have to appear in court. A summons may be served by the sheriff, by an appointed person with no attachment to the case or via certified mail return receipt requested.

Once you received the summons, you are given a specific amount of time to respond. In most states, delinquent borrowers are given twenty (20) days to respond to the summons. If you do not respond to the summons within the given time, a default judgment is awarded to the credit card company. This means, your credit card company will win the case against you. For this reason, it is critical that you answer the summons on time. It can be quite daunting to be faced with a lawsuit, however, now is not the time to panic. You need to know how to answer a summons for credit card debt properly.

If you got served for unpaid credit card bills and you have no idea how to answer a summons for credit card debt, we created this 4 step quick guide on how to answer a summons for credit card debt the right way:

Step 1: Review The Summons

Read the summons as well as the other documents attached with it. Check which creditor filed the debt claim against you (this will be the plaintiff or the petitioner). Review the summons to determine why the claim was filed and what the allegations are. The best place to start is the case caption, listed at the top of the complaint.

Ste 2: Determine How Much Time You Have to Respond

It is critical to your case to answer the summons on time. Civil matters require the defendant or respondent (that’s you) within a given period of time. The length of time given will depend on the jurisdiction and nature of the case. The given period should be indicated on the original summons. If not, you need to get in touch with the court clerk where the plaintiff/petitioner filed the complaint. In most states, defendants are given 20 days to answer to a summons.

You need to ask the court clerk for a Notice of Appearance document. Just fill out the form, sign it and return the document to the court clerk. TYou need to do this step regardless whether the debt is really yours or not..

Step 3: Check The Age of the Debt

If you recognize the debt, check for its age. Each state places a time limit on creditors in terms of how long they can pursue a delinquent borrower legally. This is known as the debt collection Statute of Limitations. You can call your Attorney General’s office to find out the state of limitations in your own state.

Step 4: How To Answer a Summons for Credit Card Debt

Once, you learned more about the nature of the lawsuit filed against you, start drafting your formal answer to the summons and complaint. Fill out the “Notice of Intention to Defend" section of the summons, this section is on the bottom third section of the document. Your response should include a detailed explanation as to why you are not legally responsible for the debt. The reasons may vary from the fact that that you don’t own the debt or the state of limitations for debt collection in your area has expired. By filling out this section, you confirm that you are ready to appear in court and present your defense over the allegation.

Next, cut the Notice of Intention to Defend and file it to court. The court will notify the plaintiff of your intend to defend the claim. Usually, creditors will think twice about pursuing the case if the delinquent borrower responded to the summons.

The fact is, most creditors assume their borrowers do not know how to answer a summons for credit card debt, expecting an easy win. Pursuing the case all the way to court will prove to be tedious and expensive for many creditors that’s why if they see that they will not be awarded a default judgment against delinquent borrowers, they will quickly drop the lawsuit altogether. So make sure you look for information on how to answer a summons for credit card debt first and review your local court rules.


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  about 8 years ago
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