Wednesday, March 22, 2023

What To Do If Being Sued For Credit Card Debt

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When To Reply Lack Of Knowledge

What to Do If Sued for Credit Card Debt

When you are unsure of an allegation made against you, such as the exact amount you owe or the last time you paid the creditor, you can answer that you have a lack of knowledge regarding the claims.


  • Defendant lacks sufficient knowledge to confirm or deny the information within this paragraph and therefore denies the allegation.
  • If an allegation contains claims that can be a combination of these answers, combine them to compose the best response.


    A paragraph may claim you are cardholder of an account and that you owe $5,284.73. If you agree that you are the cardholder but deny or lack the knowledge to confirm the amount, you can answer: Defendant affirms they are the cardholder but lacks the knowledge to confirm the other allegations within the paragraph and therefore denies them.

    Refusing To Answer A Credit Card Debt Complaint

    If you simply ignore the complaint by not replying with a formal answer, your inaction may result in a default judgment against you. This means they will find you guilty, and the judge will decide your penalty.

    They can go directly to your paycheck and use wage garnishment to repay your debts. Companies can also access your bank account to take assets to repay debt. If this is happening to you, you need legal advice on the federal laws that can help or hurt you.

    Should I Opt For Debt Settlement Instead

    In some cases, being sued by a credit card company can be a positive thing as you or your attorney can call the firm on the other side of the suit and negotiate a large reduction in the balance you owe. Often, debt settlement negotiation can help the debtor avoid bankruptcy as well as an unpleasant judgment.

    However, debt settlement is an industry wrought with scams. Most companies require you go further in default while saving up to pay off creditors. While you save, creditors can take action. There also may be tax consequences associated with debt settlement.

    The bottom line is this: if youve been sued by a credit card company, call an attorney right away to explore your options. Ignoring the lawsuit will only play into the hands of your creditors which is exactly what the credit card company is banking on.

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    What Can You Do To Avoid Being Sued By Your Credit Card Company

    The best way to avoid a lawsuit is to pay any overdue credit card bills as soon as you can. If thats not possible, dont simply ignore your obligation to pay. Instead, be proactive.

    Look for other options that can at least buy you more time to come up with the money to pay your debts. For example, you may be able to transfer the debt to a new credit card offering a 0% balance-transfer option. Or perhaps you can use a home equity line of credit to pay down the credit card debt.

    If those options arent available, talk to your lender or the debt collector and see if you can work something out. Most prefer to avoid litigation, which can be expensive and time-consuming. So, try to work out a debt repayment plan, or negotiate some type of settlement.

    In many cases, creditors are more willing to work with you if they see documented evidence that you are in the midst of a financial hardship that makes it difficult for you to pay debts.

    If possible, try to pay the debt in full, even if you cant meet your original payment date. One way to do this is to arrange conditions that give you more breathing room to pay. For example, your lender might agree to lower the interest rate on the debt, so you have a better chance of paying it down. Or maybe theyll allow you to skip a few payments while you organize a payment plan.

    Three Ways To Answer A Civil Court Summons For Credit Card Debt

    Sued by Capital One? Here

    When youve been served with a lawsuit for your debt, there are three things you can do:

  • Ignore it
  • Try to settle the debt
  • Go to court
  • While it is an option, DO NOT IGNORE THE LAWSUIT! Ignoring the summons sets you up for a rash of other issues, including wage garnishment and bank account levies and property liens. If you fail to answer by ignoring the response, a verdict can be entered against you. Ignoring a lawsuit will not protect you from the negative outcomes you can face in court!

    So, you can either settle or go through the court system. Ideally, you should try to settle first and go through the court only if that fails. However, you have a limited amount of time to answer a civil summons. So, look on the summons to see when you need to file a response. Make sure to handle the case before that date to avoid more legal issues.

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    How To Win A Credit Card Lawsuit

    The key to winning a credit card debt collection lawsuit is strong affirmative defenses. You have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and can fight back in civil court.

    If you plan to defend a claim against you, an attorney can help you decide which defenses make the most sense. Since many consumer contracts include a provision for settling disputes through arbitration, the lawsuit may not even be valid.

    Also, the claim must be filed within the time limit set by your state . If the creditor is outside of this limit, then you can have your case dismissed. Usually, a creditor has two or three years to bring a lawsuit, but in some states, they have as long as six years. Additionally, some states have different statutes of limitations for debt-related lawsuits.

    The first step is to reviews the contracts, facts, and evidence with an attorney experienced in credit card lawsuits. Your attorney will be able to determine whether the debt lawsuit is valid. If the evidence does not make a strong enough case in your favor, you can try other defenses or discuss a settlement.

    Bankruptcy Protection Freezes Creditors Actions Against You

    Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection is a legal right in this country. Even President Thomas Jefferson filed for bankruptcy. The majority of people who file for bankruptcy are good people in very difficult financial situations.

    Filing for bankruptcy is one way to stop the judgments against you, stop foreclosure and stay in your home if you can continue to pay the mortgage, stop creditor harassment and get a fresh financial start.

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    Contact The Lawyer For The Collections Department

    Contact the lawyer for the collections department of the credit card company or the legal department for the debt collection service that bought your debt. You may be able to settle the debt for the entire balance you originally owed or even less if you can offer them a full settlement. You can certainly argue for lower fees and assessments and ask to be put on a payment plan. If you cannot afford to make payments or settle the debt, then youll need to talk to an attorney on your own.

    Where Can I Get Help

    What happens when you get sued for old credit card debt? by Florida lawyer Mike Wasylik

    Going to court can feel overwhelming to do alone. But there are options to get legal help, including

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    Sued By Debt Collectors Heres What To Do And What To Avoid

    Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

    When you are months past due on debt, your creditor may assign or sell the debt to a third-party debt collection agency, which will attempt to collect it. In extreme cases of nonrepayment, you may find yourself sued by the debt collector.

    If youre confused about the call and arent sure how to respond, follow the guidelines outlined below. Whether the lawsuit is legitimate or a scam, heres what you need to know if youre being sued by a debt collector.

    In this guide:

    Over Your Head Heres Where To Get Help

    The mechanics involved in defending a credit card lawsuit can be confusing. Pleadings need to conform to certain standards, and making a mistake could mean the difference between success and failure. Thats why its a good idea to get some help before venturing into the courtroom on your own.

    Im available to speak with you if youre being sued in either New York or California, but I may not be the right lawyer for one reason or another. If youre looking to go it alone, many courts have weekly or monthly events when you can speak with a volunteer lawyer to get tips on defending yourself. Go to the courthouse and speak with the clerk to learn about the resources available in your area.

    Free and low-cost legal services are also available for people who have incomes below certain thresholds. Get in touch with the bar association and ask about;pro se resources.

    No matter what you do, one thing is for certain: when facing a credit card lawsuit, dont ignore it. Your financial future is at stake.

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    Respond To The Lawsuit Or Debt Claim

    When a company or a person sues you to try to collect money that you owe to them, RESPOND.;

    The number one mistake consumers make is failure to respond by answering the complaint that the collecting party filed in court. If you dont respond, you are giving up the opportunity to try to defend yourself. This allows the person or company that you owe, also known as the creditor, to automatically win their lawsuit.; It is called win by default. If this occurs, a default judgment will be entered against you. A default judgment is a court decision against you. You want to avoid this.;

    Sued For Debt Heres What To Expect

    What To Do If Sued By American Express For Debt

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    A letter arrives from a law office threatening a lawsuit for payment on an old bill. It’s upsetting, but hardly rare.

    You may get hit with a debt collection lawsuit if you have old, unpaid medical, credit card or other consumer debt. If you dont respond in time or attend the court hearing, the creditor is likely to win; and may get the right to take part of yourwages or bank account.

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    Dealing With Debt Collectors On Your Own

    However, in some cases, negotiating a reduction in the debt you owe might be the only way for you to pay off your obligation. Typically, theres a limit to how much the lender or debt collector will agree to reduce your debt. Some experts say you should expect to pay at least half of the money you owe.

    If they agree to reduce the amount you owe, its likely to damage your credit score, but thats better than being sued and ending up in court.

    While its possible to negotiate new debt repayment terms on your own, its not always easy, especially if you have little or no expertise in doing so. It has potential pitfalls that can result in serious repercussions for you. Nolo points out that saying the wrong thing such as acknowledging the validity of a debt can restart the clock on the statute of limitations that applies to the debt.

    For that reason, many people feel more comfortable hiring an attorney or using a debt settlement company to negotiate on their behalf.

    While it is possible that youll be sued for debt collection, a lawsuit is something everybody usually wants to avoid. If you are drowning in debt, facing up to reality and actively working toward a solution will almost always yield better results, and keep you out of the courtroom.

    How To Answer A Civil Summons For Credit Card Debt By Filing An Answer With The Court

    If trying to reach a settlement does not work out or you decide you prefer to go to court, you must file an answer to the served summons. Note that you will need to file within 30 days of receiving the letter, including holidays and weekends, according to the Judicial Counsel of California. This time limit can vary depending on where you live. So, make sure to check your summons for the exact timing that your state requires.

    Within the summons package you received should be a complaint with a list of allegations against you. Its your job to then answer these allegations in writing and submit them to the court before the date listed. Within the allegations will be a section stating that you are the owner of the debt and what the amount of debt is, among other things.

    This is where it is again important to have your documents handy to look through the information you have. This way, you can either confirm or deny the allegations entered against you, based on the information you have.

    In your response, you will need to either affirm, deny or lack knowledge of the claims against you. You can also admit a claim is true, but state there is another reason you should not be responsible for the debt; this is called admission with defense. When writing your answer, make sure to refer to yourself as the defendant throughout. Your answer should be typed and printed.

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    How Should You Respond When Youre Sued For Credit Card Debt

    If youre sued for not paying, the Federal Trade Commission urges you to respond to the lawsuit. This is true even if you dont believe you owe money or you feel that youre being treated unfairly.

    In many cases, your formal response to a lawsuit will need to be in writing. You may also be required to appear in court on a certain day to state your side of the case.;

    Responding formally to the lawsuit can put you in a more powerful position. The FTC says the simple act of showing up in court can force the lender or the collection agency to recognize that it might have a long process on its hands. That might motivate them to settle with you.

    Be Slow To Admin Responsibility For The Debt

    What To Do When You Are Sued for Credit Card Debt

    In your response to the lawsuit, do not automatically admin that you owe the money that the creditor says you do. This is called Admitting Liability, which means saying its your fault saying you are liable to pay the debt.

    Force the creditor to prove the debt and prove that it is you who is responsible for; repaying the debt.

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    Take These Steps Instead Of Accepting A Judgment Against You

    Heres what youre going to do.

  • Dont panic. Nothing terrible is going to happen to you so long as you keep on top of the situation.
  • Identify whos suing you. This is the name youll see before the word, Plaintiff.
  • Identify whos being sued. This should be your name. If your name doesnt appear here then youre not being sued. If someone elses name appears with yours, that person is also being sued you should have a talk with them about whats going on.
  • Note the name of the law firm representing the Plaintiff. These are the people you need to communicate with from now on. The creditor wont communicate with you directly anymore .
  • Write down the date, time, and how you got the papers. Remember, youve got a limited amount of time to do anything about the lawsuit before the court enters a judgment against you. Better to know when the clock starts running than to guess about it later on.
  • Review the claims. Youll want to read the Complaint carefully because it will give you valuable information about the name of the original creditor as well as the amount of money they claim you owe.
  • Organize any documents you have. Go through your files, bank account records, and old mail to get any information you may have about the credit card debt. Even if you dont think a document is important, it may contain helpful clues.
  • What Happens If I Dont Respond

    Ignoring the legal notices and papers wont make the lawsuit go away. And despite what you may have seen in TV shows, you cant stop things by refusing to accept delivery or service of the lawsuit. In fact, the case can go ahead without you. That means the court can rule without hearing your side and the debt collector could win by default because you didnt show up.

    If the court rules against you and orders you to pay the debt, the debt collector may be able to garnish or take money from your wages or bank account, or put a lien on property, like your home. The debt collector can also ask the court to award them additional money for collection costs, interest, and even attorneys fees. A judgment will likely show up on your and might make it harder to get credit in the future. That can affect whether you get a job, insurance, a phone, or a home.

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