4 Thoughts on Being sued by a creditor, received a court summons, making payments to a debt management firm, how should i?
  1. Reply
    Steve D
    June 10, 2011 at 12:59 am

    Creditor is not required to negotiate with the debt management firm. Answer the summons or you will lose via default judgment. Talk to the court clerk regarding what you need to file to answer the summons. Show up in court on your court date and tell the judge you have a debt management company that is acting on your behalf. The judge will not order the amount to be reduced, but may order the creditor to work with your debt management firm. As inall of life, there are no guarantees.

  2. Reply
    June 10, 2011 at 1:48 am

    File an answer, and make sure you DO show up in court. If you don’t show up they can get a default judgment against you and possibly garnish wages and attach your bank account, which means you can’t get any money out of the bank until there’s enough money in your bank to pay off what you owe. Laws vary by state, but you need to make sure you go to that court date.

    When you file your answer, ask for the original, SIGNED contract as burden of proof. Many creditors will stop right there, especially if the debt was sold to a junk debt collector. When you go to court, this is basically your defense. You say “I had an account with so and so, but I’m not sure if this is actually my account or not. I know I owed money to so and so, but I have no idea if this is the amount I owe.” Make the creditor provide the original signed contract, plus an itemized list of all charges which adds up to the amount they are suing you for. I they cannot provide this, they cannot win. However, many judges will accept photocopies of the contract, even unsigned, as proof that you opened the account.

    If you can afford a lawyer for this, hire one. Otherwise, act ignorant and make them prove that you are the debtor and that you were the one who charged up all the debt, and hope for the best. Most likely what happens at this point is the judge will try to mediate a payment arrangement. If you can afford it, agree to it. Feel free to negotiate for lower payments. If you can’t afford to pay anything, tell them you can’t. They will probably go after your wages at this point. You’ll have to check your state laws about that, so I can’t give any specific advice.

  3. Reply
    June 10, 2011 at 2:20 am

    The creditor does not have to deal with the debt management firm. His contract was with you. Debt companies frequently exaggerate what they can do for you in order to get you to sign up and pay fees to them. They actually have no power to make creditors do anything. If a company does negotiate a settlement or change in rates, they would have done the same deal with you directly with no fee.

    If you don’t answer the summons according to the instructions that came with it, the creditor will be given a default judgment.

  4. Reply
    June 10, 2011 at 2:50 am

    In that case, you should answer the summons exactly as you would if you were not making payments to the debt management firm, and you should stop making payments to the debt management firm. Anything you pay a debt management firm is simply a gift from you to the debt management firm, like a birthday present. It does not alter your obligations to the creditor, and the creditor does not have to negotiate with them.

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