My Elderly Mother Just Got Sued by Citibank. I Think She’s Judgment Proof. – Kay

“Dear Steve,

I asked a question a few months ago about my elderly mother’s sitation, I am her caregiver, (see link in background info of this form). Yesterday Friday 4.8 she was served with papers by Michael J. Scott representing Citibank and has 20 days to respond.

My mother is judgement proof her only income is social security and a pension, she does not own a home, or have any savings, stocks, or anything of that nature. I don’t know what to do. I am terrified. I don’t want to go to court, I suffer from severe anxiety and this would only agitate and upset my mother more, she has mental and physical issues.

Should I send this Mr. Scott a letter telling him she is judgment proof? I don’t know how to answer the court papers and I have been unable to find anyone who can help me, everything I read online just scares me more and more, some say ignore it, others say don’t. The debt is a large one, and I just can’t afford to pay Mr. Scott or Citibank hundreds of dollars a month, there is very little left after all necessary bills are paid, and since Citibank would not work with us, I am afraid to even ask Mr. Scott if he would accept a small monthly sum like $50 or $100 to avoid court. Can you please advise me on what I should do.

Thank you for your time,


Dear Kay,

Being judgment proof does not mean your mother can’t be sued, it just means she has no assets to collect on after she loses the suit.

You can write Mr. Scott if you want and explain she lives on social security alone. It may or may not stop the suit. It might just stop it for now but drop it back into the hopper for someone else to deal with later.

Most people never show up at court and lose their case by default. On one hand you could fight this filing if you want but on the other hand if you just let it go through and do nothing it will result in a judgment which is not collectible.

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If the goal here is to put this matter to rest as quickly as possible, that seems like the least expensive and easiest solution.

If you wanted to stop the suit she could file bankruptcy but that would cost her a lot of money it sounds like she doesn’t have.

If you let the judgment go through you will probably receive some documents at a later date asking about her income and assets. You can respond to those and they will see she has nothing for them to go after.

So what are you think now? What sounds like the best plan forward?

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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