I Just Got a Summons for a Credit Card Debt. Do I Respond or Just File Bankruptcy? – Janelle

“Dear Lewis,

I was just given a summons but no court date. it was for a credit card debt.

I was out of a job last year and now I have a part time job. I just got married and my husband doesn’t have a job. My question: do I respond to the summons or wait til it gets to court? How do I respond? It says I have 20 days to respond. Also,I have plans on filing bankruptcy but I have been having a hard time saving the money to do this. Thank you for answering.

my question: do I respond to the summons? Wait til it goes to court? How do I respond? Do I just file bankruptcy? Can I claim this on Bankruptcy if I settle in court?


Dear Jenelle,

This is not an easy answer that any attorney can give you.

Should you appear? Yes, if you want to prevent a default from being entered against you.

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

I have told countless clients to appear and deny they owe the debt (to delay a default being entered – to give more time to get a bankruptcy filed). But they tend to freeze up in state court and admit they owe the debt and end up on a payment plan to the creditor, and then take forever to get a bankruptcy filed – costing them money they shouldn’t have been paying.

Without knowing what state you live in to know the state court legal process, I have no idea how quickly a creditor can get a judgement and possibly garnish wages, levy assets, etc.

No matter the status of the lawsuit (pre-judgment, post-judgment, garnishment, etc). The bankruptcy filing immediately stops any further action on the lawsuit.

If you need time to save for bankruptcy, I would certainly fight the lawsuit and try to delay the collection for as long as it takes to get the bankruptcy filed.

My name is Lewis Roberts and I’m an attorney licensed in Florida and Georgia. My practice focus is consumer bankruptcy, real estate issues/closings, and mortgages. I also have Florida real estate broker and mortgage broker licenses. I am a proud member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), National Association of Consumer Attorneys (NACA), and a graduate of Max Gardner’s Bankruptcy Boot Camp. I enjoy helping people with decisions that impact their financial well-being.

Legal Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as legal advice. It also does not create an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship is formed with attorney without a written agreement.

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