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I Got a Court Summons for Credit Card Debt. What Do I Do? – Denise


“Dear Steve,

Have about $50,000.00 of credit card debt.

Have received a court summons for credit card debt. How do I reply?


Dear Denise,

If you got a summons then one or more of your creditors is suing you. You can always hire a local lawyer to give you legal advice or you can follow the instructions on the summons and provide any information they are requesting.

Go to the court date and appear before the judge for your suit. This will be your best opportunity to explain your situation but don’t assume that the judge will rule in your favor. If you are not paying your bills then the creditor will probably win the lawsuit as a course of law. You promised to pay, but you’re not. But, you never know.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

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.


  • I had a court summons issued to me back in November 2009 by Target Bank.  I didn’t know what to do, but after reading numerous blogs about past bad debts I decided that I should at least make an appearance. 

    I made arrangements to be at the Courthouse after receiving a letter detailing the date, time and order of my “hearing”.  The room was filled with about 50 people in similar situations with different companies.

    Here is the kicker!!  I didn’t see any lawyers for the “prosecution”.  Not a single person representing these companies showed up.  After speaking with several lawyer friends, they tell me it is fairly typical that this happens.  The lawyers for the credit card companies process hundreds of debt collection hearings.  They hope you don’t show up so they can render a judgment against you.

    The judge asked me if I had heard anything from the creditor since the summons.  I said no.  He asked me if I would like to dismiss the debt and charges.  I politely said yes.  He said, Request granted.   Every single person had their charges dismissed. 

    Moral of the Story:  Go to the hearing!

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