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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.

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About Steve Rhode

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.
  • Bonedawgnc

    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!

  • Jason Tragni

    Also the law firm that sent me the summons has had 35 complaints in the past ten years and is sceduled to have to appear in federal supreme court about illegal practices and illegal garnishment of social security and workers compansation.

  • Jason Tragni

    I was sent summons and didn’t respond to it, Was never given a court date. Now I have a judgement against me and they are garnishing my wages. I am enrolled in a debt relief program where they make settlements with the creditors. In the program they have settled five other accounts. Is there anything I can do to reverse the judgement and stop the garnishments.

    • Steve Rhode

      Yes, you can file bankruptcy.

      Outside of that you can hire a local attorney to see if there is any technicality to fight it.


  • Holli

    What normally happens if you are sued for loan debt, and the creditor, or bank wins. What can the court do to you?

    I have a private student loan in default. They want me to pay in full or they are taking action. They will not tell me what kind of action. I’m guessing they will sue me for the debt. I offered to pay a small amount each month, but of course they couldnt take it. I don’t know what to do. Help?

    • Steve Rhode


      With a court win they could get a judgment against you that would sit and earn interest, a wage garnishment, seize money from a bank account, etc.


  • Carl H. Starrett II

    With $50,000 in credit card, you should at least consult with a bankruptcy attorney. Incurring the expense to file a lawsuit is a pretty big decision for an unsecured creditor and other lawsuits may soon follow.

    The cost of defending even one collection lawsuit will usually be several times the legal fees for a bankruptcy. It may be possible to work out an agreement at a judicial settlement conference, but the process can be overwhelming without competent legal help.

    Carl H. Starrett IIs last blog post..A Creditor Objected to My Discharge…Now What?

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