This is the next step towards obtaining an enforceable judgment against you. While it does not sound like you have been compelled to attend, your absence will not prevent a judgment being entered against you. Your inability to pay will not have an impact on these proceedings. However, there are loan programs that provide debt forgiveness due to disability. If you havent looked into this, I suggest you do so as quickly as possible.
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No, you don't have to attend the hearing, but unless you file a proper written response to the motion in a timely manner (at least seven days prior to the date of the hearing), the judge will almost certainly rule against you, you will ultimately lose the lawsuit and suffer a judgment against you. Inability to pay is not a defense to this or any other kind of lawsuit.
I suggest you promptly consult a consumer bankruptcy lawyer. This is a recognized legal specialty in Texas. I recommend that you go to the website of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization to find a Houston lawyer who is board certified in consumer bankruptcy.
An interlocutory motion for summary judgment is a request filed with the Court asking the Court to conclusively determine on some aspect of or issue in a case. The granting of an interlocutory motion for summary judgment will not result, by itself, in a final judgment bringing the case to a close. Instead, it merely operates to decide some aspect or issue so that proof does not have to be provided on that issue later, for example, at trial.
I am guessing that in your case, the motion is asking for a determination of liability, namely, that you borrowed the money and have not paid it back according to the terms of the agreement. This would leave the issue of damages and attorney fees, for example, to be determined later, either through a trial on the merits or in another summary judgment motion.
No evidence or testimony will be accepted at the hearing. Instead, the evidence must be filed with the written motion and any written response. There are strict deadlines involved in motions for summary judgment. Filing an answer alone does not impact the granting or denial of the motion.
The purpose of an oral hearing is for the movant and the respondent (you) to discuss the issues involved with the Court. If you do not attend there is a good likelihood that the motion will be granted and the issues raised in the motion conclusively established. Of course, simply attending may not prevent the granting of the motion either.
There is a Total and Permanent Disability Discharge avenue available for non-private loans. I do not know if it applies to private loans or whether there are other such avenues available for private student loan debtors. You really should consult with an attorney on this. Otherwise, you run the distinct risk of having a judgment entered against you on the student loan debt. If you cannot afford an attorney check with the VA, they may have a program which helps vets on this. Also, the Houston Bar Association has a veteran's rights and other programs available which may provide assistance or a referral to a lawyer. The Houston Bar Association's phone number is 713-759-1133.
The answers submitted by Bruce Johnson or The Bruce Johnson Law Firm or any of its agents, employees, or representatives are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to nor do they form an attorney client relationship between the individual or entity posting the question and the respondent. You should consult your attorney for specific legal advice applicable to your case, matter, or dispute.