Your summons should list a deadline date to appear and respond to the lawsuit. That is an important date. If you fail to appear by that date you could be defaulted. Upon default, the Court could enter a judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against you.
You might have defenses to the collection lawsuit. The plaintiff suing you might not have legal standing or authority to bring this action. Collection of the debt may be barred by the applicable statute of limitations. The plaintiff may not be able to prove the reasonableness and accuracy of the charges and fees assessed to your account.
Credit card agreements are typically governed by "cardmember agreements" that are typically mailed to you. Can the plaintiff prove that the statement was mailed to you; or that you received it?
It might be easier to file bankruptcy than to defend against this lawsuit. You should contact a local attorney to review your financial situation and determine your best course of action. There are several good attorneys listed on this service that practice in your area. Many attorneys will offer you a free initial consultation.
Please understand if the plaintiff obtains a judgment, that judgment could be used to garnish a paycheck or bank account. Do not wait until the last minute. You want to give your attorney time to prepare an appropriate response.
Mr. Larkin is licensed to practice law in CA and is located in San Diego. His response here does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Larkin strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire more information about the specifics of their case.
Please consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area -- if you have been served a summons and do not appear in court, then a judgement will be taken against you and then a garnishment of your wages could begin or other actions could occur. We represent debtors and will frequently appear in small claims court and request a continuance if the client has retained us so that we can file a bankruptcy for the debtors.
You do need to consult a bankruptcy practitioner so that you can find out what type of bankruptcy you are eligible to file; what types of property you have and if anything is not exempt; and whether your debt would be discharageable or nor dischargeable.
Most bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation.