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Summons on credit card debt.

Painesville, OH |

How do I answer a summons for a credit card debt that I don't dispute and in fact want to pay back. However, I simply can't pay right now. I'm afraid to even attempt to suggest a repayment play for fear I may not be able to honor it. I'm a single-dad looking for more work and have focused all of my income on my house and car. How do I answer the summons? Also, do I need to use a specific "template" style response for my answer?

I live in Chandler, Az; I hAVE BEEN SERVED A SUMMONS TO APPEAR IN COURT ANSWER WITHIN 20 days. There is no date on the summons of when I received th summons.Since this is a credit card debet which I amit I owe but not the amount they state, which includes, interest, late fees & etc. I am sure the court knows when I signed for th sumons and I fear that today is the 20th day. The court is not open on the week ends so what can I do, wright a response and dliver it on monday morning

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Attorney answers 2


There is no harm in trying to negotiate a payout with your creditor, however you should be mindful of the deadline to respond to the summons and the attached complaint, if any. There may also be a notification of a court date. You do not want to default by failing to respond or appearing in Court when directed.

In your question, you do not identify in which Court your case is pending. If this is a small claims court, then the pleading requirement are pretty liberal and the clerk might assist you in filing out a form answer that you would have to sign.

If not, you should duplicate the caption at the top of your answer and respond to each of the factual allegations in single paragraphs responsive to each numbered allegation. The three typical responses to a factual allegation are to: 1) admit the allegation; 2) deny the allegation or 3) deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the allegation (which means you do not know enought to admit or deny it).

You may also wish to assert affirmative defenses in your answer. For example, were you properly served with the summons? Has the plaintiff properly calculated its claimed damages? Is there a violation of the Faid Debt Collection Practices Act? Does the rate of interest exceed the legal limit? Does the party suing you have standing? (Often credit card companies sell debts to other companies or agencies. If someone other than the party who loaned you money is suing you, it will likely have to demonstrate that the debt was assigned to it from your lender such that it can sue you in the credit card companies place).

The answer should be served on the plaintiff and filed with the Court in accordance with local law, rules and practice.

These are only a couple of examples of affirmative defenses. By no means are they exhaustive or necessarily applicable.

The above is shared for informational purposes. You may wish to consult defense counsel admitted in your state concerning the lawsuit.


Do not ignore the summons and make sure you file a response or "Answer" to the Complaint today. You should contact an attorney if you do not know how to file a response. After the response has been filed then you can discuss with the opposing attorney a possible settlement including how to work out a payment plan. If you do not file a response a judgment with the amount of the debt due and owing, plus interest and court costs may be taken against you.

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