I received a SUMMONS today that states I am required to mail a copy of written response to the complaint to the attorney for the plaintiff, My response must be delivered within 30 days from date of summons or a judgement by default will be against me, Also a copy to Clerk of Court. The action is for a credit card dept. I was laid off a job I had for 16 years and the only work I have found is part time work. I have lost home wife auto and living with family. How should I word the letter so not to incriminate myself?
Assuming service was valid, you are required to respond to the complaint either with a motion that is a request to the court to dismiss the complaint for some reason or to answer the complaint in a particular form which is called "answer". I'm sure this is a mystery to you. It was certainly a mystery to me when I went to law school. Unfortunately you'll probably have to pay for a lawyer. If you have insurance notify you Richard Carey ASAP tomorrow morning. Maybe it's covered by your homeowners policy.
A letter will only be ignored; it will not protect your rights. You have to respond to the summons and complaint with a responsive pleading. Ordinarily this takes the form of an an Answer that includes affirmative defenses.
Look on Avvo for debt settlement attorneys near you. Many offer free or low-cost consultations. Usually you will want to avoid a default judgment. On the other hand, you may be "judgment proof" and having a lawsuit decided against you may not have much of an impact. Talk to someone soon about your options.
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You don't write a letter. Instead an answer to the complaint must be filed timely with the court. I suggest you seek the assistance of a free legal aid clinic rather than try to to this on your own.
answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.
You should NOT be trying to prepare the Answer yourself. You need to have a lawyer prepare the Answer for you. There are potentially too many important defenses that need to be asserted on your behalf for you to attempt to do this yourself.
No attorney-client relationship has been formed by this answer. The answer given herein should not be your only inquiry into the matter or issue. You should schedule an appointment and seek the advice of an attorney to fully explain the facts so that the attorney can make an informed analysis and recommendation concerning your problem and advise you of all of your rights. The answer provided is not legal advice for which you can rely upon. Contact an attorney and schedule an appointment immediately to further discuss your case.
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