In some cases, a debt collector or collections agency may send you a court summons for debt collection. It is important not to ignore such a summons, as failing to respond usually means the court will rule in the collector’s favor. That often means the collector will be able to take a portion of your paycheck until the debt is paid off, in a process known as wage garnishment. At Sue the Collector, we recommend answering a summons for debt collection with a few steps:
- Try to reach an agreement for a repayment plan with the collector.
- Consult an attorney at Sue the Collector for help.
- If you and the debt collector cannot reach an agreement, file an answer to the court summons within 20-30 days of receiving the summons.
An answer to a court summons will require you to accept the charge of owed debt, contest it, or say that you are unsure of its accuracy. If you wish to challenge the amount you owe, you’ll need to provide a reason for your dissent. For example, you may have already paid the amount the collector is asking for, or that debt may have been subject to a statute of limitations that has expired.
It’s always best to consult with an experienced lawyer before making significant decisions on debt collection matters. In some cases, the collector or agency may have violated your rights, and you might be owed compensation. Sue the Collector has helped many clients in your position recover compensation for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and other legislation that protects consumers.
To get a FREE consultation with a member of the Sue the Collector team, call our office today at (866) 768-6005 or fill out the form on our contact page. We’ll respond to your inquiry as quickly as possible and help you understand your options.
Why Court Summons Are Used
A court summons is issued usually as a last resort of collections agencies and creditors. Typically, you must have unpaid debt for which you have ignored several attempts to collect before a court summons is sent to you. Unfortunately, this does not give you much leverage when it comes time to appear in court.
The first step is usually a letter or phone call about the debt, followed by several additional notices, with the court summons finally issued if those notices are ignored. Debt collectors file the court summons because, if the court rules in their favor (which it typically does), they can garnish your wages and take up to 25% of each paycheck you make.
That is an incredibly high price to pay! By getting in touch with an attorney from Sue the Collector, we can work together to provide a reasonable repayment plan, answer your court summons using the proper legal format, and even sue the collector for any harassment behavior they have used against you.
When Collectors Violate Your Rights
The FDCPA details how debt collectors and agencies are supposed to operate. It provides consumers like you with a range of protections and rights, and violations of those rules may entitle you to compensation from the debt collector. For example, debt collectors must abide by the following regulations.
- They can only call you between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
- They cannot use vulgar, offensive, racist, or derogatory language toward you.
- They cannot call you at work if you are not permitted to receive personal phone calls there.
- They cannot call your family or friends to ask about your whereabouts if they already have your location information.
- They cannot make any threats of violence toward you or your property.
- They cannot use false or misleading information about your debt.
Also, debt collectors are required to report only accurate information about your debt to credit reporting agencies. Your credit score is impacted by your outstanding debt, but collectors are not permitted to exaggerate or lie about the amount you owe.
Get a FREE Consultation on How to Answer Your Debt Collection Summons
You only need to file an answer to a debt collection summons if you cannot reach a repayment arrangement with the debt collector. However, any answer you file must be submitted to the court within 20-30 days of the summons, depending on where you live. An attorney from Sue the Collector can go over your case and help you decide on your best course of action.
Sue the Collector has also filed lawsuits against unfair debt collection practices, earning compensation for our clients such as:
- $1,000 for harassment behaviors
- $1,500 for each illegal robocall
Contact us for a FREE consultation on the details of your situation. We might be able to help you reach a reasonable arrangement with debt collectors or even file a lawsuit to seek justice if your rights have been violated. Call our office at (866) 768-6005 to schedule an appointment, or fill out our online contact form to get started.