How to Answer a Summons for Credit Card Debt

Suppose you receive a summons in the mail and fear the collection agency will freeze your bank account because of your debt lawsuit. There are junk debt buyers, collection agencies and unethical companies, that are out there trying to manipulate consumers and issue credit card lawsuits so that they can make money. When the person receiving the summons doesn’t answer, he or she loses, and the debt collectors win by default judgment. This will not be the case with you though, because you have come to this website for support and now have an abundance of knowledge and information that’ll help you to win your credit card lawsuit. Receiving a court summons in the mail can be rather intimidating, but there is hope for you to win your credit card collection case given you have the right resources and the know-how.

Use these steps once you have received the court mailings. They will help you get started with your answer to a credit card summons.

Steps to Answering a Summons


  • Make sure to read through court rules thoroughly and understand each of them.

  • File a notice to appear along with answer to the court’s clerk where being sued. Keep one copy for personal records and send one copy to the plaintiff.

  • If possible, file a motion to dismiss in lieu of an answer. Refer to local court rules to check if a certificate of service is required with the motion or if it needs to be filed separately.

  • Refer to your court rules and check under interrogatories, admissions and request for documents to see if your court allows you to serve the plaintiff after commencement of the action. Some courts require a request for the documents while others don’t require a motion to the court.

  • Check the local court rules to find out the time period allowed for answering the court summons. Most courts only allow 30 days.

  • Mail off discovery by certified mail with a signature required by the plaintiff on the same day as the answer is filed.

  • If the state allows it, use a motion to strike the affidavit of debt if it pertains to the case.

It is necessary to first understand the importance of responding to a court summons. Not responding to the summons is not an option. Collection agencies don’t want and don’t expect consumers to respond. When no response is filed, the creditor wins the case by default. A default judgment results from the defendant not answering the credit card summons or responding way too late.

Second, take note that just because you have been served a credit card summons, it does not mean you will automatically lose your case. It’s important to understand this after getting a summons so you can get into the mindset of fighting back and achieving a victory over these conniving debt collectors. Believe it or not, it is typical of these collection companies not to have the proper documents or evidence to testify and prevail in a court of law. Again, they are looking to get a judgment issued on default conditions.

Check the summons first instead of the complaint. Browse through the summons very carefully and make sure you are clear on what the court is requesting of you as the defendant. The summons will explain the nature of the issue, the specified date you must answer by and also a time period that you have to respond. The date that the court requires you to show up for trial is dependent upon the state you reside in, but it is imperative that you answer your complaint by the deadline. In fact, just turn it in before the deadline. That way you avoid any extra hassle or the risk missing it.

Remember that collection agencies are all third party collectors, and everything that you’re being sued for must be proven in a court of law in order for them to win.


The Difference Between the Court Summons and the Complaint


There is a difference between the summons and the complaint. The consumer will receive both from a creditor or junk debt buyer that has decided to file a lawsuit against the consumer. The summons is the court’s way of letting the defendant know that he or she has been sued and the number of days allowed to answer the attached complaint. A complaint will have numbered paragraphs with the counts that the defendant is being sued under and the amount the creditor wants the court to order the opposing party to pay. Never ignore a court summons received in the mail.


Additional Reading