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Help Answering Summons Credit Card Debt

Start by thinking like a junk debt buyer. They’ve got literally hundreds of thousands of defaulted credit card accounts in their possession. You, to them, are just a number. They don’t care what they do or how they do it. They just want to make thousands of dollars off of the pennies they paid on your account. This includes tons of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violations against them.

You get an attorney and they go away. You cannot afford an attorney and they are hungry for that default judgment.

So what do junk debt buyers do?

Some send you threatening letters which some people decide to ignore. Some people don’t ignore those letters and send debt validation letters to the junk debt buyer.

How does the junk debt buyer respond?

Most like to answer your debt validation letter with a summons and complaint.

You should always send a debt validation letter.

And you should always send it certified mail with return receipt. Why? This is your proof that you sent it and if they don’t respond to it, they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and you can counter-sue them for $1,000.00

This is only my opinion.

I took every single letter that I was receiving from collection agencies and junk debt buyers and threw them out. I then learned that you should send a debt validation letter. I did this twice and both times I got a reply from them in the form of a summons. It’s almost as if they said: “Great! He lives there, he answered, now we can sue him.”

Legally, they are supposed to respond to my debt validation letter. Most, do not but instead, they sue you hoping that you have no clue about the FDCPA and counter-suits.

An example of how junk debt buyers work:

You owed $1,400.00 on a credit card and defaulted. They bought it for $12.00. Yes, only $12.00 dollars!

They find out where you live, get a response, sue you or get no response and sue you anyway. Most of them will sue you if they know you have a job or assets (property) in your county. They want to see if you’re worth the money to file the suit against so they can collect.

So, they bought this debt for $12.00 and are suing you for the $1,400.00 plus interest of let’s say $2,500.00 plus late fees, attorney costs, and more. Now they’ve racked up a big fat bill of about $5,000.00 plus.

They throw all this into a summons and claim you owe them all this money. 95% of junk debt buyers don’t have any proof. They hope that you are scared and don’t show up for court and they get a default judgment against you. Their lawsuit is a scare tactic. They hope that you just don’t answer your summons and win by default and come after you.

If you didn’t answer the summons….you lost!

With the default judgment in hand, you now owe them $5,000.00 and they can legally collect it. They will send interrogatories around to the banks in your area until your bank replies saying: “Yes, [INSERT NAME] does have an account here”. The next thing you know is that your bank account is frozen, the sheriff is at the door with a court order for a garnishment hearing, or a garnishment hearing appears in your mailbox which you do have to show up for.

So, these guys got your bank account frozen for the $5,000.00 you owe them plus they’ll take a chunk of your weekly pay check. They do not care. They just made a nice $4,888.00 profit from you not answering that summons.

Now, as I’ve previously stated, when I first received a summons, I didn’t know what I was doing either. Was I scared? Absolutely. But I have learned so much about junk debt buyers and collection agencies that I’m not scared any more. As I said above, we are all just a number to these companies.

When you answer your court summons, you make them angry because you have blocked them from that default judgment. That is, only if you denied every single count against you on the complaint. If you admit to any of the counts on the complaint, they will file a summary judgment and probably win it because you admitted you owed them money or that it’s your account. Regardless, you admitted it’s your debt and they’ll win it.

When you get the summons, you should ask yourself if you ever received anything in the mail from the junk debt buyer showing you that they now legally own this default account. That is called the assignment. Well, these guys will claim that they sent you a copy of that assignment when they bought the account from the bank.

Is it all over? Just a few paragraphs and they want you to pay $5,000.00 because they say so?

Where is the proof of assignment? Show me that you have the right to collect this debt. So when they talk about the ‘real party in interest’, they mean the plaintiff listed on your complaint has the legal rights to sue you. That is proven by showing you and the court a copy of the assignment they received from the original creditor.

Was that attached to the complaint? Do your local court rules say that it needs to be attached to the complaint? How about the contract? Was that attached to the complaint? Do your local court rules say it needs to be?

Would you believe some guy named Joe who came knocking on your door and said “Hey buddy, you owe me $5,000.00”. Would you pay him just because he said so? The same thing is true with these credit card lawsuits. The proof is on the plaintiff. If they say you owe them $5,000, make them prove it!

It is likely that at some point during the process they will make a mistake, if they have not done so already.

For instance, in Indiana, if I got sued by a credit card company and they did not have the contract and assignment attached to the complaint, I would file a motion to dismiss and win. I would only get it dismissed without prejudice and they would be allowed 20-30 days to amend the complaint. What that means is they can re-file the same lawsuit and attach the contract and assignment and it can go ahead from there.

If they don’t comply within the time allowed, I would then file a motion to dismiss with prejudice because they were given time to amend and failed to do so. And I’d win. Does your court allow you to file a motion to dismiss in lieu of an answer? This means that if you found all kinds of things wrong, things that show they did not comply with your court rules, that is where you start.

If the plaintiff has done everything right and you cannot file a MTD in lieu of an answer, then your court wants you to answer that summons.

Click here for further help and step-by-step instructions on how to get your case dismissed.

Additional Information

  • avatar Mary

    “What if I did owe the money to capitol one? This is from them. I have another letter threatening a lawsuit from a different card, HSBC, but it was from their debt collectors. What if I did owe and what if the I can’t say they are wrong on the plaintiffs list? I was trying to pay little cards first and work up, but now this, I have run out of time.”