What can I do if I just received a summons to appear in court on December 17? 1 Answers as of December 14, 2015

No time other than 9:00 a.m., probably for the call. This is for $896.00 credit card debt back in 2010. I do not have any money at all. I am supporting my 21 year old son who is in college. I was homeless in 2012. I work for very low wages and worked overtime to help my son in college. Now, there is no overtime at all. I clear $560 every two weeks, which is not much. I have taken my son out for health insurance in January, which would bring my clear wages to $460 every two weeks. Should I go to court and tell them my story, or what do I do? The summons states that it will be set for judgement. I just really have never been sued before by a creditor. The banks were all paid off back when they were in trouble, and now they are trying to collect from the people and be paid twice. Should I contact a bankruptcy attorney prior to the court date or wait until the court date, take off of work which will not be good, and negotiate? Will they make me pay right there in the court. What is this really about? I am summoned and required to file my written appearance by myself or my attorney and pay the required fee. If I fail to do, a judgment by default may be taken against me for the relief asked complaint, a copy of which is attached hereto.

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Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC | Daniel A. Edelman
A summons can be served 3 days before the "return date. Determine if the return date requires filing of an appearance or an actual appearance in court. This varies between Illinois courts. Call the clerk. Make sure you comply. Many lawsuits, particularly those by debt buyers, cannot be proven. You should be able to get a free consultation with an attorney that practices in this area to determine whether this is the case. Also, the statute of limitations on a credit card debt is 5 years in Illinois. It sounds like you are just at or beyond the statute. Exact dates of last payment and filing are necessary to tell. Your hardship story is NOT a defense. Telling it will admit liability. On the other hand, if you appear and demand a trial, there is a good chance the debt cannot or will not be proven. The appearance fee may be waived upon a showing of financial hardship, which you may qualify for. You have to go to the courthouse and fill out a form.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 12/14/2015
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