What do I do if I am being sued for a vehicle (leased) that was reposessed in 2013? 15 Answers as of August 24, 2015

My husband and I are being sued for a leased vehicle that was repossessed in 2013. I am not sure what to do with the Summons and Complaint that we were served. We were without any income for about a year. We were unable to pay any of our bills, now we are trying to do the right thing and get caught up on everything that we owe. Unfortunately we only have one income and it is impossible to pay on everything at one time. Is there a way to settle for a lesser amount and make payments? What is my first step?

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GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
Call the creditor and tell them if you can not settle for about 10% of what is owed, in payments, you may have no choice but to file bankruptcy. See what their response is. If you can settle for about 25% of what is owed with payments, take it (I assume you have no other debts). If you have a lot of other debts, filing BK may be the only option. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/24/2015
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
I cannot afford to pay is not a legal defense to a lawsuit. I have been through tough times and you ought to feel sorry for me is also not a legal defense to a lawsuit. Unless you have a legal defense to the lawsuit, you ought to either try to settle it or consider whether bankruptcy is appropriate. If you settle and want a discounted amount, you will need to offer a lump sum of cash. With payments, expect to pay top dollar, attorney fees of the creditor, and interest on the entire sum.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/21/2015
Eranthe Law Firm
Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
Your first step is to get a written response to the court on the appropriate form. You have 30 DAYS to do this. If you do not get a response, or answer, filed then the court will rule against you. It would be best to see a local knowledgeable debt defense lawyer for assistance. You likely have many defenses to this complaint but they MUST be in the proper written form and filed in a timely manner. Legal aid may also be able to assist you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/21/2015
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
You may want to file chapter 7 bankruptcy which is cheaper then settling usually. But if you prefer to settle then call the attorney and see if they will set up payment plan. You should answer the summons though.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/21/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
The first thing you need to do is file an answer to the complaint. Then, speak to the creditor's attorney about making a settlement.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 8/21/2015
    The Law Offices of Ryan F. Beach, PLLC
    The Law Offices of Ryan F. Beach, PLLC | Ryan Beach
    If you are being sued, time is of the essence. You should consult with an attorney that practices both debt settlement and bankruptcy. Those types of attorneys typically offer free consultations. By taking advantage of a free consultation, you can find out what your options are and get help deciding which options makes the most sense for you. Now that you owe a deficiency balance on the auto loan (difference between what was owed to the creditor and the amount they were able to sell the car for), you have three options. First, you can contact the creditor and make payment arrangements to pay the amount owed in full. Second, you, or an attorney you retain, can contact the creditor to negotiate a settlement on the debt. Settlement could mean paying a fraction of what is owed in either a lump sum and/or in installment payments. Third, you can file a Ch. 7 or Ch. 13 bankruptcy, to either discharge the total amount owed without any repayment (Ch. 7) or repay a percentage of the unsecured debt over a 3-5 year period and discharge the unpaid percentage (Ch. 13).
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/21/2015
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Why are you struggling so much? A bankruptcy consultation is usually free. Take a look at all your options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/21/2015
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    There is a way to settle on a lesser amount; however, they need a lump sum payment at the time. You need to look at bankruptcy, it will discharge all of your debt. Your credit rating cannot be hurt any more than it already has been.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/20/2015
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    First step: Answer the complaint and appear in court. A judgment will be leveled against you, then you pay, or negotiate a better settlement. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/20/2015
    D.J. Rausa, Attorney at Law | D.J. Rausa
    Yes, you can always settle with the attorney who has filed the lawsuit. However, it may not be on very good terms. The most important thing is to respond to the lawsuit asap so they do not get a default judgement. Seek the advice of local counsel asap.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/20/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You will have to answer the summons and complaint or you will be defaulted and a judgment will be entered against you. I would suggest that you engage an attorney and seek to negotiate a reasonable payment program. The lessor is certainly entitled to the money lost due to the fact that you breached the lease.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/20/2015
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law | Christiaan van Niekerk
    You can file for bankruptcy protection and you will not be liable for the debt.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/20/2015
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    It is cheaper and more efficient to file bankruptcy as there no way to describe what goes on with negotiated debts. There is no one way to go about it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/20/2015
    Freeman Law Group, LLC
    Freeman Law Group, LLC | Derek Freeman
    Your first step should be to NOT ignore the summons and complaint. If you think you can settle this debt for a lesser amount, you should contact the lawyer named on the pleadings that were served to you. They might (MIGHT!) be willing to negotiate a settlement. If they aren't, or if you can't agree on any settlement terms, you should answer the summons and go to court on the date listed. There's a chance the collector doesn't have all the documentation it needs to prove its case. It's a slim chance, but a chance none the less. You can always file bankruptcy to get rid of the debt, if you run out of options. Whether you qualify for a bankruptcy will depend on your particular situation. You should consult a local attorney to learn more.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/20/2015
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    You may contact the attorney who filed suit and try to negotiate a payment, or you may speak with a bankruptcy attorney about whether you are eligible to file and discharge this debt.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/20/2015
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