What happens in a small claims civil suit? 7 Answers as of March 25, 2014

I received a small claims suit for $4662 from a credit union from a loan I defaulted on. I am unemployed and my unemployment benefits ended Dec. 28, 2013. Is there anything I can do? The court date is April 1, 2014. Will I become a criminal? What will happen? I don't know what I should do? Get a lawyer? Is there a deal I can make with the court or credit union? Thank you.

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Hoang & Tran PLLC | Adam Tran
You should seek legal counsel to determine your legal rights. However, based on your limited facts, this is not a criminal matter.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 3/25/2014
Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC | Daniel A. Edelman
If it is the original creditor suing, they can probably prove a case. There is nothing criminal here. You can try to negotiate a deal, but unless you have substantial assets, you may not be collectable.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 3/25/2014
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
Go to the Court.. assuming that you do owe them the money admit that you owe the money and give them a judgment..if you have no money, and no job, you cannot pay and you will not go to court.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/25/2014
Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
If you have no money to pay, then there is little the creditor can do. They can get a judgment, but not collect it. From your standpoint, if you can't pay the debt, there is no incentive to pay it, at least until you get a job. If you have a lot of debt, but anticipate working again, maybe it is a good time to consider filing bankruptcy and getting a fresh start. There will be no criminal implications.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/25/2014
The Troglin Firm | William M. Troglin
Your Question Detail states there is a hearing on April 1. If you filed an answer to the law suit, then you can go to court hearing and the ask the judge to assist in a payment plan. If you did not file an answer, then the hearing is for a default judgment and the Court will not allow you to be a part of the hearing.. This is a civil matter and YOU WILL NOT BECOME A CRIMINAL or have any criminal action taken. The Credit Union will not speak directly to you because of the law suit. If you have no income coming in you should consider bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 3/25/2014
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    It is not criminal. You can do nothing and they can get judgment against you and garnish your salary and freeze your bank accounts. Or you can file a bankruptcy and get rid of the debt. Or you can negotiate a settlement with them
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/24/2014
    Meister & McCracken Law Firm, PLLC | Joanne M. McCracken
    If you are unemployed and have no income other than UI benefits, the creditor cannot garnish your wages. You do not say if you have property or other debts. You should talk with a bankruptcy attorney and see what options you have, most offer a free or lost cost initial consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 3/24/2014
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