What should I do if being sued by a credit card company? 7 Answers as of March 24, 2011

I am being sued by a credit card company in California and I got a summons. Do I need an attorney to answer and what should I do and what would it cost?

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Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
Call me for a free consultation. In general, it is a good idea to either defend the lawsuit or file bankruptcy (if the amount of this debt and the other debts that you have make bankruptcy an appropriate option). If you do not defend the lawsuit, the credit card company will almost certainly be able to obtain a judgment against you for the full amount of any money that you owe, including interest, fees, and costs. Attorney's fees may also be added. Once the credit card company has a judgment against you, it may take immediate collection action including, but not limited to, putting a lien on your home, levying on your bank account, and garnisheeing your wages. You do not necessarily need an attorney to prepare and file an answer for you, but you do need to have your answer in the proper format. In addition to whatever fee the attorney charges to represent you, there is also the cost of the court filing fee to file an answer. The current court filing fee for a first appearance in Los Angeles Superior Court is between $370.00 and $395.00/ defendant depending on the amount of the claim of the Plaintiff.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/24/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
There are some defenses to a credit card case, you would be hard pressed to pull that off by yourself. You should consult an attorney, most have fee consultations. It really depends on how agressive you want to be.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/24/2011
Carballo Law Offices
Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
You should answer unless you are soon going to be filing a bankruptcy case. If you do no answer within 30 days of being served a judgment by default will be issued by the court and the creditor will be able to garnish your wages, levy your bank account, force you to go to court to answer questions about your assets and income and take records with you, file a lien against any real property you own and even sell your property depending on the amount involved. You will also have a judgment in your credit report that will affect your ability to obtain credit in the future. Generally you do should have lawyer but if you cannot afford one then you should do your homework and learn how to prepare and file your answer to complaint and how to handle the case without a lawyer. How much it will cost to hire a lawyer depends on the lawyer and many other factors but it is unlikely to cost less than $1,000 and probably more like $1,500 to $2,000, plus you will have to pay a court filing fee for the answer to the complaint unless you can qualify for a waiver of fee because of low income. You can also try to settle the case if you can afford to pay something even if in payments. You should explore the possibility of bankruptcy depending on other debt you might have and depending on your income and property you might own in which you have equity.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/23/2011
Financial Relief Law Center
Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
You can answer the lawsuit if you have grounds to dispute the validity of the debt. You are not required to have attorney to file an answer but it does help. The issue may be that answering the lawsuit will only delay the judgment, assuming you do not have the grounds to dispute it, and then either bankruptcy or settlement of the judgment would be alternatives to consider. Costs are not possible to determine without more information.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/23/2011
Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
You can answer the complaint to buy yourself some time, but if you owe it, eventually you're going to lose, and end up owing the money. At that point they can garnish wages, attach checking accounts, etc. Generally make your life fairly miserable. Is this the only debt that you have? If you have others, you might want to think about bankruptcy. Should you wish to talk further or arrange for a consultation (free), please feel free to contact me.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/23/2011
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
    You must file a response or your default will be taken. The Court fee for filing the response will depend on the whether the amount sought in the complaint is over or under $25,000.00
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/23/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    If you have been served with a civil lawsuit, I strongly recommend hiring a civil litigation attorney. The bar association in your area can direct you to a qualified attorney. You have the option of filing a response, letting the Plaintiff take a default, or you can file for bankruptcy protection if you otherwise qualify. If you are looking for a bankruptcy attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/23/2011
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