Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the summons?

There are two documents usually associated with the starting of a lawsuit. They are a summons and a complaint. The summons is generally a notice to you telling you that you’ve been sued and that you have so many days to answer. It’s considered the notification to you that the listed plaintiff has sued you as the designated defendant. Remember, however, that each state has its own rules and what is called a summons in one state may have a different name in another state.

What is the complaint?

The complaint (could be called a petition in a few states) is the plaintiff’s statement of his claims against you. The complaint contains numbered paragraphs, with each paragraph constituting a separate allegation in the claim set forth against you. A complaint, usually in chronological sequence, tells the story of what happened, from the perspective of the other side. It may tell the bill collector’s story that you got a credit card, you used it, you didn’t pay, you owe a large balance due, and there’s interest and penalties tacked on. It may conclude by saying the debt collector is entitled to collect the money from you. Each of the foregoing assertions would be in a separate numbered paragraph in the complaint.

How long do I have to answer the complaint?

You’ll usually receive the complaint right up front along with the summons notification. You’ll be told in those initial papers that you have so many days to answer the complaint. You’re usually given 20 or30 days from the date of service of the complaint, depending on your particular state’s rules.

What is the answer?

The answer is your pleading that you draw up and file in response to the plaintiff’s complaint against you. In the answer you’ll use the same format as the complaint – you’ll set forth your answers in numbered paragraphs. Each paragraph in the answer will correspond specifically to that numbered allegation made in the complaint. So that, paragraph number one of your answer will be responding to paragraph number one of the complaint, and so on.

What do I say in the answer??

In the answer you can admit or deny the allegations in the complaint. There a couple of ways of making a denial. You can say that the allegations are specifically Denied and leave it at that in most states. However in some states you have to get more detailed and explain the reasons for the denial. Another way to deny an allegation in the complaint is to say that you investigated but you still don’t have enough information to answer and that because you can’t answer, you are denying the allegation. That’s a recognized and accepted way to do it. Another kind of denial is a denial because the allegation in the complaint states a conclusion of law. If you get a conclusion of law alleged against you in the complaint, you’ll answer it in the answer by saying that it’s Denied because it’s a legal conclusion.

What is a legal conclusion in the complaint?

It’s making an allegation of law against you – such determinations cannot be made by the parties, only by the court in making ultimate legal rulings. Therefore, a statement by the plaintiff in the complaint that you violated a contract with the other side is a legal conclusion – it’s an ultimate legal issue to be made by the judge at the end of the case. These kinds of legal charges are Denied automatically and all you have to say is: “Denied as a conclusion of law.”

What is discovery?

After you file an answer, the discovery phase will begin. This allows you to get all of the information from the other side to see what their case consists of, and how strong it is. We give you form interrogatories, which are written questions to serve on them, which they will have to answer under the law. Also, we give you other discovery forms to use to make the opponent give you full disclosure. Of course, the opponent can have discovery against you also, so we’ll prepare you on how to answer discovery requests.

What is a motion to dismiss?

In certain limited instances, you may be able to file a motion asking for the court to dismiss the opponent’s case. If the complaint is legally defective in some fundamental way, we give you model forms and pointers on how to follow this remedy through. Also, we give you help in our “Ask our researchers” section if you get stumped at any time or need help in wording your forms!

What will happen if I don’t keep a credit card debt current?

You already know that you’ll be dunned by the creditor. You’ll be contacted in numerous ways, all of which will be harassing and fearsome. In the beginning these may be helpful calls to remind you of a missed payment and hopefully you’ll be able to make it and keep the account current. But when you’ve missed several payments over a period of time, the company is going to call your account into default. This sends it to another department: the collections department.

What is discovery?

After you file an answer, the discovery phase will begin. This allows you to get all of the information from the other side to see what their case consists of, and how strong it is. We give you form interrogatories, which are written questions to serve on them, which they will have to answer under the law. Also, we give you other discovery forms to use to make the opponent give you full disclosure. Of course, the opponent can have discovery against you also, so we’ll prepare you on how to answer discovery requests.

What is the importance of the card account being declared in default?

When the account is defaulted and sent to the collections department, you can no longer revive the card in good standing. At this point, the default is reported to the credit reporting agency and your credit has taken a major hit. The creditor has decided that it doesn’t want to try and revive your account or keep you as a customer.

The collections department will try to collect from you while the case is still “in-house”. This is perhaps your best time to settle because the account hasn’t yet been sent to the bad-actor professional evil-doer, i.e., the debt collector. That’s where the true harassment starts and continues for a prolonged period of intense painful contacts that you’ll want desperately to escape.

What happens when the account reaches the debt collector?
The collection agency is not a part of your creditor, it is a third-party business that purchases delinquent accounts and takes over the responsibility of collecting the unpaid balances, while it also hacks up those balances by adding onerous interest, penalties and late fees. These extras are often illegal under state or federal law. Sometimes they don’t purchase the account, instead they’ll take it on as an attempt to collect for the creditor. But at some point, the creditor inevitably tires of old accounts and will wholesale your account off to another company.

When the account reaches the debt collector, now you’re playing hardball. Here is where you may have your employer contacted. They may approach your neighbors. They may tell you that an arrest is imminent. They may tell you that you’ll never get credit again. The threats and intimidation is as limitless as your imagination.

Do I have any protection from the debt collector?

Yes, you have the protection of the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). You can sue the debt collector who violates this federal law. You can also write to the collector and tell it what provisions of the law have been violated. You can direct the collector to not contact you anymore, and to cease and desist. You can also obtain legal counsel and sue the collector. All of these remedies are explained in the Answering a Summons package.

Do creditors really sell delinquent accounts?

Yes, creditors will sell delinquent accounts to minimize losses. The cost that the creditor will incur for going after delinquent borrowers is costly and they’d rather let someone else handle the collection efforts.

What happens if my account was turned over to a collection agency?

If the collection agency acquires your account, they will apply all their efforts into convincing you to settle your debts because this is how they make profits. You heard the horror stories when it comes to credit card debt collection and the reality is that thousands and maybe millions of people have been are being subjected to harassment. If you are going through a similar predicament, it’s important to remember that these are just empty threats. They cannot arrest you – there’s no debtor’s prison in the country. But you do want to pay attention to this process and put up your defenses quickly and strongly. There are things that they can do, such as garnish your bank accounts, sell your property at a sheriff’s sale, and the like.

Will I really go to jail if I don’t pay my credit card debt?

The short answer is no, you will not go to jail simply because you cannot pay several hundreds of dollars in credit card bills. No one has ever gone to jail for this. However, if you write checks that bounce you may be subject to arrest for bad checks. It’s probably not a good idea to enter into any deals with collectors that involve turning over a series of undated or post-dated checks.

Twisted as it may sound, many credit card debt collectors will try to make delinquent borrowers issue checks or sign documents. This will give them grounds to file a real case against you. Therefore, you need to be careful when dealing with collectors on your own.

How will this affect my credit history?

The effects of unpaid credit card debt on your credit history will be profound. You will have a hard time securing larger loans in the future if you do not do something about it now. Unfortunately, some companies will check a person’s credit standing of job applicants so if you are looking for a job, your credit history will also a factor on your ability to bag the job
There is really no way of knowing how a bad credit history will affect you negatively but the fact is, it will cause many problems in the long run. The good news is, past mistakes will not remain in your record forever. As long as you do what you can to repair your credit, your credit history will improve overtime. Eventually, your bad marks will be “forgiven”

See our section on repairing your credit. It’s filled with effective and powerful tools to get you back on the right track and restore your credit relatively easily. Actually, we’re going to show you how to get back in a good credit situation fairly quickly and effectively! This package will be a guide to reorganizing your debt and credit matters in a comprehensive manner based on the options we provide inside.

So what is the worst-case scenario if my credit card debts remain unpaid?

The worst case scenario is that you will have to live by cash until these matters fall off your credit report and you can start up again.As long as you don’t keep getting into further credit problems, you’ll be able to restore your credit and get started again within a few years or so. It all depends on your facts, and on how focused you become in getting your affairs straightened out. Of course, if you do nothing about the impending judgment against you, there may be repercussions for years and you may put off your financial recovery for many years!! This is due to the ongoing efforts after a judgment is obtained. They’ll freeze your accounts and continue outrageous activities if you don’t start using the tools at your legal appropriate disposal. Get these programs and get started back to a new beginning!
You don’t need to worry about the unnecessary burden that collection agency can bring to you and your family. Do something about your debt and start repairing your credit by
ordering the AAS package and deal with the problem head on. You will save yourself a lot of trouble for it.