How do I get credit debt dismissed or lowered in court?

Question

How do I get credit debt dismissed or lowered in court?

Answer

If you get a court summons over credit card debt, you may already have a major problem. A court summons means the credit card company has come after you and filed a lawsuit against you to try to collect money that they are owed. If they win- and they will, as long as they can prove the debt is owed and that you haven't tried to pay- you'll be ordered to pay the money by the court. Your wages may even be garnished and a lean may be placed on your property.

When you find yourself in this situation, you don't necessarily have a lot of options. You can:

  • Try to negotiate with the creditor as part of the court case to agree to make payments on a smaller amount of the debt or to agree to make a single lump sum payment as part of the debt.
  • Try to convince the court, in a separate wage garnishment proceeding, that garnishing your wages isn't appropriate and that you deserve a wage garnishment exemption so you don't have money taken from your paycheck
  • File bankruptcy. Depending on which chapter of bankruptcy you file, this may result in the debt being discharged or in you entering into a repayment plan to pay back some of the debt

A court summons over credit card debt isn't something to be taken lightly. If you receive a summons, you need to contact a lawyer right away to find out what options you have and how you can best protect your finances and your assets from the hands of your creditors. 

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