Warren, MI asked in Collections for Michigan

Q: I recieved a summons to file a written answer to the court for a credit card in collections. spoke with collection co.

They said they can't give legal advise, but don't send a letter because we then will have to go to court. is that true should I still send a letter even though we've already set up a payment program

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2 Lawyer Answers
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
Answered
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Jackson, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: They're darn right they can't give you legal advice. By not filing an answer, they want you to default so they can have a judgment against you with no conditions. If you have payment arrangements made, those should be put in a consent judgment at the minimum, so you have an installment payment order in the judgment and they can't garnish your wages.

I would file an answer and then ask them for a consent judgment with the terms to which you've agreed. Otherwise, you will be at the whim of the creditor. Also, you should consider whether to make them Additionally promise in the judgment not to collect by any other means so long as you're paying on time. For example, no garnishing bank accounts and tax refunds, no property seizures. You can't get what you don't ask for, and you could get it by filing an answer so you have more leverage.

Finally, if you have other debts, consider whether it's worth it to pay this creditor. Maybe after looking at the totality of your finances, bankruptcy could help you get rid of this debt and others. My recommendation is that you do not take the collection co's advice, and get a consult with a bankruptcy lawyer in your area ASAP who can advise you on your options. Don't give up your legal rights just because the collection co says going to court would be inconvenient.

Adam Alexander agrees with this answer

Adam Alexander
Adam Alexander
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Southfield, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Just to second the response of Mr. Harris. Don't default!!! You may receive a consent order to sign from the debt collector before your Answer is due. I've seen consumers sign a consent judgment that they thought was a done deal, only to find out that that the debt collector (or the court) entered a default. The default is an avenue for them to get a judgment from you for the entire balance. So, don't default. If you need to file an Answer, the court clerk can provide you with a form. You can also find the form on line. Just research "Michigan answer to complaint form".

Trent Harris agrees with this answer

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