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
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
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
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.