Q: What steps should I take if being sued by debt collector? I received letter to appear in court. I owe a portion of debt.
I do not have means to pay amount owed. May I offer settlement to be paid over time?
Certain forms of income are exempt from collection. If you only have exempt income, the debt collector cannot collect funds from you. Exempt income includes, but is not limited to Federal old-age, survivors and disability payments, Supplementary Security Income (SSI) for the Aged, blind and disabled, other social security benefits up to $400 a week, unemployment compensation, workers Compensation, welfare, etc.
You should always file a written answer with the court stating all your defenses and that your income is exempt, if that is the case.
If you wish to pay and have the means to do so, evaluate your finances so you have an idea of what you can afford in a lump sum or periodic payment plan. Then contact the debt collector with your proposal.
This is a good website for advice on dealing with consumer debts: https://www.masslegalhelp.org/consumer
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