Q: I'm being sued by capital one for credit card debt. I haven't been officially served yet. Should I respond now?
I've only received mailed solicitations from local lawyers with a case number. I have not received anything official. The file date is 1/25/22. Pretrial is set for June. Debt amount was $3,000
A: You are under no obligation to file a response to the lawsuit until 20 days after you are served. (But if a small claim of $8K or less, you don't need to respond at all; you instead appear for a pretrial conference.) You have the option to respond without being served, but in most cases, that would be foolish. An attorney may see grounds for a motion to quash service or a motion to dismiss the suit, and if not, an attorney can easily obtain an extension of time to file a response and see if something can be worked out with the creditor in the meantime. If in small claims court, and the claimed debt is on the lower end of the small claims court dollar range, it might be financially better for you to attempt to work something out with the creditor yourself (such as an easy installment plan or a lump sum that is way less than the debt amount).
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