Problems and finances and debt can lead to numerous challenges and issues
to be handled, from foreclosure to utility shutoffs to repossession. In
addition to these symptoms of debt, some individuals may also face legal
actions for not paying bills and other types of debt. When they fail to
address these legal actions, creditors or debt collectors can file what
is known as a summons with the court, which will tell a debtor to appear
and answer questions, often with the intent to enact garnishment.
Receiving a summons can be a frightening experience, especially when there
are other financial concerns debtors are already facing. In most cases,
legal actions for debt involve unsecured debt, which can be discharged in
bankruptcy. Whether or not you should respond to a summons will depend on the unique
facts of your situation, as well as whether you have already filed bankruptcy
or plan to file.
At Allmand Law Firm, PLLC, our Dallas bankruptcy lawyers work with many
men and women who come to our firm facing all types of financial difficulties,
including court summons. By working closely with these clients and providing
the tailored counsel and representation they need to solve their unique
problems, we can help them better understand their rights and options,
and what steps should be taken to address financial concerns, including
summons, and whether action for debt relief should be taken.
Filing for Bankruptcy
When you file for bankruptcy, either under
Chapter 7 or
Chapter 13, the
automatic stay goes into effect. This court order prevents creditors from collecting
from you. The stay also stops any legal action pending against you, such
as foreclosure and a summons. The end result depends on what chapter you
file. If you are being sued for an unsecured debt and you file Chapter
7 bankruptcy, then the debt associated with the lawsuit would likely be
discharged. If you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you could be required to
pay a fraction of what is owed.
Exceptions to Being Sued
There are exceptions to being sued and not receiving a discharge. Certain
debts such as back child support or spousal support are not dischargeable.
So what can you do with the summons? If you are in the process of filing
bankruptcy, forward the summons to your bankruptcy attorney. If you have
yet to begin filing bankruptcy you may choose to answer the complaint
or consult with a member of our team at Allmand Law Firm, PLLC to better
understand your options and what we can do to help.
It is important to remember that a summons can certainly lead to more drastic
legal actions when not handled properly. You have a certain amount of
time to answer the summons and if you fail to answer the complaint or
show up in court on the scheduled date it could result in a default judgment.
Filing an answer may give you more options on how to deal with the situation,
consider a debt settlement, or make final preparation to file bankruptcy.
After receiving a summons, you should take the time to speak with our qualified
bankruptcy lawyers, who can explain the summons and its potential impact
on your finances, as well as ways to effectively handle the summons or
initiate debt relief actions, such as bankruptcy. Our attorneys handle
all cases on a personalized basis, and can explain more about your unique
situation when you request a FREE financial empowerment session.
Contact Allmand Law Firm, PLLC to get started with your free financial empowerment session.