Has This Happened to You? - Deep Gap,NC

Updated on June 05, 2012
T.C. asks from Deep Gap, NC
14 answers

I just got served (i knew it was comming) with papers. My hubby and I owe a loan for 5000 and we havent been able to pay it, so they are taking us to court. I have never been through this.

My question is, if anyone has been through anything like this, what should i expect? how do i need to prepare?

Please, Im not looking for judgemental, rude comments, i am ONLY wanting the question answered, THANKS

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answers from New York on

Well, most of CLarifiedMom said is correct, but I believe you are the Respondant, not the Plaintiff since you did not file the action.

TYpically a judge will try to direct the parties to reach a settlement. Most credit card companies and major lendors with do that. When I went through my divorce, my ex did not make payments on a joint account that he was supposed to. Long story short I wound up paying them. I manage to cut the debt by about 60% if I recall correctly. I guess they feelthat some money is better than none, which is what they would have gotten from him or me if I declared bankruptcy. It di dstay on my credit report as a negative for 7 years.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on


Even though you couldn't pay it - you shouldn't have ignored them.

Call them and see if it's not too late to set up payment arrangements-even a $1 a month. If not.

go to court. explain WHY you have not been able to pay the loan - be prepared to present proof (loss of job, etc.) and let the judge know you are sorry and want to repay the debt and this is what you can afford.

If you do NOT show up - they can and WILL garnish wages and tax returns until they get their money back. They can take up to 25% of your take home pay. If both of you are on the loan - then BOTH of you will get garnished until the money is paid back, plus court costs and lawyers fees.

If you can walk in TODAY with $500 as a settlement - do it. Either way your credit is trashed on it for the next 7 years. So you can show the court that you were TRYING to pay and they refused to accept a settlement.

If you have other debts that you cannot pay? Consider filing bankruptcy. Keep in mind that you will most likely need $1500 to $3000 to bring to the table for lawyers fees and such. The laws have changed so it's not so easy anymore to file for bankruptcy.

Do NOT ignore ANY bills or collections. If you pay $1 a month - you are still paying on it. THAT is important - it shows you recognize the debt and cannot pay more than that - yes. IT will still ruin your credit but I'd rather it show that I was paying PARTIAL payments instead of none at all!!!


7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Call the company and see about payment plans. Get the payment plans in writing from the company on their official letterhead. You could also be set up a payment plan during the court proceeding. If they will not do a plan, you can expect to be ordered to pay in full. (Usually, something can be worked out...I would think.) You could also have a lien placed on something, to secure debt payment. I don't think that is very typical with a smaller loan, though. They might want financial records, as well. Have all those ready.
If you ignore paying or don't show up, they can garnish any wages.

It's hard not to shake my head when you're asking this, and have recently asked questions about buying expensive, unnecessary things...

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

Go to court and make a deal with them to pay something each month. You will have a judgment against you and that stays for 7 years on your credit report. If you pay it off early and/or in full they may remove it sooner.

I had a judgment against me in the 90's and I asked the judge to make the amount something that I could afford to pay. I paid it off early and they removed it from my credit report.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I agree, call them now and try to work on a payment plan.

If you go to court, and lose, a judgement on your credit NEVER goes away. They can and will garnish wages and go after bank accounts.

I have sued a few times for money owed, and won. :(

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Iowa City on

If you have no defense and accept that you owe the money then you don't even have to show up for the hearing. If you don't show up a judgement will be entered against you (but in all likelihood even if you do show up a judgement will be entered against you). You can contact the company/person suing you and see if they are willing to settle for an amount less than the full $5000.00. Otherwise, if a judgement is entered, depending on NC law, the company/person can try to collect the debt via liens on property or garnishment.

If you do have a defense, just go to the hearing and provide evidence of the same. Also, make sure that the creditor is within the statute of limitations. If they aren't, then you can get out of things pretty easily.

Best of luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Nothing happens really. You get served, you go to court, plead your case, work out a payment plan with the creditor, and it will be done. It will also remain on your credit report for 10 years (I think) whether it's paid or not. If it is paid, it will just read 'PAID', but it will stay on your report regardless.

EDIT: Oops that's wrong. It will go on your credit report if you do not show up to court, or if you default on the payment plan. GO TO COURT. Don't blow it off whatever you do. You can work out a payment plan, but just do it in front of the judge. Don't just trust a creditor willy nilly like that. Their "rules" change with the wind.

If you owe the debt and just haven't paid it, then there really isn't much to do. But if you do not owe the debt, and want to fight it, then get your evidence together. Also, if the amount of the debt is incorrect, you'll need to prove it. The burden of proof is upon you to prove your case since you are the plaintiff, oops again! LOL I meant defendant.

Just to let you know, the comment about not wanting rude comments usually attracts rude comments. Sorry, that's just how it is 'round these parts sometimes.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

I wish I could say no this never happened to me. But my husband had ALOT of debt before we were married, and one day we were served with papers for a credit debt of $13,000. There were wanting to take us to court and had a lien put on our house. What they may try to do is obtain anything that they think they can sell to get the money you owe or they can try to garnish wages. Since we knew that if we set up a payment with them there was still nothing to stop the other credit companies he owed from doing this same thing. We filed bankruptcy. We are still paying on the bills (one lump sum that gets distributed by the trustee) but we pay slightly less then was owed and we are not charged interest. Since your debt is only 5000 I would not recomend it. Since taking someone to court cost money you may have a chance to settle with them out of court if you call them. Good luck I know this can be scary!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Never happened to me . I do understand that there may be circumstances preventing you from paying, but should this ever happen again you should make some type of payment. I'm sure you could afford $5 to $10 a month.

What you need to do to prepare is to explain why you have been unable to pay and whether this is premanent or due to current situation. i.e., you've had illness and have been unable to work, but are now recovering.

Chances are the judge will order a wage garnishment. This means the payments will be deducted directly from your payroll check and your employer will forward the money to the court. If you own assets, or the debt was secured, a lein will be issued.

ADDED: It's too late to set up a payment schedule with the collection company or lender. You're better off just appearing in court at this point.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Mansfield on

Any chance of contacting the lender to set up some kind of payment? Usually they are willing to work with you if you can pay anything at all. A lot of people are in this same boat. I used to work in lending @ a bank and they were almost always willing to work with people who needed help. Also, I've heard you can set up payments with the collection co. even if they've already served you papers. A lot of times, they use that as a scare tactic to get you to contact them and pay something towards the debt. Good luck and I hope all works out for you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

check the papers u were served for a financial affidavit. fill that out and put all ur expenses explaining why you cannot pay. and dont offer to pay a dime before hand, do not contact the agency cuz anything u say now will be held against u in court! they cannot just take it out of court now not even with arrangements. they will take that arrangement to court and have ur wages garnished!

also, the judge has guidelines used to order a payback amount and it will be less and maybe even none. if u and ur husband have ever thot to file bankruptcy, tell the judge that too....once he hears that, you will not have to pay a thing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

My mom was served for a hospital bill. When she went to court she took her and dad's w-2 forms. Their tax papers from the previous year. She took in all of their pay stubs for 6 months and all of their bills for six months so they could see exactly how much ( or actually little) they had left over after each pay check and the company was able to come to an agreement on how much they had to pay each month.

I think they had to pay like $20 a month because they didn't have much left over after living expenses. They were warned that if they missed or was late even one time with out the proper notice ( one week prior) then they would have to pay it in full. Then they did a phone conference annually to see if there was any changes in their income/ bills and adjusted it accordingly.

I don't know if its still the same now.. this was 15 years ago I went to court with her over it. But that is how they handled it for them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Honestly, I think you should try to work with the company that served you. It will save you tons in time and possible legal fees.

Contact them directly and ask if there is anyway to set up a re-payment plan and even a reduction in the loan amount based upon some unforseen emergencies in your own life.

Document your effort in trying as this will weight heavily upon the judge's ultimate decision if you do end up going to court.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

they are prob. past the point of letting you make payments if you own your house they will put a lean on it. get a lawyer. good luck!

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