Just received a court summons ...

  1. This is not something that I am proud of, but due to financial problems I have not been able to pay some of my credit card bills (interest rates killed me), so I just received this summons to appear for a pretrial hearing for Capital One Bank ($779.00) for next January. I had been planning to claim bankruptcy but unfortunately I don't yet have the funds to complete the process.
    If I don't go, I'll be in default...I wouldn't go to jail for that, would I? I can't afford a lawyer, sh**t, I had a hard enough time affording the MD for my pneumonia.

    What am I too do?
    Kris
    •  
  2. 62 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I know nothing about debt and legal issues, but I just wish to extend my friendship and support to you. I wish you good luck. Hard times hit us all...I have been there, 1000s of dollars in debt.....it's not hard to do and so hard to get out of it once you get there. I feel for you!
  4. by   Tweety
    I've never heard of anyone going to court over a credit card bill. I don't think you can go to court for failure to pay debts. Are there any free credit counseling services you can go to for advice. Making any payment at all is better than no payment, as long as you're making an effort, they can't get you.

    I think one of the founding principles of the USA is there is no such thing as debtor's prison.

    But you should try to face your responsibilities and not skip anything you are required to do.

    There are a lot of scare tactics collection agencies use.

    Take care of yourself though. It's no wonder your sick with all this financial pressure. Good luck to you and I hope things get better for you soon.
    Last edit by Tweety on Dec 20, '02
  5. by   parker in arkie
    is Consumer Credit Counseling Services an option? they are free and can set you up on a workable plan..just make sure you allow enough money to live comfortably on....once they set up a plan for you, they EXPECT you to adhere to it.
  6. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    There are pleny of other options to bankruptcy to help you get back on your feet. Things that will also appease the credit card companies and show them your willingness to repay your debts.

    I can't imagine how long you haven't been paying your bills to actually have to go to court????

    PM me if you're interested in some info. I'll be popping in and out of hee all day.

    Heather
  7. by   colleen10
    Hi Kris,

    I don't know that much about bankruptcy but I do think that you should first try to work out some sort of payment plan with the credit card company. They usually try to work with you so that they get some amount of money, even if it is only $10 a month.

    $779.00 really isn't that much to have on one credit card, sorry to say. So I think that 3rd shift is right when he says that this may be a scare tactic to get you to pay something.

    If you still end up going to court you really should show up. I don't know about the legal ramifications of all of this but I would not do anything to put your future RN license in jeopardy, especially when you have worked so hard to try to get it.

    I would check around to see if there are any "Free Credit Counseling" service available in your area.
  8. by   2banurse
    Actually, I'm quite ashamed at myself. Unfortunately, this I feel is just the tip of the iceberg...and alot of my CC debts etc, are from quite a while ago...when I was younger, I was quite stupid and reckless, and it got to the point where my interest payments alone were killing me. Of course, back then the CC companies are all eager to give you extended credit.

    I mean they can't even garnish anything...as I'm right now going to school fulltime and I can't see getting a full-time job until after I finish this semester. I'm living rather slimly on my student loan and having a roommate. Do I go, and just tell the judge that I have nothing?

    My biggest worry is will this follow me when I try to get a job as a nurse?
  9. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Doesn't really matter if you were young stupid and reckless then, it's time to pay for it now. You need to make arrangements to pay them the money you owe them. Being ashamed isn't enough for them. You're going to have to pay them, or file bankruptcy. It won't just go away.

    Choices. Consequences. You know the routine.

    Heather
  10. by   Gromit
    They are either trying to yank your chain and scare you, or there is more to the story that you may or may not know. All I DO know is that IF you received a court summons, you must follow it, and that if you DON'T go, you could be arrested for it.

    Talking to the CC companies about a payment plan is a good idea as well.

    And as one of the other posters stated, Collection agencies will try many scare tactics to get you (I know of that firsthand) and while protection may vary from state to state, as far as I know, they CANNOT harass you at work, and threaten though they may, they can't actually take your house from you (well, unless its the company you are paying for your house through -i.e. the mortgage co.)

    Will it follow you? As long as you don't get a criminal record for it (i.e., get arrested for not following the summons, and subsequent judges orders -if any) I can't see how it would follow you and hurt you in getting a nursing job -As a fellow student who is paying his way through college (largely with CCs), I sympathize with you, and wish you the best.
  11. by   colleen10
    As far as hurting your chances of getting a job one day I will say this.....

    Many business employers will do a credit history/check on potential employees and those that have bad credit may not get a job. I have not heard of hospitals or medically affiliated businesses doing this yet, but it is becoming quite common in the traditional business work place.

    I would venture to guess with the nursing shortage that you would still find a job anyway.

    However, despite whatever may happen don't run the risk of being arrested, etc. because that really could jeopardize your license and ability to get a job.
  12. by   RNIAM
    If you don't show up. You most likely will not be arrested but you can have it go against you and they can garnish your wages. Do you have any cash at all? If you do then contact the original company you owe and offer them a cash deal, say 0.10cents on the dollar. trust me; from experience, this works. Sometimes you need to do what you need to do. By law and this is just a FYI you have the right to demand to see the origional contract that you signed to get the credit card. If they are like most companies today, they computerize everything and the origional contract is long gone. Unless they can show the contract, you are under no obligation to pay.(having them search for this piece of paper will also allow you a little more time to arrange a payment.) Having said that, by moral standards, if you created the debt you should attempt to settle it. If nothing else send them a check for ten dollars. If they cash the check, your golden. Continue to send them an amount of money each month. They may not like it but as long as your paying, they can't do anything. If you have anymore questions, email me.
    Good Luck
    Last edit by RN2be on Dec 20, '02
  13. by   VickyRN
    You need to contact your state board of nursing ASAP. In North Carolina, the SBON is performing criminal background checks on all new candidates for RN licensure. Any "black marks" have to be explained to the board. I am definitely no legal expert, but unpaid debt and a defaulted court appearance may qualify as a "black mark" that could come back to haunt you later. I would also contact one of those free debt-counseling mediator services.
  14. by   Glad2behere
    This is just a court summons. They are sueing you for the money and wish to have a judgement filed against you. Depends on where you live (what state) in how the judgement is enforced. Some states can attach a lien to property owned, and when you sell it they get theirs plus interest. Other states have no lien attachment device, but a judgement against you almost always is an obstacle to more serious credit such as a mortgage.

    Most here what is said is accurate. You will have to address it sooner or later in some fashion, the court hearing will insure that.

    When I had my business I routinely sued customers for bad debts in court and always won the case. It was amazing to have people call 3,4,5 years later raising cane about a judgement recorded at the courthouse and the bureaus, and them wishing to finance a house or car and the new creditor would only issue new credit provided that the judgement was satisfied. After settlement, I would fax a satisfaction document to the new creditor and change the credit bureau and file a paid status at the courthouse.

    With the rampant debt out there, a new employer is not going to hold a little $700 debt against you as a hire basis. They may not let you borrow money from their credit union...even if you satisfy the debt.

    You will automatically be classed credit wise as a risk because this will pull down your credit score, and the higher interest you pay in future debt will make this $700 trivial. No 0 down 0 payments for you for 1 year etc.

    BK is not the answer because the debt is so small and the Bk will really reclassify your credit.

    See if you can make arrangements somehow to pay something on it on a regular basis, until you are able to pay it off with larger payments. Once a judgement is filed against you, payment or BK is the only thing that will erase it.

    One other thing, judgements on the credit bureau are almost never erased...even if you pay them...they show satisfied. Not good! A creditor can renew them until you die. BK's eventually fall off the credit bureau...like 7-10 years.

close