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I just received a summons to appear in court for debt collection procedure. I think it's called a hearing. What happens there?

I'm very scared of what's gonna happen. I have no lawyers and have never gone to anyone for legal advice. Has anyone ever been thru this?

#Laura - Says,

Well Lilchicken,

dont be worried. If you need a lawyer visit which is a store house of details of good lawyer.
DO attend a hearing for debt collection. Take all the necessary papers that you have as proof of payment and in case of any important first-hand witnesses let then accompany you to court.

At a court hearing the creditor’s lawyer will ask you about how much property you own, how much money you make, and what your expenses are. In case the lawyer does not ask about your expenses and debts, you should explain these when the judge asks if you have anything more to say. You have to give your side of the story even if you are not asked about it. Make a list of debts and expenses and use the list in the hearing. This will help the judge to see how much you can afford to pay the creditor.


Thank you Laura fo ryour response. I'm shaking and haven't been able to eat dinner since i received this summons. I've never been sued before and it's scaring the heck out of me. I'm trying to do a debt settlement but i've been told citibank is very difficult to deal with. My house is about to foreclose and all i got is a temp job and a car that's late on payments for 2 months already. How will i ever pay them back and how will the judge view this?
#Laura - Says,

Dont get so worried. Everything in life happens for the first time. Keep your cool and have your food on time. You have to survive to appear before court.
Can you provide me with some contact information like email id or just register so that i can send a private message. I have some more information. May be reading it will help you out.

#anthony - Says,

Hi lilchicken,

Its a sad scenario I can see. Look if the credit card has not been paid then do inform the court regarding your problems and take all the important documents with you. But remember never agree to any amount of payment that you will not be able to pay. This is very important. If you give the truth you will be able to get out of it more easily. So be honest about your financial condition to the judge.

#goodnatured - Says,

You need to make sure that you answer the summons, I am going through this now with providian. It started exactly this way. What state are you from? You may want to call an attorney or the courthouse to find out how long you have to respond. If you don't respond, they will win by default. In my case I had thirty days, I have been going through this process for over a year now. I had another one that sued me, it was capital one, they would not work with me until they sued me. So I guess my questions are.
What state are you in? and is this a collection agency or the original creditor suing you?
If it is the original credit, you will need to deal with them directly. If it is a collection agency, you need to have them validate the debt.

First thing is to calm down, take a deep breath, you are not the first to go through this and you won't be the last. I know it is really scary, but I am telling you from someone who recently went through both scenarios and still going through the one, it will be ok. When I got my summons, I was really scared and did not know what to expect. See, I am ok, and you will be too. Can you answer the questions I asked, I will come back later and see if I can help you and give you some direction on this. There is no debtors prison, the most they can do is get a judgement on you and it is dependant on your state law on how they can collect that, if even at all.

#goodnatured - Says,

I paid one of mine off and the other will be going through the arbitration, I am a little nervous about this, not real sure what to expect, been trying to read up on the subject, not much information out there.
#Dadummy - Says,

Sometimes they sue to show they are serious about the debt collection, especially if it is the original creditor, but as goodnatured said, there is no debtors prison, so all they can do is collect thier money, hopefully it will be at a rate that you can afford. You can't get what is not there. As goodnatured says, calm down, this is overwhelming, but it will all pass and you will learn something from the experience that you can come and share here. Good won't be alone with this subject, hang in there.

Thank you all for posting and trying to tell me i'm not alone. I'm reading up on all these RCW codes and regulations. It seems they want me to show what i own, how much money i'm making, and how can they collect from me. You're right, Dadummy, they cant get what's not there. But now that i'm working a temp job, can they garnish my paycheck, it's SO LITTLE AS IT IS. And can they turn around and collect from my husband? Has this ever happened to anyone? Thank you all for your honesty and sincerity. I appreciate the help and advice from everyone here as i am so clueless and nervous about what's to come.
#goodnatured - Says,

what state are you from, each state has a different set of laws pertaining to garnishments, if you post what state you are from I can try and help you find the information.
#debtstinker - Says,

Lil...goodnatured has some very good questions and from reading her previous posts she is knowledgeable in this area..let us know a little more information and hang in there. you're not alone and you will be ok. lots of folks here to support you

I'm being sued in the state of Washington and he lawsuit is filed by original creditor. I started a debt settlement program just a year ago and already citibank is suing me.. How can i settle w/ anyone when i just started this dumb settlement program and all i save up each month is $10, if i'm lucky.

What happens at a hearing exactly? Will the judge send me into a room w/ the creditor lawyer and it'll be just me against them or will there be other people in the room too? Will there be a judgment right away on that day? What's the difference between small claims court and superior court? Mine's being filed in superior court. Is this something to worry me even more? Does it mean it will drag on for months & months?

Please understand.. i'm very concerned and scared and have no ability to hire anyone for legal advice. It's comforting to know others are going thru this too but i'm still scared of the unknown. Thank you all for being so supportive and informative. I look forward to reading everyone's input. Thank you..

#Dadummy - Says,

go to and see if there are attorneys available in your area, I would think there should be. How much is the debt you are being sued for?
#debtstinker - Says,

Ok that may work in your favor the fact that you are in a settlement program shows that you are actively trying to resolve your debt issues so be sure to have that information and all paperwork associated with your settlement program in hand. all you can do lil right now is keep talking to us letting us know how you are and respond to the suit show up in court. I know that good will be along soon to find out what washington laws are, in the mean time, have you checked the debt forum for information? there are so many people who are going through similar situations and you may find their stories comforting. you don't have to register if you don't want to (I don't think so anyway) to search for information in their site map. type in sued in superior court and see what information comes up. we know you're scared and being scared is ok, it's natural but i'm hoping that you visiting the debt forum as well as this forum will help ease you a bit. I would think that with your financial situation a judge would be understanding especially when you have actively initiated a DMP
#goodnatured - Says,

lilchicken, go to this link,
there is a ton of information ther that you can read on what the court proceedings are going to be like, bounce around the page and do a little research.

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