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Should I Answer a Summons if I Plan to File Bankruptcy?

Posted By Allmand Law Firm, PLLC || 13-Mar-2017

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.

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