Court date on Credit Card bill

by Carmen G.
(Bloomington, MN)

My daughter has no job since May 2010. She is living with me. i am supporting her completely. A credit card collector is taking her to court.
Can they send her to Jail because she can't pay the debt?
She is in the process to go to college and this can be bad for her. Like I said she doesn't have a job and I am supporting her right now. Can they go after me if she can't pay and I am her provider?

Comments for Court date on Credit Card bill

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Apr 04, 2011
Debt Collector Has Sued Daughter
by: DebtCollection

So sorry about your daughter's legal problems.

I assume that you did not cosign for the credit card she has defaulted on. If you did not, then the debt collector cannot do anything to you to collect the money your daughter owes.

It is very important that your daughter respond to the summons she received notifying her of the lawsuit and that she show up in court on the day of the hearing related to the lawsuit. If your daughter does not appear in court, the judge will probably award the debt collector a default judgment against her without your daughter ever having a chance to explain why she fell behind on her payments. Also, if she does not appear in court, your daughter could be arrested for not attending the hearing, which would be considered contempt of court. Although this is not a practice in every state, it does happen in MN and there was an article about in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune last month. (However, your daughter won't be arrested just because she has defaulted on her credit card debt.)

If the collector wins a judgment against your daughter, the judgment will probably appear in her credit history and as long as it's being reported, the information will make it difficult if not impossible for her to obtain credit at reasonable terms (or any credit at all), to rent a place to live, to find employment (many employers review a job applicant's credit history as part of the screening process) or obtain the insurance she may need. Also, the collector will be entitled to collect the amount of the judgment by garnishing your daughter's wages (including future wages), taking assets she may own (now or in the future), or taking money from her bank account.

Given the many potential consequences of your daughter being sued for the money she owes, I recommend that she contact the collector to see if she can work out a way to pay her debt over time or to settle the debt for less than the full amount. The collector may be receptive to such an arrangement in order to avoid the expense and hassle of having to go to court. Of course, she should not agree to any arrangement you cannot afford, since I assume you would be the one funding it.

If you need additional advice, I recommend that your daughter contact a consumer law attorney in your area who helps consumers resolve problems with debt collectors. An hour of an attorney's time could be invaluable and should not cost a lot.

Best of luck!

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