No Income

by Chuck
(Orlando, Fl)

I live on my SSI only. Got summon from Credit card company to appear in court. No money to hire lawyer. Do I have to appear in court and defend myself? What will the court do? Put me in jail or what?

Comments for No Income

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May 09, 2011
Being Sued. No Income

So sorry to learn about your situation, Chuck.

You should show up in court on the day of the hearing to explain your situation to the judge. Although you cannot be put in jail for owing a debt, in some states, and Florida may be one of them, if you do not appear in court on the day of a hearing, the court may issue an order to put you in jail for "contempt of court." Also, if you do not show up in court, it's likely that the judge will automatically award the credit card company a default judgment against you, which means that the credit card company would win its lawsuit without you're having an opportunity to tell your side of the story.

It's important for you to know however, that if the credit card company wins the lawsuit, it cannot take any of your SSI money to collect on the judgment. And, if all of your assets are exempt from collections, you are considered judgment-proof, which means that you have nothing that the credit card company could go after if it won the lawsuit. To find out what assets are exempt and nonexempt in Florida, contact a consumer law attorney in your area who helps people resolve their debt collection problems. The attorney should not charge you for an initial appointment, but confirm that fact when you call to schedule an appointment.

Good luck!

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