I just got served court papers for a debt i have with dell finacial can it still be negotiated without going to court

Comments for summons

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Nov 18, 2010
Responding to Court Summons
by: Mary

Thanks for submitting your debt collection question on our Q&A page.

Although you've been sued for the money you owe to Dell Financial, you may be able to negotiate an out-of-court settlement of the debt in exchange for having the lawsuit dropped. The plaintiff may be happy to get at least some of the money you owe in exchange for avoiding the hassle and expense of moving forward with the lawsuit.

Contact the plaintiff right away to explore your settlement options. If you don't feel confident doing your own negotiating, work with a consumer law attorney in your area who helps consumers resolve their debt collection problems.

If you handle your own negotiating and reach a settlement agreement with the plaintiff, get all of the specifics of the agreement in writing before you pay the plaintiff any money. You and the plaintiff should both sign the agreement and the plaintiff should file it with the court. Get a copy of the agreement for your files and confirm that the agreement did in fact get filed with the court. You can do that either by getting written proof from the plaintiff or by contacting the court clerk.

If you and the plaintiff aren't able to reach an agreement, be sure to show up in court on the day of the hearing. You'll find that date on the summons. If you don't appear in court, you'll forfeit your opportunity to state your side of the story and the judge will probably award the plaintiff a default judgment against you.

If you attend the hearing, you'll have an opportunity to explain why you fell behind on your debt and the efforts you made to settle it. Depending on the specifics of your situation, it's possible that the judge will order you to pay less than the full amount that you've been sued for. If you don't feel comfortable representing yourself in court, hire a consumer law attorney to help you.

Good luck!

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