As we’ve discussed in previous blog posts, credit card debt is an issue that plagues people – -young and old — across Oregon and throughout the country. While some people are able to at least make minimum payments to keep creditors off their backs, others simply cannot. When this happens, however, creditors are likely to come calling. And this could mean you end up facing a lawsuit. Should this happen to you, it’s important to know how to handle it, and a recent article from Fox Business offers a few tips.

When you receive a summons from your creditor, the first thing you want to do is call them. Many creditors would rather not go to court, so they may be open to working out a payment plan in order to settle lawsuit.

Next, you have to respond to the summons. Usually you’ll have a set number of days to file a response. If you do not do this, the creditor will win by default. This is never a good thing, even if you know that you owe them money and are willing to acknowledge it.

Finally, speak to an attorney experienced in credit card debt. Going into court proceedings blind is not a good idea. An attorney can explain the process and help you build a defense, if that is what you choose to do. In fact, speaking to an attorney as soon as you’ve received a summons is a good way to make sure you’re doing everything correctly.

Being buried in credit card debt is overwhelming and stressful, but eventually, you’ll need to find a way out. If you’ve reached a point where you’re concerned creditors may file a lawsuit against you, it may be beneficial to consider other methods of debt relief. For many, bankruptcy provides a good way to get out of debt and get your finances back on track.

Source: Fox Business, “Taken to Court for Card Debt? What to Expect,” Tamara E. Holmes, March 13, 2013