If I just received a summons, should I answer it and let the courts know that I plan to begin paying the debt once my unemployment checks begin?

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If I just received a summons, should I answer it and let the courts know that I plan to begin paying the debt once my unemployment checks begin?

Also, I am not able to refile until the 21st of next month, after my penalization time is up.

Asked on June 21, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, South Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You will need to file an answer to the complaint (the complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons) with the court and serve a copy by mail on the opposing party or opposing party's attorney within the time set forth in the summons. 

You don't need to explain anything in the answer about payment arrangements or waiting for unemployment compensation, etc.  The answer to the complaint denies the allegations in the complaint.  At the law library, look for answer to complaint in the index of Pleading and Practice.  This will give you the general format for an answer to a complaint.  At the end of the answer is the verification which you sign and date under penalty of perjury.  The verification attests to the veracity of your statements in the answer.  File the answer with verification and an attached proof of service with the court and mail a copy to the opposing party or opposing attorney.  The proof of service verifies the date of mailing.  You can either use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own proof of service, it just says that you are over eighteen and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless stated otherwise to __________ (name and address of opposing attorney or opposing party) on _______ (date).  You sign and date at the bottom.  The date you sign should be the same as the date of mailing and the same date you file your documents with the court.

If you don't timely file your answer to the complaint with the court and serve it by mail on the opposing party, the opposing party will get a default judgment against you.  This means you will have lost the case.  If that happens, you can still file with the court a motion to set aside the default and serve a copy by mail on the opposing party or opposing attorney.  If the court grants your motion, the case will then be back on track and litigation will continue.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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