Money and Debt

Going to a hearing against a creditor

If a creditor takes you to court because they think you owe them money, there are some straightforward ways to speak up for yourself.

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You have been sued by someone who says you owe them money. You have filed an “answer.” The court has given you a date for a hearing. What now?

It is important to attend the hearing, and to know what to expect. Learn more about how to get ready for a hearing.

Be prepared in case the creditor doesn’t show up

It’s possible that the creditor will not show up to the hearing at all. In this case, you can ask the judge to “dismiss” the case, and you might automatically win.

If this happens, you could say:

"Your Honor, since the plaintiff is not here, I would request that the case be dismissed."

The creditor has to prove that you owe the money

The creditor is required to prove that you owe the money, and then prove how much you owe.

You have the right to question the creditor and ask them how they came up with the amount they are asking for.  You can also ask the creditor to show the original agreement or contract the debt is based on.  

If the creditor wins, the court will award them a “judgment.” A judgment gives the creditor the right to collect what you owe.

There are three ways they can collect. They can take your wages, they can try to take money from your bank account, or they can place a lien on your property.

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