Stop a Summons Before it Starts!

I get calls every month from people who say they are surprised that they have received a summons!

Let’s see….

  • You took our loans or charged up credit cards.
  • Due to circumstances beyond your control, you have not been able to make the minimum required payments due each month.
  • You received several calls, letters or emails from the creditors, but ignored them.
  • Someone knocks on your door and hands you a SUMMONS!



SURPRISED?   Now what?


  • You are not going to jail!
  • You will not have to go to court!
  • They are not going to garnish your next paycheck (UNLESS YOU IGNORE THE SUMMONS)
  • They are not going to garnish your bank account. (UNLESS YOU IGNORE THE SUMMONS)
  • They are not going to come take all of your belongings!
  • At least….NOT YET!

If you have secured loans…where there is collateral (home, car, boat, RV, motorcycle, etc.), the situation is different!

If you default on a loan where there is collateral, the creditor or collector may decide to repossess the item! Be AWARE!

OK, but in this article, I’m taking about UNSECURED DEBT:

  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans
  • Medical bills
  • Personal line of credit
  • Store cards, etc.
  • Auto Repo

To prevent a summons and the start of the “legal” process, you need to understand the basic process and/or option a creditor or collector has.


The Summons Process


  • After attempting to contact you (remember all those calls, letters and emails?)
  • The creditor or collector may retain an attorney to
  • You will receive a SUMMONS. This is usually hand delivered, but can be left with someone at your residence. Sometimes the server will deliver to your place of employment.
  • The summons will state something to the effect that you have 20 or 30 days after receipt of the summons to ” ANSWER THE CLAIM.”
  • An answer is your side of the story that you would file ONLY if you can PROVE WITH DOCUMENTATION, that you do not owe the amount of the claim
  • If you owe the debt, there is no reason to spend the time or money for an answer. YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO TO COURT.
  • Contact the attorney for the plaintiff (the creditor). If you are employed and receive normal W-2 wages, you need to try and work out a repayment plan so they do not proceed with the legal action.


So, what can you do or could you have done to




Contact the creditor/collector and try to work our a “catch up” plan to start repaying the debt you owe.

The problem with this option is that you most likely cannot afford the payments.

The same is true with a Debt Management or Credit Counseling Program.



Once your account has been charged off (the creditor has kind of “given up” on collecting the debt on their own), the account is usually placed with a DEBT COLLECTOR.

Now you can try to SETTLE the account for LESS THAN THE FULL BALANCE.

The process is time consuming and stressful, but usually (not all the time), the collector will agree to a SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT.

This agreement is usually for 40%-70% (in some cases even lower) of the balance due.

Of course, the collector wants the amount of the settlement in a LUMP SUM, but I doubt you have that kind of money. If you did, you probably would not have gotten behind in the first place! RIGHT!

Yes, you can also negotiate TERMS/MONTHLY PAYMENT PLAN on the settlement.

Again, they want the monthly amount as large as possible and the length of the plan to be as little as possible. You have to negotiate strongly to get a plan that fits your budget. Not easy!

Actual Settlements See what we have  done for our clients! Click here!



If you failed in trying to work out a reasonable repayment plan.

If you failed in trying to negotiate a reasonable settlement.

Then you may the assistance of a Bankruptcy Attorney to protect you from:

  • Bank Levies
  • Wage Garnishment

Bankruptcy is a “scarry” word to most people, but bankruptcy laws are to help us protect ourselves from creditors and/or collectors devastating our lives.

Contact several attorneys in the area where you live.

The initial appointment (may be by telephone only) should be FREE. If not, keep looking!


To wrap up…

When you find yourself in a financially stressful situation whereby you are falling behind or simply cannot make the required monthly payments due, DO NOT IGNORE THE OPTIONS YOU HAVE FOR REPAYMENT OR SETTLEMENT!

Be pro-active…don’t “hide you head in the sand” so to speak.

For more information…click below:

 Personalized  Program Comparison Click here!


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Tags: credit card debt, Bankruptcy, credit counseling, bank levy, debt settlement in oregon, Debt Settlement Services, bankruptcy attorney, Credit Card Debt Negotiation, garnishment

Why Did I Get a Summons?

Being unable to keep up with your debt payments is very stressful. 

Now you get served with a SUMMONS and you are really stressed out!


 For the sake of this article, I'm talking about credit accounts that are     UNSECURED:

   Credit Cards

   Store Cards

   Medical Bills

   Personal Loans

   Pay Day Loans

When you apply for a credit card, store card or any other unsecured account, you are agreeing to the terms to repay this debt.

If you fail to make at least your minimum payments when due, your account will become subject to all collection efforts by the creditor.

These include:

  • Phone calls (lots of phone calls)
  • Emails
  • Mail

If these methods do not get you to start making payments again, then the creditor may elect to retain the services of an attorney to file a CLAIM.

Once the CLAIM is filed with your county's courthouse, a SUMMONS is prepared and sent out.

The SUMMONS is usually hand delivered by a courier who is paid to delivery it.   

The idea of the claim/summons is to get your attention...and it works!

Over the years, most of our clients who received a summons call us almost in a panic!

It is because they do not really understand the language of the summons and think all kinds of incorrect thoughts.  

For example...

The summons will state something like:

"You have 30 days to APPEAR and give an ANSWER".

Sounds like you have 30 days to show up in court, but it doesn't.

This language means that if you have undeniable proof that you do not owe what the Plaintiff (creditor) is CLAIMING, you have 30 days to submit to the court your legal ANSWER.

Most of the time you (the defendant) in the claim owes the amount claimed and so giving an ANSWER would be useless.


If you continue to read the summons, it says something to the effect that if you do not give an ANSWER, then the Plaintiff may petition the court for a DEFAULT JUDGMENT.

Once a judgment has been awarded to the PLAINTIFF/CREDITOR then they have the legal right to pursue all legal methods to collect on the debt, such as:

               Wage Garnishment

               Bank Levy

               Lien on your home 

Before I continue, let's address those basic 3 options above.

If you are employed and receive W-2 income (income reported by law to the IRS), then a wage garnishment could be sent to your employer.

Your employer has not choice but to comply with the garnishment order or face severe fines!

The employer must send 25% of your NET, AFTER TAX paycheck to the Plaintiff/Creditor until the debt is 100% repaid.

This can be devastating  to someone already have a tough time making ends meet!

Let's say you earn a gross monthly income of $5,000 and after tax, you are bringing home $3,500.

25% of the $3,500 would be $875, leaving you with only $2,625 to pay bills!

That's almost 50% of you gross income!

I'm going to tell you how to prevent that in a minute..

But what about a BANK LEVY?

Sometimes the Plaintiff's Attorney/Debt Collector with send out several bank levy notices to banks in your area.  They use your Social Security number and in most case, will locate your bank.

Now, you go to the store and pull out you debit card to pay, but it is declined.

Calling the bank, you learn that your account has been frozen by the Levy!

Again, devastating!

Yes, the attorney for the Plaintiff/Creditor may choose to file for a lien on your home.

However, this is not used as much as options 1 and 2.

Even if there is a lien placed on your home, it DOES NOT mean that you have to sell your home right now to pay the debt!

It means that if you do not take care of this judgment debt before you sell your home in the future, the title company is forced to repay the lien in order to release the title.

So here is the big question...



The creditor wants some kind of repayment plan rather than have to deal with the expense of paying the attorney for the other options.

You should be able to negotiate either a SETTLEMENT, REPAYMENT PLAN, or a STIPULATED AGREEMENT.

Actual Settlements See what we have  done for our clients! Click here!

While negotiating with debt collectors or attorneys for the creditor can be intimidating, it can be done.


Personalized  Program Comparison Click here!


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Tags: bank levy, Debt Settlement Services, credit card, collector

"Pay-to Delete", Is This Ethical or Even Legal?

Over the last 15 years, I have come across all kinds of so-called "credit repair" suggestions and/or scams.

One of these is called "Pay-to-Delete".  The basic idea is that if you have an account that is past due, charged off, or in collections, you can offer to pay 100% of the balance in exchange for the creditor or debt collector promising to delete that account from your credit report.

Sounds OK, but also sounds "a little to good to be true". 



The major crediot reporting bureaes are "for profit" businesses that collect data on all of us about how we use credit.  This includes:

How many accounts/credit cards you have

What type of credit accounts you use

How much debt you have

How you pay...on time, late, etc.



The credi bureaus, mainly the big three:










Tags: how to stop a wage garnishment, Debt Settlement Services, Oregon debt collection

Five Credit Score Myths

five credit score mythsThere are many false assumptions when it comes to credit scores. Here are five credit score myths that you should understand:

Myth #1: A low credit score means I will not get credit.

This is not true in all situations.  Whether or not a lender will extend credit to you depends on a number of factors:

Your score is important, but they also look at:

  • Income
  • Total Amount of Debt
  • Type of Debts
  • Payment history

Based on the lenders underwriting policy, they may or may not extend credit or they may offer you credit at an extremely high interest rate (Pay Day Loans, Finance Companies, etc.)

Many times, a person has a reasonably high credit score, but may not be extended credit because of the factors above.

Myth #2: A poor score will stay with me for a long time.

Not if your take the proper steps to improve your credit score.

A credit score is really just a picture of your risk at a point in time.  If you have had a financial problem in the past, had late or missed payments, then you score will have declined.

However, as you "get back on track" and or pay off or settle debt, your credit score will improve.

Myth #3: Credit Bureaus are unfair to minorities.

This myth is not true at all! Your race, religion, sex and many other things are not part of the credit score process.

Myth #4: My credit score will go down if I apply for new credit.

This has always been a myth about credit scores to most people.

Don't apply for several credit cards in a short time frame.  Making many requests for new credit will show as "inquiries" on your report.

So the next time your checking out and the clerk asks if you'd like to save an extra 15% today by applying for their store card...think again.

However, if you are shopping for a new car and visit several dealerships, they each may request a credit report on you but this is interpreted by the bureaus as basically a single inquiry and will not hurt your score.

Myth #5: Closing or canceling a credit card or account will improve your credit score.

Although not having access to "easy credit" may help you not abuse your available credit, as far as the credit reporting agencies are concerned, you may hurt your credit score by closing accounts.


The credit bureau has a term called "credit utilization ratio".  Basically, this is the amount of debt you have in relation to the amount of credit you could have.

For Example:

Let's say you have 5 credit cards.

  • One has a balance of $1,000 on a $2,500 limit.
  • The second has a balance of $1,500 with a limit of $1,500 (maxed out).
  • You have $0 balances on cards 3,4 and 5, but the total available credit limit on those is $7,500 ($2,500 each).

To the credit bureaus, you have:

  • Total outstanding balances = $2,500
  • Total available credit limit   = $11,500
  • Your credit utilization ratio is $2,500/$11,500 or 22% (not bad!)

If you decide to cancel the 3 cards that have $0 balances, your credit utilization ratio will look like this:

  • Total outstanding balances   = $2,500
  • Total available credit limit     = $4,000
  • Your credit utilization ratio is not $2,500/$4,000 or 62.5%

Your credit utilization ration went from 22% to 62.5% and this will probably lower your credit score!

As you can see, there are a lot of things that are used to determine your credit score.  Some thing you have control over and some you will have to work on over time.  If you would like to know how you can elimnated your debt for abut HALF of what you owe with reduced monthly payments, click on the link below or give us a call at 1-877-492-4109.

photo by: rosmary


Tags: credit card debt repair, Debt Settlement Services, five credit score myths

Why Can't You Include Student Loans in Bankruptcy?

why can't you inlcude student loans in bankruptcyIf you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you may be wondering: Does filing for bankruptcy get rid of my student loans?

Unfortunately, student loans are usually not discharged in the case of bankruptcy.  According to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy law the only time a student loan might be discharged is if it would cause the debtor “undue hardships”.  The same basic rule also applies to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy cases.  

Discharging student loans became popular during the 1970s, when students would file for bankruptcy soon after they finished their pricey education.  They would do so before they started earning so that they could get the loan out of the way.  However, the requirements for discharging student loans were changed in 1998.

According to these new changes, your student loan will only be discharged if the bankruptcy court is convinced that paying back the loan would bring about undue hardships for you or the people who are dependent on you. 

There are three things that would are used to determine whether a person is eligible to have their student loan discharged or not:

  1. Will repaying your student loans prevent you from maintaining a minimal standard of living?
  2. Will it be difficult for you to maintain your minimal standard of living over the repayment period?
  3. Did you make an effort to repay the loan before filing bankruptcy? Have you been repaying your loan for at least 5 years?

Even if you are unable to fully discharge your student loan debt by filing bankruptcy, there are many other options for dealing with student loans including deferments and forebearance.

Even though it is difficult, you should still discuss your student loans with your Bankruptcy attorney.  They know the law and can help you get the most benefit out of filing for bankruptcy.

If you are considering Bankruptcy, there are alternatives you should consider.  Our Debt Solutions Specialist can discuss your financial situation with you, and help you determine if Debt Settlement or Debt Consolidation would be a good solution for you! Give us a call at 1-877-492-4109 or click the link below.

include student loan in bankruptcy


Tags: alternatives to bankruptcy, Debt Settlement Services, debt consolidation program, include student loans in bankruptcy

Characteristics of the Best Debt Settlement Companies

 best debt settlement companyWhen you are searching the BEST DEBT SETTLEMENT COMPANIES, here are 3 questions to keep in mind -->

#1 Do they have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau?

  • Look for companies that have a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of B+ or higher.  It takes a lot of work for a company to receive and maintain a high rating with the BBB.
  • Watch out for complaints and DO NOT DEAL with a Debt Settlement company that has a long list of complaints!
  • Don't worry about accreditation. The BBB is a network of private companies that make money rating companies. They offer an "accreditation" to companies for a large annual fee in order to make more money.  whether or not a company is accredited is not the issue.

#2 Can you call the Debt Settlement company and talk to someone? 

When you call in to a good Debt Settlement Company, you should be able to talk to a live person that will listen to you and work with you to find the best solution possible. 

  • Can you understand them?
  • Do they make you feel comfortable
  • Are they listening to you or are they just trying to talk you into what they are offering?

A quality company seeks to find the right solution for your specific needs and debt settlement is not always the best fit!

#3  Does the Debt Settlement company's website give you plenty of information that without forcing you to "complete the form"?

Quality Debt Settlement Companies will provide a lot of information...FOR FREE, without enrolling in their program. Look for a company website that is informative, educational, and easy to understand.  You should be able to know what the company is about and what they have to offer before you give out your contact information.

Want to know if Debt Settlement is the best option for you?  Click on the link below or call


to talk to one of our Debt Solutions Specialists.



Tags: Debt Settlement Services, Best Debt Settlement Companies, BBB