Denying debt won't make it disappear

I strongly suggest that you bring a lawyer with you to the hearing. Although it is an added expense, when dealing with the courts and collectors, it helps tremendously to have someone who speaks the language and who knows the drill on your side.

Try to find an attorney who does a lot of this sort of thing. In my experience, showing up with the second best lawyer is about as effective as showing up for a gunfight with the second fastest gunfighter!

At the very least, bring a budget (the credit counseling agency will supply you with one for free) to show the court what you can actually afford and why. If you don't show up, the agency will get a judgment followed by a garnishment at the maximum rate allowed.

Finally, if you end up with a garnishment that you can't afford, I suggest that you and your attorney explore your legal options. A bankruptcy liquidation of your debts is harder to qualify for than it used to be, but a Chapter 13 allows you to pay what you can afford and sleep at night without harassment.


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