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Respond to a Civil Summons & Complaint
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Five Things You Must Know If You Have Been Served With a Texas Credit Card Summons
Served With A Debt Collection Lawsuit or Credit Card Summons in Texas? Know Your Rights:/Forms
Your Wages Cannot Be Taken: Even if you owe the debt, your wages or income cannot be taken. Under Texas law, wages cannot be taken to pay a judgment in Texas except to pay court-ordered child support, spousal maintenance, federally guaranteed student loans, or federal income taxes.
Your Social Security and VA Retirement Benefits Are Also Secure. Federal law exempts most federally funded retirement or disability benefits, such as SSI, social security, civil service retirement, and similar federally funded retirement benefits from debt collectors.
Your House is also Exempt from Most Debt Collectors. Texas law recognizes a concept known as the "homestead exemption". If you own that house where you live, your house is called a "homestead". Your homestead cannot be taken to pay your debts except for payments on a mortgage and/or home equity loan, property taxes, or for debts relating to work done on the homestead by a repair person pursuant to a written contract.
Responding to a Texas Credit Card Summons is Essential to Protect Your Rights. In many instances, individuals are served with a credit card summons even though they are not legally responsible for the alleged debt. For example, if you are merely an authorized user of the credit card account, you cannot be held legally responsible, and a Texas court will typically dismiss the lawsuit. For example, in the case Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., v. Blackburn, 2011 Tex. App. LEXIS 851, the Texas Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's decision dismissing Wells Fargo's complaint, finding that defendant Peggy Blackburn was not personally responsible for any charges on the account because "her use of the account was as an authorized user who was not liable." Ms. Blackburn's successful defense against Wells Fargo's credit card complaint is just one of many instances in which defendants in credit card lawsuits have been successful.
How to File an Answer. The first step to filing an answer to a Texas credit card summons is drafting the "case caption". The case caption includes necessary information such as the name of the Texas court where the lawsuit was filed and the name of the lawsuit, i.e., Credit Card Company v. Your Name.
Your answer to the credit card company's complaint must respond to each and every allegation made in the complaint. You may admit, deny, or state that you lack the information necessary to form a belief as to the truth of each allegation. Once completed, print, sign and date your answer form, and make at least three copies.
Next, travel to the court where the complaint was filed and submit your answer to the clerk of the court. Once filed, you must "serve" your answer on the party who sued you. In Texas, personal service by a nonparty is generally sufficient. In other words, if you are the person being sued, you cannot serve the answer yourself - someone else must serve the answer for you.
Finally, the person who served your answer must complete an "Affidavit of Service." This document includes basic information such as the date, manner and method of service. The Affidavit of Service must be notarized before being filed with the court.