A creditor is suing me. What should I do?

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Written by Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad.  
Updated July 22, 2020

Summary

When you file your bankruptcy paperwork, you will need to mention this lawsuit. Don't worry - our system will ask you all of the relevant questions, so as long as you have your case information available when you get to that section, you should be good to go.

When you file your bankruptcy paperwork, you will need to mention this lawsuit. Don't worry - our system will ask you all of the relevant questions, so as long as you have your case information available when you get to that section, you should be good to go.

Once you have filed your bankruptcy paperwork, the court will notify the credit card company (as long as you listed them as a creditor, and they are required by law to stop calling you. If they reach out to you after you have filed, you can give them your bankruptcy case number and politely ask them to stop calling you.

What happens next will depend on how the dates of the credit card's lawsuit against you (Case 1) line up with your bankruptcy hearing dates (Case 2). If you have court dates for Case 1 that are before your Bankruptcy 341 Trustee meeting, you will need to attend those court dates and tell the judge about the bankruptcy that you filed. She will then either dismiss the credit card company's lawsuit against you or hold off on delivering a judgment until after your bankruptcy case has concluded.

The point of the 341 Meeting is to allow creditors to challenge your bankruptcy, so the credit card company who is suing you may attend the meeting to ask you questions about your filing. If they choose to attend the meeting, they are not there to prevent you from getting a fresh start - just to find out if you have any property they might be able to take to repay your debt. Rest assured - they are not allowed to take anything that is protected by state or federal bankruptcy exemptions.

After your 341 Meeting, the bankruptcy judge will issue a final ruling either approving or rejecting your petition. If approved, you will need to notify the judge in Case 1 and she will most likely dismiss the credit card company's lawsuit. If rejected, you must comply with whatever ruling that the judge in Case 1 issues regardless of whether or not your bankruptcy is approved.

About the author

Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad
Recipient of Harvard Law School’s Public Welfare Foundation A2J Tech Fellowship.

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