Following Up With Ask Dr. Debt

On Friday, Rozanne Andersen from the soon-to-be gave us some advicefor personal finance problems. Now she's offered up some more advicefor you, our valued viewers.

Your Question: A credit card company is suing me for my past due debt. What do I do next?

Ask Doctor Debt Says: The first step is to file an answer to the complaint. Your next steps will depend on whether the suit was filed in small claims court or another court. You need to make sure you respond to any documentation received from the creditor or from the court in a timely manner. If given a court date, you need to appear in court on that date. You may want to call the court to find out the status of the case and ensure you don't miss any filing deadlines. When you appear in court, bring any documentation you have as evidence that you are not the obligated consumer or that you have already paid the debt.

Your Question: Health problems have caused me to lose most of my income. I really need help in paying off credit card debt. Where can I go for help?

Ask Doctor Debt Says: Whatever the reason for losing income, whether it's health problems or just the economy, this can happen to people of all income levels. To deal with debt, contact your creditors and explain your situation to them. Ask if they can reduce the interest rate on your credit cards and your loans. If you have a history of paying on time, they may be willing to work with you to make the monthly payments more manageable and reduce interest. If that doesn't help, you can contact your financial institution or bank about programs that are available to consolidate your credit card debt and other loans and reduce the interest and monthly payments.