New, with urgent situation - HELP!
Hi, I'm new to the forum and I've got a TIME-SENSITIVE situation for which any help would be MUCH appreciated!
Briefly, I was served a summons last Friday evening by a Chicago police officer (I do live in Chicago) stating that I'm being sued for an old debt originally with PROVIDIAN BANK. The court date is THIS THURSDAY, July 12. The debt was obtained for collection by CACH, LLC and the law firm handling it is ARTHUR B ADLER & ASSOCIATES.
I have no experience in handling anything like this. My wife wisely researched the process and some of the legal aspects; I, however, had called the law firm earlier in the day (yesterday) and made monthly payment arrangements to avoid court and pay off the debt.
I thought it was taken care of and that I would not be responsible for showing up in court or paying further legal fees (except for the $194 in fees the law firm had already tacked on - the debt itself is $1696.21). I was relieved since the summons stated I would be responsible for a $143 court-appearance fee and $350 in court costs incurred by Adler & Associates. But my wife is convinced that I still need to go to court because the law firm knows that if I don't show that I would be in default, even though the person I spoke with told me I didn't need to be there and that they (Adler) would show up for the purpose of dropping the case against me. Now I'm kicking myself for calling them and making payment arrangements, thus admitting to the debt verbally, though I haven't signed anything.
What should I do?
Should I still go to court? If so, what do I say?
Do I necessarily need an attorney, especially since I can't afford one?
Is the law firm deliberately trying to steer me in the wrong direction by saying I don't need to be there?
Is my wife right? (Just kidding, I know the answer to that ;) )