Let’s face it. Most people who are being sued by a debt collector don’t have the money to pay the court costs associated with defending a case. That is a difficult spot to be in. You are being sued, you may have a defense, you don’t want to call an attorney, and you don’t know what to do.
Okay, start by going back and calling an attorney. You should at least get a consultation and I give free consultations. I know many other consumer attorneys do this as well. After that, you may still decide to represent yourself.
Now, what do you do if you cannot afford the filing fee? You may qualify for a fee wavier. How do you know? Read this Download fee_waiver_info_sheet.pdf from the Judicial Council of California. If you qualify, the court will waive the filing fee and you can defend yourself.