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Urgent help - being sued!

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Joined: 12/July/2014
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    Posted: 12/July/2014 at 9:44am
Hi there - any advice would be extremely appreciated!
 
Just got served from CRA Legal Services for my Canada student loan.  For reasons I won't get into, I've made not-always-regular payments over the past few years and no payment since Christmas.  I have 20 days to send in a defence.
 
I definitely can't pay the full amount they want and am currently unemployed (though I do have savings that I can't afford to just give them).
 
Questions:-
- can I just contact the CRA legal representative and offer to pay a small chunk right now and offer an immediate repayment plan for them to drop the case? Or, no matter what am I going to court (or at least a pre-trial conference)?
- would it help my case to make a payment right now even before I call them?
- after I send in my defence how long does it take to get a pre-trial conference date?  What happens if I can't attend?
 
 
Thanks!!! Am freaking out!Cry
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