What happens if you fail to answer a summons to appear in court for debt collection?

Question Details:

I just received a summons to appear in civil court in NY for past due student loan debt. The summons is dated 4 months ago but I just received it because I currently live in Sweden and my mail is forwarded to me every several months. I am going to NY next week to hopefully clear this up if possible but I was wondering if you could please give me any tips as to what actions I need to take now.

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