The truth of the matter is that your creditors are under no obligation to deal with any debt settlement companies and can just file suit against you for the full amount of the debt plus any legal and collection costs if they choose to.
Under CA Rules of Civil Procedure, the plaintiff can get proper service on a defendant through "nail and mail" whicy means that someone-not the plaintiff-must personally affix the documents to the front door and also mail the documents to the other party. The server must then sign a "proof of service" stating they have done so.
So you would need to contact the court to see when the "proof of service" was filed to see when your 30 days were up to file an Answer.
But the reality of this is that even if you file an Answer, if the debt is yours and valid, then they will eventually get a judgment against you. I don't mean to be harsh, but it doesn't matter that you tried to get a debt consolidation company to try and settle it or that you are having financial problems and can't pay it off. If you are delinquent and the debt is yours, then they can sue you and get a judgment.
So in this situation, if you were to file bankruptcy, it would extinguish this debt along with most others. Depending on your ages, there is an exemption for a person's home in CA from $75-$125K for equity. So if you have under the applicable amount of equity, then your home would be safe. There are various other exemptions available to you under CA law which you can look at here:
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