What Can I Do If I am Being Sued By a Debt Collector?

Posted on Aug 05, 2013 By Ronald C. Sykstus

Ronald SykstusIf you receive a summons stating that you have been sued by a debt collector or creditor, do not ignore it!  You have a right to request a trial and to demand that the Plaintiff (the entity bringing the lawsuit) prove its case in court. If you do not timely file an answer to a lawsuit, then you will automatically lose under what is called a default judgment. The Plaintiff will then be able to proceed with collections against you on the judgment that it received.  See our previous blog post on Judgments and Judicial Liens.

You must file an answer on time with the court where the lawsuit is pending and also mail a copy of your answer to the Plaintiff. Failure to timely file an answer with the court will result in a default judgment against you!

Below is a sample of what an answer should look like. If your answer is anything other than a denial of the complaint, you will lose automatically.  It is our advice to deny the allegations in order to force the Plaintiff to rightfully prove its case.  You also have the right to assert affirmative defenses such as statute of limitations, etc.  Additionally, many times a debt collector has somehow obtained the ability to think it can pursue you on an old debt but will be unable to prove it in court by its inability to comply with the rules of evidence.

The sample answer below is only a sample and every individual case is different based upon its unique facts.  If you have other debts that you are behind on, it may make sense to at least explore how a bankruptcy option may help you.  If you have no other debts, or if all of your debts are current and this pending lawsuit is the only issue you face, it may make sense just to defend on the lawsuit itself.   Our attorneys can assist with either a bankruptcy option or just a defense to the lawsuit.   Please see our Lawsuit Defense practice area tab at our web site.  Either way, please pay immediate attention to the lawsuit and do not miss the time to answer it.  Our licensed attorneys are here to assist you in a private and confidential setting.  Please call the office nearest to you to set up a free consultation at your convenience.

***Below is a sample answer only and is not meant to be construed as legal advice to you but is only to be used for general information.  Each case should be discussed with an attorney first since every case and fact situation is different.**

IN THE (Type in name of court) COURT OF (Type in name of county) COUNTY, (Type in name of state) STATE                                   

x (Type in the Plaintiff’s Name),                               *

            Plaintiff(s),                                          *

vs.        

CIVIL ACTION  NO.:                                  (Put the exact

*case number that is on the lawsuit here)

x (Type in Defendant’s name),                                  *

x (Type in additional Defendant’s names),           *

 

(List the name of each and every Defendant)     *

Defendant(s).                                                  *

ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

            NOW COMES the Defendant(s), and hereby denies all of the allegations contained in the Complaint.

The Defendant(s) respectfully requests a trial in this case.

Respectfully Submitted,

(Print your full name and mailing address and sign)

Defendant 1

                                                                  (Print your full name and mailing address and sign)      

Defendant 2

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

            I have filed a copy of this Answer with the                 county court on the            day of                       , (year) and I have also mailed a copy to the Plaintiff on the              day of                              , (year).

(Defendant’s signature)                                              

                                                                          Defendant 1

(Defendant’s signature)                                              

Defendant 2