June 03, 2020
Summary: Facing a debt collection lawsuit in Kentucky? In this guide, you'll learn how to respond to the Summons and Complaint in just a few minutes. You can use SoloSuit to respond now.
Receiving a Kentucky Civil Summons for a debt is a bummer, but you're absolutely not alone. According to the Urban Institute, 37 percent of Kentuckians have debt in collections, which is well above the national average of 31 percent.
If you feel like chucking your Kentucky summons in the trash, hold up a minute. The best way to give yourself a fighting chance in court isn't to ignore your summons, but to take action and respond. Even though you have debt, you still have rights under Kentucky debt collection laws, and you could see many positive outcomes in court, including not having to pay your debt at all.
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Want to make the response process a little easier? Try SoloSuit: we can help you create an Answer to your Summons and Complaint, have it reviewed by an attorney, and file it.
The best part? It takes just 15 minutes.
For starters, if you aren't sure whether you've received a Kentucky summons, here's what it could look like.
In the state of Kentucky, you have 20 days after receiving a Summons and Complaint to file an Answer under Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure 12.01.
We can't stress enough how important it is to meet this deadline. If you miss it, you will automatically lose your case. This is because, after 20 days, the plaintiff (the person suing you) can file for a default judgment against you, and the judgment will automatically be in favor of the plaintiff.
Even if there is an error in your debt collection Summons and Complaint, don't ignore it: regardless of why you failed to meet the deadline, you'll have to pay the debt stated in the Complaint if you don't file an Answer.
If you respond within the 20-day deadline, you could win your case.
The fastest way to create an Answer to a Summons and Complaint is to use SoloSuit. You follow a few simple steps and have a completed Answer in under 15 minutes.
If you'd rather create an Answer on your own, here is a general Kentucky Answer form you can use to respond.
Woo-hoo! In the state of Kentucky, there is no fee for filing your Answer.
When a creditor files a debt collection lawsuit against you in Kentucky, you will be served with a Summons and Complaint. It may arrive in person or by mail. In terms of who can serve a civil summons in Kentucky, if it arrives in person it is typically delivered by a sheriff, constable, or court-appointed special bailiff.
Take a good look at the Summons and Complaint, as you'll need some of the information, including the plaintiff's name and address, before you can file your Answer.
We hate to be redundant, but make sure to file your Answer within 20 days of being served. Otherwise, you may have to pay any debt the plaintiff says you owe.
Once you've reviewed your Summons and Complaint, there are five steps you'll need to follow to complete and submit your Answer:
We know there's a lot of legal jargon in here. Don't worry: we'll explain it below.
If you're concerned about completing the process correctly, that's totally normal. SoloSuit is here to make responding to a debt a lot easier and to help you get it right. We can assist you in creating a strong Answer, have it thoroughly reviewed by an experienced attorney, and get it to the court and to the plaintiff by the deadline.
If you'd rather submit your Answer on your own, you can follow the steps below.
Before you Answer your Summons and Complaint, you'll want to set up a properly-formatted Answer document. Since this document will be seen by a judge, take the time to type, spellcheck, and proofread everything so it looks professional.
Before you get started, grab your Summons and Complaint so you have the information you'll need.
At the top of your document, include all of the following information:
Make sure ALL of this information appears at the top. This is known as “styling,” and it is standard legal practice for this type of document. Double-check that you accurately included all of the information. Then you can get started on your Answer.
In case you're feeling overwhelmed by legal terms, as a reminder, your Answer is simply a response to the allegations presented in the Summons and Complaint. When you look at the Summons and Complaint, you can identify the allegations because they appear as a list of numbered paragraphs.
Generally, for each allegation, you need to enter a response. You can answer in one of three ways:
There are several different ways to do this. One option is to enter a General Denial, where you deny all of the allegations against you. (Sometimes lawyers actually recommend responding with a General Denial because it puts additional pressure on the plaintiff to prove that each accusation against you is true.)
A second way to respond to allegations is to respond to each one individually. If you decide to do this, you'll just enter one of the responses above: admit, deny, or state that you lack sufficient knowledge or information to know.
The most important thing you can do when answering allegations in a Complaint is to tell the truth. For many of the allegations, you will know the answer right away. But for some, you may be unsure. In fact, it's actually pretty normal to be unsure about whether some allegations are true or false. If you're really not sure, that's okay: just state that you don't have enough knowledge or information to say for sure. It's also acceptable to deny the allegation when you are unsure. In both cases, the plaintiff will be required to prove the allegation when you go to court.
As you're responding to allegations, keep in mind that in the state of Kentucky, you can amend your Answer if you'd like, but it must be in good faith (aka for an honest and legitimate reason). In Kentucky, you can amend your Answer within the first 20 days after receiving the Summons and Complaint. If 20 days have already passed, you can request 1) written permission from the plaintiff OR 2) permission from the court (also known as “leave of court”) to amend. (Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure 15.01)
Because amending a response means more work (and stress) for you, it's best to read through the allegations slowly and provide answers you feel are truthful and accurate the first time.
Affirmative Defenses are an essential part of your Answer, as they provide reasons the collector should lose the case. There is a wide range of Affirmative Defenses, but only some of them will apply.
Here is a list of Affirmative Defenses with explanations:
Expired statute of limitations. The Kentucky statute of limitations on debt collection extends until five years after the date of your last payment. If your debt is older than this, it cannot be legally collected. However, collectors will still try. If this affirmative defense applies to your debt, make sure to use it!
Incorrect debt amount listed. If the amount of debt in the Summons and Complaint is incorrect, whether due to a creditor's error or because you already paid some of the debt, use this affirmative defense.
Canceled contract. If you had a contract with the creditor but canceled it and they are still charging you for a debt you don't owe, use this affirmative defense.
Stolen or mistaken identity. If a creditor is suing you for a debt that isn't yours (for example, you share a name with someone and it is actually their debt), you should use the mistaken identity affirmative defense. If, on the other hand, the debt is in your name but you did not apply for, receive, or use the credit card, or if your card was stolen and used by someone unauthorized, you can use identity theft as an affirmative defense.
No relationship to the debtor or creditor. If the original creditor sold your debt to a collection agency, use this affirmative defense. The collection agency will then have to supply proof that they purchased your debt from the initial creditor in order to continue with the lawsuit.
As you complete your Answer, expand on your Affirmative Defenses as much as you need to to create a solid answer.
Now that your Answer is complete, all that's left to do is file it with the court and with the plaintiff's lawyer. But: this is an incredibly important step. If your Answer isn't received by both parties by the deadline, a default judgment could be entered and you will have to pay the debt in full.
One reliable way to make sure your Answer is in order and arrives on time is to have SoloSuit file it for you. It takes just a few minutes and will give you peace of mind during a stressful time.
To file your answer on your own, follow these three steps:
Be especially careful about getting the mailing address of the court right: sometimes the address isn't clear on your Summons. In fact, the mailing address of your court may even be different from the physical address of the courthouse.
It's a good idea to spend the extra few bucks and send your Answer via USPS Certified Mail. Make sure to request a confirmation receipt and to make copies of everything so you have proof that your Answer arrived.
SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.
How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
The Kentucky statute of limitations on debt collections is in many cases five years. After five years, the creditor no longer has a legal right to sue you. Once the statute of limitations expires, your debt should also be removed from your credit report. If on the other hand, you have medical debt, under Kentucky medical debt collection laws there is usually a written contract, which means you could be looking at a 15-year statute of limitations.
Unfortunately, even though there is a statute of limitations in place, creditors will absolutely continue to try to sue you even after it expires. Always use the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense if it applies to your case, as you must do this to win your case, get out of your lawsuit, and eliminate your debt.
Arizona Statute of Limitations
Deadline in Years
Like all U.S. states, the state of Kentucky has several government-funded organizations that offer free legal services to state residents.
Here are the existing organizations in Kentucky and their contact information:
Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky
120 N. Front Ave.
Prestonsburg, KY 41653
Local: (606) 886-9876
Kentucky Legal Aid (Multiple Branches)
1700 Destiny Lane
Bowling Green, KY 42104
Local: (270) 782-1924
Toll-Free: (800) 782-1924
100 South Railroad Street
Madisonville, KY 42431
Local: (270) 825-3801
Toll-Free: (800) 467-2193
100 Fountain Avenue
Paducah, KY 42001
Local: (270) 442-5518
Toll-Free: (800) 467-2218
117 West Second Street
Owensboro, KY 42303
Local: (270) 683-4585
Toll-Free: (800) 467-2260
Legal Aid of the Bluegrass (Multiple Branches)
104 East 7th St.
Covington, KY 41011
300 E. Main St. Suite 110
Lexington, KY 40507
546 E. Main St. Suite 1
Morehead, KY 40351
1616 Greenup Ave.
Ashland, KY 41101
Legal Aid Society (Louisville area)
Legal Aid Society
416 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40202
Local: (502) 584-1254
Toll-Free: (800) 292-1862
In some cases, the court address may not be clear on your Summons. In that case, you can use the dropdown menu here to find the address of the court you are looking for. Keep in mind that the mailing address and the physical address are sometimes different. To make things easy, you can have SoloSuit file for you.
If you are completing this process on your own and need help, you can contact the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts (Kentucky AOC) here.
We hope this document will help you complete a stress-free Answer to your Summons and Complaint.
Here are the key takeaways we hope you have:
You have 20 days to file your Answer
Before you submit your Answer, you'll need to:
Still feeling overwhelmed? SoloSuit can handle your Answer for you and submit it in just a few minutes.
Here's a list to guides for other states.