How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Nevada (2020 Guide)

George Simons

June 17, 2020

Summary: Live in Nevada and need help responding to a debt collection lawsuit? You can use SoloSuit to guide you through the process in Nevada.

Finding out that you're being sued for debt collection can be pretty stressful. It's likely that you're already working really hard to keep up with paying your bills and struggling to make ends meet. The idea of facing a lawsuit on your own may feel like too much to take. Ideally you'd want to get legal help, but if you have money to hire an attorney you probably wouldn't have fallen this far behind in the first place. Under these circumstances it may feel really tempting to ignore the lawsuit altogether, but as you'll learn below that's the worst thing you can do.

This article can help make the process of responding to a lawsuit on your own a little easier and less intimidating, by walking you through the process of responding to a debt collection lawsuit in Nevada. This will include information specific to filing in Nevada, including specific Nevada deadlines and forms.

Table of Contents

Nevada Deadline for Answering a Debt Collection Summons

In Nevada you have at most 20 days to respond to a lawsuit through the court. Be certain to review the instructions in the Summons carefully as it is possible that the time period could be shorter than 20 days.

If you don't respond during the allowed timeframe, then the Court can issue something called a default judgment against you. This means that because you did not respond you have been found responsible for the debt as laid out in the Complaint. The plaintiff can now get a Court Order stating this that they can use to garnish your paycheck to collect the money; garnishment removes money from your paycheck before you even see it.

Chances are, that would put you in a worse financial position than you started in, plus you will have lost the opportunity to contest anything in the Complaint, like the amount owed or even if you owe it. So, the single most important thing you can do when served with a lawsuit is to respond by filing an Answer before the deadline to avoid a default judgment.

Nevada Answer to Summons Forms

Below you will find the state's general answer form for civil lawsuits like debt collection cases. Please note that the form is slightly different depending on which court's jurisdiction you are under. In Nevada District courts have general jurisdiction over all legal disputes, however, Justice Court handles civil matters involving amounts under $10,000. The good news here is that you don't need to figure out which one to use, because the plaintiff already did. You can determine which Answer form to use by looking at which Court is written in the caption of your Summons and Complaint. Use it to respond to the Summons and Complaint.

Answer Form for District Court (nonfillable, but can print and hand-write in answers) and instructions.

Answer Form for Justice Court (can fill out directly on your computer) and instructions.

Alternatively, you can have SoloSuit take care of the work for you by creating your Answer quickly in the proper format. By answering just a few questions online we can translate your responses into the proper legalese and format to file in Nevada. Additionally, for your peace of mind, we'll have an attorney review it to make sure everything is in order and file it for you with the Court.

Answer Filing Fees for Nevada

You can find filing fee information here for Nevada courts.

Steps to Respond to a Debt Collection Case in Nevada

A lawsuit begins when one party files a Summons and Complaint against you. The filer (or “plaintiff”) files these documents with the court to seek a legal finding against you that you are responsible for the debt listed in the paperwork and obligated to pay it. The plaintiff is usually not your original creditor, rather a third party debt collection company that purchased the debt for pennies on the dollar from the original creditor.

You can respond to the lawsuit by either filing a Motion or an Answer document. Generally speaking an Answer is sufficient most of the time. Motions can get complicated and are best left to attorneys.

If you fail to respond within that 20-day (or less) period, the plaintiff will automatically win and receive a default judgment against you. Obviously we want to avoid that outcome, which you can do by completing the steps below:

  1. Create an Answer document
  2. Answer each issue of the complaint
  3. Assert affirmative defenses
  4. File one copy of the Answer document with the court and serve the plaintiff with another copy.

We will go over each step in detail below.

1. Create an Answer Document.

Your first step is to create an Answer document with the necessary information and in the proper format. You'll need to include details including your personal information, the plaintiff's information, the Courts information, and the case information. With the possible exception of your personal information you can find all of this information in the Summons and Complaint that you received. As Nevada provides forms for your use, getting the information into the proper format is relatively straightforward.

SoloSuit can help you collect the relevant information and format on your behalf.

2. Answer each issue of the Complaint.

If you use SoloSuit we'll walk you through responding properly to each and every paragraph.

If you are using the Nevada forms the format is fairly basic, and is the same on both the District Court Answer Form and Judicial Court Answer Form.

For any paragraphs that you admit, you would list those numerically under paragraph 1 on the Answer document. For any paragraphs that you deny, you would list those numerically under paragraph 2 on the Answer document.

For any paragraphs that you feel you do not have sufficient knowledge or information to determine if it is true you would list those numerically under paragraph 3 on the Answer document, which then functions as another denial. Make certain to cross-check against the Complaint to make certain that you are referring to the proper numbers for the paragraphs.

Under paragraph 4, you can take the opportunity to answer any paragraphs that don't fit neatly into the first three. For example, maybe you admit part of the allegations in a specific allegation but deny others (such as admitting you owe a debt but disputing the amount.) This also gives you the opportunity to bring in additional facts as needed.

3. Assert affirmative defenses.

The next step is for you to assert your affirmative defenses. Affirmative defenses are any arguments that you can make as to why the plaintiff doesn't have a case. If you are using the Nevada court forms you can simply check any and all affirmative defenses listed that apply.

It's likely that the affirmative defenses listed are not immediately clear, as they are using specific legal terms. You can find a summary of brief definitions for all of the possible affirmative defenses on page 5 of the instructions for either District or Justice court. Please note, however, that these definitions are not comprehensive, for more complicated scenarios it is best to seek legal advice from an attorney.

Below we will offer explanations for some of the most commonly used affirmative defenses:

Accord and satisfaction -refers to a situation where the parties already reached a new agreement about the issue. For example, perhaps you and your creditor had an agreement to pay less than the total debt owed in full satisfaction of the debt.

Discharge in bankruptcy - if you previously filed a bankruptcy case that resulted in discharge and included this debt, you are no longer legally obligated to pay it. This can come up frequently as third party collection agencies don't always check if the debt was discharged in bankruptcy.

Payment - This can be used if you have already paid the debt at issue. Here if you have documentation to support this you can attach it for the court to review.

Statute of Limitations - a statute of limitations refers to the amount of time that one party has to bring a legal action against another. We will discuss in more detail below the statute of limitations for debt collection in Nevada which can range from three to ten years, depending on the type of debt. If the lawsuit against you is outside of these limits, this defense can stop the plaintiff from getting a court order against you.

SoloSuit can show you all of the available affirmative defenses and how to determine which apply to you.

Beyond affirmative defenses, you also have the opportunity to assert additional potential defenses, sometimes referred to as counterclaims. Please keep in mind, however, that this can get much more complicated despite having a form to fill in. If you believe that you have viable counterclaims it is best to seek assistance from an attorney who practices in this area of law.

Potential defenses would be appropriate in the event that the plaintiff violated Nevada debt collection laws. The laws are very much in line with the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) which protects consumers from harassment and threats by debt collection agencies. Nevada enacted the Nevada fair debt collection practices act which incorporates the FDCPA under the Nevada Revised Statutes (N.R.S. § 649.370), such that any violation of the FDCPA is also a violation of Nevada debt collection law. Additionally, Nevada has detailed regulations regarding how a debt collector may attempt to collect pursuant to fair debt collection practices act in Nevada.

4. File the answer with the court and serve the plaintiff.

Once you've completed the paperwork for your Answer don't neglect to take the final step and file the Answer with the court. This involves a few key steps:

  • Print at least two copies of your Answer. If you can print a third one for your records that is always a good idea.
  • Mail one copy to the Court
  • Mail one copy to the plaintiff's attorney

If you are using the Nevada court forms, be certain to fill out the “Certificate of Mailing” at the end of the form. This can serve as official service of your response within the 20 day time period.

SoloSuit files the paperwork for you, so you know all the steps are covered

What is SoloSuit?

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.

Respond with SoloSuit

"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


Start My Answer


>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance

Statute of Limitations on Debt in Nevada

The Nevada statute of limitations on debt collection varies depending on the type of debt between three and ten years. More specifically, promissory notes (such as a loan for a certain amount within a specific time frame) have a three-year statute of limitations. Credit card debt and auto debt both have a four-year statute of limitations, whereas medical debts have six years, and state tax debt has up to ten years.

Nevada Statute of Limitations
on Debt

Debt Type

Deadline in Years

Oral

4

Written

6

Promissory

3

Open

4

Credit Card

4

Auto Loan

4

Medical

6

State Tax

10

Judgment

6


Source: Findlaw



All states have legal aid organizations that offer free legal services to residents who cannot otherwise afford professional help. Below you can find some of these organizations in Nevada.

Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada

Nevada Legal Services

Washoe Legal Services

Nevada 211

State of Nevada Self-Help Center

State Bar of Nevada Pro Bono Legal Services

Civil Law Self-Help Center

State Court Locations

Nevada court location information

Key Takeaways

So, in short, here's the review on how to answer a summons for debt collection in Nevada.

  • Remember your response deadline is at most 20 days.
  • Draft an Answer in the proper format for Nevada courts, or use or SoloSuit.com to do it for you.

Follow these three steps:

  1. Answer each issue in the complaint.
  2. Assert your affirmative defenses
  3. File and serve the Answer

Good Luck!

How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection Guides for Other States

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.