January 14, 2021
Summary: Deadlines to file an Answer in court range from 14-31 days. If you've been sued for a debt, use SoloSuit to respond in just 15 minutes and win your lawsuit.
Getting served with a debt collection lawsuit is typically a stress and anxiety-inducing event for many people. Your mind may be inundated with questions and concerns. One of the first questions you may be asking yourself is, “what is the deadline to respond to the debt collector's Complaint?” This page provides valuable information concerning the deadlines in each of the 50 states to file your Answer to a debt collector's Complaint.
Generally, most states afford a defendant between 20 and 30 days to file a written response to the debt collection lawsuit (though the filing deadline is actually much shorter in some states).
Here is an overview of the deadline to file an Answer in each of the 50 states. As you will see, there is no uniform response time, though, most states provide the defendant between 20 and 30 days to respond. This list does not document the nuances in each state; response times can vary within states based on different factors; this list is an imperfect summary.
|Alabama||14 in small claims; 30 days in circuit court|
|Arizona||20, (if you were served in Arizona)|
|District of Columbia||21|
|New York||20, if served in New York|
|North Dakota||20 in small claims; 21 days in civil court|
|Utah||21, if served in Utah|
|Wyoming||20, if served in Wyoming|
If you fail to file your Answer within the relevant filing deadline, the debt collector will likely file a motion with the court asking it to enter a “default judgment” against you. Once a default judgment is entered, the debt collector is empowered to garnish your wages, seize your property, and even access the funds in your bank accounts. As you can see, this is not what you want to have happen when being pursued by a debt collector. You should take affirmative steps to respond to the Complaint.
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
If you need assistance on how to best respond to a debt collection lawsuit, consider utilizing SoloSuit. What is SoloSuit? Take a moment to review these FAQs to learn more.
Here are some key points on what you need to do if you are served with a debt collection lawsuit:
Best of Luck!
Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? We're making guides on how to beat each one.
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.