Florida Deadline for Answering a Debt Collection Summons
20 days - Count twenty days starting with the day after you are served, and count every day, including Saturdays and Sundays.
Florida Answer to Summons Forms
Use this Answer Form to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in Florida. SoloSuit's form is created by professional attorney's and has protected over $100 million from predatory debt lawsuits.
Florida courts don't provide any accessible forms of their own.
Steps to Respond to a Debt Collection Case in Florida
All lawsuits formally start the same way: you get two documents in the mail or via personal delivery. These documents are called the Summons and Complaint. In Florida, you have only 20 days to respond by filing an Answer. You can respond with either an Answer document or a Motion; usually, you'll want to respond with an Answer document.
If you don't respond within the 20 day period, you will automatically lose your case by default judgment.
There are three steps to respond to the complaint.
Answer each issue of the complaint
Assert affirmative defenses
File one copy of the Answer document with the court and serve the plaintiff with another copy.
Let's take a look at each step.
1. Answer each issue of the Complaint.
Many people are intimidated by making an Answer document. And that's ok. These instructions it will be simple. Just read the complaint and then decide how you want to respond to each numbered paragraph. You can respond in one of three ways:
To assert affirmative defenses, you simply state reasons why the person suing you has no case. Add the relevant defenses to your answer.
Here are some of the more common defenses we see:
The account with the debt is not your account
The contract was already canceled. Therefore you don't owe the creditor anything.
The statute of limitations has expired. A statute of limitations is a law that sets a deadline on an action. In this case, the statute of limitations sets the deadline at 6 years, so you can't be sued for a debt based on a contract from six years ago.
The debt has been paid or excused.
The debt has been partially paid.
You were a co-signer but were not informed of your rights as a co-signer.
The address for both should be in the Summons and Complaint you received in the mail. The attorney's address should be on the top left of the first page. The court's address should be in the first two paragraphs.
What If I Haven't Been Sued Yet?
If you've only received a collections notice, but not a lawsuit, the best way to respond is with a Debt Validation Letter. When a debt collector contacts you in any way, whether it's by phone or mail, you can respond with a Debt Validaiton Letter. This letter notifies the collector that you dispute the debt and requires they provide proof you owe the debt. They can't call you or continue collecting until they provide validation of the debt. This flowchart shows how you can use a Debt Validation Letter to win.
SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in California.
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 their attorney and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit and their services so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it Washington 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
It only takes 15 minutes. And 50% of our customers' cases have been dismissed in the past.
"Finding yourself on the wrong side of the law unexpectedly is kinda scary. I started researching on YouTube and found SoloSuit's channel. The videos were so helpful, easy to understand and encouraging. When I reached out to SoloSuit they were on it. Very professional, impeccably prompt. Thanks for the service!" – Heather