September 25, 2019
“I heart debt lawsuits!” — said no one ever.
Getting sued for a debt is terrible. This article will make the process of responding to a debt lawsuit a little bit easier and tell you how to answer a summons for debt collection in Florida.
Below, you'll find helpful topics on how to answer a summons for debt collection in the Sunshine State. This list includes information specific to filing in Florida, like state deadlines and forms.
20 days - Count twenty days starting with the day after you are served, and count every day, including Saturdays and Sundays.
Sample Answer Form - Sorry Floridians, but the Florida Court's form for responding to a debt collection lawsuit is pretty terrible compared to other states. But at least Florida is doing better than Wyoming which doesn't even provide a form. But then again, does Wyoming even have any people?
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.
Let's take a look at each step.
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:
Just choose one of these answers and write it into your Answer. If you choose “disagree” you can explain why you disagree.
Use these official instructions to make your complaint in Florida. The Florida Answer form is fairly bare-bones. Many attorneys recommend making a general denial, where you deny everything in the complaint and force the other side to prove everything.
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:
These are a few of the many affirmative defenses. Being unable to pay the debt is not normally a legal defense to the debt.
You can just write these in on the Florida answer sheet.
Actually filing the answer is tough. Some people get hung up here, but most preserver and file the answer.
Here's what you need to do.
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.
So, in short, here's the review on how to answer a summons for debt collection in Florida.
Do these steps: