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

George Simons

September 25, 2019

“Man, I can't wait for this collector to sue me already!” — said no one ever.

No one likes getting sued for a debt. This article makes the process of responding to a debt lawsuit a little bit easier and tells you how to answer a summons for debt collection in Colorado.

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 Colorado, like state deadlines and forms.

Colorado Deadline for Answering a Debt Collection Summons

21 days - You only have 21 days to file an Answer with the court after you're served the Summons and Complaint, according to Rule 12(a)(1).

Colorado Answer to Summons Forms

Answer Form - This is Colorado's general answer form for civil lawsuits like debt collection cases. Use it to respond to the Summons and Complaint.

Steps to Respond to a Debt Collection Case in Colorado

To begin the lawsuit, the plaintiff will serve you with two documents either by mail or in person. These documents are called the Summons and Complaint. In Colorado, you have only 21 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 21 day period, you will automatically lose your case by default judgment.

There are three steps to respond to the complaint.

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

Let's check out each step.

1. Answer each issue of the Complaint.

Answering the complaint can be scary, but with 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:

  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • I don't know

Choose one of these responses and write it into your Answer. List each answer with the number for the corresponding paragraph.

Many attorneys recommend making a general denial, where you deny everything in the complaint and force the other side to prove everything. Use the Colorado form and follow its instructions.

2. Assert affirmative defenses.

An “affirmative defense” is a reason why the person suing doesn't have a case. List these defenses on 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.

These are a few of the many affirmative defenses. Being unable to pay the debt is not normally a legal defense to the debt.

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

Believe it or not, a lot of people get this far and then never actually file their answer. Don't be one of those people.

Here's what you need to do to file your answer.

  • Print two copies of your Answer
  • Mail one copy to the court
  • Mail the other copy to the plaintiff's attorney.

The address for both should be in the Summons and Complaint you received in the mail.

The Finale on How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Colorado

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

  • Deadline: 21 days
  • Use Colorado's Answer form

Do these steps:

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

Good Luck!