What Is a Civil Chapter 61 Warrant?

George Simons

October 14, 2021

Debt collectors ^

Summary: Have you received a civil chapter 61 warrant? Not sure what to do next? Learn what to say to win your case.

A civil chapter 61 warrant is a debt summons in Kansas. Usually, you receive this warrant from a process server at your home. It means that a debt collector is suing you for a debt you allegedly owe.

If you've gotten a civil chapter 61 warrant in Kansas, you may be tempted to ignore the summons. This is understandable if you don't have the cash to pay for an attorney. But it's important to respond and go to court. If you don't agree that you owe the debt or the amount owed, it's vital to answer the lawsuit and file it with the proper court.

Use SoloSuit to make the right affirmative defense and win your case.

Deadline for answering a civil chapter 61 warrant

Remember that you have 21 days to file an answer to a civil chapter 61 warrant. You should make filing the answer one of the things you do right away today. If you miss this deadline, you could be in default and grant the judgment to the creditor. If this happens, the debt collector or creditor can garnish your wages or bank account to get what you owe. Also, they can tack on legal fees and interest!

Note that you don't have to pay fees to file an answer to the civil chapter 61 warrant. But if you want to file a counterclaim, you'll need to pay $47.50 for a claim up to $500, and $67.50 for claims as much as $4,000.

Responding to a civil chapter 61 warrant

The first thing you should do when you answer the warrant is to create your Answer. The Answer document should state who you are, contact information, attorney name if you have one, name of the creditor or debt collector, the county where the case is filed, and case number.

If you have trouble finding this information in the summons and complaint, you can call the county clerk's office. They can give you all the information you need to answer the complaint.

Next, you should address everything that was argued in the complaint. You should answer every complaint with ‘I agree,' ‘I disagree,' or ‘I don't know.' If you question or deny anything, the plaintiff must give you evidence of why you're wrong. Remember that the plaintiff has the burden of proof here, so make them prove everything they claim by showing documentation.

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The next step is to assert various affirmative defenses in response to the civil chapter 61 warrant. These are facts about your case that could make the plaintiff lose the case.

However, note that you should never copy and paste defenses from the Internet. You need to devise your specific defenses that relate to the case and why you deny the claim. The judge will probably want you to testify as to why you opted for a particular defense, so make sure you know the answer.

Some of the most common affirmative defenses are:

  • The plaintiff isn't the original creditor and they haven't shown a paper trail or chain of custody to show that they have the right to sue you.
  • The statute of limitations for Kansas has expired.
  • There wasn't any exchange of goods or money, which may void the contract.
  • The debt collector bought the debt, but the creditor accepted funds for part of the debt, so you don't owe what they say you owe.
  • The principal that they claim is accurate, but the fees and interest the debt collector is charging are more than what the law allows.
  • There are more defendants and they should pay the debt.

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Filing your answer

The next part of the answer is the certificate of service. This shows that you mailed an Answer copy to the attorney or plaintiff. When you finish drafting your Answer, you need to file a copy with the Clerk of Court. You can complete the filing in person by visiting the courthouse or by sending a copy via certified mail.

Filing in person provides a level of assurance that the Answer was filed. However, considering COVID-19 protocols and limitations on how many people can visit the courthouse at a given time, it may make more sense to opt for certified mail.

Also, make sure to mail a copy of your Answer to the plaintiff via certified mail. The plaintiff must sign for the document so you can prove that they received it. Everything needs to have a paper trail so that you can use it against the debt collector later.

If you take the steps described above, you stand a good chance of putting up a strong fight with the civil chapter 61 warrant. There is hope. But you cannot ignore the warrant or the debt collector will win the suit and you will be on the hook for more money than before.

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


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