George Simons | May 13, 2020
Summary: Live in Oregon and need help responding to a debt collection lawsuit? Our automated service guides Oregonians through the process.
Why do people take an instant dislike to debt collectors? To save time later.
Getting sued by debt collectors is no one's favorite pastime. But, in this article we will try to ease the pain and make the process of responding to the lawsuit a little bit easier. We will show you how to answer a summons for debt collection in Oregon.
Before we begin, rest assured: you can fight and win your debt collection lawsuit.
Below, you'll find helpful topics on how to answer a summons for debt collection in the Beaver State.
Here are the deadlines for answering a debt collection summons in Oregon
When you get sued for a debt in Oregon, you normally only have 30 days to respond or you automatically lose your case. If you are sued in small claims court you only have 14 days to respond. We'll show you some ways to respond below. With SoloSuit, you can generate your response in 15 minutes and we'll have an attorney review it and even file it for you.
To respond to your debt collection lawsuit, you need to make an Answer document that responds to the Summons and Complaint you received. SoloSuit helps you do this for free. Oregon courts also provide some helpful forms. Here are some helpful forms:
Use one of these forms to create your response to the debt collection lawsuit. You can also take a look at these other forms provided by Oregon Courts. Oregon also provides an eFiling option, but we didn't think it was easy to use.
Oregon courts charge a filing fee to file your Answer with them. I know, it's pretty messed up: you get sued for a debt and you have to pay a fee just to respond, even if you don't owe the debt. If you wanted to sound like a lawyer you'd say, “that's unconscionable!” But pay you must. Here is how the fees break down.
|Small Claims Filing Fee*|
|Amount in Controversy||Filing Fee|
|Less than $2,500||$57|
|Civil Cases Filing Fee**|
|Amount in Controversy||Filing Fee|
|Less than $10,000||$170|
|*Lawsuits under $10,000, generally.
**Claims over $10,000, any amount of counterclaim, or requesting a jury trial
Oregon has some of the highest filing fees in the country. Looks like the courts need to do a little more yoga and chill out.
Let's consider an example to see how to use this table. Tim is sued for $1000 in small claims court in Oregon. Since the amount in controversy, $1,000, is less than $2,500, Tim needs to pay the $57 filing fee.
With SoloSuit, we'll take care of paying your filing fees for you.
A lawsuit begins when you receive the Complaint and Summons. In most states, these documents needed to be handed personally to someone at your home. However, these documents are frequently delivered incorrectly, a process called “sewer service.” Once you receive the Complaint and Summons, your clock starts ticking and you need to respond or you will lose your case.
To respond, you need to create an Answer document.
There are four steps to responding to a debt collection lawsuit.
Let's check out each step.
The first step to responding to a debt collection lawsuit is creating your answer document.
First, you must gather the information listed on the Complaint and Summons and add it to your Answer. This includes
This information is called “styling” by the courts. You must add it properly to your Answer document. Once you have created your Answer document and added this information steps two and three help you flesh out your Answer.
Next, you need to respond to every paragraph of the Complaint. The Complaint includes several numbered paragraphs that lay out the lawsuit against you. For debt collection cases, there are usually between 10 and 30 numbered paragraphs. Read each paragraph and decide how you want to respond. You can only respond in three ways:
Choose one of these responses and write it into your Answer after the corresponding paragraph number.
Many attorneys recommend making a general denial, where you deny everything in the complaint and force the other side to prove everything. This is a good strategy in many cases.
An “affirmative defense” is a reason why the person suing you doesn't have a case; it is your defense against the lawsuit. You must list these defenses in your Answer otherwise, you can't bring them up later. That's right, asserting your affirmative defenses is a once in a lifetime opportunity: if you don't bring them up now, you are legally prohibited from bringing them up later. Many online forms don't help you assert your affirmative defenses, SoloSuit does.
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.
Once you have created your Answer, responded to the paragraphs in the Complaint, and asserted your affirmative defenses, you are ready for the final step: file your Answer. The Answer document by itself is worthless unless you file it properly. Otherwise, it's like doing homework and not turning it in. SoloSuit takes care of this for you so you don't have to worry about buying a printer and figuring out whether you need Certified Mail or Priority Mail at the Post Office.
Here's what you need to do to file your answer.
The address for the attorney will be in the Summons and Complaint you received in the mail. But where is the address for the Court? Good question, most Summons don't list the address of the Court. And the mailing address is often different from the physical address of the court listed on Google. That's why we spent the last month calling every court in Oregon to find the mailing address for you. They are listed below.
Once you complete this final step: Congrats! You have successfully responded to your debt lawsuit. With SoloSuit, 50 percent of our customer's cases have been dismissed.
Every state has at least one government-funded organization that provides free legal services to people. Oregon has one.
Legal Aid Services of Oregon
520 SW Sixth Avenue, Ste 1130
Portland, OR 97204
Child Support Helpline
Monday, 1 - 4 p.m., and Thursday, 9 - noon.
Public Benefits Hotline
Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 - noon, and
Monday through Thursday, 1 - 4 p.m.
To file your Answer, you need to get it to your court. For many people, the easiest way to do this is to mail it. But it can be surprisingly difficult to find the mailing address for your court online. So we've listed the mailing address for all Oregon courts here.
|Mailing Address||Phone Number||Mailing Address||Phone Number|
|Baker County Circuit Court
1995 3rd Street, Suite 220
Baker City, Oregon 97814
|(541) 523-6305||Lake County Circuit Court
513 Center Street
Lakeview, OR 97630
|Benton County Circuit Court
Post Office Box 1870
Corvallis, OR, 97339-1870
|(541) 243-7850||Lane County Circuit Court
125 East 8th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97401
|Clackmas County Circuit Court
807 Main St
Oregon City, OR 97045
|(503) 655-8447||Lincoln County Circuit Court
PO Box 100
Newport, Oregon 97365
|Clatsop County Circuit Court
PO Box 835
Astoria, OR 97103
|(503) 325-8555||Linn County Circuit Court
PO Box 1749
Albany, OR 97321
|Columbia County Circuit Court
230 Strand Street
Saint Helens, OR 97051
|(503) 397-2327 (ext. 341)||Malheur County Circuit Court
251 B. Street W, Box 3
Vale, OR 97918
|Coos County Circuit Court
250 N Baxter St
Coquille, OR 97423
|541.396.7500||Marion County Circuit Court
P.O. Box 12869
Salem, OR 97309
|Coos County Circuit Court
PO Box 865
North Bend, OR 97459
PO Box 609
Heppner, OR 97836
|Crook County Circuit Court
300 NE Third Street, Room 21
Prineville, Oregon 97754
|541.447.6541||Multnomah County Courthouse
1021 SW Fourth Avenue
Portland, OR 97204-1123
|503-988-6279, option 4|
|Curry County Circuit Court
94235 Moore St. Suite 200
Gold Beach, OR 97444
|(541) 247-4511||Justice Center
1120 SW Third Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204
|Deschutes County Circuit Court
1100 NW Bond Street
Bend, OR 97703
|541.388.5300 ext. 2090||Multnomah East County Courthouse
18480 SE Stark Street
Portland, OR 97233
|Douglas County Circuit Court
1036 SE Douglas Ave
Roseburg, Oregon 97470
|541.957.2470||Polk County Circuit Court
850 Main Street
Dallas, OR 97338
|Gilliam County Circuit Court
PO Box 622
Condon, OR 97823
|(541) 384-3572||Sherman Circuit Court
PO Box 402
Moro, OR 97039
|Grant County Circuit Court
Oregon Judicial Department
PO Box 159
Canyon City, OR 97820
|541.575.1438||Tillamook County Court
201 Laurel Avenue
Tillamook, OR 97141
|Harney County Circuit Court
Oregon Judicial Department
450 N. Buena Vista #16
Burns, OR 97720
216 SE 4th Ave.
Pendleton OR 97801
|Hood River County Circuit Court
309 State Street
Hood River, OR 97031
|(541) 386-3535||State Courts
216 SE Fourth Street
Pendleton, OR 97801
|Jackson County Circuit Court
100 S Oakdale
Medford, Oregon 97501
|(541) 776-7171||Union County Circuit Court
1105 K Ave
La Grande, OR 97850
|Jefferson County Circuit Court
129 SW E Street, Suite 101
Madras, OR 97741
|541.475.3317||Wallowa County Circuit Court
101 S River Street, Room 204
Enterprise, OR 97828
|Josephine County Courthouse
500 NW 6th Street
Grants Pass, OR 97526-1975
|(541) 476-2309||Wasco Circuit Court
PO Box 1400
The Dalles, OR 97058
|Klamath County Circuit Court
316 Main Street
Klamath Falls, OR 97601
|(541) 883-5503||Washington County Circuit Court
Washington County Courthouse
150 N 1st Avenue MS37
Hillsboro, OR 97124
|Wheeler Circuit Court
PO Box 308
Fossil, OR 97830
|Yamhill County Courthouse
535 NE 5th Street
McMinnville, Oregon 97128
So, here's the review on how to answer a summons for debt collection in Oregon.
You have respond within these deadlines:
You can use SoloSuit to respond. We can help you pay the filing fee.
To respond, do these steps: