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What to Do After Filing an Answer in a Debt Collection Lawsuit

George Simons | January 10, 2024

George Simons
Co-Founder of SoloSuit
George Simons, JD/MBA

George Simons is the co-founder and CEO of SoloSuit. He has helped Americans protect over $1 billion from predatory debt lawsuits. George graduated from BYU Law school in 2020 with a JD-MBA. In his spare time, George likes to cook, because he likes to eat.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: Have a creditor threatening you over an old debt? Not sure how you're going to win the fight? Learn what to do after filing an answer in a debt collection lawsuit.

Did you know that you can challenge a debt collection lawsuit? The Answer to a debt collection lawsuit does not always have to be an admission, even when it seems to be the only way to respond. Chances are that the debt collector expects you to ignore the lawsuit, prompting the judge to rule in their favor. If they win the lawsuit, the collector may garnish your wages or even place a lien on your property.

As a result, this article explains how to respond to a debt collection lawsuit and what to do after filing your Answer. But first things first, let's discuss what the lawsuit entails and your rights as a defendant.

Use SoloSuit to file an Answer in 15 minutes.

Understanding the debt collection lawsuit

Normally, a debt collection lawsuit is the last resort a creditor uses to collect debts. Before then, they may have exhausted all the debt collection means possible, including letters, phone calls, and messages.

In most states across the United States, you will have between 20 and 30 days to respond once you have been served with a debt collection lawsuit. Within that time, you can collect all the information you need to respond and plan your Answer.

An answer is your written response to the complaints that the collector has filed.

If you don't know how to go about it, do not worry; you can use SolosSuit to create your Answer document. Then, when done, you can either print the completed forms and send them to court or let Solosuit file for you.

How to answer your debt collection lawsuit

It is important to note that an Answer is a legal document; therefore, you can't submit your Answer through a phone call or a text message. Even so, writing an Answer is not a complicated process.

You only need to understand the complaint, know how to respond, and your rights as a defendant. You also need to ensure that you respond to the lawsuit on time to avoid a default judgment, which will automatically favor the debt collector.

Here are a few tips to help you with answering the debt collection lawsuit:

Demand proof of debt from the debt collector

Admitting liability for a debt is not always the best decision; you can challenge the debtor and win the lawsuit.

In most cases, the original creditor you borrowed the money from is most likely not the one who filed the debt collection lawsuit. This is because many creditors sell their overdue debts to debt collectors, who assume the responsibility of demanding repayment from borrowers.

It is common to have some information lost or wrongly recorded, or not updated during the exchange process. If you have reason and proof to believe so, you can challenge the collector to provide evidence that you owe the debt.

Demand proof that you are responsible for the debt

Basically, you can push back the burden of proof to the collector. The burden of proof is a legal right that the collector has to provide evidence of the debt, how you are responsible for it, and their right to collect or sue you for the said debt.

Make the right defense the right way with SoloSuit.

File your answer with the clerk of court

When you are ready with your response, you may file it with the Clerk of Court.

In your Answer, you should explain why you do not owe the debt by outlining valid reasons for your claims. Here are some of the most common reasons for affirmative defences:

  • The contract with the original creditor was cancelled
  • The debt is time-barred (beyond the statute of limitations)
  • The debt has been already paid
  • The account mentioned does not belong to you
  • You are a co-signer of the debt but were uninformed about your rights and responsibilities

Remember to ask for a stamped copy of the Answer you have filed. You can then send a stamped certified copy of the Answer to the plaintiff or their lawyer.

Filing your Answer is the beginning of the second phase of the lawsuit that is already in court. After that, all you have to do is wait for notification from the court for further proceedings on the case. Remember, you do not have to go through the struggle of filing an Answer without help; the SoloSuit app makes the whole process faster and easier.

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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>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance

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