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How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection - The Ultimate 50 State Guide

George Simons | July 21, 2022

Summary: Sued for debt? Here's our 50-state guide on how to respond and win in court. Use SoloSuit to respond in just 15 minutes.

Don't just roll over and take it. Fight back. 

We want to help you win your debt collection lawsuit, not pay money that you don't owe, and protect your wages from garnishment. That's why we put together this guide for how to answer a summons for debt collection in all 50 states. Don't like reading? Check out this video: 

  

Debt collection lawsuits are difficult to navigate, partly because the relevant laws change from state to state. So we've compiled the most relevant information for each all in one spot. Now you don't have to crawl your state courts' website looking for this information, because, trust me, it's a nightmare. 

For each state, we provide the following: 

  • Deadline for filing your Answer to a debt collection summons and complaint 
  • Most relevant official Answer form available in that state. 
  • Court case search tool where you can check the status of your case 
  • Attorney lookup tool where you can search contact information for the attorney representing the opposing party 

Some states don't have answer forms so we've linked to other helpful forms and tidbits where we can. 

Also, we should mention this: SoloSuit can do all of this for you.

You can use SoloSuit to generate your Answer

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

The 3 Steps to respond to a debt lawsuit

A debt lawsuit begins when you receive a Summons and Complaint. The Summons tells you that you're being sued. The Complaint tells you why you're being sued. In some states these documents are a little different or are called different names. In Texas, they're called a Citation and Petition. Here is what they look like.

Example of a Summons document for debt collection, in California.
Example of a Complaint document for debt collection, in California.

To respond to a debt lawsuit, you need to take three steps. SoloSuit walks you through these steps.

1. Respond to every paragraph in 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 should respond in one of three ways:

  • Admit. Admit the paragraph if you agree with everything in the paragraph.
  • Deny. Deny the paragraph if you want to make the debt collector prove that it is true.
  • Defendant denies the allegation for lack of knowledge sufficient to know the truth or falsity thereof. This is a lawyerly way of saying “I don't know.” Choose this option if you don't understand the paragraph or if you don't have the information needed to respond to it.

Choose one of these responses and write it into your Answer after the corresponding paragraph number.

Many attorneys recommend denying everything to force the other side to prove everything. This is a good strategy in many cases.

2. Assert your Affirmative Defenses

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:

  • 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.
  • 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 the plaintiff

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.

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

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. With SoloSuit, we figure all of that out for you and make sure your Answer gets to the right place.

Without further ado, this is how you answer a summons for debt collection in any of the 50 states (and the District of Columbia). 


Alabama

Sweet home Alabama, we made an in-depth guide for you: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Alabama

Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

Small Claims Court – 14 Days

District Court – 14 Days

Circuit Court – 30 Days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Defendant's Answer Form

Civil Forms

Small Claims Forms

E-file

SoloSuit

Attorney directory

Find a Member | Alabama State Bar


Alaska

Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer Form

SoloSuit

Case search tool

Alaska Case Search

Attorney directory

Member Directories - Alaska Bar Association


Arizona

The Grand Canyon State, do we have a grand guide for you: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection Arizona (2020 Guide)

Most courts in Arizona charge an Answer filing fee. The fee ranges from $40-$245. SoloSuit makes calculation and payment of the fee easy.

Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days - if you were served in Arizona

30 days - if you were served outside of Arizona

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer (For lawsuits under $10k)

Answer (For lawsuits over $10k)

E-filng (Civil)

E-filing (Small claims)

SoloSuit

Attorney directory

Membership Records - State Bar of Arizona


Arkansas

The home of Walmart. Here is your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Arkansas.

Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

30 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Online Answer Form

SoloSuit

Court search tool

Arkansas Case Search

Attorney directory

Attorney Search


California

The Golden State, we made a guide for you too. How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in California.

California courts charge an Answer filing fee. The fee ranges from $181-$450. SoloSuit makes calculation and payment of the fee easy. We can even help you with a fee waiver, if applicable, which brings the fee down to zero.

California Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

30 days 

40 days if the documents were served on someone else in your household or they were mailed to you. 

Other exceptions

Answer to Complaint Forms

The General Denial Form

Answer Form

SoloSuit

Case search tool

California doesn’t have a universal link for case searches, but almost all counties have a case lookup portal. Here are some of the major counties in which we file (feel free to build this list):

Attorney directory

The State Bar of California


Colorado

Vail is pretty good. So we made a guide for you too. How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Colorado

Colorado courts charge an Answer filing fee. The fee ranges from $80-$192. SoloSuit calculates and processes the fee payment for you.

Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

21 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer Form

SoloSuit

Court case search

Colorado Case Search

Attorney directory

Attorney Search / History - Colorado Supreme Court


Connecticut

Ah, the Nutmeg State and the home of the Charter Oak. Few states have done as much as you for the independence of the country, so we made you a guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Connecticut.

Connecticut Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

30 days of the return date

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer Form (Civil Only)

Other Forms

SoloSuit

Court case search

Connecticut Case Search

Attorney directory

Attorney/Firm Look-up - Connecticut Judicial Branch


Delaware

Delaware is the first state ever! Here's your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Delaware.

Delaware Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 Days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer Form

Other Forms

SoloSuit

Court case search

Delaware Case Search

Attorney directory

Attorney Search - Delaware State Bar Association


District of Columbia

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

21 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer Form

Other Forms

SoloSuit


Florida

The Sunshine State, here is your guide. How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in FL.

Florida Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer to Complaint Sample Form

SoloSuit

Court case search

Florida Case Search

Attorney directory

Lawyer Directory - The Florida Bar


Georgia

Most courts in GA require the defendant to e-file. They charge a fee to e-file. The fee ranges from $7.20–$31.50. SoloSuit takes care of payment of the fee for you.

Georgia Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

30 Days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Online Debt Collection Guide

SoloSuit

Court case search

Georgia Case Search

Attorney directory

Member Directory - State Bar of Georgia


Hawai'i

Aloha! How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Hawaii.

Hawai'i Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Other Forms

SoloSuit

Court case search

Hawaii Case Search

Attorney directory

Find a Lawyer - Hawaii State Bar Association


Idaho

Idaho is one of the best kept secrets in the US. So we made a guide for you. So many hot springs. How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Idaho.

Some courts in Idaho charge an Answer filing fee. The fee is usually $136. SoloSuit processes the fee payment for you.

Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Small claims Answer Form (It's form fillable!)

Civil Answer Form

Helpful brochure

SoloSuit

Court case search

Idaho Case Search

Attorney directory

Attorney Roster Search - Idaho State Bar


Illinois

The land that brought us Lincoln! Here is your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Illinois.

Illinois courts charge an appearance fee which usually needs to be filed with or before the Answer. The fee ranges from $119-$378. SoloSuit makes calculation and payment of the fee easy. We can even help you with a fee waiver, if applicable, which brings the fee down to zero.

Illinois Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

Appear in court, then you have 10 days to file an answer.

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer/Response to Complaint/Petition

More Forms

SoloSuit

Court case search

Illinois Case Search

Attorney directory

Lawyer Search - ARDC


Indiana

What's a Hoosier? We don't know, but here's your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Indiana.

Indiana Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days (with exceptions)

Answer to Complaint Forms

United States District Courts Southern District of Indiana Answer Form

E-file

More Forms

SoloSuit

Court case search

Indiana Case Search

Attorney directory

Courts Attorney Directory


Iowa

The Hawkeye state here is your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Iowa.

Iowa Rules of Civil Procedure

Answer to Complaint Forms

How to Respond

E-file

Other Forms

Court case search

Iowa Case Search

Attorney directory

Member Search - The Iowa State Bar Association


Kansas

The Sunflower State, here is your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Kansas.

Kansas Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

21 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Defendant's Claim (Small Claims)

Answer Form

Other Forms

SoloSuit

Court case search

Kansas Case Search

Attorney directory

Member Search - Kansas Bar Association


Kentucky

Kentucky, we love us some bluegrass! Here's your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Kentucky.

Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Counterclaim

SoloSuit

Court case search

Kentucky Case Search

Attorney directory

Lawyer Locator - Kentucky Bar Association


Louisiana

Can somebody please send us some beignets? We love them so much, we made a guide for your state. How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Louisiana.

Most courts in Louisiana charge an Answer filing fee. The fee ranges from $10-$250. SoloSuit makes calculation and payment of the fee easy. We can even help you with a fee waiver which brings the fee down to zero.

Louisiana Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

15 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

SoloSuit

Attorney directory

Find an Attorney - Louisiana State Bar Association


Maine

Do you smell that? It's the smell of pine trees mixed with an Atlantic breeze. And here's your guide to go with it: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Maine.

Maine Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

SoloSuit

Court case search

Maine Case Search

Attorney directory

Attorney Directory | Maine.gov

Other Forms


Maryland

This process is a little different in Maryland. Please take a look at this guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Maryland.

Maryland Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summonss

Served in Maryland - 30 days

Served in another state - 60 days

Served outside of the United States - 90 days 

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer Form

SoloSuit

Court case search

Maryland Case Search

Attorney directory

MSBA Member Directory - Maryland State Bar Association


Massachusetts

The Old Colony State, here is your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Instructions for writing an answer

Online Answer Form

SoloSuit

Other Forms

Even More Forms!

Court case search

Massachusetts Case Search

Attorney directory

Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers


Michigan

The Land of the Great Lakes. Here is your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Michigan.

Michigan Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

21 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer (Civil)

SoloSuit

Other Forms

Fees

No fee

Court case search

Michigan Case Search

Attorney directory

State Bar of Michigan


Minnesota

You gave us 10,000 lakes, and we gave you one guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Minnesota.

Minnesota courts charge an Answer filing fee. The fee ranges from $285-$297. SoloSuit makes calculation and payment of the fee easy. You may qualify for a fee waiver which brings the fee down to zero.

Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer Form (Civil)

SoloSuit

Response to Conciliation (Small Claims)

Court case search

Minnesota Case Search

Attorney directory

Attorney Search


Mississippi

The Magnolia State, here is your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Mississippi.

Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

30 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

SoloSuit

Other Forms

Court case search

Mississippi Case Search (Supreme Court only)

Attorney directory

Lawyer Directory - The Mississippi Bar


Missouri

Missouri is the Show-Me State. Show me what? Your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Missouri.

Missouri Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

30 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

SoloSuit

Other Forms

Court case search

Missouri Case Search

Attorney directory

Lawyer Directory - The Missouri Bar


Montana

Montana courts charge an Answer filing fee sometimes. The fees range from $20-$70. SoloSuit takes care of paying the fee for you.

Montana Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

21 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

No answer form for small claims

District Court Answer Form 

SoloSuit

Counterclaim

Court case search

Montana Case Search

Attorney directory

Sign In - State Bar of Montana


Nebraska

Birthplace of the Reuben sandwich and lots and lots of farming. Here's Nebraska's guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Nebraska

Beginning 2022, some (if not all) courts will require mandatory e-filing through the Nebraska Judicial Branch eFiling system.

Nebraska Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

30 days

Court case search

Nebraska Case Search

Attorney directory

Attorney Directory - Nebraska State Bar Association


Nevada

The home of Las Vegas, here is your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Nevada.

Nevada courts charge an Answer filing fee. The fee ranges from $80-$192. SoloSuit calculates and processes the fee payment for you; we make it easy.

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer Form for Washoe County

SoloSuit

Other Forms

Attorney directory

Find a Lawyer - State Bar of Nevada


New Hampshire

Live free or die! Your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

30 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

SoloSuit

Other Forms

Court case search

New Hampshire Case Search

Attorney directory

New Hampshire Bar Association


New Jersey

Can we get some pork rolls please? They're so good, so we made you this guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in New Jersey.

Courts in New Jersey charge an Answer filing fee. The fee ranges from $30-$175. SoloSuit processes payment of the fee for you.

New Jersey Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

35 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

SoloSuit

Attorney directory

Attorney Search - NJ Courts Online


New Mexico

Ah, the Land of Enchantment, here is your guide Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection in New Mexico.

New Mexico Rules of Civil Procedure (District Courts)

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

30 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

SoloSuit

Other Forms 

Court case search

New Mexico Case Search

Attorney directory

Find a Lawyer - State Bar New Mexico

New York

The Big Apple, we got a guide for you. How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in New York.


Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days - if served personally (documents were handed to you by another person)

30 days - served in any other way

New York Rules of Civil Procedure

Answer to Complaint Forms

NYC Answer Form

Answer for Consumer Credit Transaction

SoloSuit

E-file

Court case search

New York Case Search

Attorney directory

NYS Attorney Directory


North Carolina

The Old North State, here is your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in North Carolina.

North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

30 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

SoloSuit

Other Forms

Court case search

North Carolina Case Search

Attorney directory

Membership Directory | North Carolina State Bar


North Dakota

Known for its Badlands, here's your guide for North Dakota: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in North Dakota.

North Dakota Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days (small claims)

21 days (civil)

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer Form (Small Claims)

Answer Form (Civil)

SoloSuit

Other Forms

Court case search

North Dakota Case Search

Attorney directory

Lawyers - North Dakota Supreme Court


Ohio

You folks made the airplane. And we made you a guide on How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Ohio.

Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

28 days (with exceptions)

Answer to Complaint Forms

SoloSuit

Other Forms (For Ashtabula County)

Attorney directory

Attorney Directory Search - Ohio Supreme Court


Oklahoma

O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A! Oklahoma! You're doin' fine and here's your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

SoloSuit

Other Forms

Court case search

Oklahoma Case Search

Attorney directory

OBA Member Search - Oklahoma Bar Association


Oregon

Keep Portland Weird. Here is the guide for your state: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Oregon.

Oregon courts charge an Answer filing fee. The fee ranges from $170-$283. SoloSuit makes calculation and payment of the fee easy. We can even help you with a fee waiver which brings the fee down to zero.

Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

30 days

14 days – if you are sued in small claims court

Answer to Complaint Forms

Defendant's Response Form

Defendant's Response

SoloSuit

Consumer complaint form

Other Forms

Can eFile 

Fees

$55

Helpful links

What to do if you're sued by a creditor

Court case search

Oregon Case Search

Attorney directory

OSB Membership Directory


Pennsylvania

Mining coal is hard work. So we made a guide for your state: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Pennsylvania.

Some courts in Pennsylvania charge an Answer filing fee. This fee is usually $154.54. SoloSuit processes payment of the fee for you.

Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days (If you don't respond in that period, the person suing you must send you a letter saying that in 10 days they will request a default judgment.)

Answer to Complaint Forms

SoloSuit

Court case search

Pennsylvania Case Search

Attorney directory

Pennsylvania Bar Association Directory Search


Rhode Island

Lil' Rhody, here is your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer Form (Small Claims)

SoloSuit

Other Forms

Court case search

Rhode Island Case Search

Attorney directory

Directory - Rhode Island Bar Association


South Carolina

Such beautiful Palmettos. Here's your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in South Carolina.

South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

30 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Civil Answer Form

SoloSuit

Other Forms

Court case search

South Carolina Case Search

Attorney directory

Directory - South Carolina Bar


South Dakota

South Dakota courts charge a filing fee to respond to a Complaint. In most cases the fee is $25. SoloSuit takes care of payment of this fee for you.

South Dakota Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

30 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

SoloSuit

Court case search

South Dakota Case Search

Attorney directory

South Dakota - LII Attorney Directory


Tennessee

The Volunteer State, here is your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Tennessee.

Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

State Court: 30 days

Federal Court: 20 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

SoloSuit

Other Forms

Court case search

Tennessee Case Search

Attorney directory

Online Tennessee Attorney Directory


Texas

Will give free Answers in exchange for brisket. How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in texas

TexasRules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

This one is complicated. Generally, you have 20 days plus until the following Monday, at 10 am to file an Answer. Count all the calendar days including weekends and holidays. 

Answer to Complaint Forms

Defendant's Answer

Online Guided Defendant's Answer

SoloSuit

Other Forms

Fees

Free

Attorney directory

Find a Colleague for lawyers - State Bar of Texas


Utah

We love Utah. It's where SoloSuit was born. Check out our in-depth guide on How to Respond to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah.

Utah Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

 21 days – if served in Utah 

30 days – if served outside of Utah

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer Form

SoloSuit.com  

Attorney directory

Utah Bar Directory of Attorneys - Utah State Bar


Vermont

The Green Mountain State, here is your guide: How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont.

Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

30 days of the date the Complaint was mailed

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer Form (Small Claims)

SoloSuit

Other Forms

Attorney directory

Find a lawyer - Vermont Association for Justice


Virginia

This process is different in Virgina. Read up on it here: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Virginia.

Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summonss

21 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Other forms

Court case search

Virginia Case Search

Attorney directory

Member Directory Search - Virginia State Bar


Washington

Washington, may you be ever green. Here is your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Washington.

Washington Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Online form

SoloSuit

Court case search

Washington Case Search

Attorney directory

Legal Directory - myWSBA


West Virginia

The Mountain State, here is your guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in West Virginia.

West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summonss

21 days

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer Form

Other Forms

Attorney directory

Membership Directory Search | The West Virginia State Bar


Wisconsin

Y'all have the best cheese, so we made you a guide: How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days (45 days for some torts)

Answer to Complaint Forms

Answer and Counterclaim (Small Claims) (Summary)

SoloSuit

More forms

Court case search

Wisconsin Case Search

Attorney directory

Lawyer Search - State Bar of Wisconsin


Wyoming

With National Parks galore (seven, to be exact!), here's your guide: How to Respond to a Debt Collection Summons in Wyoming

Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure

Deadline for answering a debt collection summons

20 days – if served in the state

30 days – if served outside of the state 

Answer to Complaint Forms

SoloSuit

Other Forms

Court case search

Wyoming Case Search

Attorney directory

A-Z Lawyer Directory - Wyoming State Bar


Respond with SoloSuit

"Finding yourself on the wrong side of the law unexpectedly is kinda scary. I started researching on YouTube and found SoloSuit's channel. The videos were so helpful, easy to understand and encouraging. When I reached out to SoloSuit they were on it. Very professional, impeccably prompt. Thanks for the service!" – Heather


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Sample Answer to a Debt Collection Complaint

Some people ask us what our Answer looks like. Here's what a SoloSuit Answer looks like. Our underlying document is created by professional litigation attorneys. It is battle tested, too. It is one of the most commonly filed documents in court across the US. It is such a good document that around 30 percent of collectors beg for the case to be dismissed after we file it for our customers.

Why Does My State Charge an Answer Filing Fee?

Unfortunately, some state courts charge an Answer filing fee. Those states and the fee ranges are shown below.

Answer filing fees by state. Courts that charge a filing fee to respond to a debt colleciton lawsuit.

We find the practice of courts charging an Answer filing fee to be absurd. It is one of the biggest impediments to justice in the United States.

If your court charges a filing fee, we'll let you know. We automatically calculate your filing fee, make it easy for you to pay it, and make sure that payment gets to your court.

What Comes After a Civil Summons for Debt Collection?

The Summons is just the beginning. A series of documents can come after, and even before the Summons. The diagram below shows the possible paths of documents in a debt collection lawsuit.

How to win a debt collection lawsuit flowchart. Litigation Flowchart.

Here is our recommended path to victory. If the collector sends you a Debt Collection Letter, respond with a Debt Validation Letter. There is a good chance they can't validate the debt; if they can't, you win.

If they think they can validate the debt, then a good debt validation letter will force them to sue you to collect on the debt, at which point they'll send you a Complaint and Summons. You should respond with an Answer. If you don't, you'll lose.

Once you've filed an Answer, there are three likely outcomes. One, the collectors give up and file a Motion to Dismiss: you super win. Two, you or the collector makes a settlement offer. In a settlement, the defendant ends up paying less then they're being sued for: you win. Three, litigation continues. In this scenario, the collector usually starts discovery by filing a Request for Admissions or something similar. You then need to respond with a Response to Request for Admission, and the case can go on indefinitely: it's unclear who will win or lose in this scenario.

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

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.



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Get answers to these FAQs

Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

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SoloSuit FAQ

If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

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Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

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Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

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Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

Does Student Debt Die With You?

Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

How Long Does a Judgment Last?

Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

How to Liquidate Debt

Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

Youre Drowning in Debt — Heres How to Swim

Help! Im Being Sued by My Debt Collector

How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

ClearPoint Debt Management Review

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

How to Appear in Court by Phone

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Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Heres What to Do

How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

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Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

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Debt Eraser Review

Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

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