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How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in Kansas (2023 Guide)

George Simons | July 13, 2023

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Summary: You have 21 days to respond to a debt lawsuit in Kansas. In order to respond, you should file an Answer document where you address each claim against you and assert your affirmative defenses. SoloSuit can help you draft and file an Answer in a matter of minutes.

Are you being sued by a creditor or debt collector? It can be very tempting to ignore these matters, especially when you know you don't have the money to pay. But it is very important to respond. If you have received a civil chapter 61 warrant, you need to respond and go to court.

Especially if you do not agree with the debt in part or in full, you should make sure that you respond to the Summons and Complaint. Responding guarantees that you will be able to state your defenses in court, and provide evidence backing up your claims.

The document that you need to file to respond to a debt lawsuit in Kansas is an Answer document that must be filed with the courts. Learn here what needs to be included in this document, and how Solosuit can help you meet state requirements.

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Kansas 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 Kansas Statutes 60-212 (A)(i).

You should make filing your Answer a priority, as soon as you receive the Summons and Complaint. If you miss the deadline, the court could find you in default and grant a judgment to the creditor.

Remember that you must file your Answer with the courts, as well as provide the plaintiff with a copy before the 21 day deadline. That means that you want to give yourself at least a few days to allow for filing and/or mailing, as well as resolving any complications in filing your Answer.

If the clock is already ticking and you haven't done anything about your Answer yet, SoloSuit allows you to develop your Answer and file it quickly and easily, right from the comfort of your own home or office.

Kansas Answer to Summons Forms

SoloSuit can take your inputted information from any smart device, format it to match the Kansas Answer form, and file or mail it for you. The SoloSuit Answer form

You can also try this Kansas Answer form from the Kansas courts webiste. This is Kansas's general answer form for civil lawsuits like debt collection cases. It responds to the Summons and Complaint.

The Kansas state answer form requires you figure out how to respond to the allegations in the Complaint and to make your own affirmative defenses.

The other information required on the form is basic information such as your identifying information, your contact information, your attorney's information if applicable, and identifying case information, as well as filing date.

Answer Filing Fees for Kansas

Kansas does not charge fees to file your Answer with the court, as long as it only contains your reasons for denying the claim, as well as your affirmative defenses. However, if you want to file a Defendant's Claim, or counterclaim, you will have to pay the same filing fees as the petitioner.

Those counterclaim filing fees are:

  • $47.50 for claims up to $500
  • $67.50 for claims up to $4,000

You only need to include a filing fee if you are filing a Counterclaim with your Answer. Note that in the state of Kansas these are two separate forms, although they can both be accessed from the same site, and Solosuit can assist you with either.

Steps to Respond to a Debt Collection Case in Kansas

When you get a Summons and Complaint from a debt collector, it can be very tempting to just toss it aside and forget about it, especially if you know you don't have the means to pay the debt. This is a huge mistake.

If you fail to respond to a debt collection case in Kansas, the judge will grant a default judgment to the plaintiff upon request. This means that you would have to pay the debt anyway, without a chance to defend yourself. It also means that your wages could be garnished, and you would have no control over whether or not you could actually afford it.

When you file an Answer with the courts, it gives you a chance to explain why you think you don't owe the money. This also gives you a chance to be in court and defend yourself and the reasons you didn't pay the debt. To respond to your debt lawsuit in Kansas, follow these three steps:

  • Address each claim against you.
  • Assert affirmative defenses
  • File the Answer with the court and serve the plaintiff

Keep reading for a detailed breakdown of each of these steps. Don't like reading? Check out this video instead:

The Answer document begins with identifying information for you, the plaintiff, and the case. You can pull most of this information from the debt Complaint and Summons documents. The information that must be included at the top of the Answer document in Kansas includes your name, address, phone number, and email address, your attorney's name, if applicable, the name of the plaintiff, the County in which the case was filed, and the case number.

SoloSuit helps you locate this information and properly format it in your Answer.

Now, without further ado, let's take a closer look at the steps to respond to a debt lawsuit in Kansas.

1. Address each claim against you

The first sectoin of your Answer should focus on responding to each claim against you. These claims are listed in the Complain documents you received when you were notified of the lawsuit. The claims are usually presented in a numbered list, and you should respond by paragraph number in your Answer.

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond.

In your Answer, you can agree or disagree with the individual claims being made by the plaintiff. You should answer each complaint with a simple “I agree,” “I disagree,” or “I don't know.” For anything that you are questioning or denying, the plaintiff will have to provide evidence as to why you are wrong in order to make their case.

Note that most attorneys recommend denying as many claims as possible, because when you do, the plaintiff is forced to prove each them.

2. Assert affirmative defenses

The third section of your Answer will be where you list your affirmative defenses. Affirmative defenses are facts about the case or the law that require the plaintiff to lose the case. These must be facts that you can back up with evidence.

It is important that you do not just copy and paste affirmative defenses from sources on the internet. You should develop your own affirmative defenses that are relative to your case and the actual reasons you are denying the creditor's claim. The judge or the plaintiff's attorney is likely to ask you to testify as to the reasons you chose a particular affirmative defense, so be ready with your explanations.

There are a few things that you never want to use as an affirmative defense. Some of these include:

  • Not being able to pay the debt due to financial hardship. This is not an acceptable affirmative defense, because although it is the reason you haven't paid the debt, it is not actually a defense against owing it.
  • Claiming injury by the creditor is not an affirmative defense to the debt, as the debt could be legally owed even though the plaintiff committed some error. Any injury that you claim against the plaintiff must be filed as a Defendant's Claim with the appropriate Kansas court, accompanied by the appropriate filing fee.

That said, there are any number of affirmative defenses that might apply to your case. Here are some of the most common:

  • The plaintiff is not the original creditor and there is no chain of custody or paper trail to prove that the debt collector has a legal right to collect the debt.
  • The statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit to collect the debt has expired.
  • There was no exchange of money or goods, which can sometimes void a contract.
  • The plaintiff is a debt collector who purchased the debt, but the original creditor accepted funds for the debt, in part or in full, from a third party on your behalf, such as with some debt relief programs.
  • The principal is accurate, but the interest and fees charged by the debt collector are unethical or exceed those allowed by law.
  • The Plaintiff is not entitled to reimbursement of legal fees incurred in the case because the original contract did not allow for such.
  • You were the victim of identity theft and did not agree to the debt.
  • There are other defendants that should be listed on the claim that should owe all or part of the debt.

SoloSuit makes it easy to make the right defenses.

Your affirmative defenses will vary depending on your case, what goods or services were exchanged, whether or not you had a written contract, and what exactly the debt collector includes in the Complaint. Make sure that you tailor your affirmative defenses to specifically apply to your situation.

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

The final section of your Answer document will be your Certificate of Service, which is a statement declaring that you mailed a copy of the Answer to the plaintiff or their attorney.

When your answer is complete, it must be filed with the court clerk's office, either by certified mail or in person. It can be a good idea to file your Answer in person at the court's offices, if you are able. This will ensure that the Answer is filed before the end of the 21 day deadline.

SoloSuit files for you.

You will also have to mail a copy of the Answer to the plaintiff or their attorney. This copy should be mailed using certified or express mail. This is because with these two types of mail the recipient must sign, and you receive the return slip proving that they received the document.

If you are nearing the end of the 21 day deadline and need to act quickly, Solosuit can file your Answer for you, including mailing overnight to the court and plaintiff to ensure that you meet the deadline.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

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

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit. (We can help you in all 50 states.)

The statute of limitations on debt can protect you in Kansas

Creditors and debt collectors must follow certain laws and regulations, both federally and on a state and local level. One of these laws is the statute of limitations on debt collection in Kansas. There is a specific window for creditors and collectors to sue for the debt in question. If they don't meet their deadline, they cannot collect on the debt.

The Kansas statute of limitations on debt resulting from a credit card, medical, student loan, auto loan, mortgage, personal loan is five years. Likewise, the statute of limitations on judgments is five years in Kansas.

In other words, creditors and debt collectors only have five years to sue you for a debt in Kansas, typically starting from your last action on an account. So, if you haven't made a payment on your credit card debt for more than five years, you could use this as an affirmative defense in your case to get it dismissed.

The table below further outlines the statute of limitations on different types of debt in Kansas.

Statute of Limitations on Debt in Kansas

Debt Type Deadline in Years
Oral Contracts 3 years
Credit Card 5 years
Medical 5 years
Student Loan 5 years
Auto Loan 5 years
Mortgage 5 years
Personal Loan 5 years
Judgment 5 years
Kan. Stat. § 60-511, 512, and 2403

The statute of limitations on debt in Kansas begins on the day that the account was charged off, closed, or you stopped paying for the products or services. For debt collection agencies, the statute of limitations begins when the original creditor closes the account or sells the debt.

If a debt collector or creditor tries to sue you for a debt that is older than these deadlines, they are not usually able to receive a judgment for the debt. However, in some cases a judge may order you to pay a debt, even if it goes past the normal statute of limitations, based on evidence provided.

Every state has at least one government-funded organization that provides free legal services to people. Kansas has one. You can contact this organization to ask questions about the legal process and how to handle a case.

Kansas Legal Services, Inc.
712 South Kansas Avenue, Suite 200
Topeka, Kansas 66603
(800) 723-6953

Key Takeaways

If you haven't gotten the idea by now, you should never ignore a debt summons. If you are sued by a creditor or debt collector, you should make sure that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities in the case.

With most debt collections, the matter is usually fairly straight forward. You either owe the debt or don't, and have the evidence to back up your claims. When you are clear about the facts of the case, handling the matter on your own can usually be accomplished successfully.

One of the most important parts of defending yourself when you are being sued is your Answer. It is important that you file this document according to the rules and regulations in Kansas, according to law. If you do not file this document or if it is done incorrectly, you could end up with a default judgment against you.

If you want to make sure that your Answer is not rejected by the courts due to formatting or the information it contains, Solosuit is here to help. By filling in some blanks and answering some questions, we can help you get your Answer document created, formatted, and filed.

Remember, the key steps to responding to a debt collection Summons and Complaint are:

  1. Respond to each claim made by the plaintiff by paragraph number
  2. Formulate your affirmative defenses
  3. File your Answer with the court and mail to the plaintiff or their attorney

Good luck!

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