George Simons | March 21, 2023
Summary: You have 21 days to respond to a Minnesota debt collection lawsuit before you lose by default. Usually, you should respond with a written Answer to the person suing you and the court. You can use SoloSuit to create an Answer document in just 15 minutes.
Minnesota is a unique state when it comes to debt collection lawsuits. What makes it unique? Well, a lawsuit can be initiated simply by a debt collector serving a Summons and Complaint form on a defendant—often known as pocket filing. There is no legal requirement for a debt collector to file any formal document in court before serving someone with a lawsuit.
More specifically, Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 3.01 states:
“A civil action is commenced against each defendant:
(a) when the summons is served upon that defendant; or
(b) at the date of signing a waiver of service pursuant to Rule 4.05; or
(c) when the summons is delivered for service to the sheriff in the county where the defendant resides personally, by U.S. Mail (postage prepaid), by commercial courier with proof of delivery, or by electronic means consented to by the sheriff's office either in writing or electronically; but such delivery shall be ineffectual unless within 60 days thereafter the summons is actually served on that defendant or the first publication thereof is made.
Filing requirements are set forth in Rule 5.04, which requires filing with the court within one year after commencement for non-family cases.”
This means that when you get sued for debt in Minnesota, the creditor or debt collector suing you has up to a year to file the Summons in court. So, you probably won't see a case number on the Summons when you receive it, and calling the court clerk won't help much if the case hasn't been officially filed yet.
This can make responding to the lawsuit tricky.
Luckily, SoloSuit can help in your debt collection case. We have compiled important information to help you know what to expect when handling a debt collection lawsuit. The information below, will help you respond to a Summons and Complaint for debt collection in Minnesota.
Deadline to Respond
Steps to Respond
What is SoloSuit?
Statute of Limitations in Minnesota
Minnesota Legal Aid Organizations
MN Court Locations
Minnesota's Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 12.01 states:
“Defendant shall serve an answer within 21 days after service of the summons upon that defendant unless the court directs otherwise pursuant to Rule 4.043. A party served with a pleading stating a cross-claim against that party shall serve an answer thereto within 21 days after the service upon that party.”
This means you only have 21 days to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in Minnesota.
If you fail to file your Answer within 21 days, you are essentially raising the white flag of defeat and the court will probably enter a default judgment against you. Once the debt collector has that judgment, they have the right to garnish your wages and put liens on your property.
A Garnishment Summons Minnesota is sent to the debtor after a judgment has been entered, by court order, or before the case is heard and the 21 days to respond have passed. If you receive a garnishment Summons in MN, respond to it within the timeline given, detailing the funds the creditor should exempt from garnishment.
Click here to see what types of property and funds are exempt from garnishment in Minnesota.
Now, let's take a look at an example.
Example: Polly had a $790 debt with I.C Systems, which she had defaulted from paying one year ago. She received a Summons from I.C but failed to respond to it within 21 days. As I.C waited for the court day to get the default judgment, they sent a Minnesota Garnishment Summons to Polly. She called the bank to confirm they had also received the letter, and they advised her to respond to the letter within 25 days, or I.C would gain access to all her funds if she didn't list what should be exempted.
If you are served with a Summons and Complaint form in Minnesota, examine both documents thoroughly and anything else included with the service of process. Why? Because there are instances a debt collection agency in Minnesota includes discovery requests with the Summons and Complaint. As a result, you must provide an Answer to the Complaint and respond to the discovery requests. The term “discovery request” is a legal term that means requesting for an answer to a specific question or a particular document to be produced.
It is extremely important to respond to discovery requests. If you file an Answer to the Complaint, but fail to respond to the discovery requests, it could harm the viability of your defense.
For example, if the Minnesota debt collection agency sends you a set of “Requests for Admission” and you fail to respond within 30 days, those requests are considered “admitted” under the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure. In effect, you would be admitting to the debt collection company's version of events. It is important to respond to the discovery requests to ensure you share your side of the story and enable the court to examine both sides.
You can use SoloSuit's Answer Form to respond to a debt collection Summons in Minnesota. It only takes 15 minutes to fill out the form, which will include your responses to each allegation from the Complaint and affirmative defenses. Here's a sample of the SoloSuit Answer form:
Nevertheless, if you want to fill everything out on your own, you can use the following form from the Minnesota courts:
CIV302 - This document is Minnesota's general Answer form for civil lawsuits such as debt collection cases. Use it to respond to a debt collection Summons and Complaint.
According to Minnesota debt collection laws, the courts charge an Answer filing fee. The fee amount varies by county and case type (regular civil vs small claims). The fee to file an Answer to a debt collection lawsuit in Minnesota ranges from $75-$300.
To find out the filing fee for your specific case, use Minnesota's Judicial Branch website. Use the dropdown menu under County to select the county in which you reside. Then, under Category, use the dropdown menu to select either Civil Action or Proceeding or Conciliation, depending on which type of case you have. The fee will be listed under the category “First Paper Filed” on the right side of the screen.
If you are unable to pay the filing fee, you have the option to request a fee waiver. To secure a fee waiver, you must fill out an application form and submit a copy to the court for consideration. You can qualify for a Minnesota fee waiver if you:
Receiving a fee waiver doesn't mean you will not pay any court fees. You must read the form carefully and note which court fees qualify for the waiver.
If you have been served with a Summons and Complaint form in Minnesota for an alleged debt, do not assume the allegations contained in the Complaint are accurate. You have the legal right to contest the allegations in the Complaint. In other words, you can fight back and win.
When a debt collector sues you, you must get to work formulating a response. Ignoring the Minnesota Summons and Complaint form is not recommended since the plaintiff will receive a default judgment, as we discussed before.
Follow these four steps to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in Minnesota:
Now, let's break down each of these four steps in detail. Don't like reading? Check out this video instead:
Before you start drafting your Answer, go through the Summons and Complaint to be sure you have all the information you'll need. The Summons notifies you of the lawsuit, and lists the parties involved in the case as well as the court that has jurisdiction over this case. The Complaint contains a list of the specific allegations, or claims, being made against you.
More specifically, the Summons and Complaint documents should contain the following, which you will need to draft your Answer document:
You can use SoloSuit's Answer form to compile all this information and format it in the correct, legal way. You can also fill out Minnesota's CIV302 Answer form with the information you find in the Summons and Complaint.
Your Answer document should include responses to each allegation listed in the Complaint. Each paragraph in your Answer should correspond with the numbered paragraph from the Complaint. There are three responses you can provide to each allegation in the Minnesota Civil Complaint form:
Most attorneys recommend that you deny as many allegations as you can. This gives you a stronger case, because it makes the debt collector or creditor do more work to prove their claims. If they don't have the necessary evidence to prove everything, they might even drop the case.
Respond to each allegation in the Complaint with SoloSuit's help—in just 15 minutes!
There are certain affirmative defenses you can raise to challenge the validity or viability of the debt collector's lawsuit. An affirmative defense is any legal reason that the plaintiff should lose their case. Here are some examples:
There are dozens of common affirmative defenses you can use in a debt collection lawsuit. Each one will strengthen your case and increase your chances of winning.
Make the right affirmative defense the right way with SoloSuit.
Once you have completed your Answer, file it in the court. You can send your Answer in the mail or drop it off in person at the courthouse.
You should also serve a copy of the Answer to the attorney who is representing the debt collector or creditor suing you. Make sure you fill out a sworn statement ( affidavit of service or certificate of service) to substantiate when you served the Answer. You should have a second copy ready when the debt collection company formally files suit with a court.
SoloSuit can help you file your Answer in all 50 states.
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.
"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
You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here 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.)
In Minnesota, there is a statutory limitation placed on the time allowed for a creditor or debt collector to collect on an alleged outstanding debt. This time limit is known as the Minnesota debt collection statute of limitations.
Under Minnesota law, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit for money owed due to a breach of contract is six years. This means that a creditor or debt collection company can only file a lawsuit against you within six years from the date of your last purchase or last payment. If, on the other hand, a debt collector waits too long and attempts to file a lawsuit after six years have elapsed, you can raise the MN statute of limitations on debt collection as an affirmative defense and have the case dismissed.
Minnesota Statute of Limitations
Deadline in Years
If you need help defending yourself in a debt collection lawsuit in Minnesota, there are organizations offering assistance at little-to-no-cost to Minnesota residents. These organizations include:
Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid
111 North Fifth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Legal Services Advocacy Project
2324 University Avenue West
St. Paul, MN 55114
If you need assistance on how to best respond to a debt collection lawsuit, consider utilizing SoloSuit. What is SoloSuit? Take a moment to review these FAQs to learn more.
There are ten judicial districts in Minnesota. Each district contains multiple trial courts comprising one or more of Minnesota's 87 counties. The district courts are categorized into the following districts:
Need to take a trip to your courthouse or call the court clerk for assistance? Use this court directory to find your courthouse and the clerk's phone number online.
In summary, here are the steps to take to respond to a Summons and Complaint for debt collection in Minnesota properly.
You can win your Minnesota debt lawsuit and get debt collectors off your back. Follow the steps listed throughout this article, and your chances of winning will increase. Good luck!
Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.
Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.
Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips
How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts
How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?
How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?
What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?
Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?
If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?
Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?
Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?
Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?
What is a default judgment?— What do I do?
Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?
What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?
What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?
What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency
What is a Stipulated Judgment?
What is the Deadline for a Defendants Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?
Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?
Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?
Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?
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
Am I Responsible for My Spouses Medical Debt?
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?
How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?
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?
What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?
Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?
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
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
How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands
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
How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court
Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review
Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?
Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?
How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?
How Long Does a Judgement Last?
How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?
How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court