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

George Simons | December 06, 2023

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Summary: If you're facing a debt collection lawsuit in Nebraska, it's important to take action. You have 30 days to respond to a debt lawsuit in Nebraska and avoid losing automatically by default judgment. To respond to your lawsuit, you should file a written Answer in the court where you respond to each claim against you and assert your affirmative defenses. SoloSuit can help you draft and file an Answer in a matter of minutes.

Wow, I can't wait for that debt collector to call again — said nobody ever.

None of us want to be faced with a debt collection lawsuit, but if you are, the best way to get a positive outcome in court is to take action by responding to the Summons and Complaint. Unfortunately this is easier said than done, and the process can be overwhelming.

Not sure where to begin? SoloSuit is here to guide you through the process of responding to the lawsuit on your own. Or if you'd rather make it easier on yourself, you can use our automated service to create an Answer to the lawsuit in just 15 minutes.

As you work through the process, remember that regardless of the debt you owe, you have rights. When it comes to debt collection laws, Nebraska operates under the U.S. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). To further explore your rights in Nebraska before you complete your Answer, check out this Collections Handbook from Nebraska Legal Aid.

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Nebraska Deadline for Answering a Debt Collection Summons

Under Nebraska debt collection laws, after you receive a Summons and Complaint, you have 30 days to file an Answer.

An Answer is simply a statement of whether or not you agree that you owe the creditor the money. Regardless of whether you think you owe the debt or not, if you are served with a Summons, it's crucial to respond. If you fail to submit an Answer within 30 days, a Default Judgment can be entered against you. This means the creditor automatically wins the case, and you have to pay the debt amount that appears on the Summons and Complaint.

Even though you have a month to get this done, it's a good idea to start early, as there are several steps you need to take in order to submit a successful Answer.

Nebraska Answer to Summons Forms

There are a couple of approaches you can take to creating an Answer.

The first option is to use SoloSuit's Answer form to respond. We'll help you create your Answer, have an attorney review it, and make sure it gets to the court and the Plaintiff on time.

This will be easier than doing it on your own or using Nebraska's Answer and General Denial Form. (Note that you only want to use this Nebraska Answer form if you plan to deny all of the allegations listed on your Summons and Complaint. If you disagree with any of the allegations, you will want to undergo a more intensive process — see below!)

If you'd rather go it alone, we'll tell you how to create your own Answer below.

Answer Filing Fees for Nebraska

There is no fee to file an Answer in Nebraska.

Steps to Respond to a Debt Collection Case in Nebraska

When you owe a creditor money and they file a debt collection lawsuit in Nebraska, you will be served with a Summons and Complaint that states the allegations against you. Under Nebraska Revised Statute 25-505.01, you can legally be served by mail or in person.

When you receive a Summons and Complaint, don't blow it off: respond within 30 days, or you could face a Default Judgment and immediately lose your case, which means you'll have to pay.

To submit an Answer to a Summons and Complaint on your own, you'll want to start by setting up a properly formatted document. Your document should be typed and look professional, since you'll submit it to the court where a judge will review it.

For starters, your Answer document needs to be in the right format, known in legal terms as “styling.” Essentially, to meet the formatting guidelines you need to put several key pieces of information at the top of your document.

This should include:

  • Your first and last name
  • Your address (make sure it's correct)
  • The name of the creditor's attorney
  • The creditor's name
  • Court information (specify whether it is a state or a city court)
  • Court address
  • Case information (index number, case number, debt amount on the Complaint)

Double-check to make sure you have included all of this information and that it is correct. When you're done, it's time to start writing your Answer.

But what should you include in your Answer docuent? Follow these three steps when drafting your Answer to a debt lawsuit in Nebraska:

  1. Respond to each allegation included in the Complaint
  2. Put forth affirmative defenses
  3. File a copy of your Answer with the court and serve the Plaintiff

Below, we'll break down each of these steps in detail. Don't like reading? Watch this video instead to learn how to respond to a debt lawsuit in Nebraska:

1. Answer each issue of the Complaint

On your Complaint, you'll see a list of paragraphs with numbers. Each paragraph explains a different allegation against you. What you need to do here is respond to each allegation. You can do this in one of three ways:

  • State that the allegation is true
  • Deny the allegation
  • State that you have insufficient knowledge or information to know whether the allegation is true or untrue

SoloSuit makes it simple to respond the right way.

You always want to be truthful about whether an allegation is true or not. For most of the allegations, the answer will be clear. But there will likely be some allegations you feel uncertain or confused about. If you're uncertain, you can either deny the allegation or state that you don't have sufficient knowledge or information to know if it is true. Regardless of how you respond, the allegations will have to be proven in court.

2. Assert affirmative defenses

The next step in creating your Answer is to assert affirmative defenses, or reasons why the plaintiff does not have a case. Below are some of the most common and effective affirmative defenses.

  • The account doesn't belong to you. Whether there is an incorrect account number listed on the Complaint, someone has stolen your identity and created the account, or the account belongs to someone with a similar name to yours, stating that the account isn't yours (as long as that is true) is a powerful affirmative defense. Ideally, you will want to submit any proof you have as part of your answer.

  • You already paid the debt. If you paid all or some of the debt or negotiated a lower payment amount with the creditor and they are still asking you to pay the full amount, use this affirmative defense. If you have proof that you already paid, include it when you submit your Answer.

  • The statute of limitations has ended. In Nebraska, the statute of limitations on a debt is four years from your last payment. If four years have expired, you are no longer legally responsible for the debt.

  • The amount on the Complaint is incorrect. If there is an error in the original amount listed, or in the interest, late fees, or penalties you can use this affirmative defense. Even if you don't get out of the debt entirely, you could get the amount you owe reduced to a fair level.

  • The debt was discharged when you filed for bankruptcy. While stating that you cannot pay a debt is not an allowable affirmative defense, if your debt was discharged by the creditor during a bankruptcy case, you are no longer legally required to pay it.

  • It is uncertain whether the plaintiff holds the debt. In most cases, the party that is suing you is not the original holder of the debt, since creditors often sell uncollected debt to collections agencies. With this affirmative defense, you require the original holder of the debt to prove through evidence that they purchased your debt and now legally hold it.

It's important to bring up your affirmative defenses in your Answer document, because you might not get the chance to do so if the case moves forward.

With SoloSuit you can make the right affirmative defenses the right way.

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

The last step in responding to a Summons and Complaint is properly filing your Answer. But you'd be surprised how often people fail to do this correctly, only to find out that their Answer never arrived and a default judgment has been entered against them.

If you want to be certain that your Answer arrives, SoloSuit can file it for you and ensure that it gets to the right place. Otherwise, you should start by making a copy of your Answer and copies of any documentation you will submit. You will keep all of this for your records.

In addition, you will need to:

  • Make two copies of your Answer (including any evidence you have)
  • Send one copy to the court at the proper address
  • Send one copy to the plaintiff's lawyer

SoloSuit files for you.

Before you drop the copies in the mail, make sure you have the court address correct. Sometimes the address does not appear on the Summons or the mailing address for the court is different from the courthouse address.

It's also a good idea to mail both copies using Certified Mail so you have proof that the documents arrived. Once you've mailed everything, put your own copy of the Answer, with any other documentation you submitted, in a safe place.

Statute of Limitations on Debt in Nebraska

In general, the statute of limitations on debt collection in Nebraska is five years from the date you submitted your last payment. If the statute of limitations has expired, you are no longer legally responsible for the debt.

However, keep in mind that if the Nebraska debt collection statute of limitations has expired, you must use this as an affirmative defense in your Answer. If you don't, you can still be sued. And believe us, creditors will keep trying, so be on guard!

The table below further outlines the statute of limitations on different types of debt in Nebraska:

Statute of Limitations on Debt in Nebraska

Debt Type Deadline
Credit Card 5 years
Medical 5 years
Student Loan 5 years
Auto loan 5 years
Personal loan 5 years
Judgment 5 years
Mortgage 10 years
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25

All states have government-funded organizations that will provide free legal services to those who need them. Here is Nebraska's organization: Legal Aid of Nebraska

There are branches in Omaha, Lincoln, Norfolk, Grand Island, Bancroft, Lexington, North Platte, and Scottsbluff.

State Court Locations

You can find a list of state courts with addresses here.

Key Takeaways

Way to go— now you know how to file your Answer to a Summons and Complaint in Nebraska!

As a quick refresher, here's what you learned:

You have 30 days to file your answer. To submit an Answer successfully, make sure to:

  • Create a properly formatted Answer document
  • Write a response to each allegation in the Complaint
  • Add affirmative defenses to bolster your case
  • Serve your answer to opposing counsel and mail a copy to the court

The statute of limitations on debt is generally five years in Nebraska, except for mortgage debt. This means that you creditors and debt collectors only have five years from your last missed payment to sue you over a debt.

Finished reading the guide and still need help? SoloSuit is here for you. We'll help you get your Answer completed in just 15 minutes, then we'll have an attorney review it and file it for you.

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.)

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