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

George Simons | December 06, 2023

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: If you've been sued in Nevada, you have 20 days to respond to a debt lawsuit by filling a written Answer document. In your Answer, you should respond to each claim against you and assert your affirmative defenses. Responding before the deadline will help you avoid losing by default judgment. SoloSuit can help you draft and file an Answer to a Nevada debt lawsuit in minutes.

Finding out that you're being sued for debt collection can be pretty stressful. It's likely that you're already working really hard to keep up with paying your bills and struggling to make ends meet. The idea of facing a lawsuit on your own may feel like too much to take. Ideally you'd want to get legal help, but if you have money to hire an attorney you probably wouldn't have fallen this far behind in the first place. Under these circumstances it may feel really tempting to ignore the lawsuit altogether, but as you'll learn below that's the worst thing you can do.

This article can help make the process of responding to a lawsuit on your own a little easier and less intimidating, by walking you through the process of responding to a debt collection lawsuit in Nevada. This will include information specific to filing in Nevada, including specific Nevada deadlines and forms.

Table of Contents

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Respond to your debt lawsuit before Nevada's deadline

In Nevada, you have 20 days to respond to a debt lawsuit, according to Rule 12 of Nevada Justice Court's Rules of Civil Procedure.

If you don't respond during the allowed timeframe, then the Court can issue something called a default judgment against you. This means that because you did not respond you have been found responsible for the debt as laid out in the Complaint. The plaintiff can now get a Court Order stating this that they can use to garnish your paycheck to collect the money; garnishment removes money from your paycheck before you even see it.

Chances are, that would put you in a worse financial position than you started in, plus you will have lost the opportunity to contest anything in the Complaint, like the amount owed or even if you owe it. So, the single most important thing you can do when served with a lawsuit is to respond by filing an Answer before the deadline to avoid a default judgment.

Note that, if your case is in the Nevada Supreme Court, the deadline is 21 days. However, most debt lawsuits are under the jurisdication of Nevada Justice Courts or District Courts.

Use a Nevada Answer to Summons forms to draft your response

SoloSuit's Answer form takes minutes to fill out online and includes all the proper legal formatting, wording, and defenses you might need to fight your debt lawsuit in Nevada. The SoloSuit software can help you draft a personalized Answer to your case. All you have to do is respond to a series of questoins regarding your case, and it will generate an automatic response for you.

Alternatively, you will find the state's general answer form for civil lawsuits like debt collection cases below. Please note that the form is slightly different depending on which court's jurisdiction you are under. In Nevada District courts have general jurisdiction over all legal disputes, however, Justice Court handles civil matters involving amounts under $10,000. The good news here is that you don't need to figure out which one to use, because the plaintiff already did. You can determine which Answer form to use by looking at which Court is written in the caption of your Summons and Complaint. Use it to respond to the Summons and Complaint.

Nevada courts charge an Answer filing fee

Nevada courts charge a fee to file your Answer. While most courts charge $71 to file an Answer to a debt lawsuit, it depends on the court. Filing fees range anywhere from $33 to $238.

SoloSuit calculates the filing fee for you, and has a database of hundreds of Nevada courts and the fees they charge. SoloSuit can help you file an Answer into your case and has experience doing so in courts throughout the state of Nevada.

If you cannot afford to pay the filing fee, you can fill out a Nevada fee waiver application. SoloSuit can also submit your fee waive application along with your Answer.

Follow these steps to respond to a debt collection case in Nevada

A lawsuit begins when one party files a Summons and Complaint against you. The filer (or “plaintiff”) files these documents with the court to seek a legal finding against you that you are responsible for the debt listed in the paperwork and obligated to pay it. The plaintiff is usually not your original creditor, rather a third party debt collection company that purchased the debt for pennies on the dollar from the original creditor.

You can respond to the lawsuit by either filing a Motion or an Answer document. Generally speaking an Answer is sufficient most of the time. Motions can get complicated and are best left to attorneys.

To respond, you should create an Answer document with the necessary information and in the proper format. You'll need to include details including your personal information, the plaintiff's information, the Courts information, and the case information. With the possible exception of your personal information you can find all of this information in the Summons and Complaint that you received. As Nevada provides forms for your use, getting the information into the proper format is relatively straightforward. SoloSuit's Answer form also makes the formatting process easier.

If you fail to respond within that 20-day (or less) period, the plaintiff will automatically win and receive a default judgment against you. Obviously we want to avoid that outcome, which you can do by completing the steps below:

  1. Answer each claim listed in the Complaint.
  2. Assert your affirmative defenses.
  3. File the Answer document with the court and serve the plaintiff with a copy.

We will go over each step in detail below. Don't like reading? Check out this video instead:

SoloSuit can help you collect the relevant information and format on your behalf.

1. Answer each claim listed in the Complaint

The Complaint document lists all the specific claims against you, and in your Answer document, you should address each one. You can admit, deny, or deny due to lack of knowledge. If you use SoloSuit, our software will walk you through responding properly to each and every paragraph.

Note that most attorneys recommend denying as many claims as possible, which will force the plaintiff to prove their claims. If they can't, they mgith just have to dismiss the case.

If you are using the Nevada forms the format is fairly basic, and is the same on both the District Court Answer Form and Judicial Court Answer Form.

For any paragraphs that you admit, you would list those numerically under paragraph 1 on the Answer document. For any paragraphs that you deny, you would list those numerically under paragraph 2 on the Answer document.

For any paragraphs that you feel you do not have sufficient knowledge or information to determine if it is true you would list those numerically under paragraph 3 on the Answer document, which then functions as another denial. Make certain to cross-check against the Complaint to make certain that you are referring to the proper numbers for the paragraphs.

Under paragraph 4, you can take the opportunity to answer any paragraphs that don't fit neatly into the first three. For example, maybe you admit part of the allegations in a specific allegation but deny others (such as admitting you owe a debt but disputing the amount.) This also gives you the opportunity to bring in additional facts as needed.

2. Assert your affirmative defenses

The next step is for you to assert your affirmative defenses. Affirmative defenses are any arguments that you can make as to why the plaintiff doesn't have a case. If you are using the Nevada court forms you can simply check any and all affirmative defenses listed that apply.

It's likely that the affirmative defenses listed are not immediately clear, as they are using specific legal terms. You can find a summary of brief definitions for all of the possible affirmative defenses on page 5 of the instructions for either District or Justice court. Please note, however, that these definitions are not comprehensive, for more complicated scenarios it is best to seek legal advice from an attorney.

Below we will offer explanations for some of the most commonly used affirmative defenses:

  • Accord and satisfaction -refers to a situation where the parties already reached a new agreement about the issue. For example, perhaps you and your creditor had an agreement to pay less than the total debt owed in full satisfaction of the debt.
  • Discharge in bankruptcy - if you previously filed a bankruptcy case that resulted in discharge and included this debt, you are no longer legally obligated to pay it. This can come up frequently as third party collection agencies don't always check if the debt was discharged in bankruptcy.
  • Payment - This can be used if you have already paid the debt at issue. Here if you have documentation to support this you can attach it for the court to review.
  • Statute of Limitations - a statute of limitations refers to the amount of time that one party has to bring a legal action against another. We will discuss in more detail below the statute of limitations for debt collection in Nevada which can range from three to ten years, depending on the type of debt. If the lawsuit against you is outside of these limits, this defense can stop the plaintiff from getting a court order against you.

SoloSuit can show you all of the available affirmative defenses and how to determine which apply to you.

Beyond affirmative defenses, you also have the opportunity to assert additional potential defenses, sometimes referred to as counterclaims. Please keep in mind, however, that this can get much more complicated despite having a form to fill in. If you believe that you have viable counterclaims it is best to seek assistance from an attorney who practices in this area of law.

Potential defenses would be appropriate in the event that the plaintiff violated Nevada debt collection laws. The laws are very much in line with the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) which protects consumers from harassment and threats by debt collection agencies.

Nevada enacted the Nevada fair debt collection practices act which incorporates the FDCPA under the Nevada Revised Statutes (N.R.S. § 649.370), such that any violation of the FDCPA is also a violation of Nevada debt collection law. Additionally, Nevada has detailed regulations regarding how a debt collector may attempt to collect pursuant to fair debt collection practices act in Nevada.

3. File the Answer document with the court and serve the plaintiff with a copy

Once you've completed the paperwork for your Answer don't neglect to take the final step and file the Answer with the court. This involves a few key steps:

  • Print at least two copies of your Answer. If you can print a third one for your records that is always a good idea.
  • Mail one copy to the Court
  • Mail one copy to the plaintiff's attorney

If you are using the Nevada court forms, be certain to fill out the “Certificate of Mailing” at the end of the form. This can serve as official service of your response within the 20 day time period.

SoloSuit files the paperwork for you, so you know all the steps are covered

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 in Nevada can protect you

The statute of limitations on debt sets a deadline for creditors and debt collectors to sue over a debt. If your debt is past the statute of limitations, they will have no case against you, and you can use it as an affirmative defense in your case. Typically, this will result in a case dismissal, meaning you're off the hook.

The statute of limitations on debt in Nevada varies depending on the type of debt.

For example, the Nevada statute of limitations on credit card debt is four years, and it is six years for medical, student loan, auto loan, mortgage, and personal loan debt. This means that a creditors and debt collectors only have four years to sue on credit card debt and six years for the other types of debt, usually starting from the date of the last action on the account.

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

Statute of Limitations on Debt in Nevada

Debt Type Deadline in Years
Credit Card 4 years
Medical 6 years
Student Loan 6 years
Auto Loan 6 years
Mortgage 6 years
Personal Loan 6 years
Judgment 6 years
Nev. Rev. Stat. § 11.190

So, before you take any action when debt collectors come calling, check the statute of limitations on your debt account.

All states have legal aid organizations that offer free legal services to residents who cannot otherwise afford professional help. Below you can find some of these organizations in Nevada.

State Court Locations

Nevada's judiciary branch offers a tool online to help people locate their local courthouse. The Nevada court locator provides courthouse addresses, clerk phone numbers, and more.

Key Takeaways

So, in short, here's the review on how to answer a summons for debt collection in Nevada.

  • Remember your response deadline is at most 20 days.
  • Draft an Answer in the proper format for Nevada courts, or use or to do it for you.

Follow these three steps:

  1. Answer each claim listed in the Complaint.
  2. Assert your affirmative defenses.
  3. File and serve the Answer.

Good Luck!

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