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Summary: Sued for debt and need to respond to the attorney? SoloSuit compiled this list of Attorney Lookup tools for all 50 states. You're welcome.
If you've been sued for a debt, you may not know what to do. Lawsuits can be frightening, causing a gray shadow on an otherwise sunny day.
It's essential to be objective and read every line of your Summons and Complaint. Try not to let emotions get in the way, and take a step-by-step approach to drafting your response and preparing for the court case.
How should I respond to a debt lawsuit?
Responding to a debt lawsuit involves three basic steps. These are:
Respond to each part of the Complaint
Include your affirmative defenses
File your Answer
Now, let's break each step down a little further. If you don't like reading, check out this video where SoloSuit's CEO, George Simons, discusses each step in detail:
1. Respond to each part of the Complaint
The Complaint you receive will lay out a series of numbered paragraphs that present the lawsuit against you. Usually, there are between 10 and 30 sections, and you'll want to respond to each one. There are three ways that you can answer, including:
Deny due to lack of knowledge
You'll choose one of the responses indicated above and include it in your Answer for each numbered paragraph. Most attorneys suggest denying all facts, which requires the plaintiff to prove all of the statements present in the Complaint.
An affirmative defense is used to negate civil liability, even if it is proven that the defendant committed the alleged acts. The affirmative defense must be used at the initial onset of a case. If they aren't brought up now, you cannot use them later. Some common affirmative defenses in relation to an overdue debt include:
That the debt is not yours
That the contract related to the debt was canceled
That you were not informed of your rights as a co-signer on the debt
Other affirmative defenses may be used in relation to debt. If your circumstances don't fit these examples, you can research other types of defenses. You may also consult with an attorney for assistance.
The Answer must be filed with both the court and the plaintiff's attorney. “Plaintiff” is the fancy, legal word for the person or company suing you. To file your Answer, you'll need to print three copies of the document. One copy will be sent to your court. Another will be sent to the plaintiff's attorney, while the third should be kept for your own records.
Make sure that you are mailing your Answer to the appropriate addresses for your court and the plaintiff's attorney. If you make a mistake and send the Answer to the wrong address, you may miss the time frame for filing, which could result in a default judgment.
A default judgment is something that you don't want. It allows the plaintiff to begin other activities in relation to the debt, such as garnishing your wages or placing a lien on your home. Filing your Answer in a timely manner may prevent a default judgment against you. You have 14-35 days to respond to a debt lawsuit, depending on which state you live in. This is why you should answer your debt lawsuit as soon as possible.
SoloSuit has compiled a thorough list of the rules for answering a summons for all 50 states. In this guide, we've provided a link to find the address of your plaintiff's attorney for every state.
Use these Attorney lookup tools for every state
Sometimes, the court Summons and Complaint lists an outdated address for the opposing party's attorney. In other cases, the address isn't listed at all. This makes serving the plaintiff pretty complicated, but we're here to help.
Below are the links you can use to find your creditor's attorney in every state. You should be able to find your attorney's name by reviewing the complaint you received for the debt.
If you've been sued for a debt, it's essential to take the appropriate steps to defend yourself.
You generally have three choices. These include paying the full debt owed prior to the date of your court case, filing an Answer, or doing nothing. Doing nothing is the worst course of action to take because it may result in a default judgment against you. If you need help filing an Answer, SoloSuit can help.
What is SoloSuit?
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
It only takes 15 minutes. And 50% of our customers' cases have been dismissed in the past.
"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