Start My Answer

What Is a Motion to Suppress?

George Simons | July 21, 2022

A Motion to Suppress can get rid of evidence against you.

Summary: Filing a Motion to Suppress removes any evidence that was obtained illegally in a case. Here's SoloSuit's guide on using this type of motion.

A Motion to Suppress is a formal request made by a defendant to exclude certain evidence in a case during trial. The motion is filed with the court and considered by the judge. A hearing where the parties can make arguments for, or against, the motion may be necessary.

The concept of making a Motion to Suppress available to parties involved in a legal action stems from another legal principle: the exclusionary rule. This rule was created to prevent evidence that was collected or obtained illegally from seeing the light of day at a jury trial. Most commonly, the exclusionary rule is exercised in a criminal case where a defendant is arguing their constitutional rights were violated by members of law enforcement during an illegal search and seizure of their home, vehicle, etc.

That being said, this type of motion is not usually brought up in civil cases (and, therefore, debt lawsuits). Rather, it's a motion that is common in criminal cases.

Motion to Suppress is typically filed before trial

It is possible to file a Motion to Suppress at varying points throughout the course of a lawsuit. Nevertheless, a Motion to Suppress is most often filed prior to trial when both parties have an understanding of what evidence each party wants to try and present to the court. A Motion to Suppress typically claims that a piece of evidence, or all evidence, should be excluded from trial due to its improper collection or seizure by the other party.

It is also important to know the rules and filing deadlines for civil lawsuits, which includes debt collection lawsuits, in your state. Why? Because you need to know the specific deadline that applies to filing a Motion to Suppress after the plaintiff serves you with a lawsuit.

Use SoloSuit to respond to a debt collection lawsuit and win your case.

Grounds for filing a Motion to Suppress

Filing a Motion to Suppress a piece of evidence, or multiple pieces of evidence, is usually connected to the search, seizure, and mismanagement of that evidence by the other party. The most common reasons to file a Motion to Suppress include:

  • Unlawful search and seizure
  • Chain of custody issues
  • Invalid search warrant
  • Evidence was acquired in another unconstitutional manner

Like we mentioned before, filing a Motion to Suppress is not a common practice in debt lawsuits. Filing a Motion to Dismiss is similar and much more appropriate in such cases.

Can a debt collector sue you without evidence of debt ownership?

The creditor must show proof of ownership

Legally, if the plaintiff cannot prove their claim against you, then their case won't stand in court. This explains why experts recommend citing 'lack of knowledge' as a response to the debt collection lawsuit. Apart from compelling the other party to prove their allegations, this strategy also allows the plaintiff to buy more time to consult even further on how best to tackle the lawsuit.

The plaintiff will most likely present evidence that you owe the stated amount. This evidence could be in the form of written agreements signed by you. However, just because the other party has a copy of the written agreement doesn't necessarily mean that you owe the debt. Here's why.

When you owe your creditors a certain amount of money, they may try to recover it within the first few weeks. But if they can't get a hold of you, usually between 90 and 180 days, they'll send you a letter to let you know that they'll hand over the debt account to collections.

This basically means that they'll sell off your debt to a debt collection agency. Creditors do this to save the time, energy, and resources required to pursue an old debt. Because their main business model is based on helping consumers acquire loans, they may not have the time or resources to pursue multiple consumers when they fail to honor their part of the agreement.

The creditor passes the debt on to a collector

That's where a debt collection agency comes in. Unlike creditors, debt collectors specialize in following up on old debt, hoping to recover it in part or whole. These agencies buy debt from creditors for a fraction of the original cost and then try to recover the full amount. This means they make a huge profit off the consumer.

In the process, the debt could switch hands multiple times. For example, a debt collector can sell the debt to multiple collection agencies, usually referred to as junk debt buyers. There's no limit to the number of junk debt buyers who may purchase your debt. As a result, the debt might switch hands several times.

The biggest challenge with this system is that, as the debt switches hands, the original information could be manipulated somewhere along the way, either intentionally or unintentionally. In addition, some debt collection agencies might even sue you for debt that you don't owe. This could be a case of mistaken identity, identity theft, or anything in between.

Regardless of the reason, you can ask the court to suppress particular evidence tabled against you by the plaintiff. If the court accepts your Motion to Suppress evidence, the case is dismissed.

What to do if sued over debt

As mentioned earlier, your debt could switch hands several times before you even get sued. Therefore, you may be surprised to find out that the debt details have also changed throughout the process. For this reason, when you are contacted about a debt you owe, it's important that you request a debt validation before you agree to making any payments on the account.. You can do this by sending a Debt Validation Letter, which requires the collector to prove certain information about the debt before filing a lawsuit (i.e. the exact amount owed, who actually owns the debt, etc).

If there is already a lawsuit filed against you, there is still hope. You should respond to the court Summons and Complaint by filing a written Answer. As a part of your Answer, you should state your affirmative defenses. This is where you get to give your side of the story. An affirmative defense is basically a declaration that explains why the plaintiff does not have a case.

For instance, if the debt is time-barred, you can use this factor as an affirmative defense against the plaintiff's claims.

However, if everything about the debt is accurate and you believe you owe the stated amount, you can negotiate with the debt collector. Most debt collectors are always willing to negotiate because they have nothing to lose in the process. In fact, negotiation confirms your commitment to paying off the debt, and that's better than not responding at all. But, on the other hand, failure to respond to a debt collection comes with dire consequences.

Settle your debt by sending a Debt Lawsuit Settlement Letter.

For more tips and tricks on reaching a settlement with the collector, check out the video below. SoloSuit's founder, George Simons, explains 3 helpful tips for negotiating a settlement that is ideal for you:

Consequences of a default judgment in a debt collection lawsuit

It's much more difficult to obtain a favorable outcome in a debt collection lawsuit if you don't respond to a court Summons or Complaint letter. For instance, if you don't appear in court as the judge requires, the plaintiff will win the case automatically. The judge will then pass a default judgment against you.

This kind of judgment gives the plaintiff legal authority to pursue every means possible to recover the debt as long as it's done within the confines of the law. For example, they can garnish your wages, seize your property, among other things.

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


Get Started


We have answers.
Join our community of over 40,000 people.

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.


Ask a Question


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

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.

Guides on how to beat every debt collector

Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.

Win against credit card companies

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

Get answers to these FAQs

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?

SoloSuit FAQ

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 I Stop Wage Garnishment?

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?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

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?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

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

How to Liquidate Debt

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

How to Stop a Garnishment

Debt Eraser 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