You know you’ve been sued, so you’re looking around trying to figure out what you need to do. Everywhere you look online about debt resolution, it says you need to file your “Answer” and that you better do it on time.
But what is an “Answer?” What does it need to say? Where do you get the paperwork? And once you find the correct paperwork, what do you need to do to file it? Our Katy debt resolution lawyers have your answers.
Your Answer is your written, legal response to the lawsuit
No magic language is required in your Answer. You just need to identify the lawsuit and say that you are the defendant and that you are answering it.
You then file the Answer in the court where the lawsuit is pending, and mail or fax a copy to the attorney that is representing the creditor. (The attorney’s contact info is in lawsuit.)
You need to do what is called a “General Denial”
A “general denial” is an Answer that denies the plaintiff’s claims and makes the plaintiff prove up their case with actual, admissible evidence.
When you do a general denial, you’re not saying “I don’t owe the money.” You’re just saying, “Prove that I owe the money.”
And it’s perfectly OK to make them prove it. Many times they can’t. In fact, we have defeated over 3000 debt lawsuits, not because our clients didn’t owe the money but because the creditor couldn’t prove that our client owed the money.
Don’t admit that you owe the money in your Answer
Many people that do their Answers on their own, instead of getting an attorney to do it for them, end up torpedoing their cases. They “write a letter to the judge” and say that they know they owe the money and that they just need a little time to pay it back.
That’s the worst thing you can do. Why?
Because if you admit that you owe the money in your Answer, then you just gave the creditor all the proof they need to get a judgment against you. You conceded your lawsuit.
You also need to set forth your defenses in your Answer, if you have any
There are many defenses to run-of-the-mill debt lawsuits and student loan lawsuits. The most common defenses are:
- Statute of Limitations: they have 4 years to sue you on a debt in Texas. If you defaulted more than 4 years ago, you may be ale to get the lawsuit dismissed for that reason.
- Standing: If your lawsuit involves a debt buyer, they need to prove they own your particular account to have standing to sue you. Sometimes, they can’t.
- ID Theft: If the debt resulted from ID theft, you may be able to get the lawsuit dismissed.
If you have a defense, but you don’t assert it in your Answer, then you won’t be allowed to use it at trial. For example, if your lawsuit was filed after the statute of limitations expired, you won’t be allowed to use the statute of limitations defense at trial if you didn’t assert it in your answer.
The safest thing to do is get a Debt Collection Attorney
Your attorney will do your answer for you and make sure it gets filed and served on time and correctly. Your attorney will assert whatever defenses you might have so that you will be able to use them at your trial.
Get a free consultation
Give us a call at 844.334.4566 or fill out the contact form. The consultation is free, and there is no obligation.