How to Win a Credit Card Lawsuit
You are probably here because you have been served with a credit card debt summons. If that is the case, you are in the right place! Our site is specifically designed for anyone who has received a summons from either a junk debt buyer or an aggressive credit card company. We provide you with free information that has already been used by thousands to win real credit card lawsuits, and get debt litigation cases dismissed!
The most important thing you can do right now: Answer your summons!
If you do not answer your summons, you will lose. It’s really as simple as that. Below are the steps you need to take in order to answer your summons. First, we will provide you with a quick summary, and then go further in depth.
How to Answer Your Credit Card Summons
- Review Complaint & Summons carefully
- Draft Answer to Complaint
- Draft Motions (if applicable)
- Prepare Notice to Appear (Pro-Se)
- Draft Sworn Denial (if applicable)
- Prepare Certificate of Service
- File Document with Court Clerk
- Mail Copies to Plaintiff
1. Review Complaint & Summons Carefully
Upon being served a credit card lawsuit, review the entire summons packet and pay close attention to all the information.
Here are some things to look for:
- Is it the original creditor filing the complaint?
- Does a third party collector have legal claims to the debt?
- When does the court expect a response?
- Is the original contract you signed with the creditor, or statements attached to the complaint?
2. Draft Answer to Complaint
The complaint will contain a list of allegations against you. This is called the pleading form. You must respond to each and every allegation to preserve all your rights. Failure to respond to a specific allegation may be an admission of its validity.
Generally, your answer for each allegation should be one of the following:
- Admitted – you are not challenging the accuracy of the allegation
- Denied – you are claiming the allegation is inaccurate
- Lack of knowledge or information insufficient to either admit or deny
There are other affirmative defenses you can use in lieu of or in conjunction with your answers listed above. Some of these affirmatives defenses include:
- Statutes of Limitations – the lawsuit was filed after the statuary limit on debt collection.
- Lack of Privity- no debt relationship exists between the plaintiff and the defendant used in cases when the plaintiff has purchased rights to collect debt.
- Invalid or Fraudulent Assignment of Debt (i.e. 3rd party creditor was not properly assigned defendant’s debt obligations).
There are many more affirmative defenses applicable in debt lawsuit cases, for more information on this, click link below.
3. Draft Motions (if applicable)
There are a few commonly motions used to defend credit card lawsuits. Before drafting your motion, however, be sure to look up your court rules for proper formatting. Many courts discard improperly formatted motions without ever considering its merits. The two most commonly used motions in debt lawsuit cases are the motion to dismiss and motion to strike affidavit of debt.
Motion to Dismiss
A motion to dismiss may be filed if you feel the plaintiff does not have the legal right to sue you. A careful review of various affirmative defenses should be made to identify legal support for this motion. When researching and preparing a motion to dismiss, remember the following:
- Read court rules to see if complaint and summons were properly prepared
- Clearly list all legal reasons to support case dismissal
- Check court rules to determine if a memorandum or affidavit should accompany the motion
Click here for information I used to get 4 cases dismissed
Motion to Strike Affidavit of Debt (only applies to 3rd party Affidavit)
An affidavit of debt is a sworn statement from the collection agency stating that they are privy to the records kept by the original creditor concerning the debt in question. This is how they certify that the information in the complaint is true, but oftentimes, the creditor’s affidavit of debt is fraudulent due to lack of evidence to support it. In these cases, filing a motion to strike the affidavit may be appropriate.
4. Draft Notice to Appear (Pro Se)
It is critical that you answer your summons by filing a notice to appear by the date stated by the court in the summons. Inform the court you will be appearing ‘pro-se’(representing yourself). Failure to show up in court will likely result in an automatic judgment in the plaintiff’s favor.
To properly file your notice to appear you should:
- Tell the court you plan to attend court and defend your lawsuit
- Attach your certificate of service that includes every document you mailed
- Mail (serve) one copy to the plaintiff & keep one for yourself (more on this below)
Here is a sample text of notice to appear Pro-Se:
The undersigned enters an appearance in this action and demands notice of….’
5. Draft a Sworn Denial (Only applicable with third-party)
A sworn denial challenges the validity of a plaintiff’s affidavit of debt (as hearsay). A sworn denial typically includes statements which:
- Deny debt belongs to the defendant
- Deny debt is valid if debt belongs to defendant
- Deny amount of the debt the plaintiff is suing for is correct.
6. Prepare Certificate of Service
Once you have prepared all the documents to defend your credit card lawsuit you are ready to prepare a certificate of service (COS) proving the documents were ‘served’ to the plaintiff. The certificate of service should be filed with the clerk’s office, and mailed to the plaintiff. It is very important that you mail the COS along with any documents that are filed with the court from here on out.
Here is text from a sample certificate of service:
I hereby certify that a copy of ANSWER/AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES, NOTICE OF APPEARANCE and SWORN DENIAL have been served upon the following by mailing a copy, via First Class Mail, Certified, return receipt, properly addressed with proper postage to: [ADDRESS OF PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY].’
7. File Documents with Court Clerk
The final step in responding to your credit card lawsuit is to file all pertinent documents with the court clerk.
- Get pertinent documents (I.e. Answer/Affirmative Defense, Sworn Denial, Motions) notarized
- Make 2 copies of all documents. File originals with court. Mail a copy to the plaintiff. Keep copies for your records.
- Be sure to get all copies initialized and date stamped by court clerk.
8. Mail Copies to Plaintiff
All documents filed with the court should also be sent, or ‘served’ to the plaintiff. You can potentially lose your case if you forget to do this, or do not keep proof. Please make sure you do the following when mailing legal documents to plaintiff:
- Send documents certified mail with return receipt
- Keep receipt in safe place in case it is needed later
- Be sure to include certificate of service
Click here to see how I answered my Summons in under an hour!