How to Answer Admission of Facts

Credit card lawsuits are comprised of many different, tedious stages. If you have received a request for admissions of facts, you are probably part way through the process, having submitted your answer after receiving a summons.

A request for admissions of facts is part of the discovery phase of the lawsuit which allows both parties to gather information in preparation for trial. The request for admissions of facts is when one party asks the opposing party to admit, under oath, that certain facts are true or that specific documents are genuine. Please note that this is different to interrogatories which are written questions asking for particular information.

It’s important at this stage to educate yourself with your local court rules. Each state is different and requires different things from the parties in question. You may also find important information that could prevent you from making a mistake or that could help you identify the errors made by the plaintiff. For example, Texas state law requires that a request for admission of facts is submitted no later than 30 days before the end of the discovery period.

Another important detail to note is that some states put a limit on how many requests can be made to the other party. Take note of the rules in Texas:

“Any party may serve on any other party no more than 15 written requests for admissions. Each discrete subpart of a request for admission is considered a separate request for admission”.

You need to make sure that the plaintiff heeds the rules in your state and that if you file a request, you also follow them.

Remember that a request for admissions of facts is not a tool that is exclusively available to the plaintiff. As the defendant, you too can file a request for admission of facts. If you are having trouble responding to your request for admissions of facts, or you want more information about filing your own request, take a look at The Defendant’s Package.


Request First

As with all discovery phases, you will have an advantage if you submit your request for admissions of facts to the plaintiff first. Firstly, this will indicate your intent. You are not going to make this easy for them; you will fight all the way.

Secondly, it means that you will receive the admissions from the plaintiff before the plaintiff receives your admissions. This will give you a clearer idea at how the plaintiff is planning to proceed in the case as well as what they have and what they don’t have to back up their case.


Respond within the allotted time

Even if your request for admission of facts does not state that there is a deadline for submitting your response, be aware that there is a set time limit. As with your summons, it is vital that you submit your admission of facts before the deadline.

If there is no clear deadline, you must look up your local court rules under ‘Admissions’, ‘Interrogatories’ and ‘Production of Documents’. You will be able to find some, if not all of these online.

For example, Texas state rules say:

“The responding party must serve a written response on the requesting party within 30 days after service of the request”.

If you fail to respond or you file it after the closing date, all requests are deemed ‘admitted’. This, as you can imagine, is extremely damaging and detrimental to your whole defense in the trial. This means that you have essentially admitted to owning the credit card, defaulting on payment and owing largely inflated sums of money.

These are things that the plaintiff might not be able to prove himself, but by failing to respond or responding late you have given them the power to win the case without any need to produce proof.

Do not negate all of your hard work this far by failing to meet the deadlines.


Read the facts carefully

A much-loved technique of junk debt buyers is to use the same facts of admissions in every individual’s case. To them, it’s not worth carefully selecting each applicable statement. Instead, they use a generic list of requests, copied and pasted from one admission request to the other.

Read through the facts presented to see if they are applicable to your case. As you find facts are inapplicable, incomplete, or plain incorrect, mark them. These are sections that you most certainly must not respond to as truthful.


Be careful with your wording

This is where your local court rules can come in handy again. In some states, they specify how you need to respond.

It will not be enough to write ‘lack of information’ for example, even if that is true. Remember that this is a legal process and you need to remain within those boundaries. One state demands: “the responding party must specifically admit or deny the request or explain in detail the reasons that they cannot admit or deny the request”.

They also make clear that “Lack of information or knowledge is not a proper response unless the responding party states that a reasonable inquiry was made but that the information known is insufficient to enable them to admit or deny”.

As you go through, draft your responses in preparation to type your official response.


Objections

You do have a right to object to some requests as outlined in Rule 26(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. An example of an objection may be “The request seeks information subject to the attorney client privilege”. Communication between a client and his attorney are privileged and presumed to be made in confidence. A plaintiff requesting admissions of facts regarding any such communication is infringing on this privilege.

There are many other objections that may be applicable. The Defendant’s Package lists a large number of them and also gives examples and guidelines that are helpful when defending yourself pro se in a credit card lawsuit.