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6 Tips for drafting the answer in a debt collection lawsuit

  1. Give a brief response: There are some laws that guide writing an answer to a lawsuit like these; for example; the Federal rule of civil procedure (Rule 7, subsection A2) states that a core document can answer to a complaint and when answering to a complaint, it’s either you admit or deny paragraphs in the complaints, claim a lack of knowledge and state your defense.

  2. Deny the lawsuit: you can deny if you don’t agree with a part of the document or you want them to prove that a paragraph is true whilst you can agree if you agree with absolutely everything in the document.

    There are complicated cases when you agree to some part of the lawsuit and deny a part too and that’s why you should only admit when you agree with everything outlined in the document. If not, denying works better.

  3. Include affirmative defenses: There are several options you can respond with according to Rule 8c of the Federal rule of civil procedure, they are;

    • Accord and satisfaction- this is when you tried to settle the debt for less.
    • Winning an arbitration- this means you arbitrated the lawsuit and won.
    • Assumption of risk – your creditors took up the risk.
    • Contribution to negligence- your creditor somehow contributed to the bad outcome.
    • Duress- that means you were forced to agree to the agreement.
    • Estoppel- This is when your creditor is stopped for a lot of reasons from giving you this lawsuit.
    • Failure of consideration- this happens when a company didn’t deliver on their side of the agreement.
    • Fraud- This could be that your creditor was fraudulent when he made the deal.
    • Illegality – this is when you were forced to do something illegal.
    • Injury by a fellow servant.
    • Latches- Your creditor waited too long but can’t see anyone.
    • Payment- If you’ve already paid the debt, you don’t have to pay it again when you get a lawsuit,
    • Release-
    • Statute of frauds- they can’t see your contract in writing.
    • Statute of limitations- When your creditor sues you after the time allowed has expired.
    • Waiver- the creditor has to let you off the hook.

      Other applicable defenses are those in the federal rule of civil procedure (12B) they are also called 12 B defenses.

    • Lack of subject matter jurisdiction: being sued in a court that doesn’t handle that case.
    • Lack of personal jurisdiction- This is when a suit is filed in another location apart from where you live.
    • Venue- this is when you are sued in the wrong place .
    • Service- if you were wrongly served a lawsuit.

  4. Use standard formatting or quote Style: This is necessary especially when you are filing without an attorney. According to Rule 10 form of pleadings, A standard style must have some key points, they are;
    • The defendant’s information in the top left corner, name, address, and email address.
    • Next is the court information; country, type of court, and state (all in CAPS)
    • Plaintiff’s name,
    • Defendant’s name,
    • Title of the document which is most likely is your answer to the complaint.
    • The case number, most courts use this to file the case.

  5. Include the Certificate of service.- If a service is represented by an attorney, service under this rule may be made by an attorney unless the court orders service of the party. In other words, you can just serve your attorney. Certificate of service has three elements which are; how you served them the email, the Plaintiff’s and court address, and the date you served them.

  6. E-sign the document: According to Rule 11 of the FRCP, it says every written pleading motion and other paper must be signed by the party personally if they are unrepresented.

To sign the document, you can’t sign it by hand, you can use what is called the slash S
sign to confirm the document.