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Answering Interrogatories Credit Card Debt

One of the most important parts of answering a credit card summons is the discovery phase, which includes the interrogatories. Answering the interrogatories can be the turning point in your credit card lawsuit.

When the time comes to answer the interrogatories sent by the opposing party, you will receive a list of questions asking for personal information. They could include questions asking about your name, address, bank, SSN, employment status, living arrangement, monthly expenses and more. As the defendant you can respond to each interrogatory in one of three ways: provide a plain answer, object to the questions giving grounds as to why you object, or object to part of the question and respond to the other part.

If you genuinely don’t know the answer to a question, you can respond with something like “Unknown at this time. Defendant reserves the right to amend his/her answers to this interrogatory as discovery continues”.

The defendant reserves the right to object to an interrogatory if he or she finds it inappropriate or prohibited. One can answer by saying “Objection to form: This interrogatory is broad and overly burdensome” when they are objecting to the interrogatory’s form. For those questions that you object to because it seeks privileged information, respond with “Objection to question: This interrogatory seeks information that is protected by work-product and/or attorney-client privilege”. If an interrogatory simply does not apply you can mark the space with “N/A”.

While it is permissible for the defendant to object to a question on the interrogatory, he or she still must obtain permission from the court to not answer a question.

Interrogatories can aid in bringing more light to the case and are useful for:

  • Asking simple, unambiguous questions
  • Obtaining witness names
  • Gathering facts underlying a vague or indefinite statement in a pleading

Interrogatory is a form of discovery, and are there to assist both parties in the credit card lawsuit.

Request for admission and interrogatories make up the written discovery portion, and the party must respond to the writing under oath. Before returning your interrogatories make sure to make a copy of the questions and answers for yourself. It’s good to retain records of every single document involved with your credit card lawsuit. There should be three copies of each document when answering a summons: one for the plaintiff (creditor), one for yourself (the defendant), and one for the court.

Once the defendant is ready to list interrogatories, he should include all of the instructions and definitions which pertain to the interrogatories first so the creditor understands exactly what the defendant means in each question. This portion of discovery can be a little tricky because it must be done correctly. Should the questions be presented incorrectly, the creditor can simply say that they do not understand them and manage to get away with not answering them. So, clearly state the instructions and definitions. Avoid using vague terms like “you” or “them” in your interrogatories.

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