On sept 8th I was served for a suit filed by Suttell and Hammer for plaintiff Midland Funding LLC for a debt they bought from Citibank (South Dakota) - Home Depot. The account was charged off and sold some years ago and my best records indicate a last payment to HD in February 2010. Suit filed in Pierce County District Court. Case no. 752497. The cover sheet says amount of suit is $5142.53, but summons said $4942.53 is the sum for the judgement. I need to respond to the summons and complaint within the next 8 days, but am having a hard time finding an attorney that has the time, so I have 2 questions. 1. Since the amount sued for is less than $5k, can I force this into small claims court, and if so, would that benefit me? 2. Since I am running short on to to respond to the complaint and summons, is it OK to simply file the notice to appear and not the Answers, or will that cause problems down the line? I'm afraid of putting in defenses that could get me in trouble or not listing some I should and thereby keeping myself from using them in the future. As an aside, what is the defense called where they are asking $1,000's for a dept they likely paid 100's for. I read it elsewhere but cannot find it now.