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Answers due tomorrow, please help


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I'm being sued and the answers are due tomorrow. I've read lots of great info on here (thank you) but I have a couple of questions.

1. Do I have to explain my denials, or is it sufficient to just 'deny'

2. The response must contain ''admissions or denials of the separate allegations of the Complaint and other defenses you may claim' -I'm not sure what my defenses are. Two of the three debts on the suit are older and very small (can I possibly pay these before a verdict or judgement is reached?) the third is the big one. Their documents (provided to me, not the court) contradict the amount they are suing for.

3. The state website for my judicial district states the following, (does this mean I am required to file my counterclaim now or risk losing the opportunity down the road, or can I file it after I learn more?)

"The written response that the defendant files with the court is known as an answer. Again, the court clerk will collect a required fee for the filing of the answer. The defendant may, at the same time, file a counterclaim as part of his or her answer. The counterclaim states the relief that the defendant feels he or she may be entitled to from the plaintiff. The plaintiff then has ten days to file an answer to the defendant's counterclaim."

1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit?

A collection bureau

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.)

{undisclosed}

3. How much are you being sued for?

@$5000

4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff)

Creditor A

Creditor B

Creditor C

5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?)

Served

6. How were you served? (Mail, In person, Notice on door)

In person

7. Was the service legal as required by your state?

As far as I can tell, but no notice of service was attached

Process Service Requirements by State - Summons Complaint

8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued?

None with the atty or collection agency.

Disputed with Creditor C

9. What state and county do you live in?

Idaho, USA

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations)

None are out of the statute of limitations timeframe

11. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out:

10

12. What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed? You can find this by a) calling the court or looking it up online (many states have this information posted - when you find the online court site, search by case number or your name).

Suit served, answers due tomorrow

13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?)

Two smaller debts-didn't dispute either debt with the oc or ca

Large debt, disputed with Creditor C

14. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? Note: if you haven't sent a debt validation request, don't bother doing this now - it's too late.

No

15. How long do you have to respond to the suit? (This should be in your paperwork). If you don't respond to the lawsuit notice you will lose automatically. In 99% of the cases, they will require you to answer the summons, and each point they are claiming. We need to know what the "charges" are. Please post what they are claiming. Did you receive an interrogatory (questionnaire) regarding the lawsuit?

I had 20 days

Charge that I failed to pay on all three counts

No interrogatory

16. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits.

Nothing. No evidence, no affidavit, no statements, no contract, no exhibits.

Summons or complaint were not 'validated'

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If your rules don't require you to explain your denial (most of the time you don't have to do this) then you can make it as simple as saying "deny".

Your defenses can be anything applicable, or even possibly applicable.  Here's a list of examples. Some good ones for credit card debts are 'waiver', 'accord and satisfaction', 'statute of frauds', 'statute of limitations' and 'laches'.  Even if you never use any of these defenses, most jurisdictions require you to assert them with your answer, and failure to assert them waives your right to assert them at a later time.  (You can usually amend your answer to include them any time but it's a PITA to do it that way when you can do it now).

 

Edit:  Even if you know the debt is still within SOL, if you assert SOL as a defense the plaintiff will have to show when the last payment was made in order to establish when its cause of action accrued.  If they cannot do this, the court will probably accept your SOL defense and dismiss the case.  The point is, asserting SOL even when it's not past SOL is a possible way to put this case to bed early.  Why not take advantage of that possibility?

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