Debt collection agencies and creditors initiate tens of thousands of debt collection lawsuits in Texas each year. If you have been served with a Texas debt collection lawsuit, you may be wondering what your next step should be. It’s important to respond to a debt complaint properly and within the allotted time period, between 14 and 20 days depending on which court you were sued in, to avoid a default judgment. If you have questions about answering a debt collection lawsuit, contact Debt Legal Defense today.
1 – Review The Lawsuit
After receiving a Summons and Complaint, you should review the document for important details including whether the original creditor or a debt collection agency has filed the complaint, if the original contract with the creditor is attached to the complaint, the amount allegedly owed, and the court’s deadline to respond. Next, you should check your credit report to confirm the debt is yours and the date of the last payment made towards the debt. If it’s been more than four years you may be able to get the case dismissed due to the statute of limitations, but you will still need to answer the lawsuit and raise the defense of the statute of limitations.
2 – Write A Response To The Complaint
In Texas, your response or answer to a complaint must be written. It’s important to address each of the allegations put forward by the plaintiff. This is usually done by a general denial. By denying the allegations in general, the burden of proof is placed on the plaintiff who will have to provide evidence to prove that the debt they are attempting to collect is valid. To deny allegations, you can also use sworn denials and affirmative defenses, which can be used against allegations even if they are true. If you are considering these defenses, it may be in your best interest to consult with a qualified debt collection attorney. Common affirmative defenses used by defendants in Texas debt collection lawsuits include:
- The account in question is not your account
- The debt has already been paid or forgiven
- The claim was filed past the statute of limitations
- The contract in question is illegal
3 – File Your Answer
After completing your answer, file it online or in person at the relevant Clerk of the Court. There, the clerk will keep your original complaint and give you copies. Make sure you send copies of any documents filed with the courts to the plaintiff through certified mail.
Questions About A Debt Collection Lawsuit?
If you have been served a debt lawsuit, our Texas debt collection attorneys can inform you of your rights, explain the legal process, and work with you and creditors or debt collectors to reduce or eliminate claims against you. Our lawyers are highly experienced in handling debt collection lawsuits having represented both consumers and creditors, giving us insight into the strategies debt collectors use. If you are being sued for debt collections, contact us today. We offer free consultations to new customers and flexible payment plans so you can obtain quality defense.