Creditors and debt collection agencies file thousands of debt lawsuits against consumers in Texas each year. If you were served a Summons and Complaint in Texas for a debt lawsuit, it may have come with an affidavit of debt, or the court paper might say it’s on a sworn account. A sworn account is not its own cause of action but is a legal tool that allows creditors to sue borrowers without having to prove the debt exists through evidence. After you have been served, you have between 10 and 14 days to respond to the allegations or risk receiving a default judgment.
How to Respond to a Texas Debt Lawsuit
To respond to the Summons and Complaint you received, you must provide your written answer to the court as well as to the opposing attorney. The defendant’s answer should provide their version of what the other side is alleging. To deny the plaintiff’s allegations, the defendant can either issue a general denial or a sworn denial.
What is a General Denial in a Texas Debt Lawsuit?
In a general denial, the defendant is generally denying all of the allegations listed in the plaintiff’s petition. A general denial does not deny any specific allegations but the petition in general. In most cases, a general denial is only used to respond to the plaintiff’s alleged facts regarding why they filed suit. A general denial results in the burden of proof being placed on the plaintiff.
What is a Specific Denial in a Texas Debt Lawsuit?
Unlike general denials, specific denials use precise defenses to refute claims and must be sworn under oath. Failure to submit the appropriate sworn denials in your answer could lead to the plaintiff being released from the burden of proof. Affirmative defenses commonly seen listed in sworn denials include:
- The lawsuit was filed in the wrong county
- The overdue account in question isn’t yours
- The contract on which the lawsuit was based was fraudulently signed for or closed
- The statute of limitations has expired which is usually 4 years from the day the last debt payment was made
- The debt has been paid or excused
All affirmative defenses need to be included in your denial in order to be considered by the court. Depending on what affirmative defenses or used, additional documents may be required. A Texas debt defense attorney will be able to explain the legal process to you and answer any questions you may have.
About Debt Legal Defense
Our Texas debt defense lawyers have a proven track record of success handling debt defense lawsuits and are committed to providing clients with the support and service they deserve. Having represented both creditors and debtors, our debt defense lawyers have a thorough understanding of different tactics used by debt collectors and are eager to offer their expertise and legal advice regarding debt lawsuits. If you have questions regarding a Texas debt lawsuit, contact us today.