Debt collection answer (2023)

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Use this form to file an answer to a summons and complaint from a creditor.

You will find out that the creditor is suing you when the court sends you a “summonsandcomplaint."This is a letter that tells you that you are being sued. It also includes who is suing you, the reason they are suing youand what they want. You must respond to the summonswithin 28 days.

To do that, file a form with the court called an “answer.” You canuse the template below to create your answer.It can be hard to work through this without a lawyer.If you can, try to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible.

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When you answer, you need to respond to each paragraph. Review the complaint and identify for each paragraph, if you:

  • Agree with that paragraph (admit the paragraph is true),
  • Disagree with that paragraph (deny the paragraph is true),OR
  • Don’t know whether that paragraph is true (do not have enough information).

Follow these simple rules:

(Video) How to Answer a Summons for a Debt Collection Lawsuit (In 3 Steps)

  • Do not agree with anything unless you know it is true.
  • Do not disagree with anything unless you know it is not true.
  • If you don’t know, say, “I don’t have enough information.”
  • If a paragraph makes more than one claim, do not agree with itunless you know all the claims are true.
  • If you disagree with a paragraph, explain why you disagree with it.

More Information


How do you respond to a collection? ›

Act quickly

If you're not sure that the debt is yours, write the debt collector and dispute the debt or ask for more information. If the debt is yours, don't worry. Decide on the total amount you are willing to pay to settle the entire debt and negotiate with the debt collector for the rest to be forgiven.

How do I solve debt collection? ›

How to Deal With Collection Agencies
  1. Be Willing to Communicate. Communicating with debt collectors can make it easier to resolve your debt. ...
  2. Organize Your Information. ...
  3. Know Your Rights. ...
  4. Know the Statute of Limitations. ...
  5. Go to Court. ...
  6. Settle the Debt.

What is debt collection meaning? ›

Debt collection is where the creditor chases the debt themselves and debt recovery is where they enlist the help of a third party. Debt collection and debt recovery are very similar terms.

How do I respond to a debt collection summons in California? ›

If you decide to file a response, you must file it in the same courthouse where the lawsuit was filed. The address should be on the papers you were served by the plaintiff. Make sure you take your original plus at least 2 copies to the clerk's office to file. You will have to pay a filing fee to file your papers.

How do I respond to a debt collection notice? ›

I am responding to your contact about a debt you are attempting to collect. You contacted me by [phone/mail], on [date]. You identified the debt as [any information they gave you about the debt]. Please stop all communication with me and with this address about this debt.

Should I respond to debt collector? ›

If you receive a notice from a debt collector, it's important to respond as soon as possible—even if you do not owe the debt—because otherwise the collector may continue trying to collect the debt, report negative information to credit reporting companies, and even sue you.

How do you deal with debts? ›

Dealing with debt problems
  1. Basic steps to help you deal with a debt.
  2. Step one - make a list of everything you owe.
  3. Step two - put your debts in order of importance.
  4. Step three - work out a personal budget.
  5. Step four - get independent advice.
  6. Step five - talk to your creditors.

How do I settle a collection for less? ›

Partial repayment.

Start by offering cents on every dollar you owe, say around 20 to 25 cents, then 50 cents on every dollar, then 75. The debt collector may still demand to collect the full amount that you owe, but in some cases they may also be willing to take a slightly lower amount that you propose.

Can collections go away? ›

While an account in collection can have a significant negative impact on your credit, it won't stay on your credit reports forever. Accounts in collection generally remain on your credit reports for seven years, plus 180 days from whenever the account first became past due.

What is collection example? ›

A collection is a group of things, often a group created by someone. For example, many kids have a collection of comic books. Notice the word collect in collection. If you like to collect — that is, gather — things, chances are you might have a collection of some sort.

What is collection process? ›

A collection process is a series of events (e.g., letters, To Do entries) meant to encourage an account to pay its delinquent debt. Linked to the collection process are the specific service agreements that contributed to the delinquent debt.

What are examples of debt collection? ›

Overdue payments on credit card balances, phone bills, auto loan payments, utility payments, and back taxes are examples of delinquent bills that a debt collector may be tasked with retrieving. Companies find it cheaper to get a debt collector to recover unpaid debts than chasing the clients themselves.

What is the 11 word phrase to stop debt collectors? ›

Summary: “Please cease and desist all calls and contact with me, immediately.” These are 11 words that can stop debt collectors in their tracks. If you're being sued by a debt collector, SoloSuit can help you respond and win in court.

How do I respond to being sued for credit card debt? ›

Here's how to respond when you are sued for credit card debt:
  1. Don't ignore the summons. When you get a court summons for credit card debt, pay attention to it—and make a plan of action. ...
  2. Verify the debt. ...
  3. Consider debt settlement. ...
  4. Contact an attorney. ...
  5. Look at your budget. ...
  6. Request a payment plan. ...
  7. Make a lump-sum payment.
31 Mar 2022

How do you respond to being summoned? ›

How do I answer the complaint?
  1. Read the summons and make sure you know the date you must answer by.
  2. Read the complaint carefully. ...
  3. Write your answer.
  4. Sign and date the answer.
  5. Make copies for the plaintiff and yourself.
  6. Mail a copy to the plaintiff. ...
  7. File your answer with the court by the date on the summons.

What do you say in a collection letter? ›

What should be included in a debt collection letter?
  • The amount the debtor owes you.
  • The initial due date of the payment.
  • A new due date for the payment, whether ASAP or longer.
  • Instructions on how to pay the debt.

What happens if I dont answer collection calls? ›

If you continue to ignore communicating with the debt collector, they will likely file a collections lawsuit against you in court. If you are served with a lawsuit and ignore this court filing, the debt collection company will be able to get a default judgment against you.

Why you should not pay collections? ›

On the other hand, paying the collection account may stop the creditor or collector from suing you, and a judgment on your credit report could hurt your credit report even more. Additionally, some mortgage lenders may require you to pay or settle collection accounts before giving you a loan.

Why you should ignore debt collectors? ›

You might get sued.

The debt collector might file a lawsuit and get a money judgment. A creditor with a money judgment can garnish a debtor's wages, go after the funds in a debtor's bank account, and seize property that isn't protected by an exemption. Learn about lawsuits stopped by bankruptcy.

How do you speak to debt? ›

This word has one syllable, and the B is silent – debt. Just imagine it's like D-E-T – debt, rhymes with set and get.

What are 5 ways to avoid debt? ›

How To Avoid Debt
  1. Set a monthly budget. Divide your monthly budget between three categories – necessities, wants, and pending debt.
  2. Pay with cash. ...
  3. Avoid “buy now, pay later deals” ...
  4. Track credit card payments. ...
  5. Have emergency savings. ...
  6. Stay up to date on loan payments. ...
  7. Limit amount of credit cards.

What should you not say to debt collectors? ›

What Not to Do When a Debt Collector Calls
  • Don't Give a Collector Your Personal Financial Information. ...
  • Don't Make a "Good Faith" Payment. ...
  • Don't Make Promises or Admit the Debt is Valid. ...
  • Don't Lose Your Temper.

What happens if a debt collector won't negotiate? ›

If the collection agency refuses to settle the debt with you, or if the agency or creditor agrees to settle, but you renig on your end of the agreement, the collection agency or creditor may decide to pursue more aggressive collection efforts against you, which may include a lawsuit.

Can I pay my original creditor instead of collection agency? ›

It's possible in some cases to negotiate with a lender to repay a debt after it's already been sent to collections. Working with the original creditor, rather than dealing with debt collectors, can be beneficial.

Do debt collectors give up? ›

Do debt collection agencies ever give up? Debt collectors will chase you for a long time to get payment for what you owe. At the end of the day, it is their job to make sure the debt is paid, so they will do whatever they can to collect the balance.

Can collections hurt you? ›

Unfortunately, a debt in collections is one of the most serious negative items that can appear on credit reports because it means the original creditor has written off the debt completely. So when a debt is sent to collections, it can have a severe impact on your credit scores.

How long can a debt be chased? ›

The time limit is sometimes called the limitation period. For most debts, the time limit is 6 years since you last wrote to them or made a payment. The time limit is longer for mortgage debts.

What is collection Short answer? ›

1. the act of collecting. 2. something that is collected; a group of objects or an amount of material accumulated in one location, esp. for some purpose or as a result of some process.

What is a collection called? ›

assemblage, assortment, compilation, lot, number, selection, set, store, acquiring, acquisition, agglomeration, anthology, assembling, assembly, batch, caboodle, clump, cluster, collation, combination.

What are the three types of collections? ›

Collection types represent different ways to collect data, such as hash tables, queues, stacks, bags, dictionaries, and lists.
These types include:
  • Array.
  • ArrayList.
  • List<T>
  • Queue.
  • ConcurrentQueue<T>
  • Stack.
  • ConcurrentStack<T>
  • LinkedList<T>
15 Sept 2021

What is collection strategy? ›

A collection strategy sets a standard for how accounts receivable collections will be conducted. When will you be sending out first invoices? How often will you get in contact with your customers? Are you making follow up phone calls? If there is no order, then customers will fall through the cracks.

What is a debt collector called? ›

Debt collectors include collection agencies or lawyers who collect debts as part of their business. There are also companies that buy past-due debts from creditors or other businesses and then try to collect them. These debt collectors are also called debt collection agencies, debt collection companies, or debt buyers.

What is the role of collection? ›

These collections perform three quite different roles: archival, dispensing, and bibliographic. The bibliographic role of the collection is compared with bibliographies and catalogues. The distinction between materials and collection development is basic.

What are 5 examples of good debt? ›

Here are some examples of "good debts":
  • Student loan debt.
  • Home mortgage debt.
  • Small business debt.
  • Auto loan debt.
  • Credit card debt.
  • Payday loans.
  • Borrowing to invest.
  • Predatory/High interest loans.

What are 2 examples of debt? ›

Debt is something, usually money, owed by one party to another. Most debts—such as credit cards, home loans, and auto loans—are categorized as secured, unsecured, revolving, or mortgaged. Corporations often have varying types of debt, including corporate debt.

Is debt collection a skill? ›

Pursuing debts owed by individuals and companies requires tact and professionalism. Having the right debt collection skills is the one way you can be sure of collecting payments owed.

What should I ask a debt collector? ›

Ask the debt collector to supply you with the details of the debt he or she is attempting to collect. Who is the original creditor? What was the original amount owed? How much of what you are attempting to collect is fees and interest accrued since he or she took possession of the debt?

What debt Cannot be erased? ›

Domestic support obligations are non-dischargeable in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. This includes any missed alimony and child support payments. During the bankruptcy process, you are required to continue to pay domestic support obligations as they become due.

How can a debt lawsuit be dismissed? ›

You can file a motion to dismiss at any time during the case. Usually, the defendant files a motion to dismiss early in the lawsuit— immediately after filing an Answer. A motion to dismiss usually alleges that the case shouldn't proceed because of a problem in the case that isn't related to the facts.

How do I respond to a collection letter from a lawyer? ›

Full Payment: You can always resolve a collection letter by agreeing to pay the amount that the attorney says you owe. If you do agree to pay, make sure you get written verification that all outstanding financial obligations are fully satisfied.

Can you ask credit card company to forgive debt? ›

Most credit card companies are unlikely to forgive all your credit card debt, but they do occasionally accept a smaller amount in settlement of the balance due and forgive the rest. The credit card company might write off your debt, but this doesn't get rid of the debt—it's often sold to a collector.

Do you have to attend court if summoned? ›

You should go to court if you get a summons - you can be arrested and taken to the court by the police if you don't. You might get a summons from the court if: they haven't been able to contact you with a witness warning.

Why do people get summoned? ›

A Summons is an official notice of a lawsuit. It is given to the person being sued. If you sue someone, they need to know about it. This way, they can come to court and fight the lawsuit.

What happens when you've been summoned? ›

When you're summoned to come to court, that is basically your notice that a criminal case has been filed against you. And, you're usually served with a summons by a Constable or you may receive the summons in the mail, certified mail. You will go to—you will be directed to go to the court.

Should you answer collection calls? ›

Ignoring debt collection calls may make things easier for a while, but it won't make the problem disappear. Your debt situation could snowball and potentially turn into a bigger issue down the road. Your credit score could take a hit if you repeatedly ignore calls from debt collection agencies.

What is a good sentence for collection? ›

Example Sentences

There will be a trash collection this week. The museum's collection is one of the best in the country.

How do I ask for collection forgiveness? ›

I respectfully request that you forgive my alleged debt, as my condition precludes any employment, and my current and future income does not support any debt repayment. Please respond to my request in writing to the address below at your earliest convenience. Thank-you in advance for your understanding of my situation.

What to say to get a collection removed? ›

You can write a letter asking the creditor or collector to remove this information as a goodwill deletion. Your goodwill letter doesn't need to have a lot of information or details. Simply identify the debt, and point out that it has been paid and that you'd like them to remove it.

Can I just ignore debt collectors? ›

Ignoring or avoiding the debt collector may cause the debt collector to use other methods to try to collect the debt, including a lawsuit against you. If you are unable to come to an agreement with a debt collector, you may want to contact an attorney who can provide you with legal advice about your situation.

What should I not tell a debt collector? ›

9 Things You Should (And Shouldn't) Say to a Debt Collector
  • Do — Ask to see the collector's credentials. ...
  • Don't — Volunteer information. ...
  • Do — Make a preemptive offer. ...
  • Don't — Make your bank account accessible. ...
  • Maybe — Ask for a payment-for-deletion deal. ...
  • Do — Explain your predicament. ...
  • Don't — Provide ammunition.


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