How should I answer if I'm being sued for debt?

Question

How should I answer if I'm being sued for debt?

Answer

Anyone being sued for debt should file a written answer with the same local court where the plaintiff filed. Filing a written answer with the court is the first step in defending yourself in the case. Within the written answer, you need to include your defense to the plaintiff’s claim. Imagine, for instance, that the plaintiff is accusing you of defaulting on an unsecured debt, such as a loan or payment plan, by filing the lawsuit. You need to convince the judge that the plaintiff is wrong. Thus, your answer should include statements of defense, such as that you do not owe the debt. Another defense is that the plaintiff breached the agreement by accepting payments late or a lesser amount.

However, if you are being sued for what is considered a secured debt, such as a home, you need a different line of defense. Your defense should include something about what the plaintiff has done wrong. For instance, if you are being sued by a mortgage company in a foreclosure lawsuit, then you can write in your defense that the company didn’t properly serve you. Be certain, of course, that your statements are true.

To understand all your defense options when being sued for debt, you should talk with a lawyer who specializes in defending people against debt claims. The lawyer will review your circumstances and advise you of defenses that you can use when writing your answer to the plaintiff’s lawsuit. If the debt is in a court that allows the lawyer to defend you, as with a foreclosure lawsuit, the lawyer will do so.

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