The other day a client hired me to help them in fighting debt buyer Midland Funding. I drafted the Answer – the document that is submitted in response to the Complaint filed by Midland. I was reviewing it with the client and he responded that he was somewhat disappointed by my work on the Answer because it was relatively brief and didn’t contain all of the facts he wanted to argue.
When it comes to Answering a lawsuit it is important to understand that this is not your time to tell your side of the story. I know this is tempting. You are frustrated and angry and want to let the judge know of all of the back handed things Midland Funding has done. But the Answer is not the time to do this.
All the court needs to know is whether you admit or deny the allegations made by plaintiff. Really. It can be as simple as one word. If you ‘deny what the plaintiff is alleging in paragraph number 2′ you can say just that. I deny the allegations in paragraph 2. No further explanation is needed at this point.
Your day in court will come. You will be able to present all of the facts and defenses you wish, but laying out all of your attempts to settle a debt in the Answer can actually cause you more harm than good. If you go into a lengthy tirade of how much you tried to settle the account for over the last three years the court may interpret that as an admission that the debt is owed, even if you dispute it!
Main idea to keep in mind when it comes Answering a debt collection lawsuit is to keep it simple. Three simply answers. Admit. Deny. You don’t know. Sparks can fly later on.