How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection in Texas

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If you’re served with a lawsuit for debt collection, you’ll be angry or scared, but the one thing you cannot do is ignore it. If you do not file a solution , the debt collector will win by default – albeit you do not actually owe the quantity in their petition or they were otherwise barred from suing you. Texas only gives you a few of weeks to file a solution to the lawsuit or risk having a judgement entered against you.

Debt collectors are harassing me. Is that legal?

A federal law called the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act prohibits debt collectors from:

  • Making false statements or using offensive language.
  • Telling you that failure to pay your debt may be a crime, or threatening you with jail time.
  • Threatening to gather the debt from a 3rd party, like your family or neighbors.
  • Threatening to require your homestead or your paycheck.
  • If a set agency, they can’t call you at work or call you between 9 pm and eight am (unless you agree).

You can also send a “cease and desist” letter to the debt collector by certified mail demanding that they stop harassing you at your home or work.

Reviewing the first Petition

Find out the debt and amount that you’re being sued. albeit you’re being sued by a debt collector, the name of the first lender should be listed on the petition, also because the full amount the debt collector believes you owe it.

  • The legal papers you receive include an ingenious petition and a citation. These are an equivalent as a complaint and summons, but they’re called by different names in Texas state courts.
  • The citation states who is suing you and the way much they claim you owe them.

Drafting Your Answer

Copy the caption. The caption for your answer are going to be precisely the same because the caption on the debt collector’s original petition.

you do not need to draft a proper answer within the correct format. If you’re representing yourself, a handwritten letter to the judge could also be enough to qualify as a politician answer to the first petition.

Answer each issue of the Complaint

Answering the complaint are often scary, but with these instructions it’ll be simple. Just read the complaint then decide how you would like to reply to every numbered paragraph. you’ll respond in one among three ways:

  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • i do not know

Just choose one among these answers and write it into your Answer. If you select “disagree” you’ll explain why you disagree.

Here are some official instructions to form your complaint in Texas. On the Texas Answer Form, you’ll make a general denial if you afflict everything within the complaint; you’ll also make specific pleas, or request, assert affirmative defenses, and make an invitation for Judgment.

Assert affirmative defenses

To assert affirmative defenses, you merely state reasons why the person suing you has no case. Add the relevant defenses to your answer.

Here are a number of the more common defenses we see:

  • The account with the debt isn’t your account
  • The contract was already canceled. Therefore you do not owe the creditor anything.
  • The statute of limitations has expired. A statute of limitations may be a law that sets a deadline on an action. during this case, the statute of limitations sets the deadline at 6 years, so you cannot be sued for a debt supported a contract from six years ago.
  • The debt has been paid or excused.
  • The debt has been partially paid.
  • You were a co-signer but weren’t informed of your rights as a co-signer.

These are a couple of of the various affirmative defenses. Being unable to pay the debt isn’t normally a legal defense to the debt.

Answer any discovery requests

If the debt collector included any written discovery along side the first petition, you ought to start on those as soon as you file your answer.

  • counting on where the debt collector filed the lawsuit, it’s going to have included discovery requests like interrogatories or requests for production along side the first petition.
  • Texas law gives you 50 days to reply to written discovery requests submitted with the first petition. Because they will be time-consuming, it is best to urge started on them directly . In some instances, you’ll need to get documents from another person or business, and it could take overtime to process such an invitation .
  • If you do not answer the invention requests, you’ll lose the lawsuit automatically, albeit you filed a solution .
  • If the debt collector sends you discovery requests after it receives your answer, you’ve got 30 days to reply to them.
  • Discovery documents or other responses to similar requests should be sent on to the debt collector or (more likely) the debt collector’s attorney instead of filed with the court.
How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection in Texas

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