How do we answer a summons concerning a credit account?

UPDATED: Jan 11, 2012

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How do we answer a summons concerning a credit account?

My wife has just received a summons from these folks. I have researched on-line and discovered that they are a 3 party collector and that they probably bought the debt that has already been charged off by the credit card company. Also, she has been a housewife for 36 years and I have been unemployed without any employment for a year.

Asked on January 11, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Utah


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Your wife will need to file with the court an answer to the complaint (the complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons).  The answer to the complaint needs to be filed with the court and served by mail on the opposing party or the opposing party's attorney within the time period specified in the summons.

The answer denies the allegations in the complaint.  At the law library, look for answer to complaint in the index of Pleading and Practice.  This will give you the format for an answer to a complaint.  At the end of the answer is the verification which your wife signs and dates under penalty of perjury.  The verification attests to the veracity of the statements in the answer to the complaint.  File the answer including verification and an attached proof of service with the court and mail a copy to the opposing party or the opposing party's attorney.  The proof of service verifies the date of mailing to the opposing party.  Your wife can use a court form proof of service or she can write her own.  If she writes her own proof of service, it just says that she is over 18 and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless stated otherwise to _______ (name and address of opposing party or opposing party's attorney) on _________ (date).  Your wife can sign and date at the bottom.  The date signed should be the same as the date of mailing and the same date the documents are filed with the court.

If the answer to the complaint is not timely filed with the court and served on the opposing party by mail, the opposing party can get a default judgment.  This means your wife will have lost by default.  If that happens, she will need to file with the court a motion to set aside the default.  If the judge grants the motion to set aside the default, the case is then back on track and litigation will continue.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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