If you get sued by a creditor you will receive a Complaint either by personal service or by certified mail. If you are personally served with a Complaint, you have 21 days to answer the Complaint. If you are served by certified mail, you have 28 days to answer the Complaint.
To prepare your Answer to Complaint, copy the caption as it appears on the Complaint with which you’ve been served. Under the attorney for the plaintiff’s name and other information, include your name and information and reference yourself as “Defendant In Pro Per.” You will then title the document “Answer And Affirmative Defenses.”
You then state “Defendant answers as follows:” You then proceed to answer each numbered paragraph by either admitting, denying, or neither admitting nor denying each of the allegations set forth in the Complaint. Typically, you will admit to facts that are undisputed, and if there are any allegations that you dispute, you will either deny those allegations or state “neither admitted nor denied, plaintiff is left to their strict proofs.” After you have completed responding to all of the numbered paragraphs you will then type another heading called “Affirmative Defenses.” If you are representing yourself ( In Pro Per) in a collection action, my recommendation for affirmative defenses is to include the following: Defendant reserves the right to add affirmative defenses as they become known through discovery. Then you will provide another heading “Request for Relief.” Under that heading you will state as follows: “Defendant requests that this court find no cause of action and award Defendant costs necessitated to answer this Complaint and other necessary and proper relief.” After you have prepared this document, it will be necessary for you to file the original document with the court. With the filing of the document, you will need to include a Proof of Service which merely states that on that date you either personally served or sent via first class mail the Answer (title of the document) to the Court and to the Plaintiff/or Plaintiff’s Attorney. Finally, it is extremely important that you keep a copy of all of the documents that you file for your record. In addition, make sure that you file your Answer within the 21 or 28 day period from which you were served.