Defendants served with a debt collection lawsuit should respond by obtaining a consumer lawyer if the debt specified in the case is significant, according to the Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum. The individual being sued should also compile a short statement addressing each allegation in the complaint.
The response or short statement typically designates whether the individual being sued admits, denies or lacks knowledge to admit or deny each allegation, explains the Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum. The response should also include any defenses or counterclaims that exist. For example, an affirmative defense provides evidence why the defendant should win the case. Common defenses include a lack of personal jurisdiction, in which the defendant was not properly served with the complaint or summons, or statute of limitations that indicates the debt is too old for a lawsuit. If the defendant has already paid or settled the debt, an accord and satisfaction defense is often used.
In addition, if the plaintiff acted improperly or charged an amount of interest that exceeds the legal limit, defendants can argue for a dismissal of the case. For example, Texas law prohibits debt collectors from using abusive or fraudulent tactics to obtain payments, notes the Office of the Attorney General of Texas. A violation of the Texas Debt Collection Act can aid a defendant in a debt collection case in Texas.