No one likes having to deal with debt collectors, especially when you’re being sued by one. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This article will help ease the pain and even give you some tips on how to fight back against your debt collector.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of what you need to do to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in Arkansas. We’ll cover the state-specific rules and deadlines, as well as any fees or forms that may be required.
Deadline To Answer A Debt Collection Summons In Arkansas
In civil procedure, there are deadlines that must be met in order to respond to a Summons and Complaint, according to Ark. Dist. Ct. R. 6(b).
“Time for Filing Answer or Reply. A defendant shall file an answer with the clerk of the court within thirty (30) days after the service of the complaint upon the defendant. An answer to a cross-claim and a reply to a counterclaim shall be filed with the clerk of the court within 30 days of the date that the pleading asserting the claim is served. A copy of an answer or reply shall also be served on the opposing party or parties in accordance with Rule 5(b) of the Rules of Civil Procedure.”
You have a limited time to respond to a debt collection Summons in Arkansas. Once you receive the Summons and Complaint documents, you only have 30 days to take action.
Failure to respond within that time frame could result in losing the case by default judgment. This could also mean having to pay additional interest and attorney’s fees. Therefore, it is in your best interest to respond within the allotted time.
It is important to respond to a lawsuit as soon as possible, and using an Answer form can help speed up the process. Arkansas courts typically count the Answer based on the filemark: the date the court receives and processes the document. Therefore, it is crucial to start drafting and filing your response as soon as you are notified of the lawsuit.
Answer To Summons Forms In Arkansas
When you receive a debt collection Summons, you may be unsure which forms to fill out and submit. This can be confusing and challenging, especially for someone who has no experience with this process.
Arkansas offers an online program to help you create an answer form for legal aid. The program is simple to use and can be completed in a few minutes.
Do Arkansas Courts Charge An Answer Filing Fee?
You’re lucky that you don’t have to pay a filing fee to file your Answer document in most Arkansas courts. Many state courts charge a significant fee for this, so you should feel grateful.
There may be a filing fee to file a counterclaim, motion, or other types of court document into your case. The amount you need to pay depends on the court you are in and their fee schedule. To find out how much you need to pay, check with your court clerk.
How To Respond To A Det Collection Case In Arkansas
When faced with an Arkansas Summons form, many people assume they need to hire a lawyer. However, this can be a stressful, time-consuming, and expensive process. Luckily, there is a way to avoid all of that anxiety and expense: by representing yourself in court. Here’s how.
To win your Arkansas debt collection case, you must first respond with a written Answer document. Your Answer document must include certain information as outlined in Ark. Dist. Ct. R. 6(a). By including this required information in your Answer document, you improve your chances of winning your case.
“Contents of Answer. An answer shall be in writing and signed by the defendant or his or her attorney if any. It shall also state:
(1) the reasons for denial of the relief sought by the plaintiff, including any affirmative defenses and the factual bases therefor;
(2) any affirmative relief sought by the defendant, whether by way of counterclaim, set-off, cross-claim, or third-party claim, the factual bases for such relief, and the names and addresses of other persons needed for determination of the claim for affirmative relief; and
3) the address of the defendant or his or her attorney, if any.”
You can follow these three steps to respond to a debt lawsuit in Arkansas:
- Answer every listed allegation in the Complaint.
- Defend your position affirmatively.
- The Answer should be filed with the court, and a copy should be sent to the opposing attorney.
The steps listed in Arkansas laws are very similar to what is required in order to get a good answer. Let’s take a minute to go over each step in more detail.
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1. Answer Every Listed Allegation In The Complaint
In a civil lawsuit, a complaint is a document that lists specific allegations against you. These claims are made by an opposing party in order to try and prove that you have wronged them in some way.
In your Answer, you should respond to every numbered paragraph listed in the Complaint. You shouldn’t just say whatever you want in your Answer; instead, choose from one of these three responses: writing a unique version, editing the text to improve quality, or using different words. Changing the introduction is also an option. However, you could also write a completely new version that is very different from the original text.
- Admit: “This is true.”
- Deny: “Prove it.”
- Deny due to lack of knowledge: “I don’t know.”
Your response should be listed in your Answer with the corresponding number.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to deciding how to respond to a lawsuit. However, some attorneys recommend making a “general denial.” This means that you deny each paragraph of the complaint. Even denying paragraphs that simply state your name can make it more difficult for the plaintiff to win their case, especially if they don’t have enough evidence to prove their claims.
2. Defend Your Position Affirmatively
When you are accused of a crime, it is important to remember that you have the right to defend yourself. This includes asserting your affirmative defenses. This means that you can raise arguments and evidence in your defense.
There are several available affirmative defenses, so it is important to choose the one that best fits your case. Remember, making your defense doesn’t mean simply saying whatever you want. It means presenting a well-reasoned argument based on the evidence available.
The following are some common affirmative defenses to debt collection:
- Statutes of limitation have expired.
- You were harassed by the debt collector.
- There was a breach of contract by the creditor.
- You are an active duty military member.
- You do not own the account with the debt.
- You don’t owe the creditor anything since the contract has already been canceled.
- There has been a payment or an excuse for the debt.
- A partial payment has been made on the debt.
- Despite being a co-signer, you were not informed of your rights.
3. The Answer Should Be Filed With The Court, And A Copy Should Be Sent To The Opposing Attorney
In short, here’s what you need to do to file your answer.
- Print two copies of your Answer.
- Mail one copy to the court.
- Mail the other copy to the plaintiff’s attorney.
You can find your court’s mailing address by calling them on the phone. This is usually your best option, as it can be difficult to find otherwise. Note that this address may be different from your court’s physical address. You should be able to find your attorney’s address in the Summons and Complaint you received in the mail.
Statute Of Limitations On Debt In Arkansas
There is a limit to how long a creditor can try to collect a debt from you. This is called the statute of limitations and it varies by state. Once this time period has expired, they can no longer sue you for payment. However, they may still contact you and try to get you to pay off what you owe.
The statute of limitations on debt can vary from state to state. In Arkansas, there are specific laws that outline the statute of limitations on debt.
AR Code § 16-56-105 (2019) states:
“The following actions shall be commenced within three (3) years after the cause of action accrues:
(1) All actions founded upon any contract, obligation, or liability not under seal and not in writing, excepting such as are brought upon the judgment or decree of some court of record of the United States or of this or some other state;
(2) All actions for arrearages of rent not reserved by some instrument in writing, under seal;
(3) All actions founded on any contract or liability, expressed or implied.”
Oral contracts, rent, and expressed or implied contracts cannot be sued for more than three years after the last activity on the account. This is known as the statute of limitations.
AR Code § 16-56-111 (2017) says:
“Actions to enforce written obligations, duties, or rights, except those to which § 4-4-111 is applicable, shall be commenced within five (5) years after the cause of action shall accrue.”
Similarly, this law means that any written contracts have a statute of limitations of five years. After five years have passed since the date of a contract, the statute of limitations expires on any legal action that could be taken against the individual who signed the contract.
So, if you had a credit card debt, and the last time you made a payment towards the debt was six years ago unless you have made a payment towards the debt within the last six years, the creditor cannot sue you for repayment.
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There Are Some Legal Aid Organizations That Can Help
There are many organizations that offer free legal help to residents of Arkansas. These organizations can provide assistance with a variety of legal matters, including Arkansas legal forms and Arkansas legal aid forms. To find out more about the services offered by these organizations, please contact them using the following information:
Legal Aid of Arkansas, Inc.
714 South Main Street
Jonesboro, AR 72401
Center for Arkansas Legal Services
1300 W. 6th Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
Congratulations! You have made it to the end of this article. Here are some key takeaways just for you.
- In Arkansas, you have 30 days to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.
- You can respond to your lawsuit in minutes by using an Answer form.
- The Arkansas courts do not charge a fee for filing an Answer.
- The purpose of the Answer document is to address the allegations in the Complaint and assert your affirmative defenses.
- It is important that you file your Answer with the court and send a copy to the opposing lawyer.
We hope this article was helpful! Thank you for reading