Answer to Debt Collection Complaint (Write-in-the-blank Form)
Before you start
You can use this Answer to Debt Collection Complaint form to respond to a debt collection lawsuit filed against you in a Municipal, City, Justice, or District Court in Montana.
You have a certain number of days to file an Answer with the Clerk of Court where the Complaint is filed:
- In Municipal, City, and Justice Court, the deadline is 20 calendar days, starting the day after you were served with the Summons and Complaint.
- In District Court, your deadline is 21 calendar days, starting the day after you were served with the Summons and Complaint.
If your deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, your Answer is due the next day the courthouse is open.
This Answer form includes 10 common legal defenses to a debt collection lawsuit that might apply to your situation. A legal defense tells the court why you aren’t responsible for all or part of the debt. If you tell the court you have an affirmative defense, be prepared to support it with evidence and/or laws at your hearing. Evidence means documents, witness testimony, or other proof that what you are saying is true. If you have any questions if an affirmative defense applies to you, talk to a lawyer right away.
Need more information?
- If you aren’t sure if one of the 10 legal defenses applies to you, you might want to use our free interactive Answer to Debt Collection Complaint. This is the same form as the write-in-the-blank version but it gives you more information about legal defense to help you decide if one might apply to you.
- If you have questions about what to do when you’re sued, you may want to check out our Step-by-step Guide for How to Answer When You Get Sued.
Need legal help?
Montana Legal Services Association provides free civil legal help to eligible clients. Learn more about how to apply for free legal help.