You can use this interactive Answer to Debt Collection Complaint 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 will walk you through 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. The interactive Answer will fill in the forms based on your answers in an online interview.
When you’re done, you’ll need to download, print, and file the forms with the Clerk of Court where the debt collection lawsuit was filed. The forms will come with instructions to help you file them and serve the other party. Follow the link at the bottom of this page to start the interactive Answer to Debt Collection Complaint.
What you’ll need to complete the form
The Answer form will take you about 15 to 30 minutes to complete. It could take longer. You can use your smartphone to fill out the form but you will need to print your Answer form off to file it with the Clerk of Court. After you complete your Answer form, you have the option of saving it to an account. You can also email your completed Answer form to yourself at an email you can access. Don’t email the form to the other party or the court.
When completing your Answer form, you’ll need the following information:
- Your contact information;
- The name and address of any other Defendants named in the Complaint;
- The Plaintiff’s attorney’s contact information; and,
- A copy of the court papers you were served with.
- It is a good idea to carefully read through the court papers you were served with before you start. The Answer to Debt Complaint form will ask you specific questions about these court papers.
- This form is not right for everyone. The interview may tell you to talk to a lawyer based on the information you give.
Need more information?
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.