If you want a judgment against you, then admit you owe the debt buyer when you file your answer in Alabama court

If you want a judgment against you, then admit you owe the debt buyer when you file your answer in Alabama court

If you want a judgment against you, then admit you owe the debt buyer when you file your answer in Alabama courtYou have been sued by a debt collector and you have been served.

So now the time is running for you to Answer the lawsuit.

You have 14 days in Small Claims or District Court and 30 days in Circuit Court.

“How do I answer the lawsuit?”

I can’t tell you specifically what to put unless I represent you (and then I’ll answer it for you).  But I can give you some guidelines:

  • Answer truthfully
  • If you don’t know something alleged is true, then don’t admit it is true
  • Make sure you put in any affirmative defenses that are appropriate — these are things that can help you win your case such as “Statute of limitations”
  • Make sure you answer the lawsuit in the time limits (14 days from service in small claims/district and 30 days from service in circuit court)

“What happens if I admit owing the debt?”

Normally, you will lose the case.

The plaintiff debt collector who sued you (LVNV, Midland, Portfolio, etc) will tell the judge “Look, she admitted she owes the debt to us so no need to go any further.  Go ahead and enter judgment against her for the amount we sued her for….”

Normally this will be granted by the court and a judgment will be entered against you.

The case is now over.

“Why will I lose the case — I thought the debt collector has to prove I owe the debt and it owns the debt?”

It does.

It must prove you owe the debt being sued on.

And it must prove it owns the debt it is suing you on.

But if you agree — you admit — that you owe the debt to the debt collector then there is no need for further proof.

Imagine in a car wreck case we might bring — we bear the burden of proving the defendant was negligent and this hurt our client.

But if the defendant admits he was speeding and admits he was negligent and this hurt our client, then no need to go through the unnecessary steps of proving it — he admitted these facts were all true.

Same thing here.

If you admit you owe the debt to the debt collector, then expect to have a judgment against you which leads to garnishments and destroying your credit report.

“What about the statute of limitations — doesn’t that protect me?”

Well, it can.  We talk extensively about the statute of limitations (SOL) here on our website but understand this is often a difficult defense to prove.

And if you admit you owe the debt to the plaintiff who sued you and you do not raise the SOL, then the case is over.  You lose.

“If I know I did not pay off my old credit card, don’t I have to admit I owe the debt collector who claims to now own the debt?”


Did the credit card company sue you?

Nope — some debt buyer such as LVNV, Midland, Portfolio, etc sued you.  They claim to own the debt.

You know what — lots of people claim to own a debt.  Or claim something else.  A claim is meaningless.

It is proof that is what we are looking for.

“Well, what kind of proof should a debt buyer provide to show it owns the debt?”

Imagine this — you had a Chase account.

Now if Chase sued you, all that would really matter is did you owe Chase?

But what if Chase sold the account to Midland.

And then Midland sold it to Portfolio Recovery.

Think of buying a house or a car — you need clear chain of title.

So who will testify that Chase sold it to Midland?  Not Portfolio — they have no way of knowing.

You need Chase to come in a say this — or more accurately Portfolio needs Chase or at least Midland to testify to this.

But we still need to see if it went from Midland to Portfolio — well, only Midland or Portfolio can testify to this.

Remember — when you answer the lawsuit, you have no proof.

No testimony under oath in a courtroom.

(And no, a bogus affidavit from Midland or Portfolio or even Chase does not matter.  The industry has been caught repeatedly with robo signers who sign hundreds of affidavits an hour — even after the person signing the affidavits has died.)

So with no testimony, how could you possibly know that the debt buyer really owns the debt?

Don’t fall for a frivolous lawsuit or be intimidated into paying a debt to someone you don’t owe.

Seems to me you can’t but you have to make your own choice.

“I want to get more answers on what to do with this lawsuit — what do I do next?”

Give us a call.

Pick up the phone and dial 1-205-879-2447.  Or you can fill out our contact form and we will get right back with you.

Tell us about the lawsuit and when you were served.

Then we can have that information handy when we talk to you.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

-John Watts


  1. Ramonna DeLamar says:

    I am being sued in small claims court by East Alabama Medical Center for a bill from March of 2015. I was told by EAMC after filling out a ton on paperwork, that I qualified for their charity program to take care of the bill. I had no insurance at the time. I have been too sick to work since 2015, I own nothing. What can I expect in court if I have no way to pay and no assets? I answered the claim with I DO NOT OWE THIS DEBT and gave the reason why.

    • John Watts says:


      Sorry you are being sued. I suggest the following:

      1. See if you have any proof (letters, etc) that show you were to be on the charity program.

      2. Make a timeline of what happened — have you had any discussions with EAMC before the suit? Have they admitted to you about the charity program? Explained why they did not use the charity?

      3. If you have no assets they can’t take anything but they can get a judgment that will get bigger every day. Then if you do own assets in the future, they could take those.

      4. If you haven’t applied for Social Security (SSDI) you should look into that — we can refer you to someone if you would like a recommendation. That could get you some income since you are not able to work now.

      Feel free to call us at 205-879-2447.

      Sorry you are dealing with this but if you will take a look at the steps above, those might help you.

      John Watts

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