Do I need to include Affirmative Defense on my Answer for a Debt Collections law suite summons?

Asked about 3 years ago - Seattle, WA

I am being sued for some unpaid medical bills. I would like to submit my Answer without stating any Affirmative Defense. I would like to first see any supporting documentation they have for the claims, before I chose the Affirmative Defense.

Can I do so? Is it a good or bad idea?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. E.P. Hackenberg

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . You could answer without stating affirmative defenses, but that is a bad idea. If you don't state your affirmative defenses you waive them.

  2. Dorothy G Bunce


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Bad idea. With many affirmative defenses, if you don't submit them with your Answer, you may be precluded from asserting them.

    Hope this perspective helps!

  3. Lawrence W. Lobb

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . Is the debt being pursued by the original creditor, a collector for the service provider, or a party who purchased the debt? If not the original creditor (ie, hospital, doctor), was information provided proving that they have ownership of the debt and the right to sue you? You will need to check with an attorney licensed in Washington, but it may be possible to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit based on their inability to prove the have a proper interest in the case. Good luck to you.

    Disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create, an ongoing duty to respond to... more
  4. Mitchell Paul Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . If this is small claims court, you won't get information on ownership ahead of time unless you dispute it. File your answer and raise your defenses. Do not risk waiving them and do not play ambush litigation. You will lose.

    Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.... more

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