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

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. 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!

  2. 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 questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the states of Illinois and Michigan. Responses are answers to general legal questions and the inquiring party should consult a local attorney for specific answers to questions.

  3. 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. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Mitchell Goldstein or the Goldstein Law Group does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.

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

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