Debt Collection Answer

Use this form to file an answer to a summons and complaint from a creditor.

You will find out that the creditor is suing you when the court sends you a “summons and complaint." This is a letter that tells you that you are being sued. It also includes who is suing you, the reason they are suing you and what they want. You must respond to the summons within 28 days.

To do that, file a form with the court, called an “answer.”  You can use the template below to create your answer. It can be hard to work through a this without a lawyer. If you can, try to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible.

A note on COVID-19: On March 27, 2020, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued an order that "tolls" the time requirements for filings and other court deadlines. As the Court explains in its FAQ, "tolling serves to effectively freeze time from...March 9, 2020 until the expiration of the order. " For example, if you had a answer filing deadline on March 19th (10 days after March 9th), your new deadline is now 10 days after the Court's order expires. The order will expire either on 1) the date the Governor lifts the state of emergency; or 2) July 30, 2020, whichever comes first.  

However, a local court can still require you to file within the original deadlines. That means that you need to check the court docket for your case to see if the court has placed an order on your case requiring filing within the initial deadline. To find the online docket for your case go to the court or clerk's website. You can find contact and website information for your local courts on this page, under "Local Government and Community Resources."

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Before You Get Started

Learn what you will need to fill out this form.

When you answer, you need to respond to each paragraph. Review the complaint and identify for each paragraph, if you:

  • Agree with that paragraph (admit the paragraph is true),  
  • Disagree with that paragraph (deny the paragraph is true), OR
  • Don’t know whether that paragraph is true (do not have enough information).

Follow these simple rules:

  • Do not agree with anything unless you know it is true.
  • Do not disagree with anything unless you know it is not true.
  • If you don’t know, say, “I don’t have enough information.” 
  • If a paragraph makes more than one claim, do not agree with it unless you know all the claims are true.
  • If you disagree with a paragraph, explain why you disagree with it.

Get Started

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