How Long Do I Have to File an Answer to My Debt Collection Lawsuit? | Summary and Q&A

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October 18, 2018
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Consumer Warrior
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How Long Do I Have to File an Answer to My Debt Collection Lawsuit?

TL;DR

Arizona residents have 20 days from the date of being served with a debt collection lawsuit to file a written response called an answer.

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Key Insights

  • 🥳 Arizona residents facing debt collection lawsuits have 20 calendar days to file a written response, called an answer, after being served.
  • ©️ Alternative service may be authorized if the defendant cannot be served in person, requiring the plaintiff to mail a copy of the complaint and summons and post a copy on the defendant's door.
  • 🥳 Arizona's rules provide a grace period of 10 business days from receiving an application for entry of default, allowing the defendant to file a response and avoid a default judgment.
  • 🥳 Weekends and holidays are not counted during the 10-day grace period.
  • 📁 Failing to file a response within the designated timeframes can lead to the plaintiff filing an application for entry of default and eventually obtaining a default judgment.
  • 🆘 John Skiba, an attorney from the Arizona Consumer Law Group, provides resources on his website, consumerwarrior.com, to help individuals draft an answer to a debt collection lawsuit.

Transcript

  • Hey everybody, John Skiba here from the Arizona Consumer Law Group. In today's video I want to talk about how much time you have to file your written response to the debt collection lawsuit that you were just served with. Now, one thing that's important is this is going to be for Arizona residents only. I practice law in the State of Arizona, and... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How much time do Arizona residents have to file a response to a debt collection lawsuit?

Arizona residents have 20 calendar days from the day they are served with the complaint and summons to file a written response, called an answer, to the court.

Q: What happens if a process server cannot serve the defendant in person?

If the process server cannot serve the defendant in person, they may seek alternative service, where the plaintiff mails a copy of the complaint and summons and posts a copy on the defendant's door. The 20-day window starts ticking once both requirements are met.

Q: Is there a grace period in Arizona for filing a response?

Yes, Arizona rules provide a grace period of 10 business days after receiving an application for entry of default. During this period, the defendant can file a written response to avoid a default judgment.

Q: How does counting the days differ between the initial response period and the grace period?

The initial response period of 20 days includes weekends, holidays, and all calendar days. However, during the grace period, which is 10 business days, weekends and holidays are not counted.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Arizona residents have 20 calendar days from the day they are served with a debt collection lawsuit to file a written response called an answer.

  • Alternative service may be authorized if the process server cannot serve the defendant in person, requiring the plaintiff to mail a copy of the complaint and summons and post a copy on the defendant's door before the 20-day window starts.

  • A grace period of 10 business days is given after receiving an application for entry of default, allowing the defendant to file a response and avoid a default judgment.

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