How to Answer a Debt Summary Judgment

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Creditors and collection agencies often use a motion for summary judgment as a way to quickly get a court order stating that the debtor owes them the money. The court will grant summary judgment if the judge believes that there are no material issues of facts in the case and the creditor is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Because the court can grant summary judgment without a hearing, you should answer any creditor's summary judgment motions in writing.

  • Read the laws in your state to determine how long you have to answer the motion for summary judgment. The state's rules of civil procedure will normally contain this information. Many court websites have the rules listed.

  • Read the motion for summary judgment carefully and determine what facts and laws the creditor relies upon.

  • Write your answer. Be specific with what facts you dispute and include any documentation that supports your version of the facts. If you believe that the creditor does not have legal grounds for a judgment against you, state that and reference any statutes or case law that support your claim.

  • File your answer with the clerk of the court. The judge may rule on the written documentation or may schedule a hearing on the matter. If the judge schedules a hearing, you will need to attend and argue your case. If the judge rules on the documents, the court will notify you of the decision in writing.

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