Monday, December 2, 2013

The Answer is Filed

The junk debt buyer's attorney who served his complaint will be getting his answer today by certified mail.  I didn't let his complaint spoil my Holiday cheer.  My wife and I spent the weekend transforming our home and we are officially ready for Christmas.  Here are some lessons I learned about civil proceedings in my new home state:
  1. When you are served with a summons and complaint, you have twenty days to file an answer in the state of Iowa.
  2. You don't need an attorney to represent you in court, although the judge expects you to know the law and follow the rules if you choose to represent yourself.
  3. Most plaintiffs in junk debt cases expect their opponents to ignore their complaints.  When the defendant fails to respond, they win by default.  This happens in 95% of all cases filed.
  4. When a defendant challenges the plaintiff, they force the attorneys to prove their case.
  5. The answer puts the plaintiff on notice what defense(s) the defendant is planning.
  6. Once the answer is filed, the process of discovery begins.  I will write more about these adventures in future updates.
  7. There are all kinds of resources available for the little guy who wants to defend himself.
  8. Preparing for the courtroom is similar to writing a book.  There is research, getting to know the characters, an antagonist and protagonist, and a plot to develop.  There is tension leading up to the climax.  I'm planning on sharing my experience in a future book.  The names will be changed to keep me out of the courtroom.  One courtroom experience is enough for me.
  9. In a civil proceeding, the defendant has nothing to prove.  It's up to the plaintiff to prove his case.  
  10. There are new laws written to protect consumers.  When a debt collector breaks these laws, there are consequences.  Read future blog stories for more about this.
Should you ever receive a summons, make sure you file an answer.  Don't be afraid to face your accuser.  Have a great day.  And remember, these posts are for entertainment purposes only – nothing here is intended to be legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please seek a licensed attorney.

No comments: