How do I file an answer to an intent to apply for order of default?

UPDATED: Dec 6, 2011

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How do I file an answer to an intent to apply for order of default?

I have been served with papers regarding an old debt from 8 years ago. At that time, we were in the middle of losing our home to foreclosure and I honestly don’t remember this debt. I asked them for proof and they sent some receipts with my name and address printed on it but nothing with a copy of my actual signature. I don’t have the money to pay this and am not sure what, if anything, I can do.

Asked on December 6, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Oregon


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The papers with which you were served were the summons and complaint.  The complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons.  You will need to file an answer to the complaint within the time set forth in the summons.  You will need to file your answer to the complaint with the court and serve it by mail on the opposing party or the opposing party's attorney.

If you have an attorney, the attorney can handle this for you.  If you do not have an attorney and are representing yourself, at the law library look for answer to complaint in the index of Pleading and Practice.  The answer to the  complaint denies the allegations in the complaint.  In the index of Pleading and Practice, under answer to complaint, this will give you the general format for an answer to a complaint.  At the end of the answer is the verification which you sign and date under penalty of perjury.  The verification attests to the veracity of your statements in the answer.  File your answer with verification and an attached proof of service with the court and mail a copy to the opposing party or opposing party's attorney.  You can use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own proof of service, it just says that you are over 18 and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless stated otherwise to __________ (name and address of opposing party or opposing party's attorney) on __________ (date).  You sign and date the proof of service at the bottom.  The date you sign should be the same as the date of mailing and the same date you file your documents with the court.

If you don't timely file your answer to the complaint with the court and serve it by mail on the opposing party or opposing party's attorney, the opposing party will obtain a default judgment against you.  If that happens and a default is entered against you, that means you have lost.  You will then need to file a motion to set aside the default.  If the judge grants your motion, the case is then back on track and litigation will continue.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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