Nice laptop on a glass table. Do I need to file an answer with the court or respond to a lawsuit? The answer is normally yes! Once you are served with a lawsuit you normally have 30 days to file an answer with the court. If you do not file a written answer to the lawsuit within 30 days from the date the lawsuit was served upon you, you will automatically lose the lawsuit. The creditor will obtain what is known as a default judgment against you because you do not file an answer to the lawsuit with the court.

You must file a written answer with the clerk of the court in the county in which you reside. Merely contacting the attorney that is suing you is not a sufficient response or answer to the lawsuit. Immediately after receiving the lawsuit many people call the attorney suing them and the attorney agrees to work out a payment plan with them. Even though the attorney has worked out a payment plan with you, at the end of the 30 days the attorney will obtain a default judgment against you because you did not file the written answer with the court. This default judgment is just as binding as going to trial and you losing at trial. However, by filing a chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy the lawsuit is stopped.

In conclusion, any time you receive court documents in the mail it is usually prudent to discuss these court documents with a competent attorney. Doing nothing usually only makes the matter worse.