• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Summons from Collection Agency

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.


Junior Member
What is the name of your state? WA

Recieved a summons from collection agency for a hospital debt. Says in order to defend I must respond to the complaint and the court by stating my defense. Am I explaining my situation to the court? or entering a guilty/ not guilty plea? not sure what they are asking for here. Any advice greatly appreciated.

Debt Guy

Senior Member
Your response to the court is limited to "yes, I owe this money" or "no, I don't owe this money". The court will not be interested in reasons you did not pay.


Junior Member
I'm going to have to disagree with debtguy on this one. While you must deny or agree with the allegations that you owe the money, you can also assert affirmative defenses (including equitable defenses), if you have any, which you must do if you have them or the agency can quickly obtain a judgment against you based on your responses. If you owe the money, give thought to any procedural defenses and then equitable defenses. An explanation is not a defense.

Good luck.

Debt Guy

Senior Member
Of course, you can and should assert any equitable defenses you have.

But, given the way the OP phrased the question, they understand nothing about pro se action. How in the dickens are they ever going to understand an equitable defense?

The only defense that the OP might be able to swing on their on is that the debt is time-barred. WA has a relatively long SOL. While it is always possible the debt is SOL, it is not likely.

In my mind, this is clearly a case where the OP should hire an attorney to represent them -- if they think there is something wrong with the debt. Otherwise, they are wasting time and money.

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential