Definition: Complaint in an Alabama debt collection (debt buyer) lawsuit


The complaint is the document that starts the lawsuit, and it states who is suing you, what county they’re suing you in, and how much they’re suing you for.

Without the complaint, there is no lawsuit.  So the complaint starts the collection lawsuit.

You will find out who is suing you — is it Asset Acceptance, Cavalry Portfolio, LVNV Funding, Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery, Velocity Investments, etc?

You’ll know what county you have been sued in.  Hint:  Under the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) it must be in the county where you entered into the debt or the county where you live.

You’ll also know the amount — normally a set dollar amount plus court costs.

It also tells you whether you’ve been sued in Small Claims, District, or Circuit Court.

Sometimes debt collector in the lawsuit will tell why they’re suing you, and sometimes they don’t.  So for example, it may list the account number or date you took out the debt, etc.

How long do you have to answer or respond to the complaint?

It depends on which court you were sued in.

If you were sued in Alabama Small Claims, you have 14 days.

If sued in Alabama District Court, you have 14 days.

Finally, when you are sued in Circuit Court in Alabama you have 30 days to respond.

You start counting from when you were served.

We look at the complaint so we can file an answer.  We’ll talk about the “answer” in another video and blog post.

Contact Us If You Have Questions About An Alabama Debt Collection Lawsuit.

If you’re facing a debt collection lawsuit and want to know your options, you can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447.

Or you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Have a great day!

-John G. Watts


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